Sunday, January 30, 2011

This morning, I spent $110 on food at the grocery store.  Just for myself.  I didn't buy an exorbitant amount of food, either.  Maybe enough to get me through two weeks.  Is it any wonder why we have an obesity epidemic and diabetes cases are on the rise?  My grocery bill is that high because I put a premium on buying natural, healthy foods.  I buy 96% lean ground beef, which costs about $5.25 a pound.  I spend extra to buy chicken and eggs that come from animals who are only grain-fed, never eating animal by-products.  I spent several minutes reading the label on every package of whole wheat bread, finally buying the one with the lowest sodium content, regardless of price.  I load up on fresh vegetables and berries, never buying frozen or canned.  I do buy the occasional can of soup, but I only buy the $2 cans, never the cheap cans because I don't want to add that much sodium to my daily intake.  (Seriously, reading the sodium content on packaged foods makes my heart hurt.)

I can afford to shop this way.  I have only myself to feed and I make a pretty good salary.  But if I had a kid or two, if I made less money than I do, I would have to alter my purchases.  There are a lot of people in this country who make half what I do (or less) and have children.  Most people just can't afford to be as picky as I can and have to compromise on items with more sodium or fat or preservatives and less nutritional value.  When I was a poor secretary just out of college, I ate more than my fair share of $.08 ramen packages and cans of canned ravioli because I could only afford to spend $20 a week on food.  I can't even imagine what my diet would have looked like if I'd had to feed a kid as well.

While I'm thankful that I am lucky in this respect now, I can't help but be angered by how expensive it can be to eat well.  Healthy food should not be a luxury item.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Technically, I work for the state.  But it's not a real state agency.  And we're not like other lawyers who work for the state.  We're like the loner agency that hangs out in the corner and never talks to any of the other agencies.  We don't do the same kind of work.  We aren't bound by the same rules.  CLEs for government lawyers have nothing to offer us.  We just do our weird little work and the real state bureaucracy doesn't bother with us.  I don't fret about who will be elected governor because a change in administration won't affect us.  We aren't subject to the whims of politics.  We are supposed to be insulated from state bureaucratic nonsense.

So it really pisses me off when we get sucked into that crap.  And it might do those darn bureaucrats some good to remember that I make my living by standing up to the man, raging against the machine, questioning authority, and generally raising hell.  Causing trouble by fighting the good fight is what public defenders are best at.  That's probably why state bureaucracy usually leaves us alone.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The most exciting thing about tomorrow's (rather today's*) argument? I get to use my iPad in court! I have the two most important cases saved in my word processor so I can pull the text up. This way I don't have to waste paper by printing out the cases. Besides, I don't have a printer at home, so I would have to stop by the office before argument in the morning. Making an 8:45 docket call is tough enough without needing to stop by the office first.

So my dad can now officially feel that his extravagant Christmas present to me was worth his money. I'm not sure he would think my mastery of Angry Birds justified the expense.

*somebody really needs to make me get to bed at a reasonable hour!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The drought is (almost) over!

It has been over 2 long years since I have been able to do one of my favorite things.  It makes me feel alive, vibrant, and like the best version of myself.  It makes my spine tingle and my toes curl.  It makes me feel invincible, unstoppable, and beyond awesome.

I am talking, of course, about oral argument.  (You didn't really think I was talking about something else, did you?)  I love oral argument.  I know a lot of my colleagues don't enjoy it as much as I do; there have been a few over the years who even dreaded argument.  But not me.  I get the best rush out of those 15 minutes.  When I enter my appearance and state that I am ready for argument, I mean it.  Bring it on.  Bring on your questions, Court, because I won't hesitate to answer any of them.  I don't need notes, I don't do much prep.  I just step up to that podium and go.

Think me arrogant and cocky if you will, but I'm really pretty darn good at oral argument.  My talents have been wasting away in these off years.  I haven't been able to experience that rush, to feel the satisfaction of answering every question thrown at me, in over two long years.  I feel a bit like all of the servants in the Disney version of "Beauty and the Beast" eagerly anticipating being human again.  When I finally get to argue again after this long drought, I will be myself again. 

I've got a bottle of champagne sitting in my wine fridge, waiting for a good occasion to pop it.  Tomorrow just might be it.
I'm really pretty proud of myself for this, so  I thought I'd share.

I feel like you're not an honest-to-god, bona fide knitter until you've made a sweater.  So I guess I'm official now.  And, yes, those are turtle buttons.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Who wants to tell me what to do?

I think it is time to consider the possibility that I may be a wee bit stubborn.  Ok, a big bit stubborn.  Now, at work that may actually serve me well as I stubbornly cling to my belief that trial errors can almost never be harmless and that every defendant, no matter how icky, is entitled to a fair trial.  Being so stubborn keeps me from giving in to the process, losing hope that I can make a difference.

But in my personal life, I think my stubbornness is getting in my way.  Being too stubborn is keeping me from seeing possibilities, being open enough to new opportunities.  So I have decided I need to turn my decision-making over to someone else.  I am now taking applications for the person who will tell me how to live my life.  Your application essay should include your ideas for which decisions should and should not be covered by this agreement and a plan for eventually returning all decision-making back to me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Big day

Today is a very big day. Chiefs playoff game. Then I get to attend my first Kansas Jayhawks game away from the Kansas/Kansas City area. As soon as I saw that the Jayhawks would be playing in the town where my best friend lives, I knew I had to come up to Ann Arbor for the game. (My house is occupied in my absence, so don't view this as an invitation to rob it. My house sitter would be very upset and you would be screwing yourself out of all of the best criminal defense attorneys in the area as they would all have a conflict from being my friend.)

Oh and there's also tickling my favorite 7 year-old, watching her play Angry Birds on my iPad, and knitting her a quick Christmas present. Like I said, big, big day.

Go Chiefs! Rock chalk Jayhawk!

UPDATE: Well, things didn't go well for my Chiefs. They didn't go much better for my Jayhawks, though they did win and I met lots of fellow Hawks at the arena. But I did tickle the 7 year-old, she killed lots more pigs, and she now has 2 brand new headbands made by here Auntie Sarah. All in all, a successful day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where I've been

You might be wondering where I've been. Where are all those wonderful, ranty posts you've come to know and love? Right? (Come on, humor me a little.). Well, I'll tell you. I've been a little of everywhere.

Last night I was here:

Yes, that is 4th row behind the scorer's table at the greatest venue in all of sports. And let me tell you, those seats are incredible. You can hear the refs talking to the coaches and players. The thud made by the players as they crash to the floor is quite impressive.

So that was last night. Other evenings have been taken up with other things. Movies with friends. Dinner with J every Tuesday, then knitting club. Martinis and usually dinner every Thursday. Drinks with K or T. Basketball games with other friends. Basically, I haven't had a day free from social obligation in I don't know how long. My life has become a social whirlwind.

The thing is, though, I'm not inventing reasons to be away from home. These are all good friends. It turns out I hadn't been nurturing friendships as much as I should have been over the past few years. I had developed that comfortable relationship thing where I had friends but didn't often make time for them. So now I am building up many of those friendships that I had let languish over the years. And I've also made some new friends, something I hadn't done in years.

There is a part of me that is getting tired of rarely having a night to myself at home. Dishes and laundry aren't getting done much. And obviously blogging hasn't been a priority. But there is another part of me that is a little afraid for the merry-go-round to stop. I'm not sure that I will know what to do with myself then. When the music stops, the rest is...I don't know what.*. So for now, let the whirlwind continue. And if you're a local friend, book me in advance because my calendar has been filling up quickly.

I know some of you want to ask if I've been dating any. The simple answer is yes. But the honest answer is that I haven't found anyone worth mentioning. And I'm not willing to settle for anyone who isn't truly worthy of my time. I've wasted a lot of time on someone who wasn't and I was the one who got burned from that. So I'm not going to make that mistake again.

I do have things i want to blog about, though, don't give up on me if you come here for my insights on law, politics, or anything else. Now that I have the iPad, I can blog from wherever the mood strikes.

*points for anyone who can identify the pop culture reference

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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