Friday, July 26, 2013

OOTD: Getting Back into the Swing

In this Outfit:
Top by Pleione from Nordstrom Rack (M)
Anthropologie Sunblaze Skirt (by Yoana Baraschi -- she called it the "Tattoo Skirt" and I've seen it floating around in both black and white) (6)
Necklace from Target
Coach Pave Ball Earrings
Kate Spade Bangle Watch (here in white)
Michael Kors Large Charm Tassel Ring Tote
Coming back to work after being on trial involves somewhat of an adjustment process.  Trial requires every ounce of effort you can muster and improves your productivity by 5-fold because there are simply not enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to get done by sunup, so you cut out the blog-reading, your morning coffee-sipping becomes more like gulping, and you work.  It is a sprint.

Regular workdays, on the other hand, generally allow for a bit more flexibility.  I don't need to be in my chair by 8am.  There may be some time between assignments where I can turn off my billing clock and click on some random news articles I found through Facebook friends.  It's nice in the sense that the trial pace is not sustainable for longer than a few months, but some part of me misses that feeling of working at top capacity and doing a pretty decent job at the same time.

To help ease the transition, I have tried to focus on the aspects of my normal life that I love but let slip by the wayside when I'm working 70+ hours a week.  I've been visiting the farmer's market, getting back into a regulary exercise routine, and spending time with friends.  And trying to blog at least once a week :-)

Manolo Blahnik Pumps (gifted) (39.5)

One thing I have lost though, and maybe for good:  My regular morning jaunt through my Feedly reader list.  I used to spend an hour a day catching up on blogs, checking in with other bloggers who I have either become friends with IRL or with whom I feel that wonderful e-connection you can develop with a blogger you like.  Part of it is that the length of my unread entries list is now perhaps in the 10k+ range, and the other part is that I feel more --- what would be the word? --- unadulterated? --- without the massive influx of outside influence on a daily basis.  A lot of the blogs I read --- and probably all of the blogs of people I have actually developed some kind of e-relationship with over time --- do not have this effect on me, but I do notice that having skipped the blog-reading for a month or so now I have shopped less often for clothes, felt less crappy about what I eat, and exercised more (because I WANT to and because it makes me feel good, not because I feel guilty if I don't).

Perhaps this is just a sign that I need to follow fewer blogs, or that instead of reading ALL TEH BLOGZ everyday I should just check in with a couple people at a time as the mood strikes me.  I don't know.  Do any of you feel like this with your blog subscriptions sometimes?  Or do you just poke your head into websites periodically?

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Twilight Zone Haircut!

For the last few months, I have been repressing the ever-welling desire to go Brittany.

My hair was driving me nuts; I'd done nothing but put it in a ponytail for almost a month straight.  Given the fact that I can only be bothered to spend five minutes on my hair MAX a day, it tends to look pretty shabby as it gets longer and requires more than my maximum of five minutes.

Add to that urge the fact that I've been toying around with the idea of a faux-hawk for a long time, combine that with the emptiness of my personal landscape over the foreseeable year (I don't mean that in a depressing way --- I'm social and go out --- I just mean that there are no huge events on my immediate horizon (e.g., trial, wedding) that would demand more caution in choosing a hairstyle) and you've got yourself a recipe for a dramatic haircut!

So, here's what I did:




Plus, it's super-versatile (and sort of faux-hawkable)!  I can wear it in a bunch of different ways with, again, very little effort:



I feel like I am in some kind of weird Twilight Zone episode with this hair.  NOBODY in my life seems to like it.  Well, a couple people like it.  But almost everyone else reacted to the haircut like, "::sucks teeth::  Ohhh, you cut your hair.  Wow.  ....::sucks teeth:: [nervously] Are you liking it?"  For Pete's sake, it's been two weeks and I am STILL getting, "::sucks teeth:: [nervously] So, are you still liking it?"

WTF PEOPLE!  I don't understand.  I look in the mirror and I love what I see and then I keep getting these tragic reactions from people like my cat died or I lost my job or cut my nose off or something.  I continue to reexamine the reflection I see staring back at me to try to see the horrible thing that everyone else must be seeing when they look at my hair so sadly and I JUST. DON'T. SEE IT.

So, anyway, I like this cut a lot.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

OOTD Catch-Up

Hi everyone! I got a major haircut last week, but before I show it to you I wanted to catch you up on a couple of outfits I wore in Vegas with my old hair. I'm trying a new format for today's outfits; let me know what you think. (I suspect that individual photos with product links are more helpful, but those are also more time-consuming and I am not always able to hunt down names and links.)
Random work outfit (work days are casual on the trial site):
(Also, I feel like the above photo is a perfect illustration of why I needed a haircut. When I "style" my hair for a month by pulling it into a messy ponytail I know it's time...)
Work Dinner:
Pool Outfit, plus some miscellaneous shopping bits:
L-R, top to bottom:
Pool outfit (free people dress, bathing suit, sunglasses from bonnaroo, Kate Spade tote)
New earrings from Anthro
Damn it Kate Spade, stop making such obnoxiously cute but impractical clutches that I will eventually be forced to buy on sale.
Debating which purse to buy at the Michael Kors outlet. I went with black, but I regret not buying the brown color, too! Buying the same purse in two colors is a mistake, right? Tell me it's a mistake.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Catching Up

Here's what you may have missed in the life of Jewish Girl:

*  Only a few days after getting back from Bonnaroo, I moved out to Las Vegas as part of a trial team.  Trial began in late June, but then settled a few days into jury selection.  I've mentioned a few times in the last several months being SUPER excited about a work assignment that I couldn't talk about in detail --- well, this was it!  It was pretty much my dream come true:  not only did I get to go to trial, but I got to go to trial in MY FAVORITE DOMESTIC VACATION DESTINATION EVER.  Of course, there's not much spare time on trial, but Vegas is a great place to spend three spare hours a week.

*  Despite being SUPER bummed that the case settled (not only do I love trial and did I want to see the whole thing through, but I was also looking forward to spending my whole summer in Vegas), I took a week of vacation in Vegas and treated myself to a pool/spa day and a shopping excursion.

At the Wynn pool, which is beautiful and feels like sitting in the Italian countryside.

Vegas Sale Haul
...It was my professional duty to go on with my life, you know?

*  After my two days of relaxation, I played in a $1,000 buy-in poker tournament at the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

A small glimpse of the room.

This was the biggest event I'd ever played (almost 2900 entrants with a three-day long structure) and it was the most I'd ever spent on a tournament entry by FAR, but playing in the WSOP was a bucket-list item and something I'd always wanted to do.  When my case settled, it was like the clouds parted and left nothing standing between me and this poker tournament.  Not only was I already in Vegas, but I didn't even have any other active cases at the time!  The timing was just too perfect, and I figured playing in the WSOP would be a cool enough experience that it would be worth my buy-in as long as I could last at least a few hours.

Me with my entry ticket, the day before the first day.

*  The tournament was SO fun.  I played with poker pros (many of whom I didn't recognize, but figured out were pros either because the poker news guys talked to them a lot, or because other players at my table seemed to care an inordinate amount about the random guy to my left or right) and minor celebrities (including the executive producer of Weeds, who was at my table briefly on Day 2, and the guy who played Marshall's dad in How I Met Your Mother (and who also voices Patrick the Starfish on Spongebob), who sat a few tables away from me on Day 1).

*  On the first day, I got my photo taken for this cool souvenir:

I asked the poker photographer to show up early because I had no idea how long I'd be able to survive, and she arrived at my table on the very first hand of the tournament!  It was a bit embarrassing to have my photo taken so soon but I love the result.

*  We made it into the money at the end of Day 1 at around 1:30 in the morning.  Right before we broke the money bubble (meaning that only one person remained to be eliminated before we would all make money), the tables all went "hand for hand," which means that the dealers only dealt one hand at a time before stopping and waiting for the other tables to finish.  Once the dealers were done with the hand, they had to stand up and wait for instructions from the tournament director.  It was crazy and chaotic in the best way; the mood was so amped up that you could feel it in the air.  I think I probably would have folded aces on the bubble just to make sure I made it into the money.

*  Eventually, the bubble broke (I think the bubble boy had pocket jacks, but I don't know what his opponent had --- I saw him walking away disorientedly and heard him tell someone, "I knew I should have folded those jacks") and everyone started cheering.  We'd all made our buy-in + 80% back, at least!  We played for another half an hour on day one and then came back for Day 2.  Despite accumulating a ton of chips on day one, I spent most of day two with very few chips relative to the blinds (or forced bets), so I mostly sat tight, waited for good hands, and then stuck with them as long as possible.

*  I sat directly in front of the poker news desk for all of Day 1 without being noticed, despite having a bigger chip stack at the time than several of the female pros who were being blogged about (note: the news updates focus entirely on pros and celebrities --- regardless of how big your chipstack is --- until you get down to the final few tables, when amateurs have lasted long enough to matter; the poker news services reported on tournament "chip leaders" who had fewer chips than less well-known players sitting at my very table, but the purported chip leaders were more visible pros).  Not that I was bitter --- I didn't mind flying under the radar and I figured, probably similarly to the reporters, that I could bust out at any moment.  However, I stayed in the game and very late in the day on Day 2, once we were down to four tables, the news guys asked for my name.  Shortly afterwards, I doubled up on a big hand and noticed this on the website:

Love the title!  (Also, now you know why I don't use my full name on the blog --- the spelling is unique enough that a first-name-only Google search will get you to me more often than not.  I like to maintain some anonymity here, to the extent possible...)

*  As more and more people got knocked out, I could hardly believe my eyes as we continued moving up in the payout structure.  After every few people, we all made a little more money.  It was so exciting!  Once we got down to three tables, we moved into a smaller, better-lit area to facilitate photography.

The new area had spectator seating!

*  Towards the end of Day 2, when we broke into the final two tables (20 people), the ESPN guys handed out this form for us to fill out, should we make it to the TV-table (final 9 people) on Day 3:

*  I was very short in chips at this point and felt the questionnaire would be a bit short-lived for me.  (Spoiler alert:  I did not make it into the final 9.)  But beyond my most reasonable expectations, I managed to make it into Day 3, and as Day 2 came to a close, I was greeted by this article:

"Two women, Dana Castaneda and [me], still remain and are both looking for a World Series of Poker bracelet to add to their collection of jewelry."

Hoping-to-Win-a-lot-of-Money-on-Day 3 OOTD?

*  I came into Day 3 with the shortest chip stack of the 14 remaining players and did not have supremely high hopes that I would last very long.  Luckily, I managed to double-up with a small pocket pair to stay in the game.

Great photo, no?  Also, you can see how small my chip stack is given that I am holding it in one hand.  Haha.

*  While my double-up was enough to take me into the next level of payouts (good for an additional $6,000!) I was unable to make the final table.  I busted out when my AQ ran into a pair of tens in the big blind.  My opponent's tens held up and the tournament went on without me.

Yes, this is the same guy who doubled me up when I had aces on Day 2!  Luckily, my chips did not ship in vain, as Jason went on to take second place in the whole tournament.

But $26,128!!  Not a bad payout for my first WSOP if I do say so myself!

I like to think that Hellmuth is holding up two ones for "11th Place."

And awesomely, the other woman in the tournament with me, Dana Castaneda, took first place!  It's very rare for a woman to win a WSOP bracelet in a "mixed" event (meaning both men and women), so this is an amazing achievement for her!

Overall, I had SUCH a fun time.  Winning money was obviously a huge plus, but just getting to play for longer than a couple of hours with such skilled opponents was fantastic.  I would love to do this again next year, work permitting.  I set aside some of my winnings already...

...and the rest went to student loans!

So, that's what I've been up to lately.  Now that trial is over, I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a more reasonable work schedule with more time for blog-posting.  I left the office in time to have dinner with a friend yesterday, and I realized I'd almost forgotten what it felt like not to eat take-out at my desk!
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