December 20, 2008

Cooking in a Pith

This video is awesome. You must see it! Especially you, Hatchet: Cooking In a Pith: 951 Curry

December 19, 2008

5 Things Meme

Ten Years Ago I:
Took my first serious job and began paying back my student debt.
Five Things on Tomorrow's 'To Do' List:
(1) Sleep late; (2) process class evaluations for DateSmart class; (3) pay car insurance bill; (4) research whether a tort action will lie against opposing counsel for fraudulent in-court statements leading to an unfair judgment;(5) go to a caroling party.
Five Snacks I Enjoy:
(1) Popcorn; (2) pate de foie gras (sorry); (3) olives; (4) red wine; (5) curry.
Five Things I Would Do If I Were a Millionaire:
(1) Pay off student debt; (2) buy antique building and convert to art studios; (3)-(5) buy coffee for 3 friends with remaining $5.83.
Five Places I Have Lived:
(1) Washington, D.C.;(2) Badlands National Monument, South Dakota; (3) Estes Park, Colorado; (4) Boulder, Colorado (home); (5) Denver, Colorado
Five Jobs I've Had:
(1) Girl Friday for a Private Detective; (2) Office Temp; (3) Night Security Guard; (4) Administrator; (5) Lawyer

Inspired by Killing a Fly with a Ukelele blog.

December 18, 2008

Quote For the Day

"I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t expect to arrive." -Jorge Luis Borge

December 12, 2008

Editing is Easier

Take these sunflowers, for example. The hardest part was last summer, when I sketched out the basic forms in blue and goldenrod. Then they languished in my "studio" (ha!) for several months, until they were needed. I finished them in a 20-minute rush session. Hooray!

December 6, 2008

Irony and Guiltless Wrapping Paper

Presents in wrapping paper sometimes fill me with a sense of dread. Without going much into the ugly, tangled mess that is "the holidays" in my mind, I'll just say: (1) wrapping paper destroys forests and/or (2) wrapping paper guilt requires careful removal and space-consuming storage.

Imagine my excitement when my friend over at Law and Motherhood told me about making her own wrapping paper from paper grocery bags! It's brilliant! Fun to make! Higher quality paper! Covered with original artwork made by someone who loves you! Perfect memorabilia for the sweet and sentimental.

Here's my first foray into grocery-bag birthday wrapping paper, for a certain wizardly barrista I know:

For my next trick I'll use the ol' "stamp made of a sponge" trick to make holiday paper.*

* - Get a flat sponge, a sharpie, a pair of scissors, relatively loose paint, a plate, and a bunch of paper bags. Draw a simple shape on the sponge with a sharpie. Get the sponge a little moist and then cut out the shape. Make a shallow reservoir of paint on the plate. Dip the sponge in the paint just enough to transfer to the paper. Set the sponge, paint side down, on the paper. At this point you can either wait for the paper to absorb the paint or you can apply a little pressure to get the image to transfer. It depends on the denseness of your sponge and the viscosity of your paint. In the alternative: the ol' potato-stamp trick, using a potato and ink instead of sponge and paint. Potatoes tend to result in crisper images if you cut the stamp side flat enough. But be prepared for serious ink stains on your hands.

December 5, 2008

I Hate Looking for Work

About sums it up.

November 19, 2008

Mean Girls

I've been teaching "Date Smart" for the last couple of weeks, to 8th grade students. Date Smart is intended to teach the students how to recognize abusive relationships, and what to do about it. Really rewarding and fun, but this particular school segregates the kids. I miss having the co-ed mix in the classroom (especially for the "skits") but I notice the students are more open with their input and questions without the opposite sex nearby.

Except this week. Why? Because this week I have the "Mean Girls" in my class. That's right, capital M capital G. It's incredibly challenging! Nobody talks. All eyes look to the Mean Girl section to see how they should respond to . . . pretty much anything. To help me cope I watched Mean Girls (the movie) last night. It's a classic. I wish I could share it with the class but I don't want to give them new ideas for cruelty and manipulation. I might share this small tidbit from the movie: "girls, if you insist on calling each other sluts and whores, you're giving the boys permission to call you that, too." Maybe girls don't care about that anymore but I think they're faking a callousness they don't feel. The ultimate commitment in junior high school, after all, is 'appearing cool.' Maybe it's cool to be called a whore. (Mind boggles. Eyes spin around. Blood pressure rises.)

Today we define the word "coerce." It'll be fun. I promised them it would be!

November 5, 2008

Nailed It

"Carrying a majority of the popular vote, Obama did especially well among women and young voters, who polls showed were particularly sensitive to the current climate of everything being fucked. [ . . .] Citizens with eyes, ears, and the ability to wake up and realize what truly matters in the end are also believed to have played a crucial role in Tuesday's election."
-The Onion, November 5, 2008

November 4, 2008

Where at Least I Know I'm Free

I was a poll-watcher in this election. I watched a huge number of first-time voters, young and old, elect Barack Obama. I spoke Spanish with a little old lady who told me "es mi primera vez" - it was her first time. I so wanted to believe we could elect a Democrat, finally. After 2000 and 2004 I had grown cynical. I reserved judgment. I closed down my assigned polling place and went home to spend about two hours obsessively clicking "reload" on the New York Times election results page. When the press started calling it for Obama I said "ha - they called it in 2000 and they were wrong." When McCain made his concession speech my husband kissed me on the head and went to bed. I'm so proud tonight. Proud, relieved, and exhausted. It's like a big black eye in the face of American cynicism.

Here's a fusion recording of Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech, accompanied by the band Moodfood. (If this link doesn't work, you can find it on You Tube.)

October 17, 2008

Updated daily until November 4th, a Flash website starring President Palin in the Oval Office:

October 12, 2008

The Shelves of Bees and Flowers

My shelves are officially painted and are filling up with ubiquitous stuff. One set is in my office, one is in the boudoir. From my office chair I can turn slightly to the right and see a bee. Like this one:
Here are the shelves in process:

My staging area for this project:

I took these pictures with the little camera in my Treo and then Photo-Shopped them to pump up the contrast and saturation, which helps a lot. I hope to be in the market soon for a digital camera. On that note, I'd better log off and get back to the job search. Frabjous.

October 9, 2008

Do Your Good Deed For the Day

Sign the petition to stop junk mail:

September 17, 2008

Been Painting Again

I set out with a plan to paint some ugly old shelves. Nothing fancy, just paint them white; give them a face lift. So I did that. Then I thought 'why not paint a few quick little flowers on them.' So I did that. But, since my paints are ready to go, paintbrushes standing at attention, tarp already on the floor, why not keep going?' Why not indeed? It's so much fun. :)

Now my bathroom is decorated with tarps, scattered paint pots, and some random-looking pieces of wood and paper adorned with flowers. But I need shelves in my bathroom! Time to get practical and get back to work.

September 10, 2008

Beautiful Places

The Denver Botanic Gardens were beeeeeoooootiful last weekend!

Speaking of beautiful places I've made an addition to my list of favorite places to work: The Old Town Cafe in Erie, North of Denver. Original art, an outdoor patio, fresh garden flowers, free wireless, and a huge bonus: no distracting music! Except for the programming class taking place in the back room it was nice and quiet at 9:00 a.m. last Tuesday. Other signs of high quality - delicious-looking pastries of generous size, and a red plastic dinosaur in the planter by the front walk. (Ask not about the mysterious power of a red plastic dinosaur!)

September 2, 2008

88 Years of Women's Suffrage

I hate chain e-mail and I won't forward it. But this morning I received a compelling e-reminder: women earned the right to vote in this country a mere 88 years ago (in 1920). We should exercise that right. Use it or lose it. Here's that e-mail, slightly edited: "Why Women Should Vote."

"This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago. It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

These women were jailed in 1917 for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. By the end of that night they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.' They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thinking Lewis was dead, suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there. For weeks their only water came from an open pail. Their food was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press." President Woodrow Wilson himself recruited a psychiatrist in an attempt to have her institutionalized as "insane."

The message goes on to recommend "Iron Jawed Angels," starring Hillary Swank, depicting the events of the suffragist movement. More importantly, the message asks the reader What would those women think of the way we use, or don't use, our right to vote? No matter which party you vote for, remember to vote. History is being made.

Read more at the Library of Congress and Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

August 30, 2008

Wedding Picture, Finally.

Thanks for waiting. In case you're wondering I'm not the readhead.
Why isn't the grass green? Because it was July in Colorado! It's supposed to look like that.

August 29, 2008

DNC Thursday - Obama Speaks

I didn't leave the house on Thursday. I was telecommuting.
Obama didn't start speaking until I was falling asleep.
But I read his remarks the next morning.

August 27, 2008

Wednesday - Bicycle Parade

I encountered a bicycle parade at the corner of Colfax and Colorado at dusk. 150 to 200 people on bikes. I saw them again at 16th and Williams - they must have doubled back. I paused at the four-way-stop to watch them go by, including one dude on a skateboard incognito behind a bandanna mask. But the entire parade stopped at the stop sign to let me go through. Sweeeeeet!

For a moment I was back in Amsterdam at rush hour.

August 26, 2008

Tuesday Doldrums

Tuesday. Nothing moving on my side of town except one ambulance flashing towards downtown. A guy waiting for a bus. A very old Saab. Emergency equipment idling in City Park. A convertible Miata with California plates cruising Highway 36.

At a well known protester-gathering place at the corner of Broadway and Canyon in Boulder I saw a well-dressed young woman carrying a pink sign. I slowed down to read "Homeless: anything helps."

August 25, 2008

Democratic National Convention - Monday

Not much to see today. If you want photos from DNC ground zero, you can find them here.

My Hband saw protesters on his way to work, shuffling towards downtown, none of whom carrying anything particularly nefarious-looking. I saw elderly gents fly-fishing on the lake in Washington Park, Denver's skyscrapers jutting along the horizon. Signs along Josephine street announced something-of-the-whatever-thing or miscellaneous warning or notification. Not safe to read and drive at the same time.

I painted some shelves in the alley behind my MIL's house and was visited by a bee while MIL told me of her plans to attend a Wednesday event and eat continental breakfast with an as-yet-unknown speaker.

All of these seemingly unrelated and quotidian incidents could be inscrutable inklings of weighty things to come. Especially that bit about the bee. Sometimes I can't do better than simply linking to someone else's blog entry to express my point - check out this bee entry in the Hunky Gardener's blog.

August 24, 2008

Democratic Convention - the Swelling of the Tide

We drove past downtown Denver this morning, the Sunday prior to the Democratic National Convention. It was quiet. So far the signs include only these: cleaner streets and two parking tickets in as many days for yours truly. Ugh! The first was for leaving my car in front of my house on the dreaded street sweeping day. (You know, those days when 'they' often don't actually sweep the streets but are nevertheless conscientious about handing out tickets.) The second was for parking overtime at a meter. I was in arbitration at the JAG (Judicial Arbiter's Group) and had to run out to plug the meter every two hours. Not wanting to miss the juicy bits, I took a chance! My favorite hot dog vendor at the corner of Blake and Seventeenth Streets told me I'd missed it by mere moments. Oh, well. Win some, lose some. There's sure to be more momentous DNC news later . . .

August 16, 2008

Cool Site

This is a nifty site -
It pairs feelings with images. You can upload your own images/feeling combo, or you can enter a feeling and see images that others have uploaded for that feeling.

August 9, 2008

This Was a Fabulous Day

Trying on hats at Allyn's, an amazing fabric store/milliner's on 6th Avenue in Denver.

It was just a few days before the wedding, and I without a clue what to do with my hair. The piratical bride would have been . . . well . . . memorable. (But I went with curls and a headband.)

August 7, 2008

Taking a Hatchet to the Wedding Cakes

I just returned from "Howling Mountain Mama's" night out. (A monthly meeting of mamas away from the men and babies, dining, drinking, talking, laughing . . . you get the picture.) This was the inaugural month. We went to the Melting Pot.

Hatchet reminded me she helped cut our wedding cake! How fitting! Of course Hatchet, you deserve a great big thank you for that, and more thank yous for everything else you did for us that day, and I apologize for leaving your cake cutting off my big list of people to be thanked. Thank you, Hatchet!

August 6, 2008

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

Amendment 46 seeks to end Affirmative Action in Colorado.

Several well-meaning citizens signed a petition to put the amendment on this November's ballot after intrepid petitioners told them the amendment would "end discrimination." After finding out the amendment is actually designed to end Affirmative Action, the same citizens complained to the Secretary of State. They were told "too late, you should have read what you were signing."

To illustrate this tragic tale I offer a delightful little confection from YouTube: "End Women's Suffrage."

Moral of the story? Never sign anything you don't understand.

July 25, 2008


I generally hesitate to use the word 'racist' because I think it's overused. Here's a thing about the word "racism:" its pejorative power has destroyed our powers to converse rationally about it. Try stripping the word of its pejorative meanings. Just because a thing is racist, does that mean it's intrinsically bad? Affirmative action, for example. Intrinsically bad? Or just flawed? Flawed enough to kill it off? I know intelligent people on both sides of the debate. The argument that we should get rid of it merely because it's racist is just vapid, people. Please stop saying that. Of course it's racist. If there's no better argument than that, my vote is we should keep it.

I Can Never Run for President

My family fought for the royalists in the Revolutionary War. I can never run for president.

I will never overcome the stigma of my name, you see. My name, like Obama's, is a magic spell cast upon me by ancestors long a-mouldering in the grave. If elected president my ancestors will, like Angela Lansbury, give me the magical hypnotic phone call of undeniable command - I will have no choice but to tear, spindle, and mutilate the constitution and then invite the British to re-conquer the majestic mountains and amber waves of grain our patriots so cruelly wrested from British control.

Thirteen years in the U.S. Public School system? Piffle.
A career in public service working for the State of Colorado? Nada.
Parents who constantly reminded me that, while imperfect, the United States of America is nevertheless the greatest country in the world? Insubstantial as a feather floating on the breeze.

God Save the King/Queen and all that. What rubbish! People who think Obama won't be a good president because his name will somehow have the magical power to force him to make the U.S. vulnerable to "Islamic turrists" are simply not thinking.

July 19, 2008

The Large Day

Scott and I were married yesterday morning at Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado, egged on by 100 of our closest and dearest friends. It was inexpressibly good, 'way good,' Sweet and Dandy.* So many thanks are owed to so many friends. Scylla drove us around the city and fed us chocolate shakes to keep us calm. Margot found flower-girl baskets. Adam schlepped at least a half ton of food and equipment to and fro. Elizabeth wove ribbons together to create an 'aisle' across the grass. Dorothy planned and paid for a world-class rehearsal event. Hatchet made the wedding bouquet with flowers from her garden. Dorothy's many neighbors donated bunches of garden flowers to adorn the reception. Theresa loaned us an ice chest. Elaine and the Georges delivered the cakes. Bradley helped write the ceremony and officiated. Amy and Monica cut cake with speedy expertise. Debts were forgiven. The sun shone brightly and the wind did not blow. And so much more! So many heartfelt thanks to others not listed here.

I am a wife! Scott is a husband! A bigger set of circumstances than one can express in any language.

* - Toots and the Maytals, Sweet and Dandy. Find it on YouTube.

June 6, 2008

Wedding Invitations Are in the Mail!

After a flurry of negotiating wedding registry information, designing, selecting paper, printing, slicing, tying bows, agonizing over guest lists, addressing envelopes, stuffing envelopes, and applying stamps, the invitations are finally in the mail!!

It gives me goose bumps.

The Law

An ABA publication reports the number of lawyers is high, the pay is low, and the industry is transforming itself.* In 2004 solo practitioners averaged $46,000 per year in the United States and that situation has not improved. The demand for fresh law school graduates is ever increasing because big law firms continue to eagerly vacuum up those fresh young faces, put them to work, skim off the profits, and then fire them when they fail to "make partner" a few years later.

The ABA's analysis of census figures indicates (to them) that "lawyers" and "attorneys" stop designating themselves as such long before their working lives would normally have been over. They are either retiring or finding other work.

I know a solo practitioner who cleared six figures in 2006. He won't come close to that in 2007 because he spent the year partnered with another attorney who spent as much on her lavish office as she brought into the firm in income. He freed himself of that bad situation but now he hates his practice. He can't quit because he's supporting a wife and three young children at home.

I've had my law license for a year as of May 15th. No one hired me in that year. I went on several very nice interviews but no job offers appeared. In between interviews I've been working as a contract attorney for a small firm that gives me various projects in dribs and drabs. It's fun and it's great experience but it's neither enough work nor enough money. It would have been enough if I hadn't had to split my fee with my law firm.

Last week, late at night, eyes wide open, I was staring at the darkened ceiling and waiting for sleep. I got up, switched on my computer, and in the dim light cast by my computer screen I went to the Secretary of State's website and registered my LLC. It took five minutes.

I'm striking out on my own. I'm going against the advice of Professors who told me the law has become far too complicated to try to go it alone. They may be right about telecommunications and tax law but I'm pretty sure I can figure out a simple will, a DUI, or a non-competition agreement. And if I can't, I'll just go begging to the Bar Association for help.

If I make $46,000 this year it will be about three times what I've made in any year since I quit my job to go to law school (a decision I've had to decide not to regret).

Yes friends, I started my first law firm while wearing my pajamas. I hope it's an auspicious omen. Wish me luck, please. I can't wait to start helping people, and getting paid. :)

* - Hidden Transformation of the Legal Industry, by Richard Sander, Vol. 12, #9, The Young Lawyer, June 2008, publ. American Bar Association Young Lawyer's Division.

May 24, 2008

Scott Fixed My Shoes

I found these at DSW - the Discount Shoe Warehouse. They had one of those wonderful yellow stickers on the box, for 80% off.

They are nearly perfect for work because they're black and have a very short heel. I can stand up in them for hours. After I wore them once or twice that silly/fabulous gold chain began the inevitable falling-off process. I grumbled and kept wearing them, constantly re-attaching the chain when no one was looking.

One morning Scott, the most wonderful man in the world, disappeared with them to a mysterious dark room in the basement, from whence soon came squeaking and a few short "bangs" with (presumably) a hammer. Then Scott reappeared, fixed shoes in hand! No more shall the silly/fabulous gold chain fall off in a consistently annoying manner! Scott is a star.

It's the little things that get me . . .

May 15, 2008

Family Matters

My uncle died last Tuesday. I got a nice letter from my cousins (apparently mailed the day before) in which we were exhorted to "go beyond the usual cards and flowers" to do something really special for him - send him a letter. So I started composing one for him in my head. It said only this:

"You and I both know what you did, but I forgive you. Thank you for what you gave to me. Have a nice trip."
With a strike-anywhere match enclosed, so he could destroy the evidence and what it might have wrongly suggested to prying eyes, after his death.

But then, oops, he died. I thought I was off the hook. But then my cousin asked me if I'd written a letter and I said I did but didn't have a chance to mail it in time. So my cousin asked me to send it anyway, because his Mom was collecting the letters in a memorial book. Erk! What should I do?? I'd rather just send a letter to my aunt.

May 4, 2008

April 25, 2008

Feel the Yearn

At the gym this morning I did the unthinkable - I grabbed a magazine to read on the stair master: Oprah's magazine. But for once, rather than the usual savage beating such magazines normally bestow, I was rewarded this time. Oprah had interviewed Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun. Her point is this - we humans often have complaints and discomfort with our lives as they are and we are constantly seeking a 'fix' for our problems. What if we could (I'm paraphrasing here) develop a passion for our lives as they are, rather than reserving our passion for the life we imagine we would rather have?

"The problem is that we have so little tolerance for uncomfortable feelings. I'm not even talking about unpleasant outer circumstances but for that feeling in your stomach that—or heart—that I don't want this to be happening."
And the solution? Feel the feeling, rather than dismissing it or medicating it away. Stay with it. Hold its hand, because it's what we have in common with other humans. It's what allows us to be compassionate with them even when they're behaving badly. My particular uncomfortable feeling is the yearning itself - I grow exceedingly weary of wishing for things to be different - different job, different hair, different wardrobe, a home, a sense of security, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

As I was driving home from the gym I listened to radio story about a special law in Colorado that makes it easier to charge juveniles as adults - a reaction to Denver's "Summer of Violence" in 1993. The interviewees were chock full of explanations and excuses on the prosecution side, questions and demands for accountability on the defense side. No one discussed compassion, because hey, that's a trigger word that would instantly label the argument as woo-woo and dismiss it as irrelevant.

Maybe it really is irrelevant. Compassion isn't something we can impose on ourselves or on other people. I've often admonished myself to "be compassionate," but if you have to admonish yourself, is it real? Wouldn't that be mere 'acting?' Yes, and it's fake - we can't know how to "act" compassionately if we don't experience real compassion in ourselves. We can't impose it on ourselves. But that's how we're most comfortable - we think if we buy the right product or repeat the right words in the right order, we'll feel better. Sooooooothing, isn't it.

April 18, 2008

Malignant Growths

On March 20, 2008 I learned that my uncle has a large, malignant growth on his leg, and "fifty to sixty nodues on his lungs, that are probably malignant."

My first thought was "I wonder what 'nodue' means."

My uncle is a retired junior high school teacher in the L.A. public school system who referred to his students as "niggers," "spics," and "beaners." At home he was a violent alcoholic whose wife protected him with scorn and derision for anyone who came near, presumably because she feared their criticism. One Thanksgiving he punched me and my cousin, about 7 and 10 years old, in the head. Rapid fire, "bam bam," all at once, without spilling a drop of bourbon. More than 20 years later I can recall the dull pain in my jaw and hear the ice tinkling in his glass.

My cousin once innocently asked me why I feel bad about his father (my uncle) when he did "the best he could for his nieces" whose "real father was such a screw up." (Yes, that's my Dad he's talking about, who cared about what happened to me, who never laid a hand on me except with love, who paid my freshman tuition, who gave me a safe place to live in high school, who fixed up my series of old cars with his own hands free of charge, who gave me difficult books to read, who taught me to cook, who cared about what I thought and felt, and who told me never to settle for less than I deserved.) When I reminded my cousin of what happened that year at Thanksgiving he grew numb and said he doesn't remember. He wasn't defensive, he just faded away; changed the subject. He doesn't remember ANY of the beatings he received from his father while my mother and her sister stood greedily by, enjoying my cousin's fear and shame.

There was a time when the news about my uncle would have filled me with guilt and angry glee. But I don't feel glee. Just relief. And I don't feel guilty anymore when saying the world is simply better off without some people. Especially those whose only goal in life is to abuse others. I'm not advocating for the death penalty, I'm just suggesting that, if you truly love people, maybe feeling joy when their tormentors are dead is simply . . . normal.

I'm not sure what I feel about this news. It's a lot like having a malignant growth removed.

April 17, 2008

Denver at the Edge of Spring

March at the Denver Botanic Gardens:

Enduring, stubborn little flower husks that refuse to fall over no matter what.

April 11, 2008

The View OF My Desk

This time, for reals, here's a bona fide snapshot of the corner of my desk - this time it's my desk at Scott's place:

Regrettably I lack the Photoshop sophistication to add cool labels just like my hero The Bloggess, but if I did I would have labeled: (A) the interesting fruit photo taken either in Africa or at the Sea of Cortez by my wildly talented and well-traveled future mother in law, (B) the folders labeled "Porta-Potty Incident 2008" and "Taxes 2007," and (C) a worth-while little book about verbal self-defense called "Tongue Fu," which is sitting in my inbox waiting for me to outline it.

That green thing (by the way) is my inbox.

Speaking of inboxes, this year I've been embracing the "Getting Things Done" method from David Allen's book by that title. It's been a revelation.

All the best to you and yours. :o)

April 3, 2008

The View From my Desk

What has Red Flashlight been doing?

  • Taxes. More taxes. Other taxes.
  • Playing Settlers and Milles Bournes.
  • Moving unique pieces of paper from one location to another.
  • Suing a telecom provider under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Theorizing about the nature of the universe.
  • Teaching violence prevention to Middle School students.
  • Going to the gym.
  • Negotiating with insurance to repair the port-a-potty damage.
  • Watching "The Riches" on DVD.
  • Writing detailed disclosures under 'simplified procedure.'
  • Wondering why there's no beginner's manual for practicing law.
  • Worrying about family and wedding business.
  • Setting real estate showings for a start-up, part time.
An now, because I love including visuals, here's the view from my favorite 'desk:'

One drawback to this location: bad, loud music. Otherwise, It's my office of choice.

March 7, 2008

Court Quotes, Volume I, Issue 3 - What Not To Say

I found today's issue of court quotes on "Thursday Drive." It describes an event from the 1970s. After enduring six years of mental torture and physical abuse, a pair of sisters are adopted by their truly evil stepmother:

The judge stepped down from the bench and came over to where we stood with our attorney, clustered around a wooden table. The moment was celebratory. He had just approved Sue’s adoption of my sister and me.

'Congratulations,' the judge said as he reached out to shake my hand. 'Now she can spank you legally.'

Horrible! Incredibly insensitive. I'll grant it's possible that he didn't know and had no reason to suspect the girls were being abused. But wouldn't you try to curb making 'jokes' like that anyway? Judges aren't (normally) psychic, but that only illustrates why they shouldn't presume everything is 'fine.'

March 4, 2008

Why Can't We Be Friends?

We heard a great "gypsy jazz" band at a brunch at Chautauqua last week:

It was great. (I just said it was great twice. My brain hurts. Maybe it's cancer.)

I'm sitting at an internet cafe, writing a response to a 12(b)(6) and 56 motion in a case that should never have happened. The defendants are at war with each other and they don't care who gets hurt in the process. It reminds me of the massive brawl scene in the movie "Semi-Pro," set to the tune of "Why Can't We Be Friends?" The motion takes eight pages to say "it's the other guy's fault" and then twist the truth like a pretzel. Eight pages. Eeeeeevil.

February 28, 2008

Valentine's Day 2008

We made art on Valentine's Day this year:

These aspen trees are wonderful! How does he do it?

I know what you're thinking: "what's that bottle of Nutella doing there?" I assure you it's all part of the secret process.

February 25, 2008

Court Quotes, Volume I, Issue 2 - The Dream Crusher

Municipal Court. Judge is questioning a young man while the parents look sternly on.

J: Are you in school now?
YM: No.
[Young man wipes his nose with his jacket sleeve behind the unwashed curtain of his long, stringy hair.]
J: What are you doing now?
YM: Hanging out.
J: What do you want to do in the future? I mean, what's your plan for the future?
YM: To be an architectural engineer.
[Parents straighten their backs and put tight little smiles of repressed pride on their faces. Young man looks around the room with a cynical smirk and hooks a finger in his belt loop to hike up his drooping pants.]
J: That's gonna require a whole lot more school. At least four years of college so . . .
[Judge raises his eyebrows and lets the question hang there for a few seconds.]
YM: Yeah.
J: How much schooling do you have?
YM: 11th grade.
J: But you want to be an architectural engineer?
YM: Yes.
J: So why did you stop?
YM: Kicked me out.
Dad: We want to get him into job service or the military. And to get him off the marijuana.

The judge then gave him the typical writing assignment. Maybe a research assignment about the evils of drug use or something.

The whole thing leaves me unsatisfied. The parents seem a bit out to lunch and the kid's fantasy life is clearly out of control.

On a happier note: look what Scott brought home for me:

Dim sum! Is he not the dreamiest? Love you baby. :)

February 16, 2008

Blogs are not simply 'journals on line.'

I literally had to wipe the dust off my journal this week. Some might say I've been neglecting it in favor of this blog. But those 'some' would be wrong - the content is different.

At the gym I read an article in the New Yorker about diaries. There were excerpts from Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (urbane), Ronald Reagan (boring), and Andy Warhol (heh). Then I went to the front porch at Scott's house to think about the silly and uncontrollable melange my life has become. And to write something longhand. With a pen. (And take pictures of the steam rising from my Earl Grey - can you see it? It's on the right side, above the glass.)

Then I went downstairs to paint my journal gold.

February 10, 2008

Nifty Ad Slogan Generator

Here's how the blogosphere works:

I notice the Hatchet seems to be hawking her own line of t-shirts, like "which twin has the Hatchet?" Hilarious. I click through to "The Bloggess" only because her blog has a cool name, but I have such a good time there I add her site to my list of favorites. I grow enamored of the possibility that I, too, may generate my very own pink-T-Shirt-wearing sloganized memorialization of the Red Flashlight. I click through to The Advertising Slogan Generator, and post the results for your viewing pleasure.

February 4, 2008

Rehearsal Dinner Location

Scott's Mom found us a great location for our rehearsal dinner! The Molkery in Denver:

Historic. Recently renovated. Surrounded by a large park with big playground. Very cool for the ARMY of children that will be there. Thanks, Scott's Mom! :o)

January 19, 2008

Road Hazards

I've never been in a car accident. In my several years of driving I'm proud to say I've never hit anything or anyone. My car has been hit by other things however, including an airport shuttle, a deer, and on one glorious, windy morning on I-25 last Wednesday, my car was hit by one of these:

Yes, that's a port-a-potty.

Only at the time it was horizontal and flying.

Impacting it squarely on one side my car simply went right through it. It damaged my car but left only bits of itself behind to lie sadly against the guardrail and dot the freeway with crumpled pieces of fiberglass and plastic.

Hood? Dented and scratched. Windshield? Scratched. Side panels? Scratched. Side view mirror? Gone. Front bumper? Broken and now decorated with what I assume is a shredded piece of toilet paper.

In my rear view the next moment I noticed two things: (1) I was about to be rear-ended by a guy watching the spectacle of several port-a-potties flying off the back of a truck, and (2) there was sure to be a massive, multi-car pile-up on the evening news.

I get to tell my story to the police tomorrow. The guys at the Honda dealership got a kick out of it, but I'm sure the police will take a more sober approach.

What about you? Anyone else hit or been hit by an unexpected, bizarre, or inexplicable object?

January 12, 2008

Court Quotes, Volume I, Issue 1

Sometimes I scratch down quick little quotes I hear in court. This is from Municipal Court in a not-very-quiet little town on the Colorado plains:

Judge: "In addition, it looks like you still owe $130 from your last appearance. Can you pay that today?"
Defendant: "No."
Judge: "How soon do you think you can get that taken care of?"
Defendant: "I don't know . . . I can pay a few dollars today but I still can't find a job."
Judge: "Okay well talk to the court clerk and pay what you can, but remember: sometimes it's easier to send people to jail than it is to keep dragging them back here every month for little ten-dollar payments. Is that what you want to do?"
Defendant: "No, sir."
Judge: "Then I recommend you find a way to pay this off."
[Judge bends over the file, scribbling a note.]
Judge: "See you in a month."

January 7, 2008

Xavier Enigma

Scott found this:

Is it a game? Is it art? Is it science? I love it. Have fun.

January 4, 2008

Art and Commodification

Scott and I went to the Louvre's "Artisans and Kings" show at the Denver Art Museum. I love this painting: Infanta Margherita by Diego Velasquez. (But not as much as I love Las Meninas for its disturbing freakiness.)

Many pieces were from the famous Sevres Porcelain Manufactury:

The thing about Sevres porcelain - they're still making it. And people are still buying it. The Sevres Manufactury survived the very bloody French revolution and its products continue to be a symbol of wealth and . . . er . . . 'good taste.' (No offense intended, if you're a fan.)

Afterwards, happily munching greasy hamburgers wrapped in paper, we talked about the antithetical (or perhaps symbiotic?) nature of bourgeois versus bohemian values. (More accurately I went "blah blah blah" about art and Scott politely listened. Bless him.)

Then we toured a few galleries on Santa Fe. Interesting to view the contrast between "proven" works of value (formerly owned by the Kings and Queens of France) and works artists are currently aiming to sell. Verrrry verrrry interesting.