Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Instant gratification

I tend to sink into malaise every time I approach a due date at work.  The more I know I need to focus on work, the easier it is for me to feel I am totally unequal to the task.  I am particularly susceptible to this malaise as this particular deadline approaches thanks to other areas of my life already leaving me feeling defeated.  Every possible milestone or positive outcome in life feels very far away right now. 

None of my cases are anywhere near resolution.  Back in the day, I would work on a case for 3 months, then move on to the next one.  And I had many, many cases at a time, so if I got sick of one, I could put it aside for a while and move on to the next.  Then when oral argument week came around, I would have at least one, and sometimes 3 or 4, cases to argue.  I loved that rush of argument week.  I love standing up in front of a court and knowing that I can answer any question thrown at me and that I can out-argue any prosecutor in my sleep.  (Ok, so that sounds cocky, but any top athlete will tell you the best have to be a little cocky.)  But now, I'm years away from actually arguing in court.  And years after that from resolution.  

The point being it's hard to feel like I'm accomplishing anything.  Work for me isn't a sprint, like it is for a lot of my colleagues.  My work is a marathon.  An ultra-marathon.  Which can make it a little hard to get motivated and head to work each day.  Because tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that, it'll still be just the same few cases staring me in the face, with no end in sight.  None of those cases are getting closed out anytime soon.

 Personal milestones are years away, too.  Just a few months ago, I thought I was going to be engaged any day and would be married within the year.  But now I feel like I'm months away from just being able to go on a date without vomiting.  I really just have no idea when I will feel like I'm getting anywhere again.  I'm not even sure where I wanting to go.

And the Royals completely suck.  There is no hope whatsoever that they will give me a whiff of the playoffs for years.  I can't pretend I have any more optimism for the Chiefs, either.  So even rooting for my sports teams feels like more of a long haul chore than something likely to yield any real gratification anytime soon.

I could really go for a little instant gratification right now.  A little case I can knock out in 3 weeks and see resolved before I'm 40.  A new friend or two to give me someone new to talk to, someone who doesn't know me in the context of my now-defunct relationship.  Just something to give me a sense of satisfaction with life that will last longer than the glow from a binge of internet shopping.

Or maybe I just need to get back to a point where I really can be happy with just a Pop Tart.  Frosted, of course.  But, oh, that is so much easier said than done.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to hit on a public defender

So, you're sitting at a bar and strike up conversation with the attractive woman sitting next to you.  (Yes, I'm calling myself attractive.  My ego is pretty bruised right now, so I get to be boastful if it makes me feel better.)

"What do you do?"  you ask.

"I'm an attorney," she responds.

"What kind of attorney?"

"Criminal defense."

"Oh," you respond with a smile, "so you're on the side of truth and justice."

Well played, sir.  

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Suggestion box

So, clearly my life is not working for me right now.  If moving were a viable option, I would.  It may yet get to a point where moving really is the only choice, but for now, I'm committed to clients and don't want to leave them.  (Not to mention the house payments and the fact that I couldn't possibly sell my house for enough to cover the costs I would incur in selling it.)

I have a big work deadline in three weeks.  Until then, I really can't do anything but work.  I have had this deadline in mind all along as the cut off for moping and the turnaround point where I really need to start working to make life an enjoyable thing again.  I have one great trip to Seattle planned in August.  If my cousin is agreeable, I may head to Denver in early September for a quick trip.  I think it may also be time for me to find another half-marathon to run.

So what say you, readers (if any of you are left)?  Where can I go?  What can I do?  Is there some crazy thing you've always wanted to try but haven't had the nerve?  Lay it on me, 'cause I've got nothing to lose.  No suggestions are too outlandish, but money is an object.  While I can afford a plane ticket or two, I'm not rolling in dough and I am making a concerted effort to be very, very smart with my money for the next year (remember my promise that my next birthday would involve something big).

Friday, July 23, 2010

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, the illustration must be a picture of me.

How many more times will I run headlong into this brick wall before I wise up?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just say Mel

 A columnist on asks will Mel Gibson's despicable behavior keep you from going to see his movies?  Well, I would certainly hope so!  Look, I don't know exactly the extent of Mel Gibson's bad behavior, but those tapes of phone conversations with his baby mama are pretty bad.  His camp isn't denying that it's him on those tapes, either.  I would assume if they were faked, his agents and lawyers would be shouting that from the rooftops.  But they're saying no comment.  And over the years, there has been enough other smoke around Mel to make it really quite believable that he is the angry, violent, abusive jerk those tapes make him appear to be.

And if they aren't fakes, then Mel Gibson is a bad, bad man.  Hurling racial epithets, freely using the ugliest word ever towards the mother of his child, informing her that she could be put in a rose garden.  And lots more.  Those words are really, truly awful and the man absolutely should be judged, and judged harshly, for uttering them.

So, yes, I would hope we would all be quite turned off and unwilling to further line his pockets with cash by going to see his movies.  Sheesh, we apparently have stopped going to Tom Cruise movies and all he's done is go a little publicly crazy with love over Joey Potter and support a really kooky (and possibly destructive) cultish "religion".  But Tom Cruise the man himself has always been a pretty good guy.  I know of two stories where he literally saved lives and one where he personally aided a car accident victim and paid that victim's hospital bills out of his own pocket, for no reason other than he was there when it happened.  If we'll withhold money from Cruise for his slightly odd behavior, I really hope we will all hardcore withhold money from an entitled jerk who will say such awful, ugly things to the mother of his child.

I should admit I have been withholding my money from Mel for more than a decade, ever since I heard him tell Jay Leno he would not "allow" his wife to see some of his movies.  So the grown adult woman who had given birth to his seven children was not allowed to decide for herself what movies she would and would not see?  And, of course, if his movies are so unacceptable for nice, wholesome, innocent women to see, then how was it acceptable to collect the paycheck that came from making those movies?

So my answer is no Mel Gibson movies for me, but that's been my answer for quite some time.  I realize I don't have to personally like actors to enjoy their movies, but that's not really all this is.  From everything I've read about these latest incidents and his earlier run-in with police, this is a racist, sexist, hateful, bigoted, angry, violent, entitled narcissist.  I'd just as soon not further inflate his ego and pad his bank account as that might well only feed back into the entitlement and the narcissism, which undoubtedly allows the other aspects of his personality to run wild.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Does anyone ever actually read party platforms? They have some fun stuff.

The Texas Republican Party has adopted as part of its platform the following:

Homosexuality – We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.  

Texas Sodomy Statutes – We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.

Oy.  So many problems with the above.  I don't understand the hatred for all things gay, and don't waste your time trying to argue with me that the paragraph about homosexuality isn't hatred.  It is and anyone who tries to say differently will have no credibility with me.

But the one that struck me was the the plank about sodomy statutes.  The Texas Republican Party evidently doesn't think that U.S. Supreme Court case law should apply in Texas.  Because SCOTUS invalidated Texas' sodomy law a few years ago in Lawrence v. Texas.  But the TRP doesn't think that case should apply in their state anymore.  They think they can demand that Congress withhold jurisdiction from federal courts on one particular type of criminal case such that they could then reinstate their beloved criminal sodomy statutes without interference with those darned, activist, liberal federal courts.  
Except there's one problem.  Even if Congress did bow to the demands of one party from one state and withhold jurisdiction from federal courts on sodomy cases, Lawrence v. Texas still exists.  And the state courts of Texas are still obligated to follow that binding case law.  So either the TRP doesn't get that federal constitutional law still applies in their state regardless of Congressional limitations on the jurisdiction of federal courts.  Or the TRP blatantly wants its state courts to disregard federal constitutional law.  Neither one makes the TRP look very good in my book.

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