Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just When You thought I Might Work Too Much

I can't believe how busy I've been. So here's a quickie for you (God, get your mind out of the gutter. Sheesh.):

1. I was just kicked out of the office. Literally. The CEO came down and said, Grace, vamoose. Don't come back until after the holiday. No, I don't want to hear about how you have to file this, and write that, etc. No court for you tomorrow. Home. Now. I guess I have to learn how to deal with this job better. No one is in immediate danger right now, the deadlines have to be pushed back, and I need a break or I will burn out early. Breathe. Learn. Recover. Repeat.

2. I had a successful mini bench trial yesterday. Woo hoo! Hopefully it means good things for the family involved.

3. It snows, it melts, it rains, it ices, it snows, it melts. I never thought I would say this, but give me a good old fashioned blizzard a la Buffalo over this crap. I would rather have five feet of snow than the slush.

4. It's Christmas? What? Je ne comprehend pas. I thought it was still October?!?

5. The dog is staring at me. By staring at me, I mean he is putting on the most pathetic face you can imagine, with his eyes lifted up to me, all soulful, with wrinkles on his forehead, with that little golden retriever tail thumping slightly, sadly, lonely, love me. I think he wants peanut butter.

6. Well, they kicked me out of the office, but they can't kick the office out of me. I took me laptop, and I am going to finish these $@*# court orders. Now.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Blog Salad VI

Salad. What I should have had for dinner instead of chocolate covered pecans.

Lettuce. Work work work work work. Confrontation, crisis, computer screen, copiers. Paperwork, filing, nerves, stress. Did I mention work? Stress? I was such a little stress ball last Friday that when Vor and I came home from see A Christmas Carol I went into the basement and cried. I don't think my poor husband knows what to do with me. I know this is just a period of adjustment. Yes. I know this. But how long does it have to last?

Vegetables. Can work count as this too? No, be more creative, Grace. There are several vegetables on this salad: taking the dog outside in the winter. He is getting big and strong, and he loves to play in the snow, and it's a miracle I haven't fallen on my ass in the snow while I take him outside. The lack of hot chocolate in the house. The fact I have gained about five pounds. (Maybe I should stop complaining about the lack of hot chocolate?)

Croutons/Cranberries/Almonds. My Christmas decorations are pretty... My sister in law is coming into town... I get to spend quite a bit more time with Vor over our time off.

Salad dressing. None. Straight up.

Mea Culpa

I have never seen National Lampoon Christmas Vacation. I am watching it right now.

It's been on for five minutes and I've laughed five times.

I know, I've been a sorry excuse for a blogger. I'll try to be better.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Prince/Pauper

My Friday went a little like this:

I walk down the hallways of the court house. "Hey! You're the new lawyer from XYZ!" "Yes...?" "Come here. We have a new case for you." I enter, then exit the office, with a new case in hand. I take two steps, then-- "Hey! You're the new lawyer from XYZ, right?" Yes... "Judge just appointed you in two new cases. C'mere." Enter office, pick up two new cases, exit office.

"Hey! Grace! Judge has a new case for you guys. It's a doozy." Great. Pick up case, leave office. Walk down flight of stairs. Step onto next floor. "Hey!" ...it starts all over again.

Within about 3 hours, we had six new cases. The holidays make people crazy, and when people go crazy, the kids tend to suffer.

On the plus side, we had as many people offer to volunteer for us, and one court clerk has donated Christmas--dinner, presents, tree, lights, decorations--to a really needy family. It was touching.

I went from that on Friday to Vor's company Christmas on Saturday, complete with tuxes, ballgowns, a band playing music, REALLY good wine, and waiters bustling around carrying champagne and nibbles. The contrast made my head ache. Or maybe that was the three glasses of wine.

In other news, I chopped my hair off. It was at least three inches past my shoulders, and now it's at my ear lobes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

View From My Countertop

On the stove: bacon.

In the oven: home made french fries (weight watchers approved) and pork chops.

In my belly: one (that's right, 1, one, un) spoonful of ice cream. I swear, it was to calm my burning throat. It helped. Really.

Outside: Snow.

Outside earlier: Telly trying to catch snow flakes.

The Plan: dinner. Bones. (Although, Dear Hart Hanson, I love your show and I watch it every Thursday. So why did you make fun of synchronized swimmers last week? It saddens me. I, a huge fan of Bones, am a synchronized swimmer. For that insult, I could drown you, and keep you company while I do it. But I won't. I'm just saying) Petting the dog. Finishing my volunteer case and report. Kissing the husband. Not falling asleep before 8 pm tonight.

Tomorrow: all hell breaks loose at 10:00 am with a Come to Jesus meeting. Not in the biblical sense. We'll see where the day goes from there.

This Weekend: Vor's company Christmas party + little black dress + black heels + gold hoop earrings (it's been years!) + several slowly ingested glasses of good red wine = dancing with Vor and a more talkative than usual Grace. Later, grounding this cold into oblivion. (Oh! Also! The doctor says I will survive. No surprise, right? Fertility though, that's another question, to be addressed later. Why did I burry this surprising and disheartening news in the middle of a parenthesis? Because I don't want to talk about it. DON'T. WANNA.)

In my hand: a glass of water.

Should be in my hand: a glass of eggnog... with rum.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Fine Vintage

Okay. So. (To which, I always respond buttons. Sew? Buttons? Whenever I say well, Vor inevitably responds, It's a deep subject. We all have our adorable quirks that we use when searching for words.)

Sew. I got myself sick. It figured that my immune system would be below the optimal threshold, what with everything else going on. So now, I'm nursing a low grade fever (FEVER! in the morning... da dee dum-dum, dum-dum), sore throat, etc. Peachy. The hits just keep coming.

I'm thinking this is a blessing in disguise, though. I mean, when I show up for a hearing, clearly sick without much of a voice, the judge just thinks (I mean, I hope he/she thinks) oh, look at the dedicated brand new attorney. How cute. I remember when I wasn't jaded. I hope she doesn't infect me. Oh, good girl! She's taking all sanitary precautions. Brownie points. Perhaps I am too optimistic.

Also, I decided this was the perfect excuse to use that giant, unused bathtub with jets in our bathroom. It's MAHHHVELOUS, as a woman I know would say. Her accent is legit too; she hails from where they paahhk chaars in the Hahvahd yaahd. I think that speaking like that requires you to leave your mouth open for far (faah?) too long, potentially exposing yourself to whatever I have.

So on the table for this week: Lots of home visits, lots of cat herding. Vor's company Christmas party is this weekend, and I have this sleek little black dress to wear to it. He has a tux. This will be fun, no? Like reenacting our wedding! Except I was wearing white, not black, it was hot, not cold, and I liked everyone present. Well, except for that random relative that you HAVE to invite because Mom/Dad/Mother in Law/Ms. Manners SAYS you have too, despite the many and sundry insults deliberately offered to you by said relative, but who really counts that?

This really was pointless, wasn't it? I'm sorry you read this. It's just that telling the dog my woes only results in me getting licked, or my blanket stolen, or a burp in the face. However, HE can't leave a comment on my blog to tell me to get over it already.

Order of business for the next two hours: Hot water. Blankets. Work email. Snuggle with Vor. Sleep.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wishin' & Hopin'

Be careful what you wish for. Or at least, think before you speak. Hold you tongue, bite your tongue, keep your counsel, when someone wants my opinion, they will give it to me.

Grace, you say. Have you gone batty? Why are you writing down these trite things? I am telling you because if someone had said one of these things to me, it might have prevented me from posting this little post right here.

To add to the chaos: I spent an hour and fifteen minutes on the stand as a witness, feeling like I was trying to simultaneously herd cats and explain Virginia Woolf to a two year old child. I thought I was going to pass out from the pain (not the explaining, but actual, physical pain. Though the explaining was painful). I had my first hearing, which of course, was in front of a judge I've never been in front of, and I can't stop obsessing about what I did, what each look meant, and what I should have done, might have done.

Things had to be filed on Friday that didn't come in until 4 pm, and my supervising attorney was not in a great mood. Can't blame her, and it always makes me feel like it was something I did.

None of that is bad, just frustrating. What's bad is a family member of close friends dying, and having their dog die too, on the same day Vor and his sister and his mother are grieving and remembering their own loss.

Vor and I drank eggnog with rum in it, sat in front of Christmas tree, and had a dinner with no interruptions.

I wish I could heal hurts of all kinds. I hope I've done enough for a distraction. I hope this week was enough of a trial, and next week can be smoother.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bring It On!

E. coli infection?

SERIOUSLY?

This is not amusing. I am freaking tired, I hurt, and I have my first full blown hearings tomorrow ALL DAY. I am the butt of some cosmic joke right now. God is trying to tell me it was an accident that I found those red shoes. I wasn't meant to do this. I did something terribly wrong in my life in the last year or so. Something. Anything.

I will take Advil; I will take my medicine; I will breathe; I will get through tomorrow;I will do this.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lions & Tigers & Bears

Or was it...

Shooting pain, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis, oh my!

Begin from the beginning. The beginning was a sore abdomen, then waking up the next morning in severe pain, then letting it get worse, then giving up and going to the medcheck. Or maybe that was the beginning and the middle; I'm a little baffled as to the details.

In any case, the end was most definitely ovarian cysts and endometriosis. Oh, my. Speaking of Oh! My! have you ever had an interior sonogram? Because, I tell you, if at all possible, don't. That was one of the more unpleasant experiences of my life.

All in all, I am left with only a little pain, unless I sit too long or climb stairs or bend over or cough or or or or. Advil helps. Mostly, I am exhausted, because even if I don't feel the pain, my body knows something is wrong, and it is a busy little beaver trying to rebuild. Perhaps that was the wrong analogy, given the nature of the problem. Ahem.


For an interesting stretch of time, I thought (I only thought because the doctors thought) this was PCOS, and I was going to be handed a verdict of "If you want babies, you better get cooking, before its too late!" If you care to know my thoughts on having children Right. This. Instant. help yourself to a search of babies or children on my blog. I'm sure it will be informative.

I've always thought the Wizard of Oz was about wanting what you can't have, wanting what you don't think you have, and what to do about it. All of Dorothy's dream characters want something for inside themselves--a brain, a heart, courage--these things dwell within. Dorothy wanted something from outside; she wanted a more fantastical, vivid life, and then she just wanted to go back home. Nothing within her. Because Dorothy was searching for something outside her, she can't find it in her dream world, while the rest of her dream-mates can. She has to wake up.

She has to wake up.

For as much as children start in you, the whole point is they are something outside you, something that lives on, something you give to future generations of family and neighbors. A gift, an entailment to the future of the species. You don't repay your parents; you repay by making more, who in turn, do the same. They are something outside of you; you cannot find them by looking within; you have to wake up.


Maybe I am a little awake now, in the yawning stages, where I stretch and squeak but still refuse to get out of bed. Do I like the idea of being a mom? Nope. Do I want to miss the experience? For a few hours, when I thought that might be the case, the answer was hell, no.

It's all about having the toy you never play with taken away from you. It's about wanting what you can't have. It's about lions, and tigers, and bears.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Query

My parents are in town, so I don't have time to talk to you (I know, you're just heartbroken, HEARTBROKEN, you say!), but I do have a question:

What are your favorite Christmas ornaments?

I ask because I am really glad I did that entry last year; one of my favorites broke.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Puppy Love


This one is for comparison!




Clearly, is still a lapdog.






Loves yogurt.




I guess he's grown a bit.

You're A Mean One, Ms. Light Wench

Mama Vor came yesterday. In a whirlwind of coffee, coffee cake, and Christmas decorations, my house became Christmasized.

So now, because no chore can be left undone, I am putting lights on the tree, and Telly is following me around the tree. I can just hear him--Oh! Shiny! Object! Whoa! Shiny!

My sister calls me the light wench, because no one can put lights on a tree like I can. When I'm done, the tree looks like it is on fire, and I love it. The more lights, the better. I am the official light putter-oner for the family.

How was your Sunday?

Friday, November 20, 2009

1 Tequila, 2 Tequila...

The stress of this day was so much, that even as I sit here now, my heart is pounding. I am furious, tired, running on nothing but adrenaline, and am oscillating between wanting to sob into Vor's shoulder and do a shot of tequila. And I hate tequila.

I am meeting Velvet out at the mall, helping her preform retail therapy, and seeing a movie. Then I will crawl into bed with my husband, and I will know that everything is okay, and it will be alright.

And yes, I have to say those things outloud and plan for them, because if I don't make them happen, I might go crazy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Watch Out Land-o-Lakes

I have suddenly found my calling.

It is my mission in life to purge my house, and then world, of white hot chocolate.

It is a vile abomination.

My office is planning on decorating itself (yes, it will happen exactly like that. Overnight. I will come in one morning and the decorations elves will have draped garland, stockings, fake snow, and, Heaven forfend, a talking Santa.) so I will place the evil EVIL white hot chocolate in their stockings. I will publicly call this a gift, and secretly laugh to myself.

Of course, our space is in desperate need of some decorating. We have boring gray desks, cubicle walls, and little space to ourselves. Such is the life of a public interest lawyer--no office space for me. I am actually enjoying cubicle life though, as it means I am employed.

How do I spruce this place up? Other than the Christmas decorations and white hot chocolate packets, I mean.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh No You Didn't!

When you walk into criminal court to get some juicy information from the the probable cause affidavit, and you say the case name, and EVERYONE, all 20 people, in the office simultaneously repeat the case name after you, and GROAN simultaneously, and loudly...

That's probably a case you want to hand off to someone else in your office.

I'm just saying.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Blog Salad V

I loooooooooooooove salad.

Lettuce. Work is the lettuce now. I am trying to learn, to adjust, to not ask stupid questions, and I am failing miserably at all these things. I just DON'T. KNOW. So I ask. Which means I am adding to everyone's work load because I AM USELESS. Sigh. Also, I spent the day in protective order court, and then went to the jail to deal with someone there. When Vor finally came home at 8:30 that night and went over to a partner's house, I walked in, told them where I had been, and they silently handed me a glass of wine. I drank it, very fast. Jail. It's disgusting. Just stay clean and legal people; if I can't handle it for a few hours, you don't even want to know. Also, Vor is wonderful because he fixed my desk at work. I still love work, it just makes me a little anxious right now, because I feel like I am screwing everything up. I don't know who had the brilliant idea to drop a sword on my shoulder and knight me as a lawyer, but it was a pretty stupid idea, if you ask me. I need more knowledge.

Vegetables. The part of the salad I don't really want to deal with....mmmm... school loans! Yes, people, my school loans are finally in repayment, and DAMN they are scary. Those little pieces of paper have awfully big numbers on them.

Croutons/Cranberries/Almonds. The sweet spots. Vor gave me a very sweet card the other day; it made me a little misty-eyed. Also, he has been very good, kind, and understanding with this whole shifting into a career thing, as well as with the slightly disturbing and mostly crappy news I received the other day. I know, I'm swearing, I'll try to stop. But he is making my life easier in a such a huge way, just by being himself. Love that man of mine.

Salad Dressing. Catalina. I hate that dressing, so whenever it's on a salad, I only eat the sweet stuff.

It's been a stressful few weeks.

Milk On The Floor

We had friends in town this weekend, and one of them asked me if I liked Buffalo.

"No," I immediately said. "I don't miss it." Vor gave me a sideways look. He was right; I sounded like a blunt butter knife meeting fabric. "I mean, it's complicated," I amended lamely.

How can your feelings towards a city you grew up in be so complicated? Oh, it's easy.

It's a place that is extremely insular in many ways, and very family oriented. It can be completely disorienting to leave, and make you want to run back into the womb screaming, which, because of those strong family connections, your family is more than happy to see you do. The city doesn't want you to leave, ever. The city wants you to stay, to marry someone from Buffalo (who I hope to God you are not related to, so not a joke), to produce more children to stay, to drive the salted roads in winter, work landscape jobs in summer, and probably end up working as a nurse, because there are no jobs out there. (I like nurses. We need nurses. I just mean it's the only good job available in Buffalo.) The city wants you to be Catholic, and eat fish frys with everyone else on Fridays. If you're feeling dangerous, go to a high school spaghetti dinner.

If you grew up there, you have the same inside jokes, the same experiences with many people, people you don't know, even. Where were you during the blizzard of '77? Of 2000? Of 2001? Can you say Scajaquada? Did you ever spend the night on the Canadian border? But there's so much of it, that it goes beyond bonding, into sameness. I didn't know anyone not Catholic until I joined my swim team outside Buffalo. When I go back, I see people from high school, who are still friends with only the same people, and they still tell the same inside jokes from high school. I feel like I have a too-tight turtleneck on, always.

It's hard to leave. I could hear the sucking sound as I dragged my feet out of the city.

But there are things I ache for. I miss Albright-Knox and free Fridays. I miss the beautiful places I used to run. I miss the pizza. Sometimes all that familiarity can be a comfort, when it seems like there is too much change in my life.

I miss somethings about myself from there. I miss the drive I had for volleyball, for swimming. I think I've channeled that drive into a career, but it's hard to tell. With swimming, with sports, it was easy--there were bench marks everywhere that I could watch myself run past. Now, I feel the drive and the need to compete, but it's just there, churning behind me. I miss the simplicity of simple goals.

For the most part, there are parts of me I left there for good, for good reason. I want to reach back and smack the girl I was. Stupid! Stupid for listening to the pressure, because you aren't getting any younger, dear, stupid for thinking I should settle for less than what I ended up with. I accept the blame for my stupid decisions, but I really believe that some of what led me to the decisions was the way the city is, the way the community as an organism thinks.

It's like the Borg. I wonder if I can ever go back, when I will be strong enough, to resist, to not slide into the comfort of the collective. That's something I have to improve on myself.

Where I was, what I was letting myself run into, was known, it was Buffalo. I thank God everyday that I have Vor--the unknown, but without fear; the stability, without complacency; the independence, with someone strong enough to handle it.

As for the decisions I regret, well... I don't know. I'm not done beating myself up. But maybe the beating up could be a productive one; instead of crying over the spilled milk, I'm just cleaning it up, so I know the consequences, so I will be more careful. So I can pass the lesson on.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home of the Brave

There's the prettiest scene outside my house right now; the whole street is dark, except for the man across the street, who has a single floodlight turned on, and it is spot lighting his flag pole, where our flag is flying.

Go thank a Vet, hug a Vet, and remember a Vet today. Well, you should every day, but especially today.

Since I already did that task, I'm going to go watch the cheesiest movie ever--Fantastic Four.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It All Leads to Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

I always put the eggs on top of the chicken in my grocery cart. It makes me laugh, in a perverse way.

On a side note, when I have a ton of groceries, I let the person behind me go ahead if the only have a few. It's just nice, and I hate it when people don't return the favor, and I'm standing there behind the full conveyor belt and a person who still has their shopping cart full of groceries, and it's the only open line. I'm always standing there with one thing in my hand.

I got cut off at the grocery store today, while my eggs were resting on top of my chicken as usual. I was coming out of the aisle--actually, I was already out, and it was just my body that was still in the aisle--and this woman with one of the car shopping cars, with a kid in the car part, just barrels right into me. She gave a me a dirty look and pushed my cart out of the way with hers, and marched off.

Since she slammed into the side where the eggs were, I checked them. She managed to crack them. Even their chicken mother/brother/uncle/cousin resting below them couldn't protect them this time, or maybe it was the chicken gods telling me this was too perverse for them to handle. The store person handing out samples started to laugh, and said, "Here. Pumpkin pie ice cream makes it all better."

Do you live near a Kroger? Because if you do, get thee to the Kroger(y), and buy some of the Kroger pumpkin pie ice cream. It's the perfect balm for being slammed into with a grocery shopping cart.

Along these bizarre lines, I am pretty sure that dinner tonight is going to consist of freshly baked rolls, guacamole (my homemade stuff--it's goooood), and pumpkin pie ice cream.

Oh? Yes, I bought the ice cream.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Once You Pop

I have to type this really fast to prevent something bad from happening. And then I must step away from the computer and not delete the post, to remove the evidence.

I made jalapeno poppers. I ate three. I am not allowed to eat anymore. The rest are for Vor, assuming he even likes them.

There, I said it. Now I am going to play with the dog, watching Bones, and stare at the remaining poppers until Vor gets home.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Crazy, You Make Me Crazy

At 8 pm every night, we find ourselves the proud parents of a compact little monster with floppy ears. Telly runs around, nibbles, chews, barks, humps (oh, Lordy does he ever hump. everything. the floor, your legs, the couch, his bed.) Then around 9 pm, he is done like dinner and crashes almost mid hump. Thump.

We call this the witching hour. Vor usually treats me nightly to his version of "You Make Me Crazy," which of course, he must sing for Telly, because if Telly had vocal cords, this is what he would sing every night at 8 pm. Even his usually sweet, calm, little face changes, and his eyes look a little wild. I hope Vor is home soon. I don't want to be here alone when this little critter goes bezerk tonight.

Things have been slightly nutty around here lately. So nutty that last night, I was at a loss for words, whether ir came to typing or telling Vor. I don't know if it's because a full moon just happened, or its the economy ( , stupid!), or whether this is my own personal welcome to the legal profession from The Indianapolis Community of Crazies, Inc., but my docket is full of, well, shit that I have never seen happen before, and the likes of which the more seasoned attorneys haven't seen in a long, long time (and dare I say, hoped to never see again). It has literally been like going to work in a zoo.

I can tell this is all having an effect on me. I know I get tired when I'm stressed, and all I've wanted to do is nap. Yawning? Check. Shivering? Check. What can I say? My body reacts strangely to adrenaline.

Oh, F. I just burned the cupcakes.

Oh, yes- and I'm swearing more than I usually do. Which still isn't that often, but still, I don't like it. It's just that nothing else seems to describe the crazy and frustration.

I'm afraid I'm snapping more at Vor too. I mean, let's face it. We are two lawyers in a house. We always have animated discussions, and we both have opinions. It's just that I am so tired of the explaining, the forced calmness with children, upset parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, guardians, etc., the constant politeness, the constant need to make sure that the other side (or other sides, multiple, which is another part of the crazy problem) know I understand what they are saying, and that on some level they may but right, but it just isn't going to be working that way today, sorry! It's just that I am so tired of all this that when I come home, I don't want to play devil's advocate. I don't want to have devil's advocate played to me. I usually enjoy it, but I just want to speak and be heard, be heard and be understood. Or if not understood, then accepted.

Let me be clear--this has nothing to do with Vor. It has to do with the crazy surrounding me. I just have to figure out how to deal with it, streamline it, and then eliminate it. Long hot showers don't seem to be cutting it.

My deranged dog just popped up from a dead sleep. Maybe the witching hour is coming early for him tonight.

It sure as hell has been here for awhile for me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This Thing That Can't Be Said

I opened this window to create this new post, and now it's just sitting in front of me blank.

I just don't know how to quantify, to place into words, what I thought I knew I was going to say.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Want Candy

Ahhh, suburbia and Halloween. There is nothing like this particular combination to bring out the little gremlin that lives inside every child.

Oh, I'm sorry--I was supposed to say little darlings, they were so cute, nice, polite, would love to see them again.

No, actually, I wouldn't.

When I was of the trick or treating age, I marched up to that door, said trick or treat loud and proud, and held out my little bag. I accepted whatever candy / popcorn / apples / toothbrushes were given, and I said thank you, sincerely, and scooted away. I had manners.

I did not experience any such thing on Saturday. I had kids not say the magic words; I had kids keep holding their bags out after I dropped four (4! FOUR! At least four!) pieces of candy (good candy too--kitkats, peanut butter cups, baby ruth, etc.) into their bags. I had kids say, "Is that all?" I even had some reach over my hands after I gave them candy and take more candy out of the bowl.

Seriously, the nerve. What gives? Oh, there were the polite ones, and the adorable ones. The six month old little red riding hood was particularly memorable. But the others were by far predominant.

If Halloween can bring out the worst in them, it can also bring out the best. My sister's best friend has a five year old (A) who has the flu; the little five year old has a five year old cousin (S). S decided that she was going to carry around an extra bag for A. At every house she would hold out the other bag and say, "My cousin is home sick!" My sister even saw her take candy out of her bag and out it into A's bag.

If I had seen that on Halloween, I would have emptied the entire bowl of candy into her little bags.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Comments, Questions, Concerns

I have a few questions that I would like answered.

1. Why is it sure to rain when I wear my leather jacket?

2. Why do I always get sick within hours after getting a vaccine?

3. Why does the Weather Station predict rain when I planned my day around hiking outside?

4. Why does Telly walk the other way when I say come?

5. If I leave a bowl of candy on the front porch with a sign that says take one or two, will children take the entire bowl?

6. Why does the dog *try* to get on the bed when I don't want him to, but refuse to stay on the bed when I want him there?

If you have answers to these highly pressing questions, please let me know. You can find me in bed, wrapped up in a bathrobe and blankets, trying to convince the dog that he wants to lay next to me and keep me warm.

It was a really hard week at work. Whoever you are, where ever you are reading this from, do the children in your state a favor and go volunteer for a CASA program (this is not who I work for, but it's a nationwide group). If you decide to do this, tell me. It'll make me feel better.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

God, Garth Brooks, And Front Row Tickets

What? You say. Grace, you are off on a tangent again. You crazy. While that is demonstrably true, these things are all related in my tired brain. (I got the idea--or rather, remembered this little event in my life--here)

I must have been in about seventh grade, and I loved Garth Brooks. Okay, I still do. I own all the CD's, and I can sing along to all of them. He came to Buffalo, and apparently, he always buys out the front row tickets, and then has members of his band walk around the concert hall beforehand and hand out the tickets to unsuspecting people (I suspect the formula for this is young, pretty, and likely to sing along). My sister got us tickets (mind you, this is a seventh grader and her sister who is seventeen years older) and we were desperately hoping this would happen to us.

I think I prayed my eyeballs out that night. I mentally begged, pleaded, prayed, made deals, promised, and finally fell asleep on the end of an Our Father.

The next night, my sister and I were roaming the arena halls, and lo and behold, a man walks up to us and starts chatting my sister up. And then he says, "I'm Jimmy from the band. Want front row tickets?"

Do I want front tickets? Why, yes, sir I do!

That was the best concert ever. I have Garth Brook's guitar pick and great memories of standing with my elbow on stage, singing "Two Pina Coladas" along with my sister. Amusingly, Garth Brooks has a song about unanswered prayers. Whenever I hear that song, I smile and think about my answer.

I prayed my little heart out that night saying thank you for The. Best. Night. Ever. Now, I look at that night and thank God for giving me such a wonderful memory with my sister.

And, of course, a Garth Brooks guitar pick.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

RE: My Expanding Docket

Dear Indianapolis,

Please take your crazy elsewhere. I am full up here.

Love, Grace

Monday, October 26, 2009

In A World Where I Left My Laptop On The Floor

...and dogs could type, this is what you would learn:

WHOA! I could totally chew the edge of this screen. Mmm, maybe not. Hi, I'm Telly. I like to chew, but not tobacco, you know, just say no and all that. The Woman left her laptop on the floor, and I decided to tell you about a day in the life of ME!

I hate the workweek, because The Woman and The Man leave me in my spacious cage. The Woman, every morning, offers me a piece of chicken, and every morning, I fall for that trick and I end up in my crate. On my soft bed. And then I fall asleep before I can protest. Then the nice dog walker lady comes and I totally know how to play her. I give her sad eyes, and she gives me treats and rubs my belly.

When The Woman comes home I am nuts and race around in circles, fitting as many toys into my mouth as possible. I do this so she knows that I am cool. I think.

I like to chase my tail. I like to play with the dog down the street. I like to pee on the carpet steps, because it's really funny watching The Woman clean up the steps with Lysol, and then swearing when she realizes that she stained the steps with Lysol. I bark at the dog in the window and in the doorway, and The Man shakes his head and says, "Not the brightest crayon in box, are we?"

But I am the brightest crayon. I'll show him, because I know where he keeps his socks and boxers and I figured out how to open a drawer. Also, I know where he keep his laundry. The Man will regret this.

No matter what The Man and The Woman say, I still fit under the bed. I love it when The Man picks me up.

I've lost all my baby teeth, and I don't understand why The Woman looked at my teeth today and said, "Almost time! Snip, Snip!" What is a snip?

I don't understand why I'm not allowed to chew up the carpet, why I can't eat wood chips, pick up rocks, or eat the stuffing out of my puppy. See, I had a stuffed puppy that was nice and soft, but one day, it became evil puppy, and it was hell bent on conquering the world--The Man and The Woman's house--and so I had to destroy it. I was sad that it became evil puppy, so I tried to eat the stuffing.

The Woman sees me standing on her laptop. This means [O$%$4TY5 ;OQIJ F;OPW!!!!!!!!!!!

********************************************************************

BAD DOG! No biscuit!

********************************************************************

Yes, in a world where Tellys could talk, he would have lots to say to you.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Here Piggy Piggy

I am all about all things pig.

Oh, bacon. I just fried up a whole package of bacon to use in my delicious (de-lish-ish!) potato cheddar soup. I made an entire stock pot full, using seven pounds of potato. Why so much? Because I am pleased to tell you that Baby H is still hanging around, coming in at one month today. So instead of casseroling the mom and dad, I am souping them. But yes. A whole package of bacon.

Oh, and the bacon popped and spit in my eye. So my eye burns, and can you get swine flu from bacon? With my luck, it's possible.

Speaking of swine flu, I got this picture as a text message today:



Underneath it, my sister typed: "Got swine?"

Yes, it's true. My sister has swine flu. She's locked herself in the basement, and she speaks to everyone through the basement door. They leave food on the top step. She only comes out at night and creeps around the house then. My oldest niece Prada says Auntie Grace, she's become nocturnal. I wouldn't be surprised if Jedi riggs up some communication device, with one tin can on each end and a strong that stretches from the basement door to the couch where my sister is convalescing (certainly not malingering) in front of the fireplace.

Although this isn't pig related, one of the attorneys I work with had to take her husband to the hospital today because he probably has meningitis. Though, at this point, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it was swine flu.

I need to get my flu shot. I bought more hand sanitizer. I sanitized my office space with it. I might have a problem with germs.

Of course, there is the metaphorical pig. It's almost Halloween. I love chocolate. This means there is about to be too much chocolate in my house for me to handle. It's good to know I'm not the only one with this problem. However, that does not stop the end result of Vor walking in on me stuffing my face with chocolate, chocolate smeared all over my face and fingers, and me going, What?

If a pig showed up at our house, I'm not sure what would happen at this point; be eaten, or eat us, or stand up on its hind legs and say, hey! Friends!. Or maybe just sneeze on us.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First Things First

Is it over yet?

Well, yes. We are moved in. I mean, there's organizing, and re-arranging, and sighing over things that will have to wait a long time (Dear Flat Screen T.V., I know just the spot for you; Dear King Size Mattress, I heart you and dream about you every night).

You know what else is over? Summer vacation. Winter vacation. Spring break, fall break, skipping class for a mental health day, snow days, ice days, rainy days, and just about any other kind of day I can think of. Yes, people, Monday was it: I started my first professional job. My career. Woo hoo!

I know I've said before that I'm bit nervous about the whole court thing, but let me tell you: I AM NERVOUS ABOUT THE SPEAKING IN COURT THING. There, I said it. My first hearing date was set for months away, so of course, I will be in court tomorrow for an emergency hearing. The ink is barely dry on my attorney number and I will be in there, doing my thing, tearing it up. I texted Velvet from work, telling her that my organization had gone collectively insane if they thought it was a good idea to let me out. She agreed. I mean, she agreed in the sense that she felt the same way, of course.

This feels good. I feel nervous, excited, unprepared, and ready. It just feels right. Finally.

Clearly, I found a pair of deep red shoes.

**********************************************************************
As I was thinking about the fact I did it, finished law school, tackled it, and am now taking on my job, I felt a small hand knock somewhere in the corners of my mind.

It's hard to remember firsts sometimes without remembering who is not there to reach them with you. Who should be celebrating not only for you, but with you, in her own right. Ellyce should be doing this too. It's not right, and never can be made to be so.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Be Right Back

I know you just desperately miss me. But:

1. I was sworn in yesterday. I now have to uphold the Indiana and US Constitution, so help me God. I am officially in!

2. Mom & Dad are here, helping finish the move and playing with Telly.

3. We are finishing moving in.

So, I'll bbl, brb, ttyl, ttfn. As my nieces and nephews would say.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bookish

I mentioned (yesterday? the day before? something so simple as checking a date seems...meh) that I have a major piece of writing in progress, and since there is no one here to talk it out with (except the dog, but he doesn't count, because when I talk to him, he tries to hump my leg, and I don't think that's praise for my ideas) I am spitting it out here.

First, there is the problem of what to tackle first. I have a large collection of poetry, which is organized according to a theme. There are some missing connectors, some rough pieces, and so on, but it's there. But...I mean, a book of poetry? Have you looked in a bookstore lately? It seems like they will publish any long haired person with secret pain and a pen. Maybe I fit into that category, but maybe not. I'd rather hope not. I'm just reluctant to move forward with it.

Then there's the book. It's half formed in my head, and I think the best way to deal with it is to treat it like a memo or a brief. All you lawyers out there, shudder: IRAC. Issue-Rule-Application-Conclusion. This was basically what I did in undergrad, and it got me through law school and the bar exam. Thus, some form of it should be useful in this process. I felt slightly encouraged when I heard an author on NPR giving writing tips; she said keep a notebook, jot the ideas down, and then work on weaving all the small incidents together. Check. Got that part done.

A small part of me wonders what happens if and when I get this thing to the point that the collection of poems is at. Will I then say bah! They publish anyone with a pen and a bad story about dogs/mental illness/chick lit. Do I have a committment problem?

Uh, yes. I already know this about myself. I'm afraid to commit to some things because I'm afraid of failing. There's my two cent psychoanalysis of myself. When I decide I want or need to do something, I usually need to burn all the bridges behind me. When I chose law school, I firmly shut away all classic literature, locked up my beloved thesis paper, threw out all information on the GRE or GMAT or whatever the hell it was, and took on an impressive debt load so that I had to finish school, because dropping out of law school = bankruptcy.

There must be a less extreme way to go about this little project.

All I hear is the chirping of a cricket.

Monday, October 12, 2009

We Need to Simplify Our Lives, Redux

Moving day was crazy. Moving day was made even more crazy by the fact that it took place over a week and a half, and for awhile, we were living in both places, and I thought my head was going to explode with the sheer confusion of it all.

At this new house (also known as OUR house) we have a three car garage. It is completely full of out stuff. Okay, fine, it is completely full of our crap. Is this really necessary? Do I need all this stuff? I already did the if you haven't worn it in a year, take it to good will run, along with the would you die of embarrassment if Judge Fill-in-the-blank saw you in the grocery store in this run. There are blankets and knick-knacks (oh God, the knick knacks. You know who they all come from? My mother in law. She firmly believes that downsizing means giving it all to us, because she cannot bear to throw it away herself), there are pots and pans, there are NO MATCHING PIECES OF FURNITURE. None. Not a single one.

I will also admit to a moment of panic today. It was the panic felt by someone who has lived closer to the downtown area of a city, where there are lots of young people and bars. Today, I sat on my emerald green lawn with Telly. I looked to the left and saw kids. I looked to the right and saw kids. I looked straight ahead and saw kids.

I decided, for the sake of my sanity, it was better if I didn't turn around.

They are everywhere here, like the weeds did back at our old house. Their parents all stand outside, watching them play, gossiping, drinking wine, fliping their hair, and touching their strands of pearls. Okay, I made up the part about the pearls, but it doesn't seems unlikely.

Is simplifying our lives at odds with this neighborhood? Have we sold out? Should we have fled towards a nice, small condo in the city and sold most of our stuff?

Kids are the plan eventually (See Grace. See Grace run! Go Grace go! Grace? You can stop now!), and I think kids require lawns (check). And dogs (check). And other kids (check, check, check, check).

So, we shall simplfy in other ways. Like refusing to take any more kinck knacks. I mean it.

All For the Want of a Shoe

I have to find (and by have, I mean I must because the rare shopping urge has me in its grips, and will not let go until the task is done) find a pair of dark red, perhaps burgundy, that really pretty red wine color, shoes to go with my navy blue suit.

That I am wearing to my swearing in ceremony. I swear, if I don't find these shoes, I will take it as a sign from God that I was not meant to swear in as an attorney and I only got this far on sheer dumb luck.

I've arrived here, and looking back, I'm not sure how.

I never had the doctor-lawyer-president-marine biologist dreams that many kids have. My dreams were writer and illustrator of children's books, and then just writer, then to poet, and from there to English professor who is published with something, anything. I still do these things. I write, and I have a large folder of my works in progress. I have one large work in progress, which sadly, has been on hold for about a year. I need to fix that. I'm always doubtful about my skill as a writer or a poet, but the pieces I write are usually received well, by uninterested parties. And of course, Vor, but he surely does not count as an uninterested party.

What I am saying is, how did I get here? I am about to become a lawyer, which on its face, seems to be the thing farthest away from the creative and deeply litarery life I had always imagined. Why am I here, when I unpack my Virginia Woolf books and wistfully run my fingers along the binding and remember I want white petals that float when I tip the basin up. I have a fleet now swimming from shore to shore. . . . And I will rock the brown basin from side to side so that my ships may ride the waves. Some will founder. Some will dash themselves against the cliffs. One sails alone. That is my ship. . . . They have scattered, they have foundered, all except my ship which mounts the wave and sweeps before the gale and reaches the islands where the parrots chatter and the creepers . . . (The Waves). And I type that from memory. When I can't sleep, I recite T.S. Eliot in my head, like a soothing lullaby, like the mermaids singing, each to each. Except I have told those mermaids that I won't listen to them sing anymore.

These things I always thought I would be are gone now, and here I am, touching my suit, ten minutes away from work, and twenty away from the courthouse. Maybe Rhoda had it right-- I have to put off my hopeless desire to be Susan, to be Jinny. That doesn't mean that I cannot stretch my toes so that they touch the rail at the end of the bed; I will assure myself, touching the rail, of something hard. Now I cannot sink; cannot altogether fall through the thin sheet now. . . (The Waves)

I am me, still; I can be creative in this job. I can still write, for myself and maybe someday for others.

ButsohelpmeGod, if I do not find a pair of deep red shoes to go with this suit, I will take it as a sign.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

We Need to Simplify Our Lives

Holy Moving Day, Batman.

That is all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just For The Record

I don't understand the rabid mongoose way of practicing law. I really don't.

Can you tell it was a bad day? Does it just shine through?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's Totally Legit

...but I don't wanna is a perfectly valid excuse when faced with more packing, loading, driving, unloading, unpacking, crawling, climbing, pushing, dragging, twisting, turning, and cleaning.

No matter what anyone says, know this.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Parenthetically

Since it's Monday, you don't get a Blog Salad, but this sure will be a mish mash of things.

We have no couch. It's over at the new house, and we are still living on the old one this week. This means that we have a futon mattress on the floor, and it also means that Telly has found his new calling in life--to sit on the futon. To sit on you sitting on the futon. To try and dig into the futon. To run and jump on the futon (and when I say run and jump, I mean flying leaps). It was cute this morning. Now, it's annoying.

Also, I passed the bar. I know you know this already, but I keep repeating it in my head, because I'm not sure it happened. I'm still so PTSD about the whole thing (nightmares, sweats, flashbacks) that I can't shake it. It's really over. (OR IS IT? Haha. No, I know, that wasn't funny at all.) I am so ready to start working. I can't wait to move full time into my little office (read: cubicle--I know, what kind of lawyer has a cubicle instead of an office? The public interest kind!)

Speaking of work, I am going to get torn to shreds on Wednesday. I'm on a case where this attorney thinks s/he is, (oh God, please excuse me, but there is no other way to put this) the shit. God's gift to law. This attorney called screaming the other day about this case, sent nasty emails, and has decided to bring on a second chair for this hearing. No one does this in family law, unless the second chair is someone who is being trained. Which is not the case here. Sigh. Wednesday is going to be loooooooong. I just have to keep my lips stiff, and remember the kid involved. This kid needs help, because s/he isn't getting it at home.

Baby H is still hanging on. She was born a little over a week ago, so this is more than we expected. Thus, I am making another casserole today. I suspect the new momma needs a nap--something that can be achieved if she doesn't have to make dinner. I got to hold her a few days ago, and it gave me quite a bit to think about, and to talk to Vor about. (That is a post in and of itself. One of those long rambling posts where I am clearly trying to work something out in my head, and all I do is leave you scrolling down going, why the hell am I reading this? She is nutty. Nutty. Not that you aren't thinking that right now.)

There are parenthesis galore going on here.

Um. Telly just ate the tail off one of his toys. I better go fish that out of his jaws before I have to fish it out of somewhere else.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hoosier Lawyer

Yeah? Who's your lawyer? Oh, that would be me.

I know you can't see me, but rest assured, I am doing the happy dance for passing the bar!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Runaway

This *@#$ dog.

I took Telly for a walk. Right before this walk, I was thinking kind, warm, lovely thoughts about him. I was even thinking, you know, I should tell people to get dogs. The housebreaking horror ends quickly, and then they are fun and sweet.

I walked Telly to the park two blocks away, left the lead on, and threw a tennis ball a few feet away for him to go fetch. I could easily grab the leash; it was never far from my feet. This went swimmingly for a few times, until Telly grabbed the ball, faked right, dodged left, and WOOSH, went flying by me, ball in mouth.

A runner in the park tried to catch as I booked after him, but even sprinting, neither of us could get there. The dog is like lightning now! My stupid dog ran the two blocks home, ears flapping, ball in mouth, me screaming "Bad! Dog!" the whole way.

I arrived at my house 45 seconds after Telly did. He was sitting on the front porch, looking at me like look what I found! I found the house! Aren't you proud of me? NO! I AM NOT PROUD OF YOU! Well, if you crazy people would stop leaving the house and making me come with you, I wouldn't have to keep finding the house for you, would I?

Sigh. I am not thinking warm thoughts right now.



Yeah, NOW he's tired.

Not That *I* Would Want to be a Priest

I've been thinking about posting this, not because it outs me to anyone, but because it outs me to myself more than anything else.

My crisis of faith has gone on for years.

It started when I was fairly young, because of something, O Great Internet, I won't be telling you about. It continued on because I was an inquisitive, questioning child, and most of the nuns who taught me just told me not to ask such questions. It meant I wasn't a good Christian for questioning things. That's not something you should a curious kid! I went through a time where I didn't believe in God, and hen I thought I did, but I wasn't Christian, and now I've moseyed back around. I'm a Christian. I believe in God.

But am I Catholic?

That's a scary question for a cradle Catholic to ask. I was steeped, brewed in a culture where if you weren't Catholic, you were an outsider. Other. Not Us. I didn't know any people who weren't Catholics until I joined my synchronized swimming club team. My family freaked out when they realized I was going to marry Vor because he isn't Catholic. (Holy argument city, that one. That's a breach that sometimes has yet to heal)

So since I've started asking myself that question, I've been praying, still going to church (though not necessarily a Catholic one), and dragging my mind through the problems I had. One of the first on the list was women as priests. Most of the time I've heard an argument against this, it's been along the lines of "Because we said so!" See above to learn how an inquisitive person deals with that. There's a nice little post over here that handles the argument against women priests, logically. The post is a good one, and long, and my time is limited as Telly is starting to approach the witching hour where he goes from calm puppy to crazed animal, so I'm only spitting out my thoughts at you.

I really have never felt the tradition argument. There is the argument that Jesus choose only men, the 12 apostles continued that tradition, and the Church follows that tradition today. I've always thought, of course He didn't! Look at the time frame He existed in! Anytime I've said that, I've had people respond that Jesus was counter cultural, so if women were meant to be chosen, He would have done it. I'm not so sure. The sociocultural pattern has to be considered. (Now bear with me, I'm pulling some of this stuff from memory as far as proper citations go, and the rest from google books). It's entirely too possible that making a choice like this would have destroyed his work from the beginning. There comes a point where revolutionary is too revolutionary, and the good gets lost. (O'Collins, "Ordination of Women,") God would know what His people could handle.

Jesus may have treated women much better than those men around Him, but the fact remains that society was not great for women at the time. 'If Jesus had lived in a society in which the cultural status of the two sexes had differed from that of his own time, would he not have made a different choice? A choice that was already beginning to show itself in the completely new approach which he adopted toward women in a patriarchal society?' H. M. LEGRAND, 'Views on the Ordination of Women,' Origins, Jan. 6 1977.

In the end, we only have the fact that Jesus didn't choose any women. It's up to us to discern why. I think it's far more likely that Jesus did this because only men could assume these toles at the time, and His message needed to be taught. In the end, I think that the issue of women priests was a pragmatic issue, not an eternal truth.

If I think that, then the tradition argument crumbles on itself, at least for me. It used to be tradition to discrimiante, to have slaves, etc., but it isn't anymore. The same follows. The tradition argument always reminds me of a conversation from great West Wing Episode, Midterms:
BARTLET: I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an
abomination.

JENNA JACOBS: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination,
Mr. President. The Bible does.

BARTLET: Yes, it does. Leviticus.

JENNA JACOBS: 18:22

BARTLET: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of
questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my
youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.
(small chuckles from the guests) She's a Georgetown sophomore,
speaks fluent Italian, and always clears the table when it was
her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking
about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry,
insists on working on the Sabbath, Exodus 35:2,clearly says he
should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him
myself or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's
really important, 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in
this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes us unclean,
Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the
Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can
West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to
stone my brother, John, for planting different crops side by
side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering
for wearing garments made from two different threads?

(all this compliments of a west wing transcript)
Tradition would suck if it still held, wouldn't it?

Oh, I can hear you now. Slippery Slope! I can just hear my dad
screaming it. But refer yourself to where we have come from
already. I don't feel like I am at the bottom of a slippery slope
from where my great grandparents were. I like being able to vote,
not be in the kitchen all day, have an opinion, live by myself, hold
a job, be valued for more than just my ability to reproduce. I feel
like someone rolled me inside a boulder up to the top of the hill,
then let me out.

Well. I guess this means that I don't buy this argument against
women as priests.

Yes, there are more arguments. There is the argument that priests
act as Christ, and Christ was a man, so priests must be men.
There's also the idea that priests are married to the Church, so
the Church is female and priests must then be male. I'll drag
this blog through those later, I think.

I'm not proofreading right now. I'll do it later. Maybe I'll even
refine this, because I feel like I'm nearing the end of my journey
through crisis, and I'm ready to emerge again, just as full of
faith as I always will be of questions. Questions fuel faith for me.

Telly is staring me down, and I think he wants a walk. He keeps
putting his head across my laptop keyboard. I'm a bad mother.

I Don't Have Words Strong Enough

Of course Woody Allen is defending a man who drugged and raped a child.

Why are you surprised?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rub a Dub Dub

Dirty dog in the tub.







He doesn't look too pleased, does he?

We think he's lost his water wings already. We couldn't teach him how to swim this year, because he needed all his shots, and now that he has them, it's really cold outside. So, he'll just have to learn next year!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pack Rat

Oh, and because we are starting the moving and the packing, packing tips are appreciated.

Seriously. I know I've moved a million times, but, help. Dishes, glasses, pots, pans, frames, clocks, forks, books. Come people, I know you've perfected this. It's time to pass on your wisdom!

I Won't Grow Up

We're closing on our house today. Kinda crazy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Sweeeeeeper

There is a long history to why I hate vacuum cleaners.

My siblings are both older than I am (14 and almost 17 years). When it got to the point where I could walk and even run, they thought it was hilarious (HILARIOUS) to chase me around the house with a vacuum cleaner. It was even better when they could plug it in, corner me, and chase me down with the vacuum cleaner on. This delightful exercise was always accompanied with a battle cry of, "Grace is afraid of the sweeeeeeeeeeeper!"

It's no surprise that I hated vacuum cleaners.

One Christmas, my brother, Pilot, asked my mom what he should get me. He must have been about sixteen that year, and my mom--gotta love her--said, "Why don't you get one of those cute vacuum cleaners for kids!" You know, the kind with the cute colorful plastic beads that shot around when you moved it? So Pilot did. I unwrapped that sucker on Christmas day and ran screaming into the closest closet sobbing hysterically that I was afraid of the sweeeeeeper!!! My brother rolled his eyes at my mom and said, "Thanks, Mom."

At some point, I know I got over this, and played with that toy fairly often. This the beauty of having older siblings; if I can't recall a particular thing, they tell it to me so often I feel like I must be able to remember it.

Yesterday, we vacuumed the dog for the first time. No, not laid him out on the floor and vacuumed him, we did it with a hose attachment. He was none too pleased, but put up with it, presumably for the sake of my allergies (or because I kept feeding him pupperoni the whole time).

In order to get him more accustomed to the noise, Vor penned him in his crate when he ran the vacuum cleaner this morning. All throughout, I could Vor saying, "Good Telly. What a good boy!" Finally, the cleaner is shut off, and I ask, "How was he?" Of course, the answer is, "He totally freaked out."

He must take after me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Paper Bag

I really think I might hyperventilate myself into unconsciousness thinking about the bar results.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Puppy Prison

Here's your daily serving of cute. Keel over from The Cute.

We used to have this:


And it grew into this:


And here's some in between:




Woof.

Niner

Is it really only nine (9) (8+1) (10-1) (neuf) (nueve) (yhdeksän) days until I find out about the bar?

Can I somehow either speed up the time and know I passed, or if I failed, make eternity pass until I find out? Can I take the BLE's office by storm with other potential lawyers and chant, re-sults! re-sults! over and over until it begins to sound like we are saying sultsre?

Anyone want to take bets on how much longer I can hold off pointless clicking the link and checking the empty webpage for results that don't exist yet?

Yeah, I wouldn't want to take that bet either.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'd Prefer A Bad Excuse

No news is...what? I don't know. But the casseroles are baked.

While I was running errands yesterday before I went to the grocery store, my car experienced a cataclysmic event and died as I was about to drive into one of the busiest intersections of this city. I would bitch about this more, but God has a way of helping out sometimes--three guys jumped out of their car and immediately rolled me into a gas station, and even though my car is officially out of warranty, this *expensive* (EXPENSIVE!) part was miraculously covered by a different warranty. So, I really have nothing to complain about.

_____________________________________________________

Telly broke a lamp yesterday. He just walked over to a cord, looked right at me as I said no, and pulled. Shatter, shards. Today, I was getting my dance on while I was packing, and I was rewarded with a look that clearly said, lady, you can't dance. Though, in all fairness, it might have been, lady, you crazy. You real crazy.

I know when we move to a new house, there will be housebreaking incidents. But I am almost prepared to declare mission accomplished with respect to housebreaking. Almost. Now, when he wakes up at an ungodly hour of the night or day, he will just go back to sleep after we let him out. This is a massive improvement on the whining/barking/whimpering/whatever that sound is he makes that sounds like we are killing him.

So whenever he does something bad, I just have to remind myself how far he has come, and that he is still just a puppy. He looks at me after wards, his favorite excuse written all over his face: wasn't me.



See? Completely what he's saying.

Hey, I prefer a bad excuse to no news. (Lonestar)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh, Baby

I'm heading to the grocery store, so that I can start baking two casseroles.

We've had a bad year as far our friends and pregnancies go (this is related to the sentence above, I swear). We've had miscarriages, loss of a twin, stillbirths, and now, the latest and the saddest. Our friends have known for awhile that they are going to give birth to a baby sometime in the next few days, and that their baby won't live long.

Do you remember the fairytale you were told when you were younger? That being pregnant was easy, that childbirth was wonderful, and that those things were rare, and anyways, never happened to you, always to other people. Except we're older now, and every time someone tells the fairy tale, we know people who whisper otherwise. It isn't easy, isn't wonderful, isn't rare, and it does happen to you, and your friends.

Casseroles. It seems so inadequate, but I know it's hard to cook with a new baby around, and it's even harder to think when you're grieving. We don't know how long Baby H will live; it could be minutes, it could be weeks. I've never lost a baby, so I can't empathize, but I can sympathize. But how do you show it?

So, there it is. I'm heading to the grocery store, to make some casseroles. Because, really, what else can I do?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Run Me Around

So. Buttons. (Get it? You sew buttons? I'm pretty sure that little joke of mine drives Vor crazy every time he says so, but he makes me nuts too; whenever I say well... he replies with it's a deep subject. There can be no doubt that we are good together.)

I am supposed to walk Telly to the vet's office, since it is right around the corner. It's pouring outside. Driving the car two blocks seems absolutely ridiculous...but so does getting drenched.

Also, we are closing next Monday. Crazy! We have a house that is almost ours, and we're going to be moving in soon. Really soon. Like, I should stop typing and keep packing soon.

And now, for the real thing. I mentioned that Vor and I were canceling our gym memberships and that I bought running shoes. Well, I did, and I've been running. There's only one slight problem.

I am NOT a runner. I was a swimmer, a volleyball player, and a rower. Now, sometimes these things involved running for training, and you bet your sweet behinds out there that I did everything in my power to get out of running. I offered to do more circuit training, lift more weights, swim more laps, erg more minutes, bikes more miles, anything to get out of running. And then there was the law school knee blowout and months of PT. That was fun too.

So, now I am running. Slowly, with lots of brisk walking in between. What I am saying is, does anyone out there run? Any advice? Helpful websites for beginners? I mean, I am an athlete, so I know all about my limits, stretching, water, eating. But I don't know about workouts. Or times, or distance, or even really great songs to put on my iPod while I run. How about stretches that are best? What are problem signs? What are normal pains? Why does my achilles tendon start to hurt and feel like it is going to snap after a while?

Want to help me run my life? Ha. Ha. So punny.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

By The Way

...did I mention that when I got out of the shower the other day, I saw a line of toilet paper going out of the bathroom, around the corner, down the hall, and into our bedroom?

And that there was a small, cute, mischievous golden puppy at the end of it, looking at me like, Look at this! This is sooooo cool!

Oh. Well, now I mentioned it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Unforgiven

When are we forgiven? I mean in the criminal justice way, not in the religious way.

I have a new case on my docket that is horrifying in a chills your bones, make sure no one is following you, thank God for secure facilities kind of way. The kind that had me praying for strength to do the right thing.

But as I dragged myself through the history of this case, I began to wonder. When are we forgiven? Is it twenty years for a sex offender? Ten years for an attempted murder? Five years for a robbery? Three years for a forged check?

When do I look at these criminal records, sometimes as long as I am tall, and say,"That, right there--that is too long ago to worry about." Forgiven.

Since when did it become my responsibility to determine this kind of stuff? It scares the crap out of me. This entire case frightened me so much that on my way to deal with part of it, I stopped at a church for five minutes and said a little prayer. Give me the wisdom to do what is right, the courage to ask the questions that hold the key, and the compassion to understand. In other words, HELP ME.

I think the answer is forgiven, but not forgotten; rehabilitated, but not cured. History can heal, but not be erased. This is all well and fine from a philosophical point of view, but I am standing in the muddy trench where I have to determine if there is rehabilitation, or if there is another murder waiting around the corner.

How can I tell if this is all genuine contrition, real work towards setting all things right, or just... an act?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall-ing For You

I have a confession. I'm all about the fall weather.

I know. I'm from the land of snow and ice, blizzards and snow drifts, driving bans and snow mobiles. I should be pleased to be somewhere that summer lasts longer.

Well, I'm not. Don't get me wrong, for the most part, I appreciate that the winters are milder (read: slushier, and with roads that are never plowed because for some reason, people here think they are part of the South and are surprised every year when it snows).

But lately, I'm enjoying the cool weather. The crispy leaves, the slight breeze, the pumpkins all around, the pies, the apples, the peaches, the colors.

The closer fall comes, the happier I get.

Also, the dog is lying at my feet, snoring. Loudly.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gift Card Hell

I am irrationally angry right now. Well, maybe it isn't irrational.

I am packing stuff up, and I found all the wedding cards. And of course, I found an unused gift card in one of them. And of all the places the gift card had to be to, it was to Linens-n-Things.

Which is bankrupt, out of business, end of story.

But wait! you say. There's a new LNT that exists online only.

People, I already know this. They don't accept the old LNT gift cards.

This is the gift card saga that Vor and I have found ourselves in. We had two hundred and fifty dollars worth of gift cards to Lowe's. We were ready to buy a grill. We were really excited for that grill. Do we have a grill? No, because we LOST the TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS worth of gift cards. Only God Himself knows how we did it.

grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Blog Salad IV

As a side beginning note, I HATE that clocks with roman numeral faces use IIII instead of IV. There, I said it. Now, for my Sunday mish-mash.

Lettuce. The dog still wins the prize as the most time consuming thing going on around here. In some ways, it's worse than a baby--at least the baby can pee in her diaper. The dog requires me to let it out at all hours of the day, which means removing myself from my very important tasks (read: from the couch where I've been watching Pride and Prejudice)(okay, that was only once, I swear). He's, uh, well, BIG. And his face is all wrinkly, which lets me know that he is going to be a huge monster. A Telly Monster. Though, he is getting better. He's becoming quite a good little dog.

Vegetables. Moving. Packing, sorting, throwing out, keeping, collecting. Dusting, sneezing, wrapping, screaming (at spiders), breaking, crying. Discovering, re-discovering, laughing. All these tiring "ings" are part of moving. And you know what? I have moved at least six times in the last seven years. I don't want to move anymore.

Croutons/Cranberries/Almonds. Um. The fact I get to go to Hobby Lobby tomorrow and pick out frames with my gift card? The fact we bought a couch last week for our new house? The fact Vor picked out a lovely frame for my J.D. diploma? Or my new running shoes, which I am going to test out for the first time tomorrow morning? Lots of little sweet spots.

Salad Dressing. Setting the tone with Rrrrrrrrranch! (Get it? Like Telly growling with his "shake 'em up" toy?) Tangy, yet smooth.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Progress

There was no wet crate when I came home from work yesterday, and the chewing and nipping seems to have lessened. He comes better when called, and sits very nicely. Though...he is a will work for food dog.

I've lost some needed to be lost weight, but then stalled. I hate going to the gym. I hate the Weight Watchers website. I can fix one of those--I'm canceling my gym membership today and buying a really nice pair of running shoes. We're going to do this the old fashioned way.

I didn't get a headache at work yesterday, which is usually a persistent problem with me. I think I've managed to identify both sources and correct both.

I started packing--the china is packed, the glasses will be finished today, and then the books can be started.

Progress. It's sweet.

Friday, September 11, 2009

8

So that last entry seems rambling and horribly disjointed, but, oh well.

I don't know where eight years have gone, but they went. Sometimes, the actual memory what where I was, what I was thinking, what I was doing, what I was wearing seems dimmer. The heart at my knees, lungs in stomach, gut sick feeling however is very easy to recall.

It's also easy to recall that I was sitting on top of my desk in AP Government, appropriately talking about current events. It was actually our class who realized what was happened, and a girl ran to tell the principal to turn on the classroom TV's. I'll always remember my AP Gov teacher, who I never really liked, tossing me a quarter when he saw the color drain from my face, and telling me to call my parents to see where my brother was. He was safe, but close friends at the Pentagon weren't. They were dead.

The gut sick feeling came from when the second tower collapsed, along with the girl standing next to me. She knew her father was in that tower, and she knew she had just watched him die.

I was driving my dad's car, with Army National Guard plates. People were beeping and waving at me the whole way home, rolling their windows down to wish me and mine luck and safety. I passed it all on to my military family members.

It's funny what things trigger these feelings and memories now; a quarter gliding through the air; an airport; an airplane overhead; license plates; any mention of high school.

Remembering; thinking; praying.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

If You Don't Want To Hear About Guilt, Move On

This part time thing is fun. I'm home on the floor with the dog, and soon, I'll return to writing my article, drinking tea, and packing. So it's fun, except when it isn't, which is most of the time. Huh? Okay. I never thought I was social person, but I don't. do. well. when left alone all day. The dog is only good for so much company, you know? I like work. There's people. Anyways.

There's a related subject here, one my friend Vintage and I were talking about. Catholic guilt, something that she and I look at each other and smile knowingly about (though really, her dad is a deacon, and was in training to be a priest, and her mom was in a convent, so I think she has me topped). I'm pretty sure it's something we as cradle Catholics drink in our mother's breastmilk, because I've had several convert friends look quizzically at me when I mention guilt. In fact, it happened at work last week; my co-worker just shrugged and said, "Convert, not cradle."

What is this thing, that leaves me feeling guilty, whether or not I should be? Where does it come from?

Well, there's the dark side of it all, a side I can only mention in a vague way. Let's just say that sometimes, after a very damaging and horrifying event, the worst damage is not done by the event itself, but by the cruel words and treatment afterwards from someone you think you can trust, and someone whose duty to you fails. Telling a victim she is at fault, by a priest, by a nun, when she is very young leaves a lasting impression. Understanding later that it was a human failing stitches up the wound instead of healing it, leaving a scar called guilt.

On the light side, there's the sometimes amusing Catholic culture. I mean, dragging in a first grader who is about six? seven? and making them confess their sins? I made stuff up. I couldn't remember what I'd done yesterday, let alone all my sins to confess. Praying every morning and afternoon in school to have our sins forgiven, even as preschoolers? As you grow older, and you can remember the sins to confess, and you like saying the prayers, then there are the constant lectures, about what is bad, very wrong, sinful, evil, and very little about what you did that was good, right, and kind.

I make this sound awful, and for the most part, it wasn't. It just lends itself to a constant sense of guilt.

Maybe mine is more finely tuned because I am the oddball of my family, a family where the women always stay home with the kids and the men have careers. If you are walking the path laid out for you by everyone else, do you feel the guilt as much?

So that's Catholic guilt. Over time, it becomes a part of Catholic culture, that you can accept and smile at. Most don't remember what guilt was like when they were young. I do.

Overheard

Vor: Be a good wife and...

(short pause)

Me: You want to think very carefully about the next words out of your mouth.

Vor: Love you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who Knew The Devil Was Cute?




He thinks he has a friend, named Yllet.



Saturday, September 5, 2009

Another Lawyer Joke

I have this case.

Doesn't every good lawyer story start out like that? Note, I said story, not joke; jokes start like this: A lawyer walks into a bar, or There's a lawyer, an engineer, and a doctor... Anyways.

This case is ALL MINE. I am the lead "attorney" on it, with my supervising attorney watching me, to make sure I don't mess up and lose her license for her before I even get mine. It's a pretty sad case, with lots of kids involved. Although I am only representing one child in there, I have a feeling it won't be too long before all the other kids are taken away, too.

Sounds depressing, right? This is why I love my job. This is a volatile, tangible situation where I can walk in and make something, anything better.

I was thinking while I was cleaning today about a a conversation that I had with a priest back in my hometown. It couldn't have been that long ago, because I knew I was going to be working at this organization. He hadn't seen me around much, and asked why; I told him I had moved and gone to law school.

The look on his face was really hard to define. He just stared at me for a few beats, and then--the side of lip curled up, just a bit. That look is forever frozen in my brain. He said, Just what we need, another lawyer. Out loud. Where everyone could hear him. I stared back at him for what felt like forever. I know his story--he was a big shot corporate guy who entered the priesthood around the age of forty. I respect that, and I never thought that it would make him respect me less.

I don't remember what I said back. Maybe it was something along the lines of, Yeah you do need another lawyer like me, or maybe it was just a simple explanation of what I do. His face went blank, and there was another round of staring. Then I turned on my heel and left. He didn't call after me. He certainly didn't apologize or say, hey, that is good work. He never said a word to my mother, who is very involved in the church and in fact, trains his dog. He's never said anything to me since, anytime I see him.

I don't know what to think. Maybe there are some people who have the evil lawyer mentality so drilled into them they cannot give it up? Maybe the good lawyers do just can't outweigh the public opinion? There's a line that I've had quoted at me more often than not--First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. (Shakespeare, you know?) You know what that line really means? Shakespeare was acknowledging that the first thing any potential tyrant has to do in order to get rid of freedom is to kill the lawyers.

Yeah, we do need more lawyers. They need to do things that I'm doing, and more that I can't think of.

Go ahead, try to make a joke out of that.