Archive for June, 2003

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Summer in the City. Last night, Girlie and I atte…

24 June 2003

Summer in the City. Last night, Girlie and I attended a benefit cocktail party organized by City Harvest. For a few hours, I felt like a cool socialite ala’ Carrie in Sex in the City. They served hors d’oeuvres from fine NYC restaurants, open bar, and fabulous music by DJ X-Ray (who was a very nice fellow and accommodated our requests.)

There were a lot of professionals, both young and old, and it was a nice mix of people. From ladies who wore nice Chloe’ dresses & Manolos, to old guys wearing t-shirts and shorts.

I certainly had a lot of fun. It was a very different crowd that what I normally get to see at the lounges I go to. I may even try to join the committee that organized it.

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Ruminations, Irritations. I know we live in a cap…

19 June 2003

Ruminations, Irritations. I know we live in a capitalist society. Heck, I live in the financial capital of the world and I see it. But it just really irks me that there is such a dichotomy in the earning power between people who are in the humanitarian fields versus the business sector. Why is it that a teacher who has a master’s degree and devotes his/her time to helping children learn will only earn $32K versus a person who works, say as a consultant with a bachelor’s degree who earn about $50K average to start? The same thing goes for social workers who try to help children versus a computer developer. Likewise, look at your average movie star versus your average public defender.

The major difference is that jobs in the humanitarian/social services aren’t geared to make money versus the jobs I mentioned above where you work to help your company earn more money. Yes I know people in the business sector make more money because there are in the business of making money. However, I think our nation should re-evaluate the distribution of wealth. People complain all the time about the quality of public education and social services. But no one is pushing for people in these humanitarian fields to get pay raises, better pensions, comprehensive health plans and the like. In fact, some people even scoff at other people’s decisions to work in the social sector. I’ve heard the following statements come out of people’s mouths (not necessarily aimed at me, but mostly observations): Why would you want to be a teacher? Don’t you want to do something better? or Why don’t you just work in a corporate law firm? Won’t you make more money? Instead of people commending others for doing something helpful to society, they are regarded as people who make poor career decisions.

Well I guess it’s my fault for not picking something more lucrative. And I shouldn’t even complain. At least I’m in a comfortable position in my life right now. But there are many who aren’t. Heck, I’m jobless myself…and it doesn’t help that I’m only interested in 2 places to work at. Both, of course, will pay very little compared to what my peers make.

The hubs told me the salary shouldn’t matter so much as long as you are happy with what you are doing. But it sucks to know that I will be making less even though I’m committed to making a difference in society versus some schmucko who gets 100x more because he’s a freaking consultant. Bitter words for a bitter person. He is right though. I probably wouldn’t be happy being a consultant anyway. I just hope I get the job that I want. At least so I can shut up and stop whining about it. Truth be told, I am very fortunate to have what I have, and this is precisely why I want to work in the humanitarian field.

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Weekend happenings. The Mad Women went to Sol’s t…

16 June 2003

Weekend happenings. The Mad Women went to Sol’s townhouse for dinner on Friday. It was a great evening. Good food, delicious dessert, and fabulous entertainment. We played this card game called “Pit” (in a nutshell, it’s a commodity trading game where you try to rack up points). It was just hilarious…see the five locas blog! Anyway, I didn’t get home till like midnight. Of course, I would’ve gotten home sooner if I didn’t get freaking lost driving home in the pouring rain…

Father’s Day. The family (Mark’s side) went to Churascarria Plataforma for a Father’s Day lunch on Sunday. These Brazilian joints are basically all you can eat-type deals where you have unlimited access to the salad bar, and then folks come to your table to serve you all types of grilled meats. It was very good and hearty. I made sure to pace myself and not eat like a puerco. People who are on Atkins should definitely go there. It’s all about the meat. However, the salad bar was very good too. I usually don’t like salad bars because the food is usually crappy and hastily prepared. However, their salad bar was very extensive and fresh –seafood paella, tons of fresh shrimp, salads, prosciutto, risotto, I can go on and on…. I’ll take my family there as well.

Vacation-planning. Mark & I want to go on vacation sometime in August. We were thinking of going to San Francisco and go sight-see, but now I feel like going to an island and just chilling. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of sun-bathing, but I just want to be pampered, drink a pina colada under a big umbrella, and eat lots of good island food. I would also like to learn how to surf. So it would be good to go to an island for that. The good thing about this vacation though, is that Mark has racked up tons of Starwood Points which means we can stay at a Starwood Hotel (e.g., The Sheraton, Westin) for free! On the list at moment: Cancun, Mexico; the Bahamas; and San Francisco or some other tropical isle. In any case, we can’t book anything until after the big closing day…Whoo-hoo!

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Played softball last night for the first time sinc…

12 June 2003

Played softball last night for the first time since 10th grade. It was pretty fun. The Bergen County Superior Courts Law Clerks (aka the “Bergen Bombers”) vs. The Bergen County Superior Court Judges. That’s right, us lowly law clerks against our bosses. Apparently, since the beginning of time, the judges have always won the game. So last night, we were determined to win. There was a bit of drama before the game though. First off, it was overcast and it looked like it was ready to pour any minute. Besides that, there was the issue of providing food for the judges and their families. Traditionally, the law clerks have shelled out cash to provide a feast for all the attendees after the game….one law clerk in particular, was handling all the food organization and made a big stink about not getting reimbursed. But in any case, at 5 pm last night, the sun shone and the game was on!

It was just funny to see the judges in casual attire. By casual, I’m talking jeans and shorts and sweats. My judge (who is Santa Claus-y in physique) was wearing a shirt and shorts, long athletic socks and kicks. It’s pretty amusing. Also, another criminal judge who was the pitcher for their team, had an entire baseball get-up –those tight pants, jersey, the whole nine. Us law clerks had matching jerseys too. Mine was swimming on me and almost hit my knees.

We had a great time. I went up to bat only once (after all, there was like 30+ law clerks and we can’t possibly all play) and made a good hit. Unfortunately, I hit the ball directly to a judge who was really good at softball and had a mean throw. Needless to say, he promptly caught it.

Well bottom line, the judges ruled again!! 14-11 was the score. But hey, we were close! And we would’ve won the game had the judges not been cheating. Talk about ethics! They had runners for them (e.g., my judge had another judge run for him because he had a bad back; another judge had his granddaughter run for him because he too old to run!). and the umpire made some blatantly wrong calls. It was a good game though!

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CT Day Trip. Went to my friends Girlie and Luke’s…

11 June 2003

CT Day Trip. Went to my friends Girlie and Luke’s Seymour, CT abode this past saturday. It was G’s belated b-day celebration and she invited a few folks over. The trip in and of itself was quite neat. I felt like I was going awaaay for the weekend. It took us about an hour and half to get there starting from Fort Lee, NJ (give or take a few). We would’ve gotten there earlier had it not been pouring! On the way there, my stomach and Trish’s stomach were in a growl-fest cuz we were so hungry!!

G, as usual, laid out a great feast!! Que rico! Shrimp-kabobs, ribs, veggie spring rolls, chicken relleno, and amazing drinks!! She made mojitos and sangrias and they were fab!! One of her friends also brought over a layered dessert –Death by Chocolate…I don’t think I need to say more! We left at 4:30 pm because we had plans to attend a memorial mass for one of our friends that started at 6:30 pm in the Lower East Side. But I had loads of fun. G’s house was soo nice with sprawling land. We’re talking wooded backyard here. The house suited them perfectly. It was very cool.

Friday, I may visit the home of another friend..mad woman Sol. So maybe it’ll be a mad women reunion…

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Law & Order in Real Life. Today, I sat and observ…

5 June 2003

Law & Order in Real Life. Today, I sat and observed a rape trial. I missed the opening statements yesterday, but today I caught some of the direct and cross-examination of the victim. The victim cried as she testified; the actual rape occurred about 3.5 years ago and only now did it go to trial. I missed a lot of the facts, but from what I gathered, she was in her bedroom sleeping when her assailant climbed into her bedroom window and attacked her. She testified that she could hear her son, who was an infant at that time, crying in the background while it all happened. It was very sad and intense.

Real life trials are not quite as “slick” as they are on TV. In real life, both prosecutors and defense attorneys stumble on words, make mistakes, and take breaks. Real life trials also tend to last longer than just an hour. And in the end, there’s no clever “one-liner” that the prosecutor gets to say. Hopefully, there’ll be a happy ending to this one at least.

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Simple blessings. I’ve always been thankful to Go…

4 June 2003

Simple blessings. I’ve always been thankful to God for how fortunate I am. My family and I have always been taken care of and I consider myself to be very lucky. It’s always nice to take the time to reflect on the simple pleasures in life and take a deep breath. Here’s to counting some of my blessings:

1) Having a loving, generous, and supportive set of parents and parent-in-laws and a loving, generous, and supportive hubs.

2) Earning my bachelors degree and juris doctor (because I’m fully aware that some people didn’t even get to finish school).

3) Having good friends you can always count on.

4) Having the opportunity and the means to do things I want to in life like traveling, eating in elegant restaurants, purchasing items I like, etc.

5) My health and the health of loved ones.

6) Passing the NY and NJ bar in one shot

7) Meeting some excellent characters as I go through life (e.g., past teachers, mentors, quirky classmates and co-workers, supportive bosses, and random folks who turn out to be great friends)

8) Other things that come my way that have turned out to be blessings in one way or the other