Exact Approximations

Friday, March 31, 2006

Like Good Music?

A musically gifted friend of mine started a band with his brother recently. They're called Basecamp.

Readers should check them out and listen to some songs.

"Bright, Bright Red and Orange" and "Depending on the Waves" are a really nice start. I like "Fairplay" too.

You can also offer reviews, comments, etc on GarageBand.com.

Now, off with you, go listen immediately.

Cheesy Sleep and Health Updates

I have been feeling a bit better lately. Went to a GI specialist last week who gave me proton-pump-inhibitors. Apparently, these can provide false THC screens. Where was this medication when I was young and actually needed a good excuse to fail a drug test?

Anyhow, the medication seems to be helping. Less vomiting, higher ability to eat. I'm taking less anti-naseau meds. I still have to undergo a battery of diagnostic tests, but was clear with the doctor that all of that had to wait until after trial. I'm not losing this job just to stay alive.

But I have been having the worst time sleeping lately, having really vivid dreams:


Library with Daughter. (I recently had my library privileges reinstated). We are looking at books and having a great time when the librarian comes over the loudspeaker. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are being robbed. Put your hands on your head, lay on the floor, and they promise not to harm anyone."
I noticed I was near an emergency exit. I knew it would go off when I went through it, risking the lives of many others. I decided it was more important to save myself and Daughter. In fairness, I also grabbed another child that was nearby. Went straight through the door, knowing damn well people might die for it

And I thought I was a utilitarian.


Last night was a series of dreams taunting my inability to sleep. I have been so tired from not being able to sleep that all I wanted when I went to bed last night was to sleep the whole way through. I know I woke up at least a couple of times for real, but there may have been more. In the dreams I was having last night, I kept waking up from sleep, I have no idea what was real waking up and what was dream waking up. Although the one where I was working next to Zach Braff and the rest of the folks on Scrubs, and got into trouble with my attending for being asleep... that one was probably dream waking up. And the one where Teri Hatcher got mad when I accidently woke up and watered her lawn on Wisteria Lane, that was probably a dream too.

I watch too much TV.

Just so Ann knows, there was no cheese consumed prior to bed time. Is there a back-up theory?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Attention Computer Techies

The IT guy was in yesterday. He is setting up a new backup system for the office network.

Currently, we back everything up at the end of each day, reusing the tape from the previous week. So at the end of Monday, we back-up using the tape from the Monday prior, and there is no more record of what happened a week ago. This has been a backbone of my blogging security... The new system will back up everyday, with master back-ups every Friday. My undestanding is that we will always be able to go back to any one day in the past and see the networks information, no matter how far back. This system takes effect in about three weeks.

Here are my questions:
1) When a network is backed up, is that backing up everyone's internet activity too, or just the files they create and save on the network (or my own C drive)?
2) Does it matter if I delete my cookies, temp files etc at the end of each day? I am not certain when the back-ups take place... that's not my job. But assuming I make sure to delete everything in my history, etc by noon, am I safe?
3) Is this job worth enough to give up blogging for?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Art of Titling Inter-Office Legal Memos

I am writing a memo on a pre-trial issue for The Boss. We have hearing Monday to hammer out some issues before trial starts Tuesday. All day, I've been reading cases 1L Legal Research and Writing style. Boooooorrrrrrring.

I'm trying to figure out what to write in the "RE:" line.

Some titles I have tried:

"RE: Why We are Going to Lose This Issue and Were Stupid to File the Motion in the First Place."
But then I realized that's not true, thats just initial unfamiliarity with applicable law talking. Along with persuasive writing in defense counsel's response. I realized quickly that we have great arguments. Scratch that...

"RE: This Memo is Late Because... I'm a Blogger!!!"
But then I realized he would can my ass. His initial reaction would be worth about $10,000 to me, but we all know this blog is only worth a bit over $5,000.

"RE: Stupid HR Forgot to Add Me to the Dental Plan and Now I am Excluded for 18 Months."
Opening sentence: "Winning this motion is in the can, now go out and buy me a dental plan." But then I realized this has nothing to do with the memo, and arguably should be its own memo. And it will be. After trial. Although the rhyme would have been a nice, friendly opening.

"RE: Give me a God Damned Raise."
Same problem as above, although still the current title.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Youth of America, Phoenix High School Demonstrations

I am overwhelmingly proud of the high-school students around the country that are taking to the streets in protest of pending Congressional immigration legislation, HR 4437.

This afternoon, I was reviewing defense exhibits. For the first time since I graduated Boalt and started this job, our firm is gearing up for trial. I am stoked to see The Boss in action. So I'm reviewing Exhibits and hear faint chanting and horn honking. For a moment, it was like being back in Berkeley. I ran to my window (had to run far because I am in my new Big Office, woo-hoo). I looked down and saw hundreds of high-schools students walking down the street - marching their way to the Arizona capitol. They waived, chanted, holding flags in pride. It was the strongest exhibit I've seen all day.

In Berkeley, Oakland high-schoolers protested all the time. Very active youth in Oakland. Other than that, I have not seen much en masse activism from younger (or older) folks. It is very, very powerful to see these kids take to the streets and care about what their government is doing, wholly aside from whether you agree with them.

That said, I agree with them. The pending legislation will drastically increase what constitutes a deportable felony. It allows construction of more border walls (which historically don't work and only lead to higher rates of immmigrant death). It limits judicial review. The legislation makes detentions longer and easier. Here on a student visa? Watch your credit load, if you fall under, you could be in big trouble.

The Phoenix demonstrations are being called one of the largest the city has ever seen. They walked up to the office of Senator Jon (Jonky) Kyl, who is incredibly, inhumanely, anti-immigration. Some of these kids have parents whose freedom is at serious risk if this legislation passes. It made me cry a little. Nothing touches me more than watching the young, in all their possibility, looking forward to the possibility of others.

So, I have something to say to each and every one of you young folks. From those that took to the streets, to those who wrote letters, or read the bill, or took any kind of action:

Go, Youth of America, show your government that you care what they do! If you keep it up, they may return the favor. Show us that Americans need input from the young. Show us your energy and concern for the future. Stand up for your parents and yourselves and the rights of all humanity. Show us what it means to be American. Show us the strength of your youth and future. And for all you have done in the past days in the spirit of these things, I am grateful. Thank you.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Los Altos Snobs, Toenail Jobs and Daughter Songs

Picked up Daughter this weekend. She does not appear to have become too snotified from having been around her step-father. In fairness, Daughter spent less than half her vacation in Los Altos with Ex-Husband. He got sick and asked the parents of Daughter's Berkeley friends to watch her. He's an ass and I will repeatedly refer to him as such.

Boyfriend and I arrived in California around 11:30p.m Friday night and promptly fell over onto the air mattress Loony Tunes Aunt set up for us as she let us use her home as a staging ground for the whole Daughter vacation.

The funniest exchange of the weekend happened the next morning, and I slept right through it.

Context: Loony Tunes Aunt has been dating Uncle GQ for years. Uncle GQ is designated as such because he has stellar fashion style. More importantly, Uncle GQ is a very street smart, no bullshit, cut to the chase kind of guy. He has an irreverent sarcasm matched only by Loony Tunes Aunt. He is in no way a pansy-ass.

So anyhow, first thing Saturday morning, Uncle GQ came down the stairs:

Boyfriend: Rolling over. "Morning."
Uncle GQ: Walking out the front door. "What up dog?"

Later, I learned he was on the way to an early manicure/pedicure appointment.

I find this funny because Uncle GQ is such a man's man. It was great. Maybe you had to be there. I talked shit. I later asked to be taken along next time I am in town.

On the drive back to Arizona on Saturday night, Cousin Athletic gave us directions that took us through downtown Los Angeles. Apparently, there was an immigration protest march at the same time, going through downtown Los Angeles. If I thought I could, I would kick Cousin Athletic's ass next time I see her, for the three hours she added to our trip home. But she can probably take me, so I won't say anything.

A bit more into the drive, Daughter was rocking out to Nikka Costa on her CD player. She was belting out the words to "Everybody Got Their Something."

One line in the song says "Love can nearly breed a child."
Daughter sang out "Like a little bitter child."

I laughed and turned to Boyfriend.

Lex: "It's good to have her back."
Boyfriend: "That doesn't even begin to describe it."


Friday, March 24, 2006

Come Down Now, They'll Say.

I am madly, deeply, falling over myself In Love. Some days you get caught up in practical details of life. This day I am caught up in love. I have long pondered writing a post similar to The Story of My Father,describing the insanity rollercoaster that is the History of Boyfriend. But that story might be a little much for even this blog - there are many players, emotions and events. I think the whole story, as I see it, would push my self-imposed boundaries of the privacy or others, including Boyfriend. Instead, I am going with a top-ten list. The top ten song-lyrics, movie-lines and poetry quotes that remind me of Boyfriend and various happenings in our relationship. It's mostly gushy, and it's mostly for you, My Love.

Everyone else, you had fair warning.

10. "The past is gone but something might be found." (Gin Blossoms, Hey Jealousy)

When I met Boyfriend, he was a rollerblader. Big Time. I have a picture of him jumping over a huge bush with long hair and a young face. He and his 'friend group' were referred to as the "Chariots of Wind" by me and my 'friend group.' Completely infatuated, I immediately began going to the skating rink every weekend. During our first round of dating, we were at the rink one Friday night and this song came on. Crystal clear memory of snuggling my 14 year-old head into Boyfriend's chest as he sang in my ear. "You were the best I ever had."

The song has always, always reminded me of him. And the rink. And the rink tag-game that Boyfriend and all the Chariots of Wind always won. And slow skates. Ah, the slowskate...

9. "She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls. I knew right away she was not like other girls." (Sublime, Scarlet Begonias)

Boyfriend says this song has always reminded him of me. I love to wear flowers in my hair. I'd like to do it more often. I wish it were work appropriate. Damned lawyers.

I met Boyfriend when I was in the ninth grade; he was friends with a classmate in my geometry class. He remembers me sitting on a rail by the classroom. I remember bright green eyes staring at me through a window. Boyfriend insisted that his friend introduce us. From the moment we met, Boyfriend knew without asking that I was into the blues.

8. "Unfulfilled hopes gather hatred and pain. Expect more out of life, and Life you will gain." (Boyfriend, Expect)

This was part of a poem Boyfriend wrote me when I was 16. He talked a lot about the power of expectation when we were young. It was the most powerful advice I ever received. Ever since, I held tight to the philosophy that when you want something, believe you will have it, know it is yours and most importantly, know you are capable of your Life. It is the philosophy that made me a Mother, got me out of Crapsville, into Berkeley, into law school and ultimately, back to Boyfriend. Even when he himself forgot that he once had such Great Expectations.

7. "The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me." -Estella (Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)

I read Great Expectations when I was six years old. I don't know how much I understood. But that book, and even the movie, remind me of Boyfriend. In Berkeley, I kept a framed picture of Boyfriend, sitting on a copy of Great Expectations, which in turn sat on my piano. In his life, particularly during his absence from mine, he engaged in self-destruction. In fairness, a great deal was reactionary to severe betrayal he experienced in his childhood. Before finding the strength to face himself, Boyfriend had periods of hopeless, nearly irreparable, darkness. I have seen the best of him; I have seen the worst of him. And I know, over all, this is a man for which I will always hold the greatest of expectations. Take nothing on its looks, take everything on evidence. There is no better rule.

6. "I'm thinking of what Sarah said. That love is watching someone die."(Death Cab for Cutie, What Sarah Said)

When I moved to Arizona in July of 2005, Boyfriend became terribly ill shortly thereafter. He had a history of stomach problems which required a series of hospitalizations over the previous ten years. At the hospital, I stayed by him - crying, hoping, willing, that he would get better. But part of me thought he wouldn't. Part of me thought he was going to die. If not that day, then the next day, or month, or year. Soon. He was fragile. I remember thinking his ill health would mean he would be gone. Soon. In the antiseptic hospital I watched him sleep, damning the universe for reuniting me with My Love only to taunt me by taking him away again. I was briefly convinced. But I realized that even if I lost him it would have been worth it. It would be enough to have loved like that, to know it exists. I knew it could carry me through life. Alone. For our Daughter - if it had to be.

His was a truth I would rather lose. Than to have never lain beside at all.

5. Pachebel, Canon

The beauty of this classical song was introduced to me by an old friend at a young age. Again, always reminded me of Boyfriend. I imagined two star-struck lovers apart, but ultimately finding their way to happiness. Able to reflect on the moments of sadness and see the beauty in that. It was one of the first songs I learned to play on the piano.

Fuck the wedding march, I want to get married to Canon.

4. "What letter?" - Johanna Reiss (Immortal Beloved)

I left Crapsvile, California in 1999 with Daughter to attend Berkeley. I was already engaged to the man that would become Ex-Husband, but we were not moving in together for another 6 weeks, when my student family housing apartment would be ready. In the interim, I stayed at Uncle Firefighter's studio apartment in Walnut Creek, California. In my first days, I penned a letter to Boyfriend. Told him I left Crapsville, that things were different. Said I would make it easy and not let anger stand in the way of his knowing Daughter. I sent the letter and after 6 weeks, I had heard nothing. I married Ex-Husband.

Six weeks after the marriage, Boyfriend called. Coldly I told him, "I'm married." Said Ex-Husband was a great father-figure. We were happy, the perfect life in a perfect family. Without him.

I was mad at Boyfriend. I sent the letter hoping he would save me from my impending mistakes. Part of me thought he would call before Ex-Husband came. I wasn't sure about getting married, but the only way Ex-Husband could move into the family-housing apartment with me was if we were. I thought I needed someone. I wrote Boyfriend hoping we would somehow work things out, and I wouldn't marry the Boy that I liked well enough, but who never inspired the fire I felt for Boyfriend.

Boyfriend got the letter late. It was received by his girlfriend (or maybe ex-girlfriend) and the letter did not reach him for some time. Once he got it, I had tossed aside all the hopes I had put into that writing. Our tragedies did not coincide. That time.

3. "Eternally Yours." (Boyfriend, Email to Lex)

Boyfriend contacted me five years after the ill-fated letter. He sent me a short,brief email. "I have to try." When I saw it in my email box, my heart skipped eight beats. I gasped. Almost fell over. I did not open it. I walked Daughter to school and ran home. Ran fast. Read the brief note time and again. He signed it "Eternally Yours."

Eternity had passed. I hadn't seen him, hadn't heard his voice. And yet somehow, I immediately felt eternally his.

2."Was it something I said?"
"Yeah, you said 'so go.' With such disdain."
(Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Conversation Between Clementine and Joel)

I discovered I was pregnant with Boyfriend's child when I was sixteen. Two days prior, he was kicked out of my California house and my family purchased him a one-way ticket to Arizona. We made grand plans to reunite at the baby's birth. I kissed him goodbye and swore we would be together soon. A month later, I wrote him a letter, ending our relationship. I convinced myself he never loved me, that I was better without him, and begun dating one of his old friends. Strong efforts to hide how I missed him, wanted him back. I was too proud. He called when Daughter was born. "She might need a dad." I noted. "I definitely need her mom" he replied. I feigned indifference.

Nine years later, he was visiting Daughter and I in Berkeley and we were watching Eternal Sunshine together. By this point, Boyfriend had apologized to me more times than I could ever count that he did not do everything in his power to be a part of Daughter's life before. He hated himself for his weakness, and never gave any sign that there were things I had done that hurt him deeply.

Before we watched the movie, I explained how it reminded me of him and our relationship. Boy and Girl meet. Things fall apart. Girl erases Boy. Boy tries to erase Girl. Both remember the bad in the beginning. Neither can forget the beauty of the beginning by the end. And then, they try again.

When that quote, the one where he tells her that he was hurt by her disdain... When that quote played, Boyfriend turned to me. Tears. "Thank you" he whispered. It was the first time I ever acknowledged regret for something I had done in our past. It was a small step. But took us far.

1. "They will see us waving from such great heights." (Iron & Wine, Garden State Soundtrack)

This is the song I hope will frame our first dance if we marry. I first heard the song about a year and a half ago, a time when our newly rekindled love was being tested to such great heights. We faced difficulties that could have torn us apart. The day after I told Daughter that I had been in contact with her father and he wanted to meet her, Boyfriend learned that an ex-girlfriend was three months pregnant. Boyfriend was convinced we would never have a chance, that I would hold his old relationship and new child against him.

Rather, I assured him of the hope and possibility a child brings, and promised to help and be a friend during a time of uncertainty and fear. In the spring of 2005, his son was born. Boyfriend was torn between his family in California and his family in Arizona. He called me one night, crying. Lost. He wanted to be with me and Daughter, but the mother of his second child was far less capable than I of caring for a child alone. He felt he had to protect his son, and that to move to California, and begin visitation with his son, would be a disaster for his baby. The mother and her problems might destroy the boy's future. The only boy I love more than Boyfriend is Boyfriend's son. I had to agree with Boyfriend's concerns. He was torn. He did not know what to do. I did not know what to do.

The next day, Daughter asked if we could move to Arizona.

Over the past year, I have watched Boyfriend struggle as he has tried to become a better man for both his children. We have worked together, fighting for his son and their future and to overcome our own past. Until his son, I told myself that if we had it to do again, it would be different. On sheer faith I believed that we would have fought to keep Daughter with both of us, we would have fought fear. We would have won.

When his son was born, we began a Happy Battle. A journey that proved to me that we are different, more, stronger. Now.
Now, I don't have to convince myself that we would do things differently. Now, I see us doing things differently.

When things work out, it is easy to find the ways that the pain was all for the best. Everything fell apart. And then everything fell together. There is beauty in the breakdown.

Boyfriend is comforting solace and my home. The children are infinite possibility and my future.

I can't describe the joy it brings to walk through this life by him.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

On a cloud of sound I drift in the night. Any place it goes is right.

Last night, I dreampt that the rudimentary plans of Arbusto to find me came true.

Me, Boyfriend, Arbusto, Southern Canadian (who, by the way, way hot in my dreams), and a chunky Hispanic kid (may have been carols Mencia) -- all went to a theme park.

Our first ride was also the last. The Magic Carpet Ride. We got on this huge middle eastern, sari looking, gorgeous colorful carpet, and were shot out over the park. Our carpet, for some reason, went further than the ride's boundaries ever intended. We floated and zoomed for over an hour. At a high point, we were struggling to navigate our carpet as it zigged and zagged through the theme park's water-slide section. We damn near slammed into a group of four on a large water-mat. They screamed, freaked out and fell off to their death. We skillfully avoided them and refused to let their ill-fortune ruin our good times.

When the people who operated the ride finally retrieved our carpet, they said it was the first time anything like this had ever happened. Not once had a carpet jut out on its own before. We were very proud of ourselves for that. Particularly Arbusto.

Then, we went into the "Acid Room" where there were crazy lights and fuzzy lava-lamp like pictures projected all over the room.

We got drunk and sang Karaoke. Freebird.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More Elevator Stories.

It's got to be the fourth or fifth time I've commented on elevator happenings on this blog. Never before did I realize how much humor takes place on elevators. Had I known this, I would have stopped walking the flight of stairs up to Cafe Zeb while I was at Boalt Hall and implemented a strict Elevator-Only policy.

So, yesterday, walking out of the office together, Front Secretary and I were blabbin it up. Where we work, there are two towers and then one smaller tower, which is connected to the parking lot. When we leave our offices, we exit our building and go to the third, stumpy building to get to our cars. That building has two sets of elevator: the left side goes to the basement levels and the right set goes to the higher floors of the lot. We were in the middle of a conversation about the frustrations of work and the fact that she loves her dog a little too much when it came time to part ways at the elevator doors:

Lex: "You always go down, huh?"
Front Secretary: Pressing the elevator call button "Yup, always going down."
Lex: Laughing "Yeah, I am always on top."

It was then that I realized I had stepped onto the elevator with Overweight Creepy Guy. Who promptly gave me an Overweight Creepy semi-smile after clearly hearing the exchange. And I, for some sick reason, felt the urge to correct him, because I knew exactly what he was thinking. I wanted to say:

"No, no, I'm always on top of the parking structure. Not sex. I'm backwards, forwards, up, down, sideways, lotus, reverse cowgirl... you name it. Don't pigeon hole me into some sick twisted 'only-on-top' category of girls who are sexually boring..."

Then I decided it was better to let sleeping dogs lie. If he's going to picture it, or retell the story, it's better to limit his options of the imaginary sexual positions I might be in.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Finding Common Ground. Good Times with Voter Registration Lady

Yesterday after work, I went by my local library, where I owed fines totaling the cost of half my arm and the three larger toes of my left foot. After paying, I walked out of the building and was greeted by a woman asking the ever-present library question:
Voter Registration Lady: "Are you registered to vote?"
Lex: "No, actually, I need to. I'm registered in California."
VRL: "Well, I'll just need an ID, and you fill out here, here and here."
Lex: "Ok, great"

Meanwhile, Unimportant Library Patron came out, and was lured to the VRL's table. She was already registered to vote, but VRL wanted her to sign some petitions.
VRL: "This one is a petition we're trying to get on the ballot. There was land zoned in Gilbert for residential, and the city is trying to change it to retail land, for another Wal-Mart. Would you like to sign?"
Unimportant Library Patron: "Well... I like Wal-Mart."
Lex: "Wal-Mart is evil."
Unimportant Library Patron: Patronizing "Why is Wal-Mart evil?"
Lex: Knowing it all. "They don't pay their workers a living wage, and when you apply there, they give you public assistance benefits applications, so their employees can get food stamps and health coverage. Because Wal-Mart is too cheap to give them a meaningful benefit and wage package."
Unimportant Library Patron: "Oh, well, I'll sign."

So I finished registering to vote. Then, Voter Registration Lady asked me to sign some petitions.
VRL: "This first one is a one man, one woman marriage initiative."
Lex: "No."
VRL: "It's to ensure that marriages will only be permitted between a man and a woman in Arizona."
Lex: "Nope." Annoyed. Some balls on this one for her to think I misunderstood rather than the reality that I could all too clearly see the evil agenda she was pushing. "I'm gay."
VRL: "Oh, um... really?"
Lex: No, fucknut. "Yes." Alluring sensual gaze deep into VRL's frightened eyes. "Really, really gay."
VRL: "Oh, well, um, how about this one, to get Republican candidate on the ballot."
Lex: "Nope. I don't like Republicans. At all."
VRL: "Well, it's not to vote for them, it's just to get them on the ballot."
Lex: "No thanks. Let them get on the ballot on their own anti-gay time."
VRL: Stunned. Still wondering what to make of my alluring gaze. "Well, how about this one?"
Lex: "The zoning ordinance? Sure, I'll sign that. Fuck Wal-Mart."
VRL: "Thanks, have a good night."
Lex: "You too, and thanks for doing this. Go democracy."
VRL: Baffled. "Uh, you're welcome."

See, it's not so hard to get along with the bad guys.

At least that night. Ah, to come together in Wal-Mart hate.

If that's what it takes, I'll take it.

Bummer that gay marriage will soon be banned in Arizona too.

Fuck'n damn god damned shit and fuck.


Monday, March 20, 2006

I guess all his money, well it isn't enough.*

The Boss: "I need that case that says "XY and Z"

Lex: Five minutes later. "Here, I found three cases that say X, Y and Z."

The Boss: "No, no.... I'm looking for that one case... it would be in the MedMal treatise in my office....

Lex: Runs and grabs MedMal treatise. "I don't see it. But really, this case has the same proposition you're looking for." Read him the proposition he's looking for.

The Boss: "Hmm... well, maybe it's in MedMal Treatise #2..." It wasn't. "I think it's called So and So v. What and What."

Lex:: "I have that case too, this one is more specific to medical malpractice though..."

The Boss: "That's ok, I'm going to go with this one."

Why is it that practitioner's get so caught up in a thought that they can't see past it? The Boss asked me to find a case that was pretty basic, and I found supportive case law in less than five minutes. But he had his heart set on a specific case. One that I felt was not as close on-point or clear. But he didn't even want to hear what I found. What gives?

Today, I want a new job. I am tired of being treated like an idiot when I'm not. I'm just... not. I'm a lemon, that much is true. But I am nowhere near as stupid as The Boss treats me. I mean, really, I could get treated like shit and made to feel like a short-bus kid at BigLaw. At least there, you get 75k to to have them treat you like you scored under 160 on the LSAT.

*Bonus points for whoever knows what song the title comes from.... (No Google-Fu!!)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Blog Hiatus


Doc says it's probably bunk ovaries acting up again. I'm thinking it's getting to be time to part with them.

I have had so much blood drawn in the last four days, I look like a heroin junky. The kind that's not very good at finding veins.

I went to the ER yesterday and it was a 14 hour wait. How terrible is that? They had people laying on gurneys down the hallways... one lady was even having seizures while she waited to be seen. Little babies throwing up all over the place. And one girl had a towel wrapped around her head. She came in right after I did, and was still waiting to be seen when I got taken back.

I should have taken office cards.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Big Whammy... STOP!

Another thing that happened in California this weekend was that, in passing, Boyfriend and I got schooled in television game shows by Uncle GQ. I noted that I was a big fan of "that one show, where they hit the thinger, and say 'no whammies, no whammies, no whammies.... STOP'"

Uncle GQ pointed out that there was a big ordeal back in the day where some guy figured out the sequence, and knew when all the whammies would come up. He was like Ken Jennings, if Ken Jennings were on steroids rather than just being an annoying genius. Ok, bad analogy. But you get the point, this guy spanked Press Your Luck.

Not so much for the gameshow's host, Peter Tomarken. Mr. Tomarken and his wife were killed today when the small plane they were traveling in crashed about 1/2 mile west of the Santa Monica Pier.

It's always eerie when you're talking about someone you haven't thought about in ages - and then the next day, they die. Espacially when you were talking about them, and then going out for coffee at... the Santa Monica Pier.

Never Give An Ex Your WebBlog Address.

"But why Lex?"

I got a telephone call from Ex-Husband this morning. Assumed he wanted to ask about something Daughter is or is not allowed to do, perhaps telephone numbers to facilitate Daughter's visits with old friends, something along those lines...

Oh no. We talked for less than 3 minutes. During this time, Ex-Husband worked in:

1) That the pants I sent on the trip with Daughter had holes. So terrible that Ex-Husband had to take her out and immediately purchase new pairs, along with new shoelaces (because the others were "too big") Daughter is nine.
2) That Daughter, counter to recent declarations of Vegetarianism, is, in fact, a true meat fan. All the talk she has engaged in regarding internal guilt about eating animals was hog-wash. Daughter was just waiting for the high-quality cooking only Ex-Husband is capable of.
3) That his snide comment to Boyfriend, at their very first meeting, "thanks for picking up the pieces" was meant to convey simple gratitude. Despite the smirk.
4) That I, upon our Saturday child-switch, looked awful. Just terrible. "Why you look so tore back?" I wanted to throw up. "Is it because you've been sick." On him.

The telephone call ended quickly. He emailed, saying it was all in good fun, that he treats all his friends with "biting" humor. I requested that he spare me.

I should not be suprised. All very typical Ex-Husband behavior. I suppose that, because we have been 1,000 miles apart for over six months, and our communications have been limited and friendly, I read too much into it. I thought he was becoming a better guy.

Ex-Husband has always liked to say mean things about people. Especially old girlfriends, people who are mad him, bosses who have fired him and teachers that gave him failing grades. He is a lot like his mother in this regard: he cuts people down to demonstrate how tall he is. Shame on me for not realizing, before I married the boy, that this trait might extend beyond people who, well, people who just plain deserve to be shit-talked. As time went on, I began to see that this was how he dealt with most people, even those he claimed to love most of all.

I was tempted to tell him that he looked fat, having gained some 20-pounds and that his girlfriend looked like her face was made of wax. Wax that had slightly melted beneath the SoCal sun. But I did not, because that's mean. His melty-face girlfriend never did anything to me. And I really don't care that he's a chunk-a-saurus.

So here I am, having the revelation that Ex-Husband is a total dickface and this will likely never change. Worse yet, he has two weeks to demonstrate his snottery to Daughter and she may well pick some up. Worst of all, he is doting on her - buying her new clothes, spending hours making her the exact dinner she desires, taking her out every day for playdates... her view of reality is going to be seriously altered when she gets back.

I know this is how it goes - the person who doesn't take care of the kid all the time, who has limited visits - will show the child a great time, and the child will associate that person with fun and a perfect life. I'm annoyed and saddened. He really has been kind of an asshole when it comes to Daughter since we split up, more than a year and a half ago. Because he is her step-father, and not her natural father, he has not contributed to her upbringing financially. Well, unless you count that he claimed her on his income taxes until just weeks ago. He made no effort to arrange her visit. I set the date, planned it, and worked with her old Berkeley friends to ensure that she could be other places on those days he couldn't take off work. And now, even though it is Boyfriend and I that have worked hard to take care of her everyday, give her a sense of normality and love... Now, it is the Ex who looks like the hero.

How long will this go on? How long before a kid notices that the "fun parent," with whom they have all these great memories, really wasn't there? I mean, I'm not going to tell her, but I assume that if he never changes, she will one day realize this herself. But when? And is that good? Is there really no hope that Ex-Husband might ever become a better person? I hate to think I was completely fooled for almost five years.... I like to think that at least the potential was there and he just never acted on it. But I'll figure out my long-term concerns for the well being of his soul some other time...

Because today. Yes, today. I only want to beat the shit out of him. Old-school, growing-up poor, getting jumped on the bus ghetto-style. Crack. Right in his big over-gelled head. Blam. Knocking his Peets Coffee out of his hand. Blam. Ruining his white Ralph Lauren sweater. With a "whamo" sign next to his face. Batman style. Knocked the fuck out.

Ah. That helped.

This is why the Ex-Husband never got the Blog address.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"And Your Ass Sucks Buttermilk"*

In California. Boyfriend and I met Ex-Husband and his Girlfriend at a Chevron Station off the I-5. We were switching Daughter for a two week vacation with Ex-Husband and some of Daughter's Berkeley friends. Daughter was super-excited, and took her Dance Dance Revolution to demonstrate her mad skills. It was the first time Boyfriend met Ex-Husband. I was slightly nervous about this, but things went smooth. Huge relief...

So now, Boyfriend and I are kid-free for two weeks!! It will take approximately 7 days to get used to the idea of not having little ones running around.I want to use the time wisely, but have no idea what to do with free time and no money. If anyone has suggestions, please share...

After, I finally had my meeting with the beach. Boyfriend and I walked down to the water. However, due to some pretty heavy SoCal rain, the only part of me I was able to dig into the sand was my fingers. Still. Totally. Awesome. Boyfriend and I were treated to a super-yummy dinner in Malibu, staring out at the blue from our ocean view booth. Very high style. Huge thanks to Loony Tunes Aunt and Uncle GQ.

Get this - the boys bathroom, had ice in the urinals. We're told it's a smell-prevention.... Crazy. Does anybody else know about this? I've never heard of such things before. Somebody needs to send me the manual for living the high life. Stat. Because, were I in the mens room, I might not feel comfortable peeing on the ice. Maybe I subconsciously associate urinal ice with the fundamental uckiness of peeing in snow.

The beach gave my soul round-abouts 50 positive health points. That should carry me for awhile.

As an aside: what up with the lack of comments from readers on BoyBortion? I was expecting to get a lot of guff on that one. Dag Nabbit. Cheese and Rice.

Best day of the year (so far).


* Random comment overheard from Uncle GQ to Loony Tunes Aunt. I don't understand what it means, but noted immediately that it would be the title to my Ocean Post.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Abortions for Boys?

Today, the National Center for Men will file a suit in a Michigan federal district court on behalf of 25 year old Matt Dubay, a man who has been ordered by the State of Michigan to pay child support. According to Dubay's version, the child's mother repeatedly assured him she was biologically incapable of pregnancy and the couple agreed they did not want children. But, lo and behold, she ended up pregnant and Matt received orders to pay child support.

The argument goes something like this: Roe v. Wade (and Casey), create a Constitutional right to reproductive choice. However, in application, women are granted reproductive rights while men are assigned reproductive responsibility. A secondary argument invokes equal protection because men do not have a similar say in whether a conception leads to birth and the attaching financial and emotional responsibilities (obviously, the equal protection argument is lacking a bit in the "similarly situated" department....)

The plaintiff will argue that a Constitutional right to "opt-out" should be established for men - similar to the time during which a woman's right to terminate her potetial parental responsibilities is absolutely protected (via abortion). While men cannot undergo abortions, Dubay feels potential fathers should be entitled to a similar right/ time period during which they can "choose" not to be a parent. Obviously, men would be required to share in half the cost of abortion or adoption. But if the woman decides to keep the child, and the father has timely opted out, the financial responsibility of raising the child would rest with the woman and the man would be relieved of future responsibilities (and rights) related to the child.

I see some logical points in Dubay's arguments: Women have 100% say in whether the product of consensual behaviors that result in a pregnancy will lead to childbirth. I get that this is a "right to control my body" issue for women, and that is part of the reason that women are granted the absolute right to an abortion. Men have no corresponding right to opt-out: pre-viability or after birth. For my part, I have seen firsthand that women are capable of using pregnancy as a way to lock men in, on some level, and granting men some rights might decrease the power preganant women can abuse against men who father their children. It seems that if a woman can unilaterally make the decision to terminate a pregnancy, men should also be granted some similar right to opt-out of parenthood.

It seems that standard counter-argument against men goes: "if you don't want to take the risk, don't have sex." But that is not the standard for women. We can go out, take no precautions, have sex all day long - and we are still permitted to backtrack and rid ourselves of the consequences by seeking an abortion. It doesn't seem right to tell men "If you don't like the consequences, don't have sex" while women have historically argued that "don't have sex" is a ridiculous assertion that interferes with freedom of choice. (Remember, the "don't like the risk, don't have the sex" argument is huge among pro-lifers, and pro-choicers have long since turned their nose against that argument)

On tangential matters: Many states also permit a mother to "abandon" her child within hours of birth if the baby is taken to a hospital - no questions asked. It's tantamount to giving your child up for adoption, and,although many such state-statutes use gender neutral language, the reality is that this is an option used by women. The idea being to avoid situations you hear about on the news every once in awhile where a newborn is found in a trashcan or some other horrifying circumstance.

But in all these situations - the consequences for the man after pregnancy occurs is completely in the women's hands. If she decides to keep the child, men have no choice but to become fathers (well, at least in the financial obligation respect). They (obviously) can't require a woman to undergo abortion. And man also can't "give up" their child unilaterally after birth (a one-sided adoption, essentially).

I also see some failed-logic in the arguments. Even if a man could "opt-out" and we grant the mother the same right, it can never be the same because the emotional and mental associations created by carrying a child are unique to the female via biology. In the abortion context, it is the female that has to make the hard-decision of whether to undergo a procedure on her body - and it is much easier for a man to detach himself from the decision and abstractly decide "no, I don't want a child" and then sign the hypothetical "opt-out" paperwork. Similarly, if the woman carries the child to birth, similar emotional and mental associations between the mother and the child are created by the way of things biologically and, again, there are differences between a man in that situation wanting to "adopt out" his rights and females making a similar decision. But is that enough to deny men any say in reproduction, absent telling them that they need to abstain all together if they don't like the consequences?

So, are things as they are fair? Should men also have an absolutely protected reproductive right? How about a limited right - like recognizing contracts entered into between men and women that state that the man does not wish to procreate, both agree that abortion is the way in the event of a pregnancy, and if the woman changes her mind then no paternal rights and obligations may attach? Also, let's take Casey into the future.... there will undoubtedly come a day when it will be medically possible to remove an embryo, within days of conception, and maintain and incubate it for the gestational period. When that happens, will men be granted the right to demand the product of the female removing the potential child from her body be handed over to the fathering male (assume, arguendo, that the procedure is exactly the same in terms of what the woman experiences, complications, etc)? Will the man have the right to elect that the embryo be removed, rather than destroyed, and maintained for the man if he wants to keep the child? If so, would men equally be permitted to demand child support? Should they?

I don't have the answers, but I think this is an interesting topic. One I am sure will inflame many readers. But what I would appreciate more than tiresome bashing is reasoned responses and thoughts on this issue. I don't know where I stand yet, I'm still thinking it though... but I would love for some of you to come with me.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Office Upgrade, Demand List Vacancy

The Boss hired New Paralegal yesterday, and walked her around for introductions. Stopping at my office door, he says: "This will be your office. Office Manager, we're going to move Lex over here."

He points to the "Big Office." I contain my inner elation.

The Big Office is damn near as big as the apartment I had in UC Berkeley's family student housing. This is where Contract Attorney, who The Boss hardly ever uses these days, once lived. It has a huge sprawling desk, bookshelves, a nice table, plants and spanning window-views of the valley. Ok, maybe that last one isn't so great, but on the whole... Upgrade!!

I had three things on my demand list for when (and if) I pass the bar.
1) More money, at least a 50% raise.
2) Established number of vacation and personal days. (too informal at this point).
3) The Big Office.

So now, I am short one demand. Actually two. I need a total of four minimum, so that I can have one to lose.


Monday, March 06, 2006

I'm Rich, Beotch

Go Mo! During 1L, I flyered up Boalt Hall upon the request of Mr. Mohammed Kashmiri for a meeting of Boalt Hall's Coalition for Diversity. He gave me the secret password to the Professors' copy machine. I went to about three meetings before I realized that the CFD, at that time, had no tangible game-plan. The meetings consisted of talking about racism and the need for diversity. I could have gone to class if I needed more repetitive, text-book, boilerplate liberalese. I never went to another CFD meeting again. But I put in my time and got my free t-shirt.

So anyhow, today, SF Superior Court Judge James Warren ruled that those of us enrolled at Berkeley pre-spring 2003, really were promised that our fees would not be raised. We all know how that worked out.

While I was at Boalt my tuition substantially increased. Complemented by a corresponding decrease in Professors, Horny Deans and Boalt's US News Ranking.

A great big "Fuck You" shout-out to the Regents.

Now, scurry off to the corner, get your appellate team to work and vote yourself another raise.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I Buy My Crack, I Smack My Bitch

Randy Cunningham got 8 years.

I can see it now - a former Congressman mingling with other inmates, many of whom you know believe government is crooked, that the incarceration system is all wrong and hatey-hate-hate politicians.

Man, this guy is going to get his ass kicked so many times.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ups and Downs of Elevator Etiquette.

I do not know proper elevator etiquette. I try not to push people, but lots of large people work in my building, so every once in awhile I find myself bumping a roll. If the elevator is super-crowded, I ask someone to hit my floor's button. When Building Management made a mockery of brilliant music by playing a Norwegian Wood instrumental, I kept mum.

But this day, yes this day, I took a stand. A stand against bullshit elevator pleasantries.

I work on the 17th floor. There are two groups of elevators in the building: the first for Floors 1-10 with a second set for the higher floors. Genius idea, higher ups should never have to interact with the bottom rungers. They are more prone to body odor. Anyhow, on any given morning, there are a good 8-12 people riding together in an elevator. This morning, a super-cheery, Girl-Scout-Cookie carrying soccer mom decided to institute an uncomfortable "Greeting Upon Departure" policy amongst co-riders.

We stop at Floor 11.

"You have yourself a great day!" Elevator lady smiled and waved. Jeans and Nice CK Sweater Guy turned awkwardly to face the rest of us. "You too, I hope you have a nice...." Doors close.

Floor 12.

Exit three Microsoft employees. They offer uncomfortable smiles after receiving their "You just get through this Friday and then have yourself a great weekend!!" nicety from Overzealous Elevator Lady. By this point, another female rider began chiming along with Overzealous: "Have a great day!" I have ridden the elevator with this girl a million times, and never, ever does she offer such greetings. She is easily swayed. Young, susceptible girl. Hey look, the sky is falling! Gotcha. I really like your alligator skin boots.

Floor 13.

No exiters. "Well isn't that good luck, not stopping on 13!" Overzealous Elevator Lady laughs. Of the remaining five, four laugh along. I remain silent. I am being subjected to an elevator Happiness Coup.

Floor 14.

Alligator Girl tells everyone goodbye as though we were lovers departing at an airport. I contemplate a Miss. America Farewell wave but opt to maintain my stand against this insanity. Overzealous Elevator Lady wishes her well. The other three are chiming in. Dumbfounded, I wonder what the hell is going on.

Floor 15.

Overzealous Elevator Lady exits, throwing well-wishes that sting like dirty bombs. "Hope you have a great day!" Three respond with similar pleasantiries. Rather Quiet Lady waves, although not a Miss. America caliber wave. Two three-piece BigLaw Suits hope she has a great weekend. They don't give a shit about her weekend. They only care that they received a late minute-entry yesterday setting a conference that will interfere with an out of town event the partners had planned. I know this, because Overzealous Elevator Lady consoled them somewhere around Floor 12.

Floor 16.

Rather Quiet Lady leaves. She wishes all a really nice day. They return with happy smiles, thanks and similiar statements.

Floor 17.

Lex leaves. I say nothing. I refuse to join in this fake game of "we know and like eachother." The two BigLaw Suits remain silent. Slight head-nod as they scoot to the side, allowing my exit. BigLaw Suits offer no well-wishes, although clearly I gained mad respect for bringing normality back to elevator life.

I had a shitty day yesterday.
I didn't feel like playing this morning.
I am going to steal Alligator Girls' boots.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

More on Evidence and Life on Wisteria Lane

Remember the post where Neighbor Wife asked Boyfriend over for a drink?

Well, she just got a Get Out of Jail Free card.

Last night, Boyfriend called while I was commuting home from work, reporting that Nephew and Daughter were at Neighbor's house playing. As I turned into our driveway, Boyfriend was standing outside, Daughter was upset, Nephew was proclaiming innocence and Neighbor's youngest son was at our house.

Boyfriend: "Neighbor's Husband just lost his finger, Friend [the banker] took him to the ER."
Lex: "Huh?! What?!"
Boyfriend: "As the kids were leaving, Nephew closed the door and Neighbor's Husband's finger was still in it. It got sliced off from the bottom of the nail."
Lex: "Oh. My. God. How did it happen again?"
Boyfriend: "It's ok. I found his finger, put it in a bag of ice and sent it to the ER with him."
Lex: "Oh. My. God. We are so getting sued."
Boyfriend: "Really, it's ok, I wiped up the blood so Neighbor's Wife wouldn't freak out. Now I just have to stay out here and wait for her to get back so I can explain what happened."
Lex: "When Nephew slammed the door, what did Neighbor's Husband do?"
Boyfriend: "He freaked out, he was in pain."
Lex: "Did he say anything?"
Boyfriend: "Well, he told Nephew it wasn't his fault - that it was an accident.'"
Lex: "When did he say that? From the hospital...?"
Boyfriend: "No, right after it happened."
Lex: Relief. "Good. Excited utterance. Present sense impression. Ass save."

I should never, ever have gone to law school.