Exact Approximations

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Irony and Hypocrisy

1999: Lex begins reading about firearms and becomes staunchly anti-gun.

2005: Lex and Sadie become friends. Lex pontificates endlessly on ills of gun ownership. Sadie disagrees and shoots quails.

Intermittently since: Mini-discussions and side-arguments regarding gun control come up between Lex, Sadie and Sadie's Boyfriend, Ford Prefect. Nobody is able to convince the other to switch their position.

05/12/06: Ford makes the statement that "If guns kill people, then I can blame misspelled words on my pencil." Comment war regarding gun control ensues on this blog.

11/14/06: Lex's Uncle, CECU, states his belief that there is a fundamental right to gun ownership. Comment war regarding gun ownership ensues on his blog.

12/17/06: Lex and Boyfriend purchase Christmas gifts for Sadie and Ford.

12/19/06: Sadie posts about her birthday. Lex comments, asking Sadie what she got. Sadie responds that Ford got her girly stuff, as requested, because Sadie "got too many guns and shit last year."

12/20/06: Lex and Boyfriend exchange gifts with Sadie and Ford. Lex and Boyfriend give Sadie and Ford paintball GUNS.

Thereafter: Lex is an official hypocrite. But continues to be excited over the possibility that Sadie and Ford's paintball gun-ownership may lead to some pretty entertaining stories.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lately My Whole Aim is to Maintain

I have been suffering from acute anxiety over the past few weeks. This involves waking up in the dead of the night in sweats, loss of the ability to focus and constant knots in the pit of my stomach. I'm living in a constant state of fear of things I can't control. Every morning I wake up and think to myself that this might be the day that my world will explode. It's to the point where the only time I feel even minimally calm is in the moments before I fall asleep, because I know that, for at least a few hours, my mind will be somewhere else and I won't be freaking out about my life.

I have been trying to keep this to myself. I recently regained my health and passed the bar. So I wanted to project the image that I am recovered and on my way up. I'm sick of hearing about my life issues, and am betting everyone else is too. What happened was, once I got healthy, I had to face everything I was too sick to really deal with before.

I have serious issues. First, the state still has not certified me as an attorney, as they are continuing to evaluate my character. The process has taken twice as long as it should because I have financial issues and the bar does not like it when you owe people money. I have been informed that I will likely be placed on probationary status, and have to report to the character committee throughout the course of the year regarding the medical debts. They want me to pay them off within a year, or risk losing the bar number that I don't even have yet. On top of that, more and more medical bills roll in everyday. I can't pay them right now. And because of all this, I still haven't received the raise I thought I would get months ago. I naively anticipated that I would be earning at least 50% more than what I currently make, and as a result, I am falling further and further behind every month because I planned my life around a salary I thought I would have by now (big mistake).

Even worse, it's not just medical debt. My alma mater is chasing me down for $ owed for my last month's rent and medical bills I incurred at UC Berkeley's health center. I owe money on personal loans that I should already be paying back, making me feel like total shit, because I really want those people to see me as trustworthy and dependable. And there are other things, things which have me REALLY freaked out about what might potentially happen in the coming months - but I don't think it's a good idea to blog about those things.

Every day I have been having minor panic attacks, it feels like my heart is going to fly out of my chest and I get shortness of breath. And it's getting worse every day. I constantly worry about what is going to happen. Am I going to get my bar #? Can I pay these things off in one year so the bar won't revoke my membership? Will I have wasted three years of law school and 100k in student loans to pursue a profession that might not let me practice?

In short, I am falling apart. My work is suffering. My mental health is severely suffering. I told Boyfriend this morning that I didn't know how I could take it anymore. I seriously feel like I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. I don't know what to do or how to handle everything. And that makes me feel even worse. I'm a total disastrophe at a time when I thought I would be at the top of my game.

Aaaaahhhhh. Freak out city. Anxiety.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Racist Bullshit, Hating The (Wo)Man

I updated my firm calendar this morning and realized we have a deposition scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Total crap, because the fam and I were tentatively planning to drive to Utah to visit Step-Son and attempt to avoid his crazy lunatic mother. (And that's putting a really nice spin on this girl). Now, I have to stay in AZ - which I'm bummed about, I was really looking forward to seeing Utah. I hear it's super-perdy. And I miss Step-Son. I wish we had custody of him so that me, Daughter, Boyfriend and Step-Son could finally have the life we've always dreamed of herding elk in Canada. We're just waiting for the day when Step-Son is old enough to legally decide which parent he wants to live with, and then we can save him from the insanity his mother will certainly inflict upon him. I probably shouldn't write shit like that, but I tried so hard to be nice to Boyfriend's Baby-Mama (BBM) and she has been nothing but an awful Medusa-headed demon shrew. At every turn, I have tried to be respectful and cordial, but BBM refuses to even meet me - despite the fact that our children are siblings. She can't stand to hear my name and won't let me talk to Step-Son on the telephone. Even Daughter thinks she's mean, and we never talk shit about BBM in front of Daughter. BBM is so hateful that even a ten-year-old picked up on it. I hope that when BBM dies, she has to go to some shitty spirit-heaven planet run by a mean man who treats her the way she treats us. Take that, Mormon retard.

In any event, bullshit. I can't believe we don't take MLK as a holiday. If I were black, I would probably have the balls to demand celebration - take the day off anyhow if my request were ignored - and then threaten racial discrimination in the event of repercussions. Maybe I should start telling everyone around the office that I'm half black, and begin planting the seeds of my Mormon-Land Getaway...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dazed and Confused

Things around the office feel slightly... awkward.

Republican Paralegal has been uncharacteristically not complaining my ears off.

Front Secretary has been uncharacteristically not listening to me complain her ears off.

The Boss gave me a much needed nod of approval. We received defense counsel's Response to a very important motion today, and when The Boss asked me my thoughts, I conveyed my surprise at how poorly thought-out the Response was. The Boss asked me what I would have written if I were Defense Counsel. I listed things. The Boss smiled. The Boss nodded. Likely meant more to me than he meant to convey. I don't care, I am going to read into that shit all day. I need some God-Damned praise, justified or not. I wanted to go on - because I actually had more good ideas - but The Boss' cell phone rang and I got the "I have to take this..." office walk-out. And another nod.

There are three cases of bomb-ass champagne sitting in the kitchen, waiting to be shipped off as Holiday Gifts from The Boss to various people. I can't find the mail-merge address list. Sucks, I was totally going to slip myself in.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Trial Success Rates

I was joined on the elevator by a few older people who work at BIGLaw - the super-huge firm that lives on the top three flooors of the building where I work. Anyhow, Female Partner asked Male Partner how his daughter's post-law school job was working out:
Male Partner: "Well, she won't be working Saturday or Sunday. This is the first weekend that she doesn't have a trial starting the following Monday."
Lex: Damn. Suckin.
Female Partner: "Really? Every Monday, that's awful. For how long?"
Male Partner: "Since she started in September. She's a public defender, says she loves it."
Female Partner: "So how's she doing?"
Male Partner: Moment of quiet tabulation. "I think she's won one."

I got off the elevator and wondered - one win out of (my estimated) 14 trials.... is that good? I mean, obviously not good in most areas, but is 1 in 14 a good win-rate for a Public Defender?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Republican Paralegal: fortune-telling the faith of others

The firm's Holiday Dinner was Saturday. The Boss toasted my success on the bar exam, even making a speech about how it was even more impressive in light of the fact that I failed the first time. I think that's bullshit, but The Boss made it sound all After School Special. It was nice. The dinner was held at a lovely restaurant that had really good food and really good wine. I drank lots of the really good wine and ended up chucking my really good food when I got home. This severely interfered with my "really good wine" sex.

Anyhow, dinner was entertaining. The Boss made lots of Anti-Repugs jokes that were met with silence from Republican Paralegal and her husband. This morning, Republican Paralegal told me she was most offended by jabs made by The Boss concerning Barbara Bush and her resemblance to scary, mythical, male-like creatures. Republican Paralegal also noted that Boyfriend is "very handsome", so I didn't really care what she thought about everything else that happened at dinner.

But - last week - Republican Paralegal pushed what may be my "second to last button"-button.

I went to her on Friday morning and again expressed my opinion that she should no longer hold back her political beliefs. I explained that The Boss wouldn't punish her; if anything he would probably hold back the shit-talking soas to make her feel more comfortable. Republican Paralegal firmly disagreed. She is convinced that if The Boss finds out about her political affiliation, he will fire her. I told her that was nonsense, and explained that I-the sole office Atheist- never get shit for thinking that God is for the schizophrenic and simple-minded.

She responded, I shit you not, Republican Paralegal responded by telling me that my lack of faith is not nearly as big a deal as her differing political beliefs because she feels that The Boss and Office Manager don't really believe in God!!!

Apparently, if they did, their thinking would be more in line with Republican Paralegal's. Further, The Boss and Office Manager don't have strong relationships with God, nor do they turn to Jesus Christ as their true savior and blah blah blah (she seriously gave me the Savior Speech). Republican Paralegal thinks Office Manager goes to church because she was brought up in the Midwest and that's "just what they do, how she grew up, all she knows." Even better, Republican Paralegal thinks The Boss goes to church for, I shit you not, the "social benefits." Like maybe he knows better than to believe in God, but might run for office someday so he knows he needs the religion card in his pocket... That's what I came up with when I tried to reconcile his level intelligence with that of a believer. But that's an Atheist's justification. For Republican Paralegal, the Bible loving God-hopper, to say that The Boss and Office Manager don't really believe in God... Honestly, I'm an Atheist and I found it somewhat insulting.

I immediately went to Front Secretary and told her everything. Front Secretary is my favorite. We bitched and complained together about Republican Paralegal and Front Secretary confessed that she can't stand the woman. We both kinda want to take her out and rough her up street style.

Republican Paralegal will be found out soon. The question is, how do I go about it without getting any credit?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Republican Paralegal: The Boss' inadvertent assertion of my revenge.

We all pow-wowed about logistics of the office Christmas dinner today.

Thinking I might spark some interesting discussion among The Boss and Republican Paralegal, I reminisced about a funny comment The Boss made at last year's dinner to an attorney who used to lease space in our office. The Boss had made a toast, and said to Leasing Attorney "Dinner is on Leasing Attorney, it'll be a great way to use those tax cuts." Something along those lines.

Anyhow, in response to my comment, The Boss went on a rant:
The Boss: "The thing about Leasing Attorney wasn't just that he was cheap. On top of that, he was a Republican." Absolute disgust.
Lex: Shot look at Republican Paralegal silently asking if any response was coming. Nothing. Coward.
The Boss: "I mean, most people who do Plaintiff's work and feel a sense of compassion for others, generally those people have liberal beliefs. I couldn't stand that he was a Republican. Idiots."
Lex: Shot look at Republican Paralegal silently asking if any response was coming. Nothing. Coward. I decided to try to give her an in to voice her own beliefs. "Well, The Boss, it is plausible that someone can have conservative values and believe in Plaintiffs work." Wink at Republican Paralegal. Republican Paralegal still said nothing. Coward. "I mean, there's a continuum of conservative and liberal beliefs. People can, for instance, be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. You can't just break it down to political party."
The Boss: Reply consisting of overly smart statements that singlehandedly defeated my insight. He is good at that. The Boss refused to entertain the possibility that he might be overgeneralizing.

After the crowd broke, Republican Paralegal came into my office and thanked me for sticking up for her while not outing her. I told her it was no problem, but my real motivation was never to make her feel better. I wanted Republican Paralegal to challenge The Boss. To say what she really thinks and not just go with what she thinks everyone wants to hear. Which I am starting to think she does. A lot. For the zillionth time, Republican Paralegal predicted the hell she would face if The Boss knew her political beliefs. But she found solace in her belief that God would bring her another job if The Boss fired her over her political beliefs. I don't think The Boss would do that, although he would likely *engage* her in *spirited* debates over political issues. Seems to me that Republican Paralegal should be willing to defend her beliefs. I guess she knows better than to go toe to toe with a seasoned, kick ass, argument machine of an attorney that is The Boss.

Just before Republican Paralegal was thanking me for having her back, I was ratting her out to Office Manager. Earlier this morning, Office Manager and I were talking about how Republican Paralegal got mad last week. I spilled that Republican Paralegal had been upset, but that she cooled down over the Thanksgiving holiday. Office Manager made a comment that Republican Paralegal would never get so upset as to leave the firm. I sat silently remembering the numerous occasions that Republican Paralegal told me she was considering quitting, and when she sent out resumes and interviewed with other places. I looked at Office Manager very seriously and said "I know with certainty that that's not true."

Take that, Republican Paralegal. I didn't straight up out her or rat her lack of loyalty. Particularly the fact that she pretends to be so loyal when she isn't. I didn't say that she had actively pursued other jobs since the first month she started working here. I didn't tell anyone she was a Repug.

But I began planting the seeds. Let's watch and see what grows.

Note to others: Don't disagree with and dismiss an atheist every chance you have and then expect them to protect you from having others approach your beliefs with that same attitude.