Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In the mood for my favorite blogs, part three: Manhattan Nest

And now for Part Three of my favorite blogs series.  Find Part One here, and Part Two here.

Finally, Manhattan Nest is written by a sweet and hilarious young man named Daniel Kanter.  Daniel and his fiance Max recently bought a turn-of-the-20th Century house in Kingston, New York, which was in pretty rough shape, and he's fixing it up.  He also just bought a small cottage on the same street which he's fixing up to flip.  Daniel's blog satisfies my need to take run-down-but-beautiful things and make them pretty again.  I don't have as much energy for doing this anymore, but Daniel is younger than me and seems to have a lot more energy than I have (also, it's his livelihood), so it's wonderful to read about all of his trials and tribulations.  He does things like tearing out and rebuilding walls and ceilings, cutting millwork (apparently I like millwork), and skim coating old plaster.  I mean, cool stuff.

This is the kitchen.  I have a thing for black and white vintage-y kitchens with white subway tile.

And vintage hooks.  And original window hardware.  Source: Manhattan Nest.

I also love his laundry room.  Is that weird?  

I think it's the tile.  I love that glossy tile.  And although personally I prefer white grout with glossy white subway tile, I think that the dark grout works here - it's edgier and more masculine, and it seems period-appropriate.

He also did this little number, which I die over.

Get out.  Get right out of town.  

That wallpaper is phenom.  And all that yummy white.  White and black, black and white.  When did I become so racist?  I kid.  I don't see color.  I just see colors.  Seriously, though, this whole black, white, wood tone, brass thing is a trend.  You heard it here first!  Just kidding.  I'm probably last to the party.

Anyway!  I hope you enjoyed a little walk-through of my favorite blogs.  I have a few other favorites that I might share at some point, you know, when I'm in the mood.  Love ya!

Monday, November 10, 2014

In the mood for my favorite blogs, part two: House*Tweaking

And now, for Part Two of my series on my favorite blogs.  Here's Part One: Little Green Notebook.

House*Tweaking (which I always want to call House*Twerking, because duh) is written by Dana Miller who lives in Ohio, mother of three, former pharmacist, who is in the process of re-designing their small ranch house.  Dana also has impeccable taste, AND she just got a kitten.  So.  She doesn't do a ton of DIY projects like Jenny, but all of the work in the house is pretty much DIY.  She and her husband laid flooring and painted walls and installed Ikea cabinetry.  Dana does a series on Ikea kitchens, and has pretty much talked me into using Ikea when we re-do our kitchen.  She used Ikea cabinetry, and it looks amazing.  I'm obsessed with her kitchen and plan to ruthlessly copy it when I re-do my own.

All pics from House*Tweaking

THIS is an Ikea kitchen.  I mean, can you even?  

I love the color scheme - the black and white, with tons of wood tones and pops of red.  The vintage rugs make the space look so rich.  Dana's blog satisfies my need for clean lines and it feeds my delusion that I could be a minimalist if only I wanted to.  Also, her style is just spot on.  

This is her daughter's nursery.  It's a small room, and she painted it black.  How cool is that?  I love the Eames rocker, even though they're supposed to be uncomfortable, and that raw wood dollhouse.  The light fixture is pretty rad, too!  In fact, it might just be perfect for the small, low-ceiling'ed bedrooms at my house!  I also love the bamboo shades - she got them on overstock, and uses them throughout her house.  I think they're so fresh.

I'm also dying over her (as yet unfinished) guest bath:

Black hex tile!  White subway tile!  A black enamel tub!  Sweet, futuristic square toilet!  Black pencil trim!  I have a thing for black and white bathrooms, if you must know.  And black and white kitchens. I don't think I'll ever have as much black and white as Dana does, but I love the way she makes it work.  I'm into much more color than she is, but I'm going to steal as much inspiration from her as possible.  Also?  I'm gonna steal her kitten.

Gimme that kitteh!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

In the mood to no longer be in trial mode

So, I'm an attorney.  I recently read an article on Slate or Cracked or something that said that only pretentious lawyers call themselves "attorneys."  This is wrong.  A lawyer is someone who has attended, and preferably graduated, law school  An attorney is someone who has also passed the Bar and is licensed to practice in their state.  Accordingly, I am an attorney.  Incidentally, I'm also a lawyer.  But I am never pretentious.  (Well, maybe sometimes.)

I recently started a new job with a well-respected and talented trial lawyer.  The difference between a trial lawyer and a litigator is that, as the name suggests, trial lawyers go to trial.  A lot.  I read somewhere that only 2% of all civil cases brought actually go to trial.  I think my new boss must have an inordinate share of that 2%, because we have three trials in the next year alone.  That is INSANE.

Because you know what trial is like?  I didn't until a few weeks ago.  It's a lot.  It's long, hard hours, on very little sleep, combing through masses of documents, ordering shitty lunch to be delivered to the courthouse, going back to work at 6 p.m. and not getting out until 12 a.m. or later.  It's Starbucks, and high heels, and adrenaline, and being fascinated by what must seem to others as the most uninteresting shit ever spoken or read.  It's trusting 6 people with the outcome of your case that you spent years and years working on.  It's hope, and faith, and the shadowy fears of crushing defeat.  It's objections, and "your honors"s, and hating your opponents even though you don't really hate them, they're just pissing you off by doing their job.  It's bailiffs and clerks, and trying to figure out how to get that memo that you wrote at 1 a.m. printed out at the courthouse when you don't have a printer.  It's surprisingly emotional - not in a bad way - because there's a room full of people who care deeply about the outcome.  It's consoling clients and explaining that, when the other side moved for mistrial that was actually a good thing!  Because it means that they're scared.  It's texting your staff back at the office or sending frantic emails, "WHY ISN'T OUR WITNESS HERE YET?!"  It's getting a process server to serve subpoenas on the opposing parties because they're lawyers won't accept service (assholes).  It's never seeing the sun, or your husband.  It's creeping into the house after dark, and creeping back out again before light.  It's too much caffeine, and yet not nearly enough, and hard wooden chairs, and jumping up every five seconds to root through 900+ exhibits to find that one email.  It's letting go.  It's dotting all your i's and crossing all your t's and saying a thousand prayers that your story, your case, is coming across exactly how it should.  It's staring into the eyes, (and hopefully the souls?) of the jurors and watching emotion pass over their faces.  It's guesswork.  It's giving it your all, when you're running on fumes.  It's aging five years in two weeks.  It's realizing that we could lose, we could actually lose.  It's blowing off your friends and family.  It's a food desert.  It's never wanting to see another Jimmy Johns sandwich ever again please God.  It's exhausting, and thrilling, and terrifying, with moments of supernatural calm.

And I loved (nearly) every second of it.

But now it's done, and the past week has been kind of hard.   I'm totally suffering from PTDD: Post-Trial Depressive Disorder.  What do I do with myself now?  Everything seems so boring and pointless.  We were fighting for our lives over the last few weeks.  I had a client who I believe in, whose story I wanted told, for whom I desperately wanted justice.  I had foes who were easy to hate, because they were just awful.  I had a jury who I loved.  We seriously had the best jury.  They were intelligent and engaged.  They became friends with one another!  Actual friends!  That does not happen.  And now?  Day in day out, none of that rush of excitement, none of that single-minded, good-God-how-am-I-going-to-get-all-of-this-shit-done focus.  Of course, it's nice to get more than 4 hours of sleep.  I'm happy about that.  It's nice to get home by 7 p.m. and actually make dinner.  It's nice to see my husband, I kind of forgot who he was.  It's nice to not have to wear heels for 12 hours a day.  But it was exciting.

I had no idea I would love it as much as I did.  Our next trial is in February.  It's a month long (!!!) and it's in federal court, (this last trial was in state court - in my old courthouse where I worked every day for three years).  While I like my client, I don't think I could ever love him the way I did my first client.  My first trial, my first client - it's the stuff dreams are made of.  You know, if you're a nerd like me.