Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I want

You might recall my deep and abiding love for all things infomercial.  The ultimate infomercial item, of course, is the snuggie.  Even though it's actually a rip-off of the original and superior slanket.  I'm not gonna lie; I kinda want one.  Even in summer, I tend to lie on the couch with a blanket over me.  We could get into the psychology of me needing to feel covered and unexposed or we could just go with the "I'm always cold" explanation.  It has been suggested that I should buy one like this adorable offering from Urban Outfitters.

But here is the one I really want:

It's a snuggie.  It's Royals gear.  It's a sluggie!  And it's the promotional item being given away to the first 20,000 fans at this Saturday's Royals game.  If only I hadn't sworn off going to Royals games.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Six months in a leaky boat

Six months ago today, the one person I trusted completely and thought would never hurt me ripped my world apart, with no warning and nothing approaching a satisfying explanation.  (Fair point: no explanation could be satisfying.) It seems like a good day to take stock of how I'm really doing.

Boy, would I love to be able to tell you all that I'm completely over him, totally whole and healed, and moving on to bigger and better things.  I know there are some who want only to hear that, as opposed to the negative.  But that would all be a big lie.  It is certainly true that I am not crying (much) anymore.  I'm not nearly as raw as I was even two months ago.  But I'm still a very long way away from being ok with this life change.  I still can't picture a happy ending for myself that doesn't involve him.  I still have a hard time listening to Weezer.  I still think of all the little things he should be a part of, like watching "How I Met Your Mother" on Mondays and cheering on the Chiefs on Sundays.

And it still happens that I'll just be in the middle of some chore or walking down the street or reading a book and it will hit me that he and I will never speak again.  And every time I have that thought, it feels like taking a wrecking ball to the chest.  Because it's wrong.  So very, very wrong.  I still feel to the core of my being that there is something wrong with a world in which he and I don't speak.  I feel like I've woken up in some twisted alternate reality, but that my real life is tantalizingly close.  I can feel it and sometimes, if I try, I can still hear it.  It's like Brigadoon, lost in the mist, and I just don't know the magic words to make it reappear.  It doesn't help that he is physically so close and that every foray outside brings some risk of running into him.  Which then raises the possibility of the two of us being in the same space, the same block, or even the same room, and yet not speaking, which then just reinforces for me how very wrong all of this is.

I don't think I will ever think of him with anything other than sadness and regret, because this just isn't the way things should have turned out between us.  Consequently, I don't think I'll ever be able to think of the last five years of my life as anything other than a waste.  A colossal waste.  But, hey, at least typing that didn't make me cry, so that's progress.

So that's my six month report.  Maybe in another six months, I'll actually have good news for you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hope springs eternal

Things haven't been good in Kansas City sports for quite some time.  The Royals won the World Series in 1985.  Then our manager got a brain tumor and died.  And our owners, possibly the most awesome owners in professional sports history, died.  And all hell broke lose.  We did have one bright season in 1994 when we lead the division.  But we didn't make the playoffs, now did we, because that was the stupid strike season.  So the world missed out on a Kansas City Royals - Montreal Expos World Series.  Since then, we've had one winning season.  We finished over .500 by about 4 games.  It was a fun season in 2003.  We lead the division for most of the season, but we faded in the end and missed out on the playoffs.  And it's been pretty miserable since then.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs haven't given us much more to cheer about.  They haven't been to the Super Bowl since 1970.  The last time we made the playoffs was about 3 seasons ago, and that was just sneaking in with a 9-7 record.  We didn't look very good losing in the first round.  The next two seasons were pretty bad.  We got a new GM and a new coach, but most Chiefs fans were feeling pretty discouraged after last season's fairly miserable results.

The Chiefs powers tried to tell us all that this season would be different, that we should be hopeful, have expectations.  In our draft this spring, all of our picks were captains of their college teams.  We drafted speed and quickness, qualities this team hasn't had in a few years.  Then we got to open the season at home on Monday Night Football.  We haven't seen MNF in several years.  And that opener was against our division foe, the San Diego Chargers, who have totally had our number the past few seasons.  They have definitely been the class of the division.

So cut to that Monday night 3 weeks ago.  Arrowhead was jumping and the weather was the kind of nasty storm only a midwesterner can truly appreciate.  They may have scored first, but before they knew it, our young running back had reeled off a 56 yard TD run.  Our defense had forced a fumble and returned it to the red zone, leading to a TD catch by our rookie tight end (who is looking a lot more Tony Gonzalez-like than I expected), and another rookie blew past them all for a TD punt return.  Just like that, the Chiefs were 1-0 and since all other AFC West teams lost their season openers, we were in sole possession of first place.

Then the second week, we went to Cleveland and came out on top.  2-0 and still in first place.

And yet, coming into week #3, most of the pundits thought San Francisco would come into Arrowhead today and beat us.  Because even though the 49ers were 0-2 and we were 2-0, SF was still supposed to be the better team.  Plus, San Francisco's tight end guaranteed victory.  And everybody knows that Matt Cassel isn't a real NFL quarterback.  Even the guy I chatted with on the street this morning as I walked home from the coffee shop wasn't so sure we could keep winning.  (I told him I was confident we would win today, using slightly more colorful language.)

Happily for Chiefs fans, all those naysayers don't know what they're talking about.  Because Matt Cassel threw a beautiful 45 yard bomb on a flea-flicker.  And then he threw another beauty to our rookie tight end, who made a better catch for a TD than SF's big talking tight end could have.  The only thing that kept the score from being completely embarrassing for SF was the last second TD we let them score.  So they only lost 31-10 instead of 31-3.

So now the Chiefs are 3-0 and Kansas City has a little something to be excited about for the first fall in a while.  And I will have to wear the exact same outfit for at least a 4th Chiefs game day in a row.

UPDATED: Thanks to Indianapolis, Seattle, and Arizona (with an assist from Sebastian Janikowski), the Chiefs now have a 2 game lead in the division a mere 3 games into the season.  No one but the nuttiest of uber-loyal Chiefs fans would have predicted that.

Someone should now tell Rodney Harrison that teams that start 3-0 make the playoffs over 75% of the time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Whole Truth

I am one of those lawyers who watch law shows and movies.  "My Cousin Vinny" comes on, I watch it.  I chuckle every time Tom Cruise asks Noah Wyle about eating meals at Gitmo.  "The Practice"  "Raising the Bar"  I watch them all.  (Except for "Law & Order" which I have boycotted ever since the episode when they successfully prosecuted a defense attorney for refusing to reveal client confidences.)

This new t.v. season brings us a new law show I have to check out.  (There's "The Defenders" with Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell, too.  I don't feel the need to try out any show with Jim Belushi.)  The show I have to try is "The Whole Truth".  (It doesn't hurt that Rob Morrow is in it as "Northern Exposure" is one of my favorites ever.)

The premise is that we watch the run-up to a trial and then the trial through the jury verdict.  Then, we the audience, learn the whole truth.  The way it's been described, I get the idea that the last scene in every episode is of the actual crime, so we definitively learn whether the defendant is guilty or innocent.  What I'm interested to see is how often the show's "whole truth" actually completely follows either the defense or prosecution trial presentation.  In reality, the truth is more often than not somewhere between the two sides.  There are certainly some cases where the defendant wasn't the robber or killer.  Those cases should be clear enough.  But there are lots of cases where something happened between the defendant and the victim and neither side is totally right.  I'm also curious to see how often they will have an innocent person be convicted or a guilty person go free.  Or, of course, how often a guilty guy gets convicted or an innocent one gets acquitted.  In short, I'm curious to see how accurate and nuanced the show is.

One step closer to banning the Florida gay adoption ban

As you might have guessed based on my history of objecting to don't ask, don't tell, yesterday's shenanigans in the Senate disappointed and angered me.  I think both sides have to accept some blame for refusing to allow repeal of DADT to come up to a vote.  The police is discrimination, pure and simple, on par with racial segregation.  There is no excuse for continuing to allow this to be the law of the land.  So, yes, I was pretty disheartened yesterday.  (Oh, and I "lost" a Facebook friend over my statement that anyone who opposes immediate repeal of the policy should be ashamed.  Seems like a friend I didn't really need.)

I have reached a point of utter disgust with all policies that treat gays and lesbians differently.  More importantly, I'm disgusted by the prevalent notion that it's ok to have policies that treat gays and lesbians differently.  There is just no rational basis for thinking that being gay is weird or wrong or immoral.  There is no rational basis for thinking that "they" shouldn't get to live by the same rules as "us".  There is no rational basis for thinking there's a "them" and an "us".

But today brings good news.  Today, a Florida appellate court found that state's atrocious ban on gay adoptions to be unconstitutional.  I would like to offer a Godless Huzzah to Frank Martin Gill, his longtime partner, and the two lucky boys who (I hope) don't remember any other family and who have flourished since being in Gill's custody.  I'm sure they didn't need appellate court judges to tell them they're a family, but what a relief it must be to have those judges affirm they're a family unit that will be legally recognized as such.

There seems to be a thought in Florida that the state Supreme Court ultimately needs to rule on this to make it official, but from this article, it appears that no relevant state officials really want the ban to survive.  As they shouldn't because there is no reason whatsoever to prohibit gays and lesbians from adopting.

UPDATE: Gov. Crist has just announced that the state will stop enforcing the ban.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Maddie the Mouser (Wanna-be)

My name is Maddie.  I am the fiercest mouser in all the land.  I remain vigilant all day and all night, guarding my house against those icky things that my mommy hates.  My job would be made considerably easier if mommy would remove the gate barring me from getting to the kitchen, where the mice love to play.  Mommy says it's to keep my paws and nose safe from mouse traps.  I do not think she respects my toughness.  If she would let me into that kitchen, I wouldn't get hurt and I would put an end to this mouse invasion right quick.  I am Mommy's most valuable weapon against the mice and she is wasting my talents.

At least, I think that's what Maddie would write if she could be taught to type.  But let me tell you.  My dog is adorable, loving, energetic, and full of infectious fun.  But a mouse hunter, she is not.  She's terrible at it.  Awful.  Truly, she is the world's worst mouse hunter.  Last Saturday, I watched a mouse run along the baseboard in the living room before ducking under the wall.  About a minute later, Maddie perked up and started looking for the mouse.  I have discovered kibble stashed under the couch in a spot that Maddie clearly could not have reached.  So, evidently, under her watch, mice have been able to steal food right out of her bowl without consequence.  Maddie is very sweet and well-intentioned and her eagerness to find mice is pretty freaking cute.  But she's dumb, oblivious, and slow.  And even if she ever did catch a mouse, I don't think she would know what to do with it anyway.

So, Maddie dear, sit vigilantly at the gate and watch for mice all you want, but when it comes to catching the little buggers and getting them out of my house, I think I will stick with traps.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I think it's fairly obvious to all that I've been in quite a funk since the end of March.  There have definitely been days, nights, weekends when the funk could only properly be called depression.  I haven't always eaten very well or kept the fridge stocked with edible items.  (Upside: I've lost 17 pounds!)  I haven't been so good at washing the dishes or doing laundry.  (Upside: my compulsive purchasing of underwear, pajamas, and jeans is finally paying off because I can get away with not doing laundry for weeks.)  And then there's that academic project I do every April.  This year was definitely my best effort at that project.  I got it done, but it wasn't great.  In general, I've put a pretty damn half-hearted effort into life in 2010.

But I've never put anything less than full effort into my cases, into defending my clients.  Nothing makes me angrier than seeing defense attorneys skip steps, take short-cuts, not cover all the bases.  I know public defenders are over-worked and appointed attorneys are underpaid.  But that's not the clients' faults.  If you can't follow all the steps, review all the material you should, then don't accept the case.  There are no excuses for not giving every case your all.  It's just laziness.  Or arrogance.  Either way, it's unacceptable.  Courts and prosecutors are far too willing to overlook things in pushing our clients' cases through without our help.

If you ever see me not bothering to review every piece of a case, that's when you should truly worry about me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This afternoon, the Royals hosted the Oakland A's.  And tonight, the Chiefs are hosting Monday Night Football to kick off what I have to believe will be a better season than last.

I really wish I were at the Truman Sports Complex today.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Well, duh!

A federal judge says "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is unconstitutional.  Well, duh!  Interestingly, according to this MSNBC story, the ruling is based on the First Amendment.  That's one way to get there, but it seems like the most obvious route is through the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  I'm curious to find the actual decision and read it.

Regardless of how you get there, it seems clear to me that DADT violates about 17 constitutional principles, so I really don't care which one any particular judge relies on.  The sooner we can get this awful, repugnant, discriminatory policy off the books, the better.  How we get there is, frankly, irrelevant to me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Things that are unfortunate

1) No one told me gmail has an "undo send" feature.  I could have used that knowledge.

2) Now that I have lost my opera date, my favorite opera is coming to town.  I don't mind going to a movie by myself, but going to the opera should be a night out.  It should involve suiting-up.  And it really should involve a romantic escort.

3) Venus Williams' tennis dress.  I mean, I kinda like it (more so in black than in the pink), but it seems ridiculously awful to play in.  It rolls up on every play, requiring her to adjust it constantly.  I hate running or playing tennis in clothing that doesn't cooperate.  I would like to think if I were a world-class athlete at the pinnacle of my sport, I would have clothing options that were lower-maintenance.

4) Mouse traps that succeed in trapping a mouse, but fail to kill the mouse.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I hope you all don't mind that I enjoyed my much-needed vacation too much to check in.  I visited the Washington Supreme Court's "Temple of Justice".  I have to say the actual courtroom was not impressive.  Shockingly small with very little room for an audience.  But the pink ceiling in the foyer was cool.  I rubbed George Washington's nose in the capitol.  Judging by the shine on his nose, I was not the first.  I relaxed at a Korean spa.  I saw the best Crowded House concert I've ever seen.  I went to a Mariner's game, once again deciding that the new style of downtown baseball park just can't match up to the K, which was built in 1973.  I wandered around the Pike Place Market and saw lots of other parts of Seattle.  I flew right past a mountain.  Mt. Rainier is so tall that as we ascended through the cloud cover, we could still see the peak when we got over the clouds.

All in all, I had a lovely, low-key, no-pressure vacation.

But even before the wheels of the plane landed yesterday, that old familiar knot was back, right in the middle of my chest.  By the time I left the airport, I was already crabby, unhappy, and ticked off.  It's time to face the fact that I just flat hate living here now.  Hate it.  Which makes me both incredibly sad and incredibly angry.  Because I used to love this town.  I thought it was pefect.  Just the right size, college town, big city nearby, all my sports teams.  I thought I never wanted to live anywhere else.  But I just don't think I can stay here.  Now I hate to go out because I always fear that I will run into him, out having fun living a life that he's not willing to share with me.  And in the course of 4 plus years, there aren't many places around here we didn't go to together, so memories are everywhere.  Then there's the fact that my social circle has pretty much disintegrated as a result of this. 

Moving isn't a great option, either, though.  I can't afford to sell my house (nor do I want to).  A legal career isn't exactly the most portable career.  A lot of states would still require me to take a bar exam and those that don't still require a big, long hassle of an application and an ethics test.  All of it is such a logistical nightmare, it's hard for me even to think about it.  But it's got to be preferable to continuing here.
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