Sunday, August 30, 2009

Feels Like Fall So Let's Think Spring

With the weather quickly approaching fall in these parts (high 60's? I love you), I wanted to look back at bright flower pictures and realized there are still so many I haven't shared with you, so for your Sunday viewing pleasure:

These must have lasted the longest because I have the most pictures of them:

The roses are almost gone now, but here they are just beginning:

A baby bud:

Flowers peeking out from our neighbor's fence. And that cup? That is the one I kept asking B about here.

Even though I love fall, I will miss all of the color spring and summer provided us. Unless B has something up his sleeve for fall?

Stay tuned.*

*P.S. I still have many left over. That gets you through June. JUNE! It is August. I suck.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'll Take Johnnie Cochran for $200, Alex

So the other day I was sitting in court waiting for my case to be called. As you can imagine, I thought I would be last and would be there a while. Although I was not called last, I still had time to listen to a few cases before me.

One of the cases involved an appeal in a criminal matter regarding a ruling on excluding evidence of the actual arrest. The accused's attorney was arguing that the officer did not have probable cause for the arrest as he arrested this man in his garage after he had already pulled in. The attorney went on to say that there were no exigent circumstances because, even if the officer had put on his lights to signal to pull over, he did so a mere 6 seconds before the guy was in his garage. This prompted the judge to immediately, without a second thought, quip:

However slight, it can still be flight.

He then laughed and said "I'm no Johnnie Cochran, but..." I would agree. He is no Johnnie Cochran because his quip actually made sense. After all, it was a legal summation on the state of the law rather than a creatively successful, albeit ridiculous, attempt to skew the facts to gain an acquittal.

I would like to think I would be a pretty humorous, off-the-cuff judge should I ever take the bench. Then again, everyone would have to laugh regardless if I was humorous wouldn't they?

Oh the power...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crime Watch Wednesday: I Think You Dropped This...

This week's crime watch chronicles brings us the sad tale of losing one's property, but this time it is the thief that lost out:

A concerned citizen called the police after finding an unusual black container on the corner of the street. It contained a marijuana pipe as well as some marijuana. The citizen had seen a vehicle driving back and forth and stopping at that very corner. The citizen asked the driver what he was doing and the driver stated he was "looking for a package" for his friend. The citizen told him he should check with the police because they had the package. The driver left, never to be seen again.

Point.check.match. And citizen for the win! How awesome would it be to say to a person looking for his stash "you should check with the police because they have it" when you know damn well they dropped it on the corner because they thought they were being followed. Hilarious.

As the old song goes, paranoia will destroy ya.*

*Some Black Sabbath for you, although not official lyrics to the song. How's that for some trivia?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't Let Those Chickens Come Home to Roost

My very first boss as an attorney died suddenly recently. Well, it was sudden to me. For him, it was a rare form of cancer that dragged out over several months. I only found out about it because I had emailed him asking him to act as a reference for a position for which I was interviewing. Unfortunately, my last line in the email was "I hope this finds you well." He was not well. His wife responded that he would have been glad to help but that he was dying and only had a few weeks to live. At first I thought it was a joke, but even he wouldn't joke about that. He didn't even last a week after that email.

I attended his funeral which B could not understand. You see, my old boss and I weren't always on good terms. In fact, when I left that office, it was at a hurried pace and into the first job I could find because I felt that I was being pushed out. That was how it worked there, before me and after me. The people would turn on each other until there was no one left to turn on. Another kind of cancer entirely.

However, time heals all wounds. For me that is particularly true. I do not hold grudges well. Perhaps it is because I want to see the good in everyone or because I believe they can change. Mostly it is because I know that you cannot change someone, but can only accept them as they are. I chose, later, to accept my boss for what he was.

What is that you ask? Well, as stated at his funeral, if he loved you there was nothing he wouldn't do for you. I found that to be true. He got me raises, trusted my judgment, spoke well of my work product to others. I am not sure if that would be true at the end of our working relationship, but it did continue later. The last time I saw him was about two years ago. We had lunch and he told me that of all the people he had hired and who had left, I was the only one that ever came back to see him. That was one of the most poignant and saddest things I had ever heard.

So, for the guy who gave me my first job out of law school, who took the leap of faith that I would pass the bar, who never once asked to see me argue in court, and who would send me to seminars on every legal subject out there stating "you need to be well rounded and well versed in ALL life to better your legal career," I went to his funeral. It was beautiful and it was sad. The people that he had fired or that had left on bad terms? They were there as well.

Unlike most funerals, however, his family and friends weren't standing up there painting every thing rosy. They spoke the truth. They told about how he would be on your side if he loved you, but if he didn't or if things changed, watch out. They spoke the good and they spoke the bad. I felt good that no one had to pretend. We could all think about which man it was that we knew and not feel guilty for not thinking of the other one.

But all of that above? That is just background. For this post is to pass along the story that was told by my ex-boss' very best friend. The guy that knew him throughout his childhood and adulthood. The guy that knew him the very best. He told this story:

Toward the end of my boss' days, he would reflect a lot and tell stories. He accepted that he would be going and tried his best to put his house in order. One day he told his friend that many years ago, at the height of practicing law, he found himself in an elevator with a colleague, an opposing counsel. The attorney looked visibly upset and asked my boss for an adjournment of their case. "Why do you need an adjournment?" my boss asked. "I have cancer," said the other attorney, "and I need chemo." My ex boss looked at the attorney and coldly said "well, then an adjournment won't do you any good. No adjournment."

My boss, after telling his friend this story, turned and said "I guess those chickens came home to roost."

I don't think I have ever heard a more telling and thought provoking story. So I pass it along to you, in a moment of seriousness, and urge you not to let those chickens come to roost.

Compassion begets compassion.


Monday, August 24, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin...

If you are a loving and supportive wife like myself, if your husband came home and said that he and his friend, S, were going to grow the BIGGEST PUMPKINS EVER at work, you would say:

"Really? That's nice."

And then you would ask that same husband no less than five times in two days why the heck there is a cup with dirt in it in the backyard. And each time he would exasperatedly yell "it is a PUMPKIN for my sister," and you would say:

"Oh. That's nice."

In fact, being as supportive as you are, you cannot even remember how many conversations about pumpkins there have been in the past couple of months. However, once you opened your email and received the following pictures, you started to take notice:

and you said to your husband things like:

"Wow! That IS a big pumpkin"


"Nice measuring gauge you have there - drink much on the job?"


"How many of those pumpkins are you growing there?"

and finally:

"Really? That's nice."

Then, in the next couple of days when you see that you and your husband have a mutual friend on facebook with the last name of "Pumpkin" and a picture that looks like this:

you start to pay closer attention. But do you know when you REALLY start paying attention? When you get an email from Netflix that your husband has rented a movie called Lord of the Gourds.* That is when you realize you have totally been lacking in your wifely duties. Of course, you rectify this at once:

Me: You call ME a geek? ME?
B: What?
Me: Why are you renting Lord of the Gourds from Netflix?
B: What?
Me: It is a MOVIE about PUMPKINS.
B: And other gourds.
Me: I'm sorry, did you just say "and other gourds"? Because that is really not helping your case.
B: I need to learn more about pumpkins.
Me: I am married to an 80 year old.

Whew! Wifely duty crisis averted.**

*Why do I think gourds is spelled with an "h"? I must be confusing ghouls with pumpkins. Is it Halloween yet?

**Also, B is a rockstar for growing these huge pumpkins. Really. I hope he and S win awards. And that they can find a forklift to transport the pumpkins to the places that give awards.

***To see B's sister's pumpkin, go here.

****I love pumpkin pie.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And Now for a Little Fine Dining...

We have been thinking about what we want to put in our dining room for quite some time. We had visions of an actual dining room set, older and huge and formal. B had been doing much of the searching on Craigslist and he finally hit the goldmine! We obtained a dining room table with 5 chairs (one had broken years ago), a serving buffet and china cabinet for a really low amount. The set dates back to the 30s or 40s which is perfect for our house. At first B thought the set would be too small, but after it was in we both agreed it is a good fit and still leaves us a lot of room to walk around. So, without further ado, the dining room set.

After paying the guy half his price for a deposit, B was able to bring home some chairs.* Yes, we were teased by two chairs:

But the guy said that he was going to be in our area the next day, so he brought the china cabinet to us:

Then the next day B and his friend S took a truck to pick up the table, remaining chairs and the serving buffet:

The serving buffet. Sorry the picture is so blurry. I have no clue what is going on with my camera:

Detail of the top of the serving buffet and the little mirrored design:

Up close of the cabinets on the serving buffet:

The drawers of the serving buffet:

The bottom half of the china cabinet:

The sad little chair in the corner. It's been bad:

The chair you see at the end in this photo is the only one with arms. There were two, but sadly the other one is the chair that broke. B says "naturally" he should get this chair. Ha:

The pieces are in great condition for being over 60 years old. The most wear, other than some chips, is on the top of the table. There are rings from drinks on it. Also, some of the chairs are a bit shaky. We will probably have to take them in somewhere to get them fixed. But, for now, we are just loving this new dining room. Good score B!

Speaking of B, he thinks we need to change the color of the walls now. I think he wants something a bit darker. I say it needs something a bit warmer. What do you peeps say?

* I did not go with him to check out the set or to pick it up as I was at the office. Good thing B has good taste, right?**

**I did see pictures before he went out there.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Got Junk? I've Got a Lawn

Ever see those trucks driving around that say Got Junk? on them?* If so, could you please send them to my neighbor's house? Really, it is not enough that they have long grass. Friday I came home to this:

Can you see that? It is a pile of junk in the middle of the backyard. B came home and said "did you see the neighbors are cleaning out their garage." No. I never saw a neighbor. In fact, B admitted HE never saw a neighbor but just assumed that was what they were doing. I assumed they found a new storage area. B also informed me that he had sprayed their weeds. Apparently there were weeds behind their garage that were approaching 7 feet tall. Like sunflowers but not at all flowered or pretty.

As of the time we went to bed that night - still no neighbors spotted. Never saw them once. B then declared we should make a date/time stamp so we know how long the junk stays out there. That was last Friday when I arrived home at 5:30 p.m. Also, if you look at the photo carefully you may be able to see the profile of the guy inside his house watching TV while the junk is on the lawn.

The next morning B announces that the neighbors are tearing down their garage. Sure enough, I go to the window and see one guy with a crowbar prying one piece of wood from the garage. I declare "at this rate it will take all year!" and go about my day. A few hours later, it looked like this:

B and I then went to a football game and came back home to find it completely down but not taken away as they had run out of room in the dumpster. Also? They did not clean the entire garage out before demolishing it. I could clearly see (a) a gas can, (b) some fencing, and (c) other bits and pieces you would find in the garage. I guess they didn't want those things. Only the special things were kept in storage, i.e. the lawn.

I also saw the 7 foot dying weeds. Just as tall but dead looking. I wonder if they will demolish those. Come Monday, the lawn looked like this:

It is now Thursday and the lawn looks like this:

Yes, that is the same picture. Why waste energy taking a new one? Also that overturned chair you can see, the white plastic one? It has been overturned on the lawn long before the junk. About two weeks now. In that time period long grassed man has been outside reading or writing, but not turning the chair upright.

Any bets on how long the junk stays on the grass? B thinks they will surely put it in their new garage. I think B is highly optimistic if he thinks there will even be a new garage.

The lawn seems to be working out just fine for their storage needs.

*This might be a local thing, but it is a junk hauling company and that is their tagline. Memorable, obviously.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Crime Watch Wednesday: Can You Spare a Little Change

This week's crime watch chronicles involves more theft of change from vehicles. Remember when I pondered (a) why people had SO much change in their car and (b) how many people actually kept that much change in their car? Now we have our answer:

A rash of larcenies have occurred from neighborhood vehicles recently. First, $10 in change and eyeglasses were taken from an unlocked vehicle. Then, in a separate incident, about $10 in change and bills were taken from a possibly unlocked vehicle.

What the heck? First, people, LOCK YOUR DAMN CARS. Second, how the hell do they know they have $10 in change or even "about $10"? I have a bunch of change in my car now for parking meters and if someone asked, I would probably say $3. $10 in change. Give me a break.

And give the thieves a break would you? Although the $200 sunglasses were nice, the change was like a slap in their face! I would venture to say that thieves would liken such change to tipping a waitress with pennies. Not that I am a thief or a waitress.* But if I were?

I would smash the windows on your unlocked door just for spite.**

*Except when I was that waitress for one day. Yep, one day was good enough for me. Probably good enough for my employer, the customers, and the remaining waitstaff as well.

**Unless I was a waitress, because then that wouldn't make any sense.

Monday, August 17, 2009

You Say Tomato, I Say Porn...

I have a problem. Sometimes I hear people say things that don't make any sense. I don't know if it is because I really don't listen to them or if my brain likes to twist things around. However, it does make for some amusing times. Unless it happens with B because then I get the old "WHY would I say THAT?" Party pooper. The thing is...sometimes people do say crazy, random, off-the-wall things. In fact, it happens so much in my line of work perhaps that is why I don't think twice if I think someone in my social circle appears to have said something insane.

Apparently, though, this lack of listening properly also encompasses a lack of reading properly which I found out last week in court. After having waited for about 3 hours, and after having been called LAST on the docket even though I was unopposed, it was finally time to head back to the office. I was standing in the hallway with a younger male attorney whom I did not know lamenting on how long we had been there (he had been second to last on the docket - still in front of me!) and a middle aged woman. Finally the elevator arrives, the door opens and out comes a man wearing a polo with some writing on it. Here, is where it all went wrong. After I, the young male attorney and the woman get in the elevator and the doors shut, I turn to them and say:

Me: Did that guy's shirt say PORNmouth?
YML: Um, no. It said PORTmouth.
Me: Oh...okay. Everyone just forget I ever said anything.
YML: Pornmouth? What's on YOUR mind?
Me: Yep, like I said, everyone just forget I even asked.
YML: It is Friday night. What are YOUR plans for tonight?*
Lady: [snicker]

Then the elevator stopped, the doors opened and I shouted "This is my floor" while running out and not even checking to see if it was my floor.** Thankfully, it was.

*Obviously this man does not know me at all because if he did he would know that my Friday night plans usually involve falling asleep in the chair in my office before 9. I like to live it up on the weekends.

**This sentence makes it sound like I was embarrassed. Really I was not all that embarrassed. I have no shame.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A T-Shirt in a Tree? Genius and Tacky.

I don't know if you know this, but Michael Jackson died. Yes, it was sudden and tragic and sad. It was also opportunistic for those so inclined. One of those people was a guy down the street from us. Well, really down the street, left, DOWN the street and on the right. Meaning: not in our neighborhood but over THERE.* This guy jumped on the MJ bandwagon almost immediately following his death and whipped up a bunch of T-shirts to sell. He sold them in front of his house.

Between two trees.

That's right. One clothesline, two nails and THOUSANDS of tshirts later and he was in business. That's right - thousands. You know how I know this? He is STILL selling those tshirts.

It has been 49 days since MJ died. A month and a half. He is STILL selling those tshirts. Well, actually, the proper wording would be he is still offering them for sale. No one is buying that I can tell. You see, the peak time has come and gone. Now it is just getting sad.

I noticed him that first week of MJ's death. It was 11 pm at night. I couldn't even see what was on the frickin' tshirts it was so dark. That did not stop people from pulling over on the side of the road and buying them. His business was on FIRE**.

49 days later? Not so much. B told me there was even a writeup in the paper about this guy. Hell, that was 39 days ago. Anyway, the writer indicated that the guy, fancying himself an entrepreneur, overestimated his market. You think? Actually I think the writer underestimated that statement.

Now, even the quality of tshirts is dwindling. They were never that great (basically a photo of one of MJ's album covers printed on a shirt), but they weren't half bad. White and black*** mostly. Now? Bright red, neon yellow and I swear the last time I drove by it looked like it might have been Fat Albert on the tshirt. MJ is NOT Fat Albert.

Wait. Was he?****

*The BAD neighborhood. You know? The one the neighbor feared Katie ran off to?

**Insert bad MJ joke here.

***But not Black and White because that would be an actual MJ song I heard just today. Coincidence?

****Seriously, do a Google search and you will find someone really asked that. The answer? Fat Albert is a cartoon character and Michael Jackson was a person. Brilliant!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Crime Watch Wednesday: Where There's Fire, There's a Toothbrush?

This week's crime chronicles brings us the harrowing story of officers successfully putting out a fire started in our neighborhood:

Officers responded to a fire inside a home. They discovered it was a burning electric toothbrush in a second floor bathroom. An officer unplugged it and extinguished the fire. The officers had to gain entry to the fire source using fire axes.

Um, okay. There is a fire. It is a fire from an electric toothbrush. One officer is able to unplug it and extinguish the fire, yet somehow they all had to use axes and chop the place up to get in there? Could they not have, I don't know? TURNED THE DOOR HANDLE? I bet the door wasn't even shut. I bet they were chopping through a plaster wall outside the bathroom when an officer said "hey guys, look I found the source. It is the toothbrush right over here WHERE THE FIRE IS."

Our tax dollars at work here, folks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Then the Rabbit Stole My Sunshine!

Rabbits are cute right? You see one in your yard and you are all "oh look! We have a rabbit! It is so darling" and then you take pictures and marvel how wondrous mother nature is. I mean, look at that thing:

He looks just like a Cadbury chocolate rabbit. All cute and stuff. Don't be fooled. That rabbit is a mean son of a bitch. Look:

Pretty brutal, right? Even more brutal when he picked the ONE plant that I really, really loved. The one plant that B bought just for me and planted just for me. He surprised me one day and came home with the seeds. We have been watching it grow for months now:

Any ideas yet?

Getting warmer?

Why, yes, it is some sunshine coming my way:

And then it bloomed and it made me smile:

How could you not smile when looking at this sunshine?

Yet, today I woke up to this:

There was even a second flower! There was a huge storm last night and it knocked my sunshine over. However, I am convinced she would have stood tall, like her two counterparts if not for the evil rabbit.*

RIP Sunshine. I will miss you.

*We were blaming the squirrels too, but that is for another person. Mother nature is downright EVIL in these parts!

**PS - can someone tell me if ants are bad for sunflowers too? I have the Animal-Dont-Eat-This-Spray and wondered it I also needed the Ants-Get-the-F-Off-My-Flower-Spray too or if they are harmless, although annoying?

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