Legal Quandary

Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Night Videos

EC was in a play tonight, so that more or less took up my evening.

Instead of the normal video, please, um, enjoy this fine selection.

I don't know exactly how it relates to the law - other than quite possibly being some kind of a crime against humanity.

Here's a one word hint: Hasselhoff

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Quiz Time Again!

People Envy Your Energy

You've got the drive and determination to keep your life in order, and you are on track to be a huge success.
People tend to envy all you've got in life, but they don't understand the work that goes behind it!
What Do People Envy About You?

I suppose this is accurate - I often get comments to the effect of "I don't know how you do it all."

Most of the time I feel like the answer to that is "Badly. I do it all badly."

But hey, it does get done (usually...eventually) - and that's gotta count for something, right?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Thin(ish) Mints

I have been a cooking and baking fool lately.

As I mentioned, Mr. Q's sister was here on Spring Break last week. Although I have given up on trying to clean the house for visitors, I somehow still feel compelled to cook for them. A small sampling of what we've been eating in the Quandary house…

Wednesday - Homemade Chicken Alphabet soup (quite possibly my best batch ever)
Thursday - Pork Tenderloin Medallions w/ homemade Spaetzle (German Egg Noodles) and asparagus
Friday - Brunch: Crepes filled with Strawberries and Raspberries and Vanilla Cream. Dinner: Salsa Bean Soup (also homemade, but frozen)
Saturday - French Onion soup. Made from scratch that morning. Popular restaurant adaptations to the contrary, French Onion Soup is NOT just a salty beef broth with some onions thrown in. I serve it with homemade croutons - and topped with lots of Jarlsberg cheese. Paired with a super fantabulous salad topped with a variety of vegetables and glazed walnuts.
Sunday - I was lazy about the main course, but made crepes again for dessert.

Sunday was also baking day. EC is in a play this coming Friday and Saturday. Stupid law school gets in the way of me volunteering for anything else, so I said I'd bring treats to be sold at intermission. (Does anyone else remember the days when everyone would just bring stuff to share and it wasn't all about trying to make money off the kids???)

I made about 4 dozen oatmeal raisin cookies and another 6 dozen oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for the play. The frozen and pre-formed dough is now safely stored away in the freezer waiting to be baked up fresh on the day of each performance.

I also experimented with some homemade Thin Mints. I love Thin Mints. I hate that they're 1) only available for a limited time every year, 2) chock full of trans fat, and 3) on the expensive side. And yes, I know that Keebler Grasshopper cookies are an acceptable substitute. But see point 2 above. Plus, I wanted to see if I could make them myself - so I found myself a recipe on the internet and gave it a shot.

The verdict? Not bad. I modified the recipe slightly in that I used regular grocery store ingredients instead of the all natural, organic stuff. So regular powdered sugar, Hershey's cocoa, regular unsalted butter, and Nestle Toll House chocolate chips. I had to venture to Whole Foods for the Peppermint Extract, but there was just no way I was going to use $8/box Droste cocoa in experimental cookies. I did use the whole wheat pastry flour - I happened to have it in the house - but substituted about half of it with all purpose flour and will probably ditch the whole wheat in future attempts. It's just too gritty.

Rolling the dough out thin while it was warm and then freezing it seemed to work well - instead of the opposite way she suggested. The bonus to this I could get the dough pretty thin (though too thin isn't good either - the cookies will crumble during the dipping process), and then the cut cookies are easier to handle when they're semi-solid. It worked so well that I'll probably adopt this method for regular sugar cookies too.

Dipping the cookies was probably the hardest - and definitely the messiest part. I'm going to have to experiment with either a different (read - more expensive) type of chocolate or with a way to keep it warmer throughout the dipping process. Other than adding a few teaspoons of shortening, I don't know how else to make it thinner, but so it will still set when cool. (But see point 2 again.) After playing with it for awhile, I came up with a technique where I scraped most of the chocolate off the top and bottom, and then bounced the cookies on a fork so most of the chocolate ran off the sides. Even so, some of the cookies were a little funky looking.

End result - pretty good, but I'll continue to tweak. I thought they were much better after they'd had a day or two in the freezer to cure. (They looked better once they were off the baking sheet too.) Mr. Q said he had a hard time not eating the whole tray of them when he was "cleaning up" the broken ones.
So the Girl Scouts' sales are safe. For now.

Translation Please

Can anyone else understand this paragraph? I admit mystification on my part.

"At this writing, because discarded tires have a negative value, the tires' "owner" has to pay someone to haul them away. An inventor may develop a profitable way to make computer gizzards out of old tires, transmogrifying thousands of tire dumps from fire hazards into goldmines. But don't hold your breath."*

I think what they're saying is that in the future someone might come up with a higher use for old tires so that they're seen as an asset rather than a liability.

But computer gizzards? Why would a computer need digestive organs? I'm so confused.

* My Remedies book, in case you're wondering.

Look! I'm Unique....Just Like Everyone Else.

Your Quirk Factor: 52%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.
Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!
How Quirky Are You?

Though I have yet to meet anyone else who puts olives in Pepsi - one of my quirkier quirks.

Why Is Being A Parent More Fun Than Being A Litigator?

Because you can ask leading questions on direct AND double-team the witness.

In other news - EC is a horrible liar.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Little PSA For You Boys

Yup, we're heading toward the end of the academic year. Finally. This means that there's all kinds of Advocacy competitions going on. And job interviews. Consequently, people are showing up at school in suits.

Last year, I mentioned that for you ladies, wearing fishnets with your business suit is probably not the most intelligent fashion choice. Never let it be said that LQ doesn't give equal time to the gentlemen.

Boys - Fix your ties!

Seriously - about half of you are walking around with ties that are either too long or too short. Haven't any of you heard about the belt buckle rule? Don't any of you have mothers? Wives? Girlfriends? Female friends?

Look, I will be the first to tell you that I am far from a fashion maven. For 7 years, I wore a uniform to work. I wear jeans to school 95% of the time, BUT when the occasion calls for it, I clean up well and know the general rules for wearing business attire. If you are in law school and are in any way unsure about what clothing is appropriate, or how to wear the appropriate clothing, do yourself a favor and look it up now. As unfair as it is, how you dress affects your credibility.

As an Anonymous commenter points out:
Yes, some of the photos are awful and a bit dated. I was basing the link more on the information and not the photos and I LOOKED for other ones with the same info but better pix without success. However - if anyone knows of any sites WITH good photos, I'll be happy to post them.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Night Videos - The Revival

I've been remiss for the past couple of weeks. One I would have to call an excused absence due to a death in the family. Last week I just forgot.

Anyway, without further ado, what have we got here tonight?

Video: 18 & Life
by deadhead

Well, for starters, there's the possibility of child abuse - it's unclear what the exact situation is and whether the father acted in self defense, but throwing your 18 year old child through a glass door could constitute child abuse depending on the jurisdiction. At the very least it looks like there's a history of domestic violence in this family. Was CPS ever called? Were any services provided? And one has to wonder - where is the mother in this family?

Aside from the initial family law issues, it seems as if Ricky has gotten himself mixed up in the wrong crowd and has violated several sections of the criminal code in most jurisdictions. Assuming Ricky is a US citizen and is indeed only 18, it would appear there's some underage drinking going on. Definitely some arson and vandalism. Also, what looks like breaking and entering, theft or at least conversion, as well as carrying a concealed weapon, presumably without a permit - all topped off by a little manslaughter, since it appears that his act was not planned in advance.

Now, given young Ricky's tumultuous home life, one has to wonder whether his attorney brought it up for purposes of mitigation - if not, he may be able to argue ineffective assistance of counsel on appeal. At the very least, the fact that Ricky was 18 and received a life sentence raises some questions about access to justice in our current criminal justice system.

Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

Seven Corners.

Unfortunately, most of the places I like to shop are on the other side one of the other sides of this intersection.

What a cluster.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This Town Bed Ain't Big Enough for the 2 3 4 of Us

Mr. Q's sister is visiting. Yay! We only have a 3 bedroom house. Boo!

We tried to convince Lil Q last night that sleeping in the papasan chair downstairs was both "fun" and "normal," but she was having none of it, and wound up in our bed around 2 am. Just in time to kick me for a couple of hours before it was time to get up.

For all you folks getting married, living together, or whatever, may I suggest that a Queen sized bed is *not* large enough for 2 adults, a rambunctious 3 year old, and an overly affectionate cat.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

If You Want to Destroy My Sweater

...hold this thread while I walk away.

I really wish you wouldn't though , because my Oma knitted it for me. By hand. She made socks to match, but I never wear those - they make my feet itch.

Wasn't she the coolest?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Cell Phone!

Our old cell phone died last week. May it rest in peace. I thought about posting it when it happened, but wanted to dissociate myself from the whole "Angel of Death" image. Also, in light of the past 8 months, a dead cell phone seemed pretty minor.

Mr. Q and I shared the old phone, and whoever was traveling took it with them so that we could always have a way to contact one another. This worked fine because his last couple of jobs have been in locations where there's no cell service anyway - so it totally made sense for me to be the one the schools call in case one of the kids is sick, etc. Of course, Mr. Q had HIS voice message on there, so about half the time people wouldn't leave ME messages because they were confused as to why this guy was answering my phone. I meant to get around to changing that...

I'd had some suspicions that the phone was on its last legs for quite a while. The reception has been spotty for a while. Then the battery life started to go. Toward the very end, it was hard to even get calls to go through. I noticed this last part on my most recent trip to Indiana where I could only talk if I stood in exactly the right part of the building - and usually with the phone pressed up against the nearest window. Mr. Q didn’t really believe me until he started out on his drive to find our next house last Thursday and there was nothing. No battery life. No reception. Nada. Zip.

So, he stopped on his way out of town and bought a new phone to replace the dead one - PLUS a second phone for me so we could both have one! (And join the 21st century.)

Our old phone included a camera, but we never used it after the first month b/c the pictures were pretty low quality and expensive to send. The new phone is pretty simple, but I like it anyway. A couple of nifty new ringtones, text messaging, and speakerphone capability. Really all I need.

So if you've got my old cell number, email me and I'll give you the new one. Unless you want to talk to Mr. Q.

For the record, he's a lot nicer than I am.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dear Lost People -

I guess I strike you as approachable, and I'm flattered - truly - that you think I project an aura of knowing where I'm going.

But you have no idea.

I give the worst directions on the planet. (Ask my friends.) I rarely take the most direct route to get anywhere. I have an amazing ability to get lost. I also have absolutely NO CONCEPT of East, West, North & South. Seriously - you may as well be speaking a foreign language. Sometimes when I really need to get someplace, I think about what direction I THINK I need to go - and then go the opposite direction because I KNOW I have a lousy sense of direction. Unless I'm in a mall - for some reason there, I instinctively know how to get exactly where I want to go. Which isn't especially useful, since I hate to shop.

So, when you see me walking my child to daycare, waiting at an intersection for the light to change, or riding on the Metro, take note. I am not driving. This might be a pretty good clue that I have no idea how to get where I'm going. Well, that and the blank stare you'll get when you ask for directions anyway.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I Blame Ferris Bueller

...for my potty mouth.

Here I thought I'd share a movie from my younger years with my kids.

And you know what?

It's not so much a family movie.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Turns Out that Mild Depression is a Lot Like A Panic Attack

Have you ever had days where you felt like you could happily sleep another 14 hours or so? Or failing that, that the best course of action might just be to sit in your closet and down a whole box of Thin Mints?

No? Right. Me neither.

But if you did, hypothetically, what might you do to bring yourself out of it?

Ok - maybe I'm not really as crazy as that, but I have been feeling pretty blue the last couple of days. And I'm good with that. (Aside from the feeling blue part - but what I'm trying to say is that I feel like I'm entitled to some feelings of sadness.) The problem is that "blue" for me translates into "bone weary." Someone once told me that I had an infinite capacity for sleep. Of course - he only knew me during the time I was considering dissolving my first marriage so, again, I was a little down in the dumps. And I just don't have time for that right now.

I also find I don't fall asleep until a couple of hours after I go to bed. This tends to compound the whole sleep deprived thing and (what fun!) makes me anxious. And then I start thinking about how I sounded like an idiot when I got called on, not once, but TWICE today in class. (BTW Professor, for future reference, I tend to look at you when you ask a question to be polite - not because I want to answer your question.) Or how I wonder whether I'll hate all my coworkers when I do finally graduate, since I find at least some of my classmates to be overpriviledged, insufferable, and somewhat pretentious jerks. Clearly, there are exceptions, but I AM truly surprised (though perhaps I shouldn't be) at the number of utter jackasses who come to lawschool. What if I gave up a career I loved in order to work with people I'll hate???

6 cups of coffee this morning also probably didn't help matters.

So, seriously, what would you do? Other than take 2 Paxil and call me in the morning.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

No, But I Play One on TV

I went to Starbucks this morning for my Wednesday mocha. I've been ordering the exact same thing for a couple of years now, so I just rattled off what I wanted.

The barrista stopped, looked at me closely, and asked "Are you a partner?"

(Translation: Do you work at Starbucks?)

After I said no, she told me that I called the drink so well she thought I must have worked there.

Good to know that there's always the possibility of employment at Starbucks. (Don't think I haven't considered it - discounts on merchandise, more stock, learning how I'm really supposed to be making espresso drinks.)

Of course, I'm pretty sure most law school soon-to-be-graduates could pick up on how to call a drink after a day an hour or two of paying close attention. I mean, many of us pick up the law by surfing the web in class and studying someone else's outline for a couple of days before the final. The social skills part might be a challenge though...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Not Six!!! I Said Seven!

I am NOT 7-Up! Does anyone even drink that anymore? I mean, other than to mix with their otherwise nasty Seagram's 7 in order to turn in into a still vile concoction???

I am PEPSI, damnit! PEPSI. Now get it right! I even manipulated my answers and STILL couldn't get to Pepsi.

You Are 7 Up

Understated and subtle, people warm up to you slowly.
But once they're hooked, they can't imagine going back to anyone else!

Your best soda match: Diet Coke

Stay away from: Mountain Dew
What Kind of Soda Are You?

See The Little Child

The one who was told "no bath tonight."

See how she has filled a sink with water and climbed in. And how she's using the handsoap to wash herself.

Note the placement of the file box on top of her footstool.

What you cannot see is the obvious glee she derives from doing exactly as she damned well pleases.

You also can't see that she has a remarkably hairy back. You can't see it because 1) she wouldn't sit still long enough for me to photograph it, and 2) Mr. Q explicitly forbade me from posting any images of of it.

Dear Board of Bar Examiners,

You obviously think it's darned important that we "print or type" our bar applications "carefully" because "it must be legible." In light of this, don't you think you could facilitate the whole typing thing by making the form fillable as opposed to just viewable in Acrobat?

Just trying to help.



Monday, March 13, 2006

Fun Funeral Facts*

I've come to the conclusion that I am just bad at attending funerals.

I think there are several reasons for this. First, I'm not especially outgoing to begin with - especially in groups. Second, it's been a long time since I've been around this many of my relatives at one time. Third, I think it's really strange that somehow I've become my dad's representative at these things. As anti-social as he was in general, he LOVED family gatherings. Well, to be accurate, he loved HIS family gatherings - my mom's family gatherings drove him completely nuts. BUT he had traced our family history back to the late 1600's, and LOVED telling family history stories. He also had the advantage of having actually known some of our more colorful family members. With the exception of my aunt & uncle, the rest of the family always seemed to enjoy his stories. I can't offer that.

But the main reason I hate going to funerals is that people aren't satisfied with just expressing their sympathy, but feel it necessary to add things like "She's in a better place," "He's not suffering anymore," or some similar platitude. No one would ever claim that my father or either of my grandmothers were "purely" good. Something I love and respect about all of them (now), since they were all deliciously human in that regard. All of them had strong personalities - sometimes to the point of being abrasive. In light of that, I guess I come by it honestly.

Part of me wants to capitalize on common conceptions of heaven and hell (ie - if you're bad, you're going to hell, if not, you're going to heaven - and even if you were mostly good, you've probably got a thing or two to atone for), and respond accordingly. There were at least a couple of times when someone told me "She's in a better place now," where I was sorely tempted to respond, "Not according to my calculations." Although, at least with my grandmother, you could make the argument that her Alzheimers WAS her hell, and any of her sins have been more than atoned for through her illness. Bottom line is that I didn't say anything to that effect, since I know people don't really know what to say, but think they should probably say something. And most of them are genuinely nice people who are just trying to comfort the family.

But my uneasiness with the whole funeral thing means I tend to either stand in the corner by myself or hang out with the morticians. I mentioned to one of them that I'd recently had the opportunity to see a funeral in Germany, and that it was very different. So, we sort of traded notes, and I got to ask him a bunch of questions. Those of you who've been reading for awhile will recall that interviewed the last Indiana funeral director about how one becomes a mortician.

Things I learned at my Grandma's funeral:

- The U.S. is the outlier as far as funeral practices. My personal theory is that Americans are pretty freaked out by death, and that's why we're willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for a box to protect our (dead) bodies from the elements and then seal them up in a concrete vault. Though I know at least some of that is due to environmental concerns, most countries are a lot simpler, with either direct cremation (Japan), or the proverbial wooden box (most of Europe). Other countries tend to have some variation of those two, and in at least one culture, the tradition is to place the body in the coffin and fill the rest with sand, which would solve the problem of the earth shifting as things decompose. (When we spoke with the stonemason in Germany, he assured us that most German coffins (they're only called that if they are octagonal - otherwise they're caskets) are designed to deteriorate and cave-in within 8-15 years. Which means that the stonework will inevitably have to be redone at some point.)
- Though a lot of the initial research into "modern" embalming was performed in Europe, for the most part, Europeans don't embalm.
- The ancient Egyptian embalming process is not the same as what we use here. There were also different "grades" of embalming depending on what station you held in life. According to the mortician, the high grade preservation process took up to a year to complete, and involved the various organs being removed and placed into 4 separate urns for what amounts to brining. The body was also basically brined, but we didn't get into how exactly that was accomplished. I'm sure it's on the internet somewhere. (It is - the body was packed in a local salt called Natrol.) Once the body was completely cured, the organs were replaced. The urns were then left in the tomb near the mummified body. (I haven't been able to find anything to corroborate this version - most of what I've found suggests that the organs were left in the urns - called canopic jars - and then just placed in the tomb.)
- Americans started embalming their dead in the Civil War. It was the first time people really went away from home and died, and so they had to figure out a way to preserve the bodies long enough to get them home for burial.
- There are LOTS of different types of embalming fluid. Mainly because certain medical conditions and medications can interact with the "standard" embalming fluid. If a body comes in, say, jaundiced, and they use the wrong fluid, it can tint the body green. Once that happens, all you can do is cover it with make-up.
- A typical embalming is a "one-pointer." A needle is inserted into the carotid artery and a mechanical pump is used to force it through the body. Fluid goes in & blood comes out the jugular. Apparently at that point it is safe to just let the blood run down the drain. If there are blood clots or other reasons the blood can' flow unrestricted, they may need to make more than one injection.

* This post and the one before last brought to you by the letter "F"

Sunday, March 12, 2006

So Far Behind

In all my reading, and yet I just can't bring myself to even start my Tax reading.

Good thing I don't have Tax until Thursday - thanks to a bizarre administrative adjustment in our schedule. Maybe I'll be more motivated tomorrow.


Fort Wayne Fat Fest

I think I've mentioned before that I am forever in search of a great hamburger. It's something I make it a point to ask people when I visit a new town. The visit to Fort Wayne was no exception. I usually try to ask the question in general terms first. For example, "where do you go for a good meal in town?" This allows me to disqualify anyone who tells me that Olive Garden is a great place to get Italian food. (With double disqualification for pronouncing it "Eye" talian.)

Although I've had some pretty good burgers in Fort Wayne, I still don't think I've found the "great burger" yet. I wrote last summer of my somewhat disappointing experience with Azar's - though someone assured me there's another location that's much better. I had a decent burger at Don Hall's Factory Tuesday night, but I don't know if I'd count it among the "great" burgers. I also had the opportunity to try a burger at Atz's Wednesday night, but opted for the chicken strips instead. (A mistake, but 3 burgers in 24 hours is too much red meat even for this corn-fed white woman.) I must say that Atz's fries were awesome and the chocolate shake was an amazing way to round off that particular little coronary waiting to happen. I think Atz's has been in town forever. My Aunt Linda even worked there in high school.

I have to say that I've been pleasantly surprised by my other food discoveries during the last couple of trips. Even though I've been visiting Fort Wayne all my life, I managed to miss most of the local favorite restaurants. Most trips involved a trip to Don Hall's Triangle Park, because it was my grandma's favorite restaurant, but that was about it.

When I was back in December, I heard about DeBrand for the very first time. Yeah, technically not a restaurant, but a chocolate shop/café. I have no idea how a chocolate freak like me could have missed this place. Apparently my whole family must have been somehow ignorant, because when I chastised my aunt for this little sin of omission the other day, she had no idea what I was talking about. I highly recommend the coconut truffles.

Every trip involves at least one obligatory visit to Cebolla's for Mexican food. My Brother in Law heckled me about it a little the first time I mentioned we were going there. BUT - my uncle who was born in Mexico City seems to like it, so I'll take his word for its authenticity. I do know that the servers all speak Spanish. And this Gringa thinks the food is pretty darned good. I recommend the tacos. I like the Fernhill and Jefferson locations better than the one on Dupont, but I couldn't tell you exactly why.

So, I asked the guy at the Starbucks stand at Target where to get a good burger. His answer: Powers and the Lunchbox Cafe. I'd never been to either. Aunt Linda made sure we partially remedied that on the way to the airport.

Actually, we met up with several other family members at Coney Island first. Apparently, it's a tradition that whenever Uncle Kenny comes to town, they all eat there. Somehow I'd never been included in that little tradition, but whatever. The hot dogs were yummy, and I'll definitely be taking my kids there in the future, but it wasn't exactly what I had been expecting. (For those of you who've had a Five Guys dog, that's what I thought they would be.) Not even close, but still good. But Linda brought up the fact that I had never been to Powers, so we all limited ourselves to one dog and then moved on to Powers.

I was forewarned that neither Coney Island nor Powers were fancy places - and they weren't. Coney Island tended to be a little cleaner (though it was kind of odd that you could walk through the kitchen/dishwashing area to get inside from the parking lot.) Powers only had a couple of tables, with most of the seating at the counter where you could watch the burgers being made. Aunt Linda described it best when she said they were basically burgers with meat so thin you could see through it, topped with LOTS of onions, and served on a dinner roll. She also said they had great pie and cake, so we all ordered some (I had cherry pie - they had cake.) I have to disagree with her on that point, but all in all, a pretty satisfying experience. I'll be taking the kids there sometime too.

Oh - and grand total for 5 people at Coney Island and Powers - $26.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Indiana On My Mind

I'm back - just in time to take the MPRE tomorrow morning. Yippee.

Some random observations from this trip:

Indiana has one of the worst systems for renewing your driver's license and license plates. I spent 2 HOURS sitting in the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office Tuesday afternoon waiting to transfer title and get new plates for my dad's car. When we lived in TVPNM, I never spent more than 15 minutes in the DMV office. Any city/state that can bicker about a monorail for years, fund it, and then ultimately shoot it down after spending a boatload of money is not a model of efficiency. A note to Governor Mitch Daniels - if Washington State can figure out a way to make vehicle registration and titling run efficiently, Indiana should be able to do it. Also - removing both the clocks and the number system is a dirty trick. Don't think people don't notice.

I come from short people. I have no idea where my height comes from, but I TOWER over the rest of my family. It's so weird. In my grandparent's wedding photo, the two of them were very petite - and the maid of honor and best man towered over them.

My grandfather was a fabulous photographer. We have a filing cabinet full of portraits and wedding photos he shot - though most people knew him only as the Sports Editor for one of the newspapers in town. As we were preparing for the visitation the other day, we dug out lots of photos of the family and of my grandmother - including one really racy one where she was dressed (as far as we could see - it was a head and shoulders shot) only in pearls. When you consider that my grandparents were married in 1938, I'm sure that photo was absolutely scandalous at the time.

It was strange sitting in church for the funeral. It's an old German Lutheran church. The same baptismal font I was baptized in was sitting at the front of the church. All the inscription was in German, but I was too far away to be able to read it. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with sin. There are statues of Jesus and 4 saints (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) at the front of the church. Their names are all in German too. (Mathaus, Marcus, Lucas & Johannes). How did they choose which 4 got to be up there with Jesus? (Yeah...I'm an idiot and a bad Catholic. Those are the books of the Gospel.) My aunt was married in that church, and I remember spending a lot of time looking at those saints during the ceremony. It was a really long ceremony. My grandfather's funeral was there, and I probably looked at the saints then too.

When my aunt & uncle went in to make the arrangements for my grandmother's service, the pastor pulled my her membership card. There was a record of her church attendance and communion dating back to 1963. How's that for a permanent record? She joined that church in 1941, so I have to wonder where the first 22 years are recorded.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Angel of Death, Part 2

My Grandma died about an hour ago.

I May Look Like a Normal Person

Legal Disclaimer for Anyone over 60 Who Knows Me: I cannot guarantee your safety or health. If you choose to associate with me, please be aware that you do so entirely at your own risk.

I'm starting to believe that it's quite possible that I am the Angel of Death.

B called me this morning to tell me his dad just passed away. He'd had a heart attack last weekend and was in the hospital. I knew things were pretty serious, but the last time B & I spoke (Thursday), his dad was off the ventilator and the docs were trying to wean him off of the sedatives. Apparently things took a turn for the worse and he went into kidney failure yesterday.

B's parents were always really good to me. They were also the type of older married couple who couldn't keep their hands off one another. You know - the kind who as a kid, made you really uncomfortable because you didn't want to think about them "doing it", but secretly you sort of hoped that you'd be just like them when you got older. They were so cool, that after we broke up, I think I missed them more than I did B. I even went to visit them when I was in Omaha last year.

Please send your thoughts and prayers for B and his mom. They're both devastated.

Dear Lady in the Pew Behind Us,

That sure is a groovy little disco ringtone you have on your cellphone. I only know because it rang 3 times during Mass.

The truly amazing thing is that not only did you not turn off the ringer after the first time it rang (as people who wish to be polite would do), but that you also answered it twice. During the consecration of the Eucharist, no less!

I saw you go up for Communion, so I know you're Catholic. As a Catholic, you should definitely know better. And if not, the glares you got from everyone around you probably should have clued you in.

Since you appear to need things laid out in no uncertain terms, here it is. Turn your cellphone off in church! You'd do it in a college lecture, a concert, a library, or any other environment where the ringing and ensuing talking might disturb other people. Why not offer God and your fellow parisioners the same respect?

Peace be with you,


Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday Night Videos

There's so much going on in this video, it could be a Bar Exam question. Let's just hit the highpoints, shall we?

Just watching once, some possible issues: prostitution, threats of bodily harm, failure to come to the assistance of an injured person (assuming said threats were carried through on), kidnapping and/or false imprisonment, illegal contracts and/or fraud. And Axl Rose's hair - which I sort of think is multiple torts in itself.


Coming From the Land Down Under

Mr. Q sent me an email to say he's on his way home. Yay!

Thanks to the time difference and travel time, I can truthfully say he left tomorrow.


I Can't Care

Lil Q is still learning the quirks of the English language, and sometimes gets a little confused about certain phrases. One of the things she mixes up pretty consistently is "don't" and "can't." As a result, she'll often inform us that she "can't" like something. This morning, for example, she informed us that we needed to buy some pink paint for the house because she can't like white walls.

Maybe she's onto something. Maybe she's just really making a firm statement of her opinions and indicating that white walls are somehow SO offensive that not only DOESN'T she like them, she just CAN'T like them.

I can sort of identify because right now, not only DON'T I care, I just CAN'T care. Instead of doing all the law school related work I should be catching up on, I scan the web for things that amuse me. Or work on little projects to close out my dad's estate - which are important, but are not going to help me get caught up on everything I missed during my trip to Germany earlier in the semester. I even went out to lunch in Chinatown the other day. The lengths I'll go to just to avoid Federal Income Tax reading/outlining and writing a paper…. (Apparently the only thing I won't do to avoid homework is clean the house.) To give myself a little credit, I HAVE been good about studying for the MPRE, but that's only because I am mentally ill and think the practice tests are kind of fun.

On the other hand, part of me feels like this is a well deserved break. That my week off in Germany was not exactly relaxing. Sometimes I feel like I don't cut myself any slack for the challenges (albeit some self-inflicted) I've had during law school. How many other people do you know who have, during law school:

* Parented 2 children? (Let's not talk about how successfully…)
* Nursed one of those children for 6 months during 1L? (maybe TMI, but still - it takes up energy, especially when you're getting up a couple of times a night)
* Had a spouse whose job required him to be out of town for a full month during 1L - immediately prior to appellate advocacy competition?
* Worked more than 1 job? (Both part time - and only during 2L)
* Had a parent diagnosed with a terminal illness?
* Had said parent die?
* Been executor of an estate which, quite frankly, could have been a full time job on it's own?
* Moved cross country?
* Had a grandparent die?
* Had a pet die?

I don't want to sound like a whiner because I know that law school is tough for everyone. I'm just saying that I should give myself credit for the fact that any 1 or 2 of those items would add to normal law school stress, and I've had ALL of them.

Maybe it's not an altogether bad thing that I can't care. I could use a break.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Life Imitating...Something

My former father-in-law used to joke about Roundboy's older brother:

"He's the kind of guy who would look for Velveeta in the gourmet food aisle."

It was an apt description, and mildly amusing the first couple of times I heard it.

I went to the store a few days ago to pick up a few items - among them, Jarlsberg cheese, to make French Onion Soup. (Jarlsberg usually lives in the snobby cheese section in front of the deli, and not in the refrigerated aisle with the Kraft and Sargento.)

A lady standing nearby picked out a package of feta and asked me, "Do you know if this is the same thing as Velveeta?"

I know I AM a food snob, but I didn't want to sound like a food snob - especially since she seemed like a perfectly pleasant person. I nicely tried to direct her - and realized I don't really know where they keep the Velveeta. I think I wound up mumbling something about "over with the other processed foods."


Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

I'm headed over to EC's school later on today to read to the kids. I'm not exactly sure why Middle Schoolers need a parent to read to them, but it sounded like fun anyway.

I'm reading from my favorite, Horton Hears a Who!

"This," cried the Mayor, "is your town's darkest hour!
The time for all Who's who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!" he said
"We've GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts"

Thus he spoke as he climbed. When they got to the top,
The lad cleared his throat and he shouted out, "YOPP!"
And that Yopp...
That one small, extra Yopp put it over!
Finally, at last! From that speck on that clover
Their voices were heard! They rang out clear and clean.
And the elephant smiled. "Do you see what I mean?...
They've proved they ARE persons, no matter how small.
And their whole world was saved by the Smallest of All!

I took the kids to the library for story hour last night, and they listened to a couple of Dr. Seuss stories (I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! and Daisy-Head Maisie) and made a red and white striped hat in his honor. This morning, I walked Lil Q to daycare, and made a stop at Starbucks on the way. 3 or 4 people there commented on the hat - which she had insisted on wearing. Then we literally stopped traffic on our way to her school - a lady stopped her car, rolled down her window and shouted "I love her hat!"

Favorite Dr. Seuss books anyone? Leave 'em in the comments...