Archive for March, 2011

Marketing 101, or, Selling Your Soul In the Process(I’ll have a Fat Ho Burger with Fries)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2011 by ctgalaw

Years ago when I was a young(er) wife  (“younger” because I am not old.   Ha!) living  in Greenwich (oh guffaw!) I decided to try my hand at teaching.  Now mind you I did not have a degree in education nor did I have  a teaching certificate or license (I was thinking that because I have 3 great-aunts who have taught for a combined 97 years in the public school systems of New York City and Westchester County, NY—kind of grandfathered me in–no?–and yes, I’ m proud of my aunts).   What I did have (and still have) was mega-confidence, a freshly minted law degree, a need to distinguish myself from all of the other freshly minted lawyers (it was the 90s and the legal market was flushed—how many first year law grads are  adjunct professors?  Precisely.) and a true desire to share all of that newly acquired legal knowledge. 

So what did I do?   Over the course of 3 weekends I created  a syllabus and a class title:  “Everyday Law for the Everyday Citizen.”  Consumer law issues like how to protect and repair your credit rating, how to get your landlord to make necessary repairs and if all else fails—how to initiate, maintain and succeed in your small claims court law suit were just some of the topics  that I proposed. 

When Mr. Recovering Attorney gave me the all clear (he has always been my best mentor, cheerleader and critic), I put on my navy Tahari three season wool suit, my vintage I.Miller spectator pumps (my mother was a fan—it was  “THE shoe store for Manhattan ladies” until the early 1980s) grabbed my Coach briefcase and matching  Coach handbag (I left the logos at home) and headed to Norwalk Community College to make my morning appointment with the chair of the adult continuing education department.  I made my pitch, I left her my course materials and within a month I was on the faculty of Norwalk Community College  (the ink on my law degree was still wet and I  wasn’t old enough to legally rent a car)!   I keep the  now yellowed course catalogue with my Broadway Playbill collection.  Why do I share?  Please keep reading…

The country was in a recession in the early 1990s.  Many college graduates found that they had degrees, debt and no job prospects.  Some college graduates enrolled in graduate and professional schools to ride the tide while the economy recovered.  Others “created” their own positions (please see above example), some joined service organizations (Peace Corp, Teach For America) in an effort to gain priceless experience, give back, AND build their resumes. . .but wow times have certainly changed. . .fast forward to today. . . 

In Waco, Texas a young  college graduate has opened a new restaurant.  The name:  The Fat Ho Burger.  Not to my liking to say the least.  Some may argue that it’s just a name:   “No big deal.”  “After all, this is the Great Recession.”  “She’s a marketing genius—getting all of that free publicity.”   ” And I hear that the burgers are not bad.”

 It’s obvious that the young lady is talented— she created a winning business plan, a good product, opened her own restaurant and I”m writing about her!  However, I only wish that she had given some more thought on the name of her new enterprise.  I hear tell that Don Imus was her first customer.   His order:  The Nappy Headed Ho burger with a side of Supa Dupa  Ni%%er Nachos and a sweet tea. 

We can’t have it both ways people.  Pick a side and stick with it.  Free publicity is not free.  We all end up paying for it in the long run. 

Post Script:  Please continue to Grow and Recover. . .just maybe . . . perhaps consider. . . doing it with Dignity, Grace and Integrity.  Okay.  Now I am done.   

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney.  All Rights Reserved.

Off-Topic Tuesday, or, Have You Ever Had a BFFFSM?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 29, 2011 by ctgalaw

What’s a BFFFSM you ask?  A Best Friend Forever For Six Months.  You know that woman  you meet in a yoga class, at a professional event or at your child’s school.  You make an interesting observation in the class and you laugh alone.  She’s standing next to you and observes your laughter, notices the same interesting sighting; you are now laughing together.  You admire out loud each other’s sense of humor, style and wedding rings.  You suggest that after next week’s class you get together for a cup of tea.  The coffee house meet-up proves to be productive.  After playing the “6 Degrees of Separation Game,” you find that though you don’t hail from the same hometown, your husbands attended college football rival schools in the 1980s AND your children are patients in the same pediatric practice.  Wow!  Ha!  Guffaw!  You are on your way to BFFFSMship!

You call.  Tweet.  Use Facebook and e-mail to stay in touch outside of class.  You begin to assign names to the students in your yoga class:  “Bicycle Shorts Man” because he insists on wearing bicycle shorts that highlight his family jewels in all of its shining, shimmering glory.  And though you are only 4 weeks into the BFFFSMship, she has already met your dog,  been in your car and you two are toying with the idea of securing a summer beach rental together—kid friendly days and adult giddy nights at the shore. 

The yoga class is over.  You both decide to re-up for another 6 weeks.  Life is good.  You two are in sync.  Then it happens.  The second 6 weeks has come to an end.  And though your body is the firmest that it has ever been since “for-never,” you begin to tire of yoga.  You consider taking up running again.  But you recall that you like to run alone.  No distractions.  Just you, your thoughts, and your ipod.  You call your BFFFSM and tell her ever so gently about your plans.  She’s cool with your plans to run because she was considering joining a kick boxing class way across town— near her husband’s office.  She’s thinking that  it will be exciting to meet up with her husband after class for a quick bite (no children or BFFFSM in tow) once a week.

You give her a call to find out how the kick boxing class is going.  She tells you about a woman who comes to class in full MAC mode and by the end of class she looks like a broke down, busted, sad clown.  Her name:  “Ronnie MACdonald.”  You both laugh hard.  And you are reminded why you two clicked in the first place.  You two promise to meet up for a cup of tea next week.    Sick child.  Out of town for the weekend.  Injured ankle (all of that running and kick boxing).  Next week never happens.  You both are to blame or not (you both are busy). 

Spring is on the horizon and you begin to make your summer plans.  You enroll  the children in summer sleep away camp (the same  upstate New York camp that you attended as a child—it’s a family tradition), cooking classes, science day camp and the music lessons continue.  You decide that instead of the balmy beach for the last week of summer vacation, cool Cashiers will be ideal.  Your BFFFSM is not on your itinerary; that’s okay.  She planned her summer and instead of the beach she has decided on Lake Burton!

Five months into the BFFFSMship (just before the 6 month anniversary). . . and scene—the BFFFSMship has officially faded to black. . . 

That my Dear Readers is a BFFFSM!  If you have had a BFFFSM or if you are currently in a BFFFSMship (you will know if you are) do share.  If you have never had such a relationship you are missing a treat.  You initially connected on a superficial level and the deepest the relationship got was your advice to her on how to deal with her sometimes obnoxious sister-in-law.  Nothing heavy—no hurt feelings.  And if you live in a city like Atlanta, I promise you that you two will meet-up again (perhaps at the annual Dogwood Festival).  And this time the tea should be on you.  Ha!

*And please remember Dear Readers—when you start using the term BFFFSM recall that you read it (and had it defined ) here first  on The Recovering Attorney—tell your new BFFFSM—she might enjoy TheRecoveringAttorney.wordpress.com, too!  Thanks, Jimmy.

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney.  All Rights Reserved.

Do You Have Fortytude?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2011 by ctgalaw

Sarah Brokaw, daughter of Tom, has written a 

 book for women of a certain age, Fortytude:  Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your life—Through your 40s, 50s and Beyond.  Some may argue that here we go again.  A child, wife, husband, parent, sibling, or “play-cousin” of celebrity and wealth has once again capitalized on said status and is now a self  proclaimed, self-help expert about a subject that they in reality know nothing or next to nothing about.  Well, yeah that happens.  Think Growing Up Clinton by Roger Clinton, Bill’s little brother (Mr. Google helped me with that one!).  Now in his defense, I am certain that Roger is an expert on growing up Clinton—but save for poly sci professors, presidential historians, and people who purchase books for a dollar in an effort to increase the number of  books in their home library (I have been guilty of this–always justifying the purchase by saying that when I have read every book in my home, I will pick up “that” book), who really cares enough to buy the book?!   Anywhooo.  I digress.

Sarah  may have a leg or two up on Roger on this “becoming a published author because you are a relative of celebrity thing:”  She is a therapist, she’s 41 , the women profiled in her book are not her father’s celebrity friends, there just might be wide-spread appeal about the topic AND from the excerpts that I have read, I think that she has written an insightful book. 

Sarah has identified 5 Core Values that women need to call upon in order to go forward successfully in life after the age of 40:  Grace, Connectedness, Accomplishments, Adventure and Spirituality.  I believe that I sort of beat Sarah to the punch on this one because on this very blog, I have written about a woman’s need to show grace, gravitas, and other important attributes in order to realize her full potential ( But  alas, my dad is not Tom.  Touche!).  So yes, from what I have read, I’m on board with Ms. Sarah—we seem to be inside each other’s heads.  It’s just that my co-author check has yet to arrive.  Ha!

I am finding that this “in one another’s head thingy” to be the case with my peers (real peers that I share a bond with and “peers” that I have never met).  Perhaps I will blog about this phenomenon at a later date.  I told you that I was chatty–stay with me—back to the subject at hand. . .

 Written in an episodic manner, profiling the lives of motivated, modern women, the book  discuss making the next decades the best years of your life.  One task that she offered to a woman in the book served as a road map to the next stage of the woman’s life.  The woman knew she wanted and needed a career change but she did not know how to make the shift.  Sarah advised the woman to spend up to 2 hours in a book store.  Once there she suggested that the woman jot down the named 3 sections of the store that she spent the most time browsing— Travel, Exercising and Photography (sounds like an easy set-up, but I sanction a writer taking a few liberties in an effort to make a useful point!).  From there a road map was developed.  The woman eventually started a free (for the moment) walking tour in her city where participants bring along their cameras and capture photos of interesting architectural sightings.  She is thinking about expanding the tours to additional domestic and international cities to incorporate her love of travel into the picture (I indeed intended this pun)!

What say you my Dear Readers of a certain age?  Refocus, Recover and share your stories of Fortytude, or not (too easy, had to type “not.”  Ha!).

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney.  All Rights Reserved.

The UN-BLOG, or, how do I Self-Identify?*

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2011 by ctgalaw

I have said this early and often:  This is the un-mommy, un-lifestyle, un-interior design, un-celebrity gossip blog.  I am curious as to what the exact heading these musings from my mind would occupy.  The jury is still out on this one.  But , if this is an un-mommy blog does that mean I can’t discuss, fawn,  fuss and faint over Precious Child I (he’s a freshman at Dartmouth—where did the time go??) Precious Child II (she’s an honor roll student at her old money, elite, Southern, conservative college prep independent school—(her brother’s alma mater), musician, chorale, jazz, contemporary singer who has toured nationally and internationally)  Mr. Recovering Attorney  (the love of my life and the man who allowed me to become a stay-at-home mom twice in my motherhood in spite of my legal degree, law licenses and potential earning power)  and The Dog (our Lab Mix rescue dog who is fiercely loyal, extremely territorial, and lovingly neurotic)? 

If this is an un-lifestyle/brand blog does it mean I can’t post about my  fabulous finds “sourced”  (the word de jour on lifestyle blogs–translation–purchased/found) at NeimanMarcus via the online catalogue exclusive to frequent shoppers, or my family’s spring break trips to Europe, the Caribbean and serene American beach communities, or how in my former life–before I left my hometown of NYC (aka “Money Making Manhattan”—that’s sooo 1980’s—yet my attempt to convey a sense of coolness while posting ) and moved to Atlanta—Mr. Recovering Attorney and I lived a High WASP- like lifestyle (yes, I said it!) in the bucolic Backcountry of  tony, sophisticated, family-centric Greenwich, Connecticut (Precious Child I was born at Greenwich Hospital and spent his toddler years toddling throughout the town’s parks, beaches and high-end shops).  Side Bar:  On Rene Syler’s (hey, Rene!) Goodenoughmother blog, she asked readers  what was/is their biggest financial regret.  My answer:  “Selling our Backcountry Lake Avenue, Greenwich, CT home.  Notwithstanding  the slumping/slumped housing market we would be soooo house rich today!!!!  No regrets, no regrets, no regrets . . .

If this is an un-interior design blog does it mean that I can’t post about my love for  residential architecture, real estate, interior design, my home on 2 acres of woodlands in the  close-in Atlanta suburbs, or how this past summer for Precious Child II’s 13th birthday we redesigned her bedroom–transforming the room into her new teen girl sanctuary, or how if you enter my home you would feel its soul in my eclectic, urbane decor (so I have been told) that reflects our travels, cultures and geographically diverse  former homesteads.

Finally, if this is an un-celebrity gossip blog, does that mean I can’t post about Usher’s alleged sex tape.  Honestly, I probably would never post about such a tape.  But Chris Brown’s antics—no—I would probably never post about Chris Brown, Charlie Sheen, Star “Ima Lawyer”Jones vs. Nene Leakes and or Natalie Portman’s baby bump…so, yes, I will defer to my celebrity bloggers—I just can’t!!!  But I will certainly continue to peruse the blogosphere for the latest celebrity news–don’t judge me, please!

* Good.  I got some of my back story out in a fun, non-threatening, semi “don’t get it twisted” kind of way.  Because though I have the bona fides and the curriculum vitae to truly go there— I try very hard to exercise restraint.  However, I do  write about my reality.  And yes most of my reality is historically and currently pleasant.  However,  the new “recovering” me is not interested in digging in that treasure or war chest (depending on one’s perspective) of attitude, preconceived notions and somewhat unhealthy elitist traditions (though my elders would certainly disagree)–been there, done that and I am seriously thinking about creating a tee-shirt to proclaim it!

So by now you probably can see where I am going with this.  Though I do  proudly refer to my blog as the Un-Blog (but don’t get me  wrong—I loovvee mommy, lifestyle, interior design and celebrity blogs—it’s just that I recognize when I am outnumbered and outgunned!), I will on occasion post about my passions. . .*cough* *cough* children, husband, dog, home(s), travels, events, charities. . .you get the point.  But as I have declared early and often (love the expression—will use it sooner then later and frequently), this blog is about personal growth (yours and mine), reflections on lives well lived (yours and mine), personal accountability and ownership (yours and mine) and acceptance of who and what we are all day and everyday!! 

If I hit a nerve, make sense (I do have moments of lucidity) or just profoundly piss you off (my New York came out on that one–that will happen from time to time), drop me a comment.  Let it out.  The www. is a big place.   As my grandfather stated often:  “There’s more room outside than inside—oh yeah, he was referring to flatulence . . .Ha!

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney.  All Rights Reserved

How Many Views?!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2011 by ctgalaw

Thank you viewer number 179!  It is because of you that I will post yet another day.  You see, I am not a “numbers girl.”  I don’t know the number of Grammy awards that my all time favorite  recording artist and family friend, Luther Vandross (my uncle played percussions on his many hits from the 80’s  {with the group, Change}and into the early 90’s–Errol “Crusher” Bennett, that’s him on the 80’s hit, “Searching”— earned during his oh so short career (we miss you, Luther) and I certainly don’t check my weight on a scale.  Numbers can sometimes give us false hope, make us complacent or in the case of my blog stats–can make one feel discouraged (did I actually just type the word “discouraged”–this blogging thing is keeping me honest I tell you)  If you look to the right of this post you will see the heading “Blog Stats.”  This number can serve to either excite or deflate the blogger—ok—me.  Excite me when I see the numbers go up within the hour and discourage my efforts when the ticker doesn’t tick for an entire day. 

There are days when my viewership is great.  And there are other days when not one single. human. being. on. the. planet—-not even Mr. Recovering Attorney—has logged on.  But hey, that’s okay with me folks!!!  I will blog on!!!!  As long as there is a thought process going on in my competitive, chatty, sassy, savvy, grateful, confident yet humble head—-I will post.  Ha!  And again, thank you Dear Viewer/Reader Number 179.

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney.  All Rights Reserved.

What’s a misspelled word or two (or 10) between friends?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2011 by ctgalaw

Many, many, many years ago when students used an abacus to compute and spelling primers were handed out to 2nd graders, I was an all around spelling champ!  It’s true.  In the 5th grade I represented my New York City school district in a regional spelling bee.  No.  I did not win.  I know that I placed  because I came home with a trophy (in those days you had to earn an award—you did not receive an award for just showing up—ah the good old days!) and my elementary school vice-principal treated me to lunch at the Greek diner across the street from my elementary school.   

Now, if you have been a reader of The Recovering Attorney for the past 3 months or so I can not possibly fault you if you believe that the above account is me telling a “victimless lie (please see previous post).”  My spelling has been atrocious on this blog.  Yes.  I am taking ownership.  You see, when you blog you rely on your computer’s spell check to catch those sometimes subtle spelling errors and you certainly expect the computer to catch the flagrant errors.  But not my 2009 laptop Sony Vaio’s spell check!  And yes, I recognize that the spell check feature can only catch and correct a misspelled word when the misspelled word is somewhere within the range of recognizability(did I just create a word?) of an actual word.  My misspelled words are indeed within the range of recognition.  Because when I look over a post and spot a misspelled word—I go old school and pull out my dictionary and I am off by one letter or so.  Example—I misspelled the word “tattoo.”  I spelled the word thusly:  “tatoo.”  My Sony Vaio spelling dictionary did not catch the misspelled word!  So for 3 days or so there the word “tatoo” sat for the entire world to see!!!!!  Come on Sony.  Update and expand your spelling dictionary or simply utilize the legal theory of caveat emptor.  Your disclaimer should read something like this:  “If you intend to use your new Sony Vaio laptop computer for the purpose of creating, writing, devising, drafting and or posting documents, please be advised that our spell check feature SUCKS—we are enclosing a hard copy dictionary with every computer for your convenience.”

Long story short.  Yes.  I can actually spell.  My posted misspelled words fall within the purview of most common misspelled words.  So hang in there with me.   If you see a misspelled word and you have time on your hand, send me an e-mail or comment and let me know! 

Many thanks,

The Recovering Attorney

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney.  All Rights Reserved.

Off-Topic Tuesday, or, “Victimless Lie” Anyone?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2011 by ctgalaw

I will admit that I am a fan of KLG and Hoda  aka the 15th hour of the Today Show.  And obviously I am not the only one.   There’s a contest where viewers compete each week for the title of  “Fan of the Week.”  Said favorite fan submits a video depicting said favorite viewer engaging in activities that are ripped straight from the KLG and Hoda script.  But don’t laugh.  The winning favorite fan is awarded trips to Paris , destination spas, weekends in New York, etc.   So.  No. I am not the only fan.  Or maybe I am because I am not in it for the prizes!  Anywhoo….   

But my all time favorite segment of KLG and Hoda is this segment where 2 male comedians, a male clinician and a “hottie” (sounds like a set-up for a joke) get together and answer questions from female viewers.  FunKnee I tell you.  I recall a segment where this woman asked this round-about, long-winded, up the hill and across the lake question. . .and when she finally got to the point the question  was:  Why when women are talking  men tune out?  The answer from the comedian:  THE WAY YOU ASKED THAT QUESTION IS THE ANSWER!  Ha.

These aforementioned men talk to the female viewers without using the “victimless lie” approach.  What’s the victimless lie you ask?:

1.  “Yes, I took the trash out”

2.  “No, Beyonce is not hotter than you”

3.  “Sure, it’s okay to watch Titanic again”

or

4.  “No.  I did not see her boobs falling out of that dress.  I was looking at you baby!”

That’s the victimless lie—men use this approach because it keeps the drama to a minimum, it spares feelings and it allows men to stall until it’s okay to tell the truth—so I am told by my reliable source. 

So ladies when you ask your spouses and boyfriends questions about your hair, dress or last night’s meal… do you prefer the victimless lie or straight- to- the- point- take- no- prisoner approach as told by the comedians on KLG and Hoda?

Let us know!

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney.  All Rights Reserved.