Saturday, March 24, 2007


One of the most difficult things about losing my faith was the loss of hope that came with it.

Today my husband discovered that a mother bird built her nest in the lavender wreath I hung on the front door last week to celebrate the arrival of Spring.

I can't tell you exactly why, but this gives me hope. Somehow, we really are all connected.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Inappropriate music for commercials

I mean, really people. Who is the genius who paired Blister in the Sun with a commercial for Wendy's? Let's pair a song about male ejaculation with cheeseburgers! YUMMY!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Passed out in the bathroom

I woke up Friday morning feeling like maybe I had a migraine coming on. I went ahead and took my migraine medication, then made my way to court. The weather was horrible - it was raining ice pellets. My boss's mother passed away on Tuesday, and the funeral was that morning, so I was in court covering his back to back cases.

So it's not even 9:30, I've only been there about 15 minutes, and I'm in the hallway talking to another attorney. All of a sudden I feel my stomach start to turn and my ears start sort of buzzing. And I'm feeling the blood draining from my head. I tell the other attorney, I'm so sorry, I have a pretty bad migraine I'm fighting and excuse myself. I made it to the bathroom, and that's about what I remember.

The next thing I know is coming to on the bathroom floor and thinking, "Shiiiiiit, did that just happen?!" And then my next thought is "Oh my god, my head hurts." And then I start to pick myself up off the floor and I'm suddenly not sure what to do. Do I go back out and say, "Hey judge, I just passed out in your bathroom, can we reschedule these cases?" when I have three sets of clients and two different attorneys all waiting and having come to the courthouse in this awful weather?

I got up and brushed myself off and splashed some water on my face. I walked back out and the other attorney said, "Wow, you are really pale. Are you SURE you're okay?" And I knew at that moment if I told him what had just happened, there would be a big fuss and ambulances called and I couldn't even stand the thought of EVERYONE knowing I just passed out in the courthouse bathroom.

So I told him, "I just need to sit down, I think." And I went on with my morning. And was in court, with very probably a concussion, dealing with the three sets of clients and various attorneys until well after 1:30.

The truth is, my desire to stay and take care of all these cases was really not dedication to work, but my absolute horrror at the thought of anyone knowing what had just happened. I mean, I was mostly just so grateful after I made it home that #1 I made it to the bathroom (rather than passing out in the main hallway in front of 100 people, half of whom I knew) and #2 nobody walked in on me passed out on the floor (can you imagine THOSE rumors?!)

Today my head is still pretty sore where I landed on it. I have done nothing today except laundry (I really do love having clean sheets and towels) and take a shower and sleep off and on. Erik took the kids to Bob Evans and brought me home dinner.

The actual fainting doesn't really bother me - I've been doing that off and on for years. But I hate doing it in public. It never seems to happen when I'm at home. I've passed out during a band concert (while I was on the stage), and while taking a computer science final (I got an A before I passed out), and at the SLC airport waiting to board a plane (yes, I missed my flight), and at a wedding (not my own) and in the bathroom at Tyson's Corner mall in Virginia.

So whenever it happens, I then start with the paranoia that next time it will happen when I have my kids with me and they will never recover from the sight of their mother falling down unconscious, or that perhaps someday I'll hit my head on the corner of the sink and die all alone on a bathroom floor in a McDonald's.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

True Confessions

I encourage my children to watch Zoboomafoo all the time because I think the Kratt Brothers are really hot...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why you should not take muscle relaxers at work

So I'm on my way to court this morning, and it's cold and icy in our parking lot. I very very very carefully make my way to my van, and am so proud of myself for getting there without even a little slip when... whoooop - just as I open the door I lose my footing and fall.

I grab the steering wheel, which really doesn't do anything except make sure that while I'm twisting my knee and thigh and hitting my ass on the floor of the van, I also wrench my shoulder as well. Ouch.

Of course my first reaction is to look around and make sure nobody saw me. Then I start driving to court and realize I am really in a tremendous amount of pain. I am actually limping into the courtroom today.

By the time I got back to the office, I was in massive discomfort. I am searching for Advil in the first aid kit and we have none. I am in pain and want to cry. My paralegal, who has a back problem, offers a muscle relaxer, which I gladly accepted with the assurance that it would be more than worn off by 5:00 when I have to drive home.

And so, here is the message I left for an insurance adjuster this afternoon: "Argle bargle foss sssshlooop qwerty blop." And I hugged everyone a lot. Including my boss. And I typed some letters which I then proofread and couldn't figure out what I was even trying to say. And I drank some coffee which was the BEST coffee apparently, as I told our office manager about 10 times. And I kept spinning around in my office chair, because did you know it spins all the way around? I never tried that before.

By 4:00 the pain started returning and I wasn't nearly as much fun. Just another day at the office.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Why I do what I do

I have done a fair number of career days in my life. The question that I get asked all the time is "How can you defend someone that you know is guilty?"

I find this question fascinating because to me, the answer is so obvious. Not all of my clients are guilty. And even the clients who are guilty deserve someone to speak on their behalf.

I guess what a person who doesn't really have contact with the court system might not realize is that about 90% of cases settle before trial. Most of the time, I am able to talk to the prosecutor and we can work out a plea agreement, which we then put in front of a judge. So that leaves the other 10% of my cases that end up being a trial.

There are four situations when I will try a case:

1. I truly believe my client is not guilty and I have enough evidence to get an acquittal.

2. I think I have a good chance at winning at trial even if my client might be guilty, either because the police made an error of some kind or the prosecution just has no evidence.

3. I am pretty sure my client is guilty and I will lose at trial, but my client wants a trial.

4. I know I will lose at trial, but by putting all the evidence out there rather than just the state's version of events, I can get a more reasonable sentence from the judge.

But even if we decide to proceed on a plea, my work isn't done. I need to be able to tell the judge all of the reasons why my client isn't so bad. It may be convincing the judge my client doesn't deserve jail. Or if I know jail is going to be part of the sentence, then perhaps serving weekends or work release would be appropriate. Maybe my client needs drug or alcohol or even mental health treatment. Or has financial problems that need to be considered when setting a fine.

And even after sentencing, my job may still not be over. Sometimes the judge will leave a case open for a modification, so I need to make sure my client is doing what is necessary to earn that at a later date. Or my client ends up violation probation, so we're back to court on that. Or there are collateral matters that need to be addressed, like an MVA hearing when there's a serious traffic charge involved.

And really, there are days that I wonder why I do this for a living. Some of my clients, to put it very nicely, can be a challenge to deal with. I have a lot of people who just don't get it, don't see what the big deal is, don't comply with my recommendations, and blame everyone else for their problems.

More than once I have been told, "I went to jail because of you." To which I always respond, you went to jail because of you. I did not hit your girlfriend. Or get wasted and crash the car. Or put the marijuana in your pocket. Or fail the random urinalysis. You did that all on your own. On those days, it can really get me down.

But today... today I won. It was one of those rare cases where I truly truly believed my client was not guilty. And the state had no case. And the judge hated my client and didn't really believe much of what he said. But I still won. Because what he did was not a crime, as much as the prosecutor and police wanted to make it one.

And that is why I do what I do. Because the system is not perfect. And yes, sometimes the police and the prosecutors get so caught up in trying to catch the bad guy that they don't stop to actually look at the law and the facts. And sometimes justice means someone like me standing up at the table and demanding it.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

What a hot date for married folks is

Erik and I decided to go on a date tonight. We decided to go to Outback, just because we haven't been there for a long time and he was in the mood for seared tuna. He picked up the sitter around 4:30 and got McD's for the kids.

Outback has call ahead seating, so we called around 5:15 - and there was a 90 minute wait. 90 Minutes!! I'm sorry, but their food is NOT that great to deserve a 90 minute wait at 5:15 on a Saturday night. So we went across the street to try a new restaurant in town - The Crack Pot. Daaaaamn, that was a good choice. It was some good eatin'.

First of all, no wait. Second of all, the food was great - including the seared tuna that Erik got after all. They had great crab soup, and I tried a Chicken Cordon Bleu soup that was oh so yummy. For dinner, I had seafood lasagna and it was HUGE - so I have more for lunch tomorrow, and even enough to share with Lisey whom I can assure you will eat half of it.

Anyway, we finished dinner around 6:30 and decided since we told the sitter we wouldn't be back until 8, we could do something else. Something really exciting... Like...

GO TO TARGET!!! WITHOUT KIDS!!! Of course, we only needed a few things, so $175 and one hour later, we were happily loading the van with all kinds of doodads we didn't even know we couldn't live without. Like barbie pop-tarts. And a cute dress for Lisey. And 100 calorie packs of Wheat Thins.

We made it home right at 8:00, then after getting the kids to bed and putting away all our groceries, Erik went in to read a book while I checked my e-mail... and he is now sound asleep. I can't blame him - today he spent 2 hours loading up the van and heading to the county dump to get rid of the evil weevil food storage. And I've gotten to check all of my favorite blogs in peace.

And that was my hot date for tonight.