Friday, April 29, 2011


Moving an office is a pain.

A royal pain. (Like that---my acknowledgement of something happening over the pond? Cute, right?)

But it is a royal pain.

Everything has to get boxed and moved to the new place. While I am still working.

So I have to be able to access on line files and forms, answer phone calls and emails and go to court.

So the trusty assistant (AKA=The Kid) boxed everything. Old files that we have to keep. Legal research. Books of legal junk. Code books. Office supplies (good god, I live in sticky square hell!) and the ever present, but absolutely necessary PERSONAL ITEMS.

These mean penguins of various modes and shapes. All of which make me smile. So they stay at the office.

And then the most important reminder of all--a little magnet that says "Leap and the Net will Appear"

So far, the net has always appeared.

And so I leap again.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quiet Day in the Neighborhood

For the last week or so the phones have been quiet. No major fires to put out. No one to save from themselves, law enforcement, family members, or mother nature.

I didn't know what to do with myself.

No rushing from pillar to post worrying that nothing would get done.

I actually got to finish reading case files, research cases and write some motions!

I thought I had forgotten how to do that!!!!

Then The Kid speaks and says, "when are you going to teach me to write motions?"


She is in law school. She is a certified law student. And I am an idiot.

She graduates in August and our agreement is that she starts studying full time for the Bar Exam in November. I think there are a few motions she can write in the meantime.

Then I really can have some quiet weeks even if the phone is ringing off the hook.

Sometimes you just don't see the assets you have until they speak up.

Good thing I raised a pushy broad of a kid. Wonder where she got that???????

Monday, April 25, 2011

Down but NEVER Out

Something in me just won't let me quit.

Sometimes I think I would like to move to Costa Rica or someplace like that a just live off my small county pension and live in a dusty little town and learn another language and do NOTHING.

But I can't.

There is no challenge in sitting on my butt and watching the world go by. And it is a challenge that always gets me. I don't want it to, but it does.

From the very first person that told me I was too cute to go to college to the person that told me that girls can't compete in sports to the judge that still thinks that women can't do "big" cases. I just can't walk away.

When I tell Melodie about the first time I tried to buy a car and was told that either my husband or my father would have to co-sign for me, she is still in disbelief. When I tell her my first interview for a job as a lawyer started off with "what does a sweet young thing like you want to do in law?" she is shocked. She was 13 years old then.

We have come a long way.

So when I hit rough patches like this week (which had nothing to do with work and everything to do with living and dying) I try to remember what I have accomplished and how much more there is to do.

I still have to be the pushy broad sometimes. Sometimes I have to remind those around me that my skills are as good and usually better than theirs and they really should recognize that. I still have to fight the good fight and do it cleanly and with my head held high.

And I do it for Melodie and I do it for women of her age. And I do it for Angelo and young men of his age. I do it so they will never, ever, have to fight that fight. They will have other fights but not that one.

I may get discouraged. I may get down. But I am never out. And I just can't quit.

Maybe someday, I won't feel like I have to fight so much. I hope so.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Night

It is not a normal thing. Watching television. It is not a normal thing on a Friday night.

I am usually on the computer. (Like now) Or working on a case. Or working on a jigsaw puzzle. Or doing something mundane like laundry.

But not tonight.

I watched television.

Well, to be exact, I watched TIVO.

My dear spouse records all of my favorite stuff and leaves it for me for the weekend. We often sit down and watch something stupid over dinner. Once we are done with eating I get a blanket of two dogs and he gets a smaller one dog blanket.

If we are really lucky, the dogs go outside and the cats venture upstairs and play blanket.

But tonight I needed to empty my mind. Completely. And there is no better way to do that than to watch television.

The computer requires reading or writing. The puzzles cause neural-synapse meaning I have to think. Of all the things I can do that let me empty my brain, television is second to meditation. And it requires less work on my part.

After another week in the fight for an even playing field in the justice system, I need to empty my brain of all thought.

So if you will excuse me, I have to unpause the TIVO and recapture my blankets!

Have a good Good Friday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thank you, Kit

I got pictures from my ex-husband today. It took him 30 years but all the pictures that he took and saved of our life together (including Melodie's baby pictures) are coming to me. I directly thank him, Melodie and Dropbox!

I have looked at this first batch most of today. I have been running memories through my mind in no particular order.

There was so much that I have forgotten. I don't remember where some of the pictures were taken or when. I don't remember what was going on when some were taken or (worse yet) who some of the people are. But it has been a bittersweet day.

I put one picture on my facebook page of me wearing a halter top. I don't even remember owning one much less having the guts to wear it! I remember thinking of myself as fat but I was obviously undernourished! Good Lord!!!!!

But the best picture, for me, was this one

I have always maintained that I have not been a good mother. This picture reminded me that the things that I did- working three jobs at a time, finishing 3 years of college in 2, going to law school full time and working every day- was because I love her so very, very much.

That, I think, makes me a very good mother.

Two misperceptions of myself shot down in one day.

Thank you, Kit for all the good years and for giving us Melodie.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I really did intend to go.

My high school reunion. Forty-two years. I had missed the 40th for some reason.

After all, it was going to be at Orange Blossom Festival and that might be fun.

But then I couldn't. I couldn't go back at OBF. I couldn't watch floats and bands and think about the times that Dan had been in that parade ( or me for that matter with him watching). I couldn't go to the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast that my father use to organize.

I just couldn't go.

I really wanted to talk to people. But I knew I couldn't. I knew I would not stick to the small stuff.

I was born there. My parents are buried there. My strongest memories of Dan are there.

I will return. When we bring Dan to join mom and dad. Until then Lindsay has to stay a memory in my head.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sometimes you do things right

Maybe I was a little young when I got married. Nineteen is a bit on the immature side. Especially for me. I was over protected and spoiled. Princess issues abounded.

But a year and a half later, Melodie entered the world.

I had no idea what to do with a baby. I was the baby and I had never even babysat a tiny human. I was terrified.

But somewhere along the way, I started to figure it out. 

Melodie and Mom @1974-Minor, North Dakota
I never did it very well. I made mistakes that were horrendous. And I am not sure why she made it through her childhood alive with me as a parent. But she is loved.

Melodie and Mom-Spring-Minot, North Dakota
There were times, especially when I was in law school, that she learned things that no eleven year old should ever know. Or see. Or hear. But we both survived.

I look at her now and I am in awe. She is brilliant and beautiful and strong. She doesn't know that all the time. None of us ever do. But she shines in such a way that others notice.

She sings in the Vocal Arts. I was afraid that when I joined I would somehow make the group less hers. Not a chance. Melodie can stand her own ground and make her own way.

Sometimes you do something right.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Runnin' on Empty

Somedays ya just feel like that---runnin' on empty. Goin' full speed but no ability to regulate thoughts. Hurrying to slow down. No ability stop to think or take the time to fill the tank.

That is where my brain is at. It is spinning away. Weaving thoughts, telling my body to move, telling me to do something but not finishing that thought because I have to do something else before I can do that other thing. I then I forget what it was that I started to do.

And the weaving comes undone and I have to start all over again.

I recognize that I am tired. Bone tired. But sleep isn't restful right now. It carries strange dreams that are unfinished and odd. They wake me up and I want to go back to sleep to finish them and I can't.

So I pad around the house very quietly. Don't want to wake the dogs (they will be wanting FOOD) but the cats come upstairs and sit with me. On my lap. They curl up and purr and then go to sleep. Damn them. Now I can't move.
Putter in the dark

Moving, you see, will wake the cat who will let out a yowl. The yowl will wake the dogs. The dogs will bark at the sound of the cat. The spouse will then quickly rise, hurting his back, to protect his family from the danger he has been alerted to by his faithful dogs.

I told you my mind was spinning. Didn't believe me, did you?

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I will never forget the first time I met him. He was sitting in his chambers, black robe hanging from his shoulders. He was slightly stooped, almost bald with a bright shock of white hair, a closely trimmed beard and a too thin mustache.

And I was scared to death of him. Presiding Judge.

The guy who could make my life miserable.

He was known as the man with the steel trap mind. A man who did not suffer fools or idiots. And an unprepared attorney was worse than either a fool or an idiot or both. This judge actually READ the case files, the briefs, the memorandum, and he knew the case law.

He treated every one the same. It didn't matter if you were a prosecutor or a defense attorney. It didn't matter if you were privately retained or on the public trough. He wanted you prepared on your case.

I tried a lot of cases in front of him. I didn't always like his rulings but if I asked I got a logical reason why he did what he did. I could argue with him in court and he would actually listen. Occasionally, I won.

Gradually, over the years and through the cases, we became "friends". But really, he became my mentor. He taught me how to act in court, what to say, when to say it. By sitting in readiness conferences with other attorneys, arguing motions, or sitting and listening in his courtroom waiting for my cases to be called.

And when I went through a really low period in my private life, he gently and discreetly, pointed me in the right direction. He never crossed that ethical line. And he never betrayed a confidence.

When I moved to the Central Coast we were finally able to speak as friends. I would never stand before him as counsel for a defendant and he would never rule on a case involving me or my client. He guided me in the opening of my office ( he had been a successful practitioner before he became a judge) and he guided me through the maze of civil case law when I tried that particular brand of law. I would occasionally ask his advise on a case or on a legal issue.

Then he called one day and told me that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The doctors gave him maybe 6 months and with treatment maybe a year. That was three years ago.

Now it had spread. It is now in his brain. That steel trap brain that holds all that knowledge. 

I have lost many people in my life lately. I may lose more. But to him, on this planet or not, I will always be grateful.

And I wanted to say that before he could not hear it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's Just Life

I am suppose to be working. That isn't exactly working for me at the moment.

My mind is wandering. Kinda peeking into small recesses and alcoves of my memory today. It's cold and it is trying to rain. (Failing for the most part but succeeding enough to make one carry an umbrella.)

I had a dream last night that I went to rehearsal with soap in my hair. Say what? Soap. Not shampoo. Soap.

I am still trying to figure that one out. It keeps flicking back into my brain as I try to get something done here.

Now I can't go telling people in my 3D world that I dreamt of having soap in my hair. They would 1) think I was off my rocker (a distinct possibility today) or 2) try to analyze the dream and give meaning to my life as a result of that analysis.

Right at the moment, I am not in for either. So I think (oh, wait for is really bad.......)

I'm gonna wash those thoughts right out of my hair......

(For the younger set, Google "South Pacific""Mitzi Gaynor". It was an ancient musical)

Now I am really depressed. Not only did I dream of soap in my hair, feel unable to express that dream, have it capture my day and live in my brain without paying rent but I realize how old I am.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hell Week

Hell Week=Concert Week. Rehearsals Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Last night was rather short as we were able to run through the program fairly quickly without toooo many major errors.

But tonight. Oh, lordy. We will be in the Mission which means technical stuff. Mikes and standing orders and entrances and exits and people TALKING when they should SHUT UP and LISTEN.

And the ever present smelly stuff. I would say perfume or cologne but people seem to think that nothing else that they use smells. Like lavender talc. Or hair spray. Or rose scented soap. Or tangerine shampoo. Or baby powder scented deodorant. All together it is a nightmare for anyone sensitive to odor. And we are standing on risers. Like sardines in a can. Dripping with lavender, rose, tangerine, baby powder and god knows what else.

Please sing now. Are you KIDDING?

Meanwhile, the mike tech is telling someone to speak up and the director is telling everyone to pipe down and it is all reverberating with lovely acoustical sound from the ancient walls of the Mission.

And we all love it. We will gripe and groan and bi**h and moan. And we will sing our hearts out.

And we will do it again on Thursday.

And Saturday we will be there very early and do it again.

Then we will perform. And it happens. Magic.

Oh, we may screw up in our own minds. We may think we missed a note here or there. We may feel like our intonation was not good enough in this song or that. Sometimes (like in the video below, we forget what foot we are one)

But it will be magical. Together we are a family. We make something very, very special.

We make music.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hijacking email

OK. You read about it every day. Hacking, phishing all that stuff. It happens to other guys who don't have good firewalls or complicated passwords or have their virus protection turned off. Right? Wrong.

It happened to me and I do all the right things. Apparently, the idiots who got all those thousands of emails at Epsilon got mine. And tried to send out a bunch of emails from my account.

I was minding my own business. Using my email for business and it just shut down. Bam! Gone. And I could not get back in.

So the old lady calls upon the Kid. Within 5 minutes she has it figured out. It was the firewall and complicated password and virus protection and good email provider that kept me from having a complete cyber-breakdown.

Then I got mad. Real mad. It is so STUPID! If it is a game to see if you are smarter than somebody else, I get it. But to use some shmoze email just to spread nasty stuff is really beyond my comprehension. And I do criminal defense work so there is very little on the motivational chart that I haven't heard or that I don't in some dark corner of my mind, understand.

This is stupid. It is nameless. It is harm without any passion or reason of any kind.

I guess I won't be doing any cyber-crime defense for awhile.