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Here’s a common refrain in my life:

Mel: <<So Steve got trapped in an elevator today, huh?>>

Me (astonished): <<Well, yes he did.  But how the heck did you know that??!!>>

Mel: <<Facebook, duh.  When are you going to get with the times?>>

For anyone wondering, no I don’t have a Facebook account and yes, Steve is OK and has been freed from the elevator.  I mean, it was a 10 minute ordeal during which he called the building department, called me to tell me he loved me (just in case), and apparently told the whole world of the calamity that had befallen him via a Facebook breaking news alert.

I agreed 3 months ago to join Facebook, when my sister was holding pictures of my niece hostage in virtual reality.  Which I haven’t done (yet), because my sister is now using her smartphone to seamlessly distribute pics and video of Elenor via email, a 21st century technology I jive with.  Now, social media technology is invading not only all aspects of my personal life, but my work space too!

Here, hot from the presses in Australia, is the latest infiltration of social media services – legal advice via Twitter.  A leading Australian law firm, Minter Ellison, just announced that it’s been testing a private version of Twitter as a means to electronically distribute advice to clients.  Apparently driven by a desire to bill more, the partners sat around at the monthly partners’ meeting and thought, “hey, what about that Twitter thing my kids are doing?  Bet we could do that and rack up a few 6-minute increments of billable hours.”  Confidentiality, nuances of legal analysis and that warm and fuzzy handshake relationship with clients be damned.

Now, not only can hours-strapped associates bill for the 10 minutes they spend checking their blackberries each morning (semi-conscious, and in bed), but they can bill for the 2 tweet replies they fire off before hitting the shower and another 6-minute increment for advice rendered while riding the tram.  Soon law firms will start introducing abbreviations like PTAL (Pursuant to Applicable Law), PAOTBFBFM (Preliminary Advice Only to be Followed by Formal Memorandum) and BTF (Bill to Follow).

Jeesh.  Not to sound like an 85-yo granny or anything, but what is this world coming to!

(Editorial note: this is in no way to suggest that my 85-yo grandma would say such a thing, since I long ago came to terms with the fact that she is actually more technologically advanced than me. I bet she even has a Facebook account.)

(Post script: Dad has pointed out that Grams is actually 88 (and confirmed that yes, she does have a Facebook page).  Maybe if I follow my dad on Twitter and join this new fangled Goggle thing I can be as cool as my grandma.  Probably not though…. )

I’m back in Perth again this week for the third time in 7 months living in Australia. Which I’m pretty sure is more times than 95% of the population.

I’m also pretty sure that, like previous trips, I’ll get to enjoy the sunny skies from the inside of a conference room for two days, then get back on an airplane to Melbourne. I wonder if they make a Perth airport magnet, which would perfectly symbolize my trips out here… Oh well, at least the five hour flight gives me lots of reading time.

So I’ve taken to waking up at 7am lately. No, S&C Melbourne doesn’t operate in some strange alternate universe where corporate attorneys are required to be at the office before 10. But Steve’s new job has him up by 7am and in a suit and out the door by 7:45. That is an adjustment for him for sure!

Our new pad has the acoustics of an opera house. Great if you like being serenaded by your wife’s singing in the shower from the downstairs kitchen. Not so great when you’ve worked til 1am the night before and your husband’s light footfall downstairs to make coffee sounds like an elephant stampeding through the bedroom. Seriously, the acoustics are that great that I’ve definitely decided to get a keyboard (and figure out the whole U.S. / Australian power cord thing later) just to capitalize on the great sound quality

But, ever one to make lemonade, I’ve found that some extra time in the morning not spent in a coma can be enjoyable, and even productive. Last week, I did yoga for 30 mins and made myself a poached egg and roasted tomato breakfast, and was still in the office before 9:30 and the other associates. Tuesday I talked with mom on her day off for over an hour and threw together a pair of earrings to match my outfit for the day. And today, I caught the tram just a bit down Bridge Road (past the hustle and bustle) and got off at the Jolimont station and had a nice little peaceful walk through Fitzroy and Treasury Gardens.

I could (maybe) get used to this whole regime…