Thursday, December 29, 2005

Happy New Year!

We are part of Santa's Civil backup... zone 11 (the Deep South) Volunteer Reindeer Brigade. On the left is Corporal Suzy and on the right Brigadeer General Luna in full dress antlers as they patiently wait to be called up for service on the big night.

(on Left) Corporal Suzy is bummed because its her first year in the corps and she was really loking forward to doing her part.

On the right-
Lt. Greta is awarded the Rudolph Antlers in memory of Rudolph that first replacement reindeer.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another stupid client....

Had a chick come in the other day. I knew she was lying when she told me her story, but I also knew it didn't matter. Told her what I could do to help her, and what I couldn't. Named an excessive price because I was busy enough. (The back story isn't that interesting; She filed a false police report and wanted to get out of it. Which she couldn't. But I could make it very easy and simple. )

She brought me the money.

That's the thing about lawyers- most of the time our prices are flexible. How much do I need money and how much will it take to make me care about your problem... The intersection of those two numbers is where my price is.

Thus, if you've been screwed by the system and I feel sorry for you, less cost to you. If you've been an idiot and I think you're going to be high maintenance...More cost to you.

So, my client... Lets start with the last thing she did, on the Friday before Christmas when I really didn't want to be at work...When she went to turn herself in after I had arranged it all... No bail, 15 minutes in and out- all set up. Considering what she paid me, I was even waiting in the Courtroom for her to get done and walk her back to her car. For a price, I will hold your hand. I would still make $400.00 per hour even after the waiting time....

But of course, nothing ever goes as planned.

She had a joint in her pocket.

Who on God's green earth doesn't realize they have a joint in their pocket when they go to turn themselves in? I suggest that if you are unable to know the whereabouts of your drugs at all times, it means you have a problem, which is why I rolled my eyes at her when she started in on some crap about forgetting she had it in there.

So, the sergeant and I had a little talk. And the investigator. And I plead with them. And I got them to throw the stupid thing away. She is, I point out, going to plead guilty to another charge which will result in her being on probation. Which will result in drug testing.

We get out of there and I make fun of her for being stupid. I warn her how lucky she was and that I am amazed I was able to talk them into throwing it away. I wonder if I got through to her, but its the Friday before Christmas and I don't have time to save the world from themselves. She hugs me as she gets into the car and tells me how much she appreciates all my help. Her mother has made me cookies. And all I can think...

... Is that I haven't done anything to get ready for Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Oops, that's not what I meant...

Have you ever mistakenly sent a signal to a group? For example, gone to a basketball game and worn the colors of the other team?

Yeah, me too.

So, I'm including this link so that we can all avoid the mistake of sending signals with our hankerchiefs. Apparently there is a rich and complex language in hankerchiefs.

I had no idea.

I think I would have to print out the list and keep it with me for refrence were I to use this method to communicate with people. Then, of course, you would have to sometimes ask people questions like, "Is that robin's egg blue or sky blue?" OH THE HI-LARITY!

Warning: These are graphic so you may not want to click if you don't like reading graphic things.....

My favorite: The Mosquito netting hankerchief.

Friday, December 16, 2005


I have started several posts on happiness but have not posted them because I just wasn't getting the right words out. I let the concept marinate for a few months.

Then, I had an epiphany. Thank you, Mind-of-mine.

MadDog often says that the difference between a winner and a looser is that to a winner loosing doesn't count.

I realy like that.

And as I was sitting meditating on happiness and where it comes from and how to share my ability to be happy with others- it occurred to me: The difference between happy people and sad people is that to happy people sad events don't count.

In other words, I could tell you these things about my life this year:

I'm divorced and ended a long term relationship this year that I once had a lot of hope for.

I had knee surgery and will never run again, much less bend down in my garden. The knee surgery was also on the day that my best friend gave birth and I had to miss it. I had to do PT for 8 weeks.

I had another lump in my breast and had to have surgery- again.

I had another bad mole and had to have it cut off, too.

MadDog had another mole removed and his was cancer.

My favorite dog has a tumor.

My family is having a fight and I won't get to see half of them at Christmas.

My younger cousin now officially makes a whole lot more than I do and she's an epidemologist and I'm a lawyer. Like over 1K per month more. With benefits. And vacation days. And a retirement plan.

But instead of all of these things, let me tell you about the great things that happened this year:

After I broke it off with former LTR, I ran into a friend from High School and am in the best relationship I have ever had.

I have strenthened my relationship with a lot of my friends.

None of my cancer scares truned out to be cancer.

The doc doesn't think my dog's tumor is cancer.

I used my knee surgery to get into the best shape of my life.

My younger cousin is an orphan and her career is a source of stability and joy for her and I am extatic for her success.

Through MadDog trying to help repair the family he and I have had several important and productive discussions.

I was selected to be a board member for a local mental health organization. I was also asked to teach at a local college.

My favorite secretary came back to me and is helping me make my practice a lot more efficient.

I am, on the whole, in a great place. Life is good.

I hope this little post is helpful and not too pedantic.

But, hey, its my blog and I can be Pollyanna if I wanna. : )

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What I did today....

Sometimes people have bizarre ideas of what it is to be a lawyer. I think a list of what I did today is a pretty good example of what my days are like:

8 am- arrive at work- go over things on secretary's desk and pull files I need to do something on at Courthouse. Grab appointed case file for December.
8:30- 12:30-Court- I had 3 cases. I filed three other motions, copied an order, and checked my box. I also completed billing of 15 appointed cases while waiting, caught up with an old friend from high school, and went to see an officer about a spectacularly dumb client who will have his own entry pretty soon. Noticed when I arrived in Court I actually had 4 cases. Asked clerk if there was any way to get a docket before Court. Nope. Struck good deal anyway. Reviewed files as I was waiting to insure I had done all possible billing as part of new * bill criminal appointments in month in which they are completed life goal.*
12:30-1:00- ignore three phone calls so I could have a moment to quiet my mind and eat. Surfed internet. Snapped at MadDog when he wanted to talk about work. Stiffled desire to throw phone out window.
1:00-listened to and returned 6 phone calls on voice mail. (two of which were from 10 pm last night.)
Returned 3 of 5 messages from secretary's notes. Made notes in files and returned files to file room when completed. Other two messages were doubles of Voice mail so Ignored them. Started new stack on cases I need to follow up on. Pulled case out of old follow up stack and made necessary phone call. They're still not answering my call. Returned to stack.
Happily noticed that 7 am Court for tomorrow was re-scheduled. Yay!
Faxed two people with information. (I made notes with each phone call/fax).
Printed one conversion for client. Chatted with client when he arrived.
Gave directions to one dude who showed up looking for a different lawyer whose office used to be here.
Answered 3 phone calls as they came in.
Put billing on secretary's desk so she can notarize and do the math.
Reviewed my file of questions from secretary, answered what could be done quickly, set aside others for tomorrow.
Read mail. Dealt with mail.
Called in refill on perscription.
It is now 4:35.
I need to:
1. Respond to interrogatories in a case.
2. Organize my desk, make a list, and prioritize open files.
... And then I can go home : ) Although, I could stay and work for the next 10 hours...

So you can see that if you are easily distracted, unable to multi-task, have trouble going back to things and/or are easily overwhelmed by large to do lists that being a sole practicioner is going to be hard for you...

Weekend Conversation

This is an excerpt from a conversation I had this weekend...

"No, not that D____, that D____ is dead. His old roomate's other friend D______."

"I didn't know D____ was dead. When did he die?"

"He died a couple of years ago. Car accident."

"I didn't know that. That's awful. So Dead D_____'s old roommate's other friend D______. I'm not sure I know that D_________."

"Yeah, He's the one who used to date J________ but broke it off with her because she was fucking T________. "

"Oh, I remember him. And by the way, what the fuck is this conversation? This has got to be the craziest conversation I've ever had."

"Well, it turns out D________ was the last person to see That Girl alive. "


Friday, December 09, 2005

Merry Excessive Christmas...with a big old dash of brilliant.

It started in Law school... there it was in my (and every other law student's) box. "Wow," I thought, "dude has some money and wants us to know his name....Why has he put these in everyone's boxes?"

Back in Law School it was the man, his daughters, his dog, his cars and his home... a montage of what he had accomplished. It was what we could accomplish, too, if we worked hard and got lucky.

Later it was just the man and his dog...and his amazing home... and the cars. We knew it was what would happen to us if we worked too hard and got too lucky.

I heard that the Wife was once pictured.... MadDog says he has gotten a card for so many years he can't remember not getting one- but then again he also remembers The Party with Bo Diddly. Can't write those off anymore, so I never got to go to one.

Alabama lawyers know its Christmas when they get it. In fact, one year I didn't receive one and actually wondered what happened. Christmas seemed empty and blank.

I love the excess. The exuberance. Who the heck else in Alabama sends every attorney in the state a Christmas card? No one!

What is it you ask?

Its Lanny Vines's Christmas Card! (Attached are the 2004 and 2005 versions...) Sorry, my scanner is for work so the images didn't come out so well.... but you can get the point.