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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

(I promise this isn't becoming a pet blog, but hey, I just got the little fella.  Slack, por favor?)

1. I am 2:3 on getting Spence to poop outside, which basically feels like an accomplishment on par with passing two bar exams.

2. I bought Spence a squeaky toy and he really likes it.  No, I mean he REALLY likes it.  He'll wrestle with it for awhile, but inevitably ends up humping it.  After a minute or so of this, he will look up at me and whine in confusion.  I interpret this as, "Ru, this isn't nearly as fun as I had somehow imagined it would be.  What's going on?"

So sorry, little friend, but you're never going to get to do the real thing.  Snip snip time!

3. I don't love it when people call me Spence's "mom."  I'm not his mom, I'm his Ru.  I'm pretty sure he calls me by name in his brain, so let's not confuse the little guy.

Though all my friends and siblings?  Yeah, they're aunties and uncles.  I don't know how it works, either.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And so it begins ...

So last night I bought a pup.  Awwwwww!  (Don't judge me for not getting a rescue, I will donate.)

Am resisting the urge to call in sick so I can stay home and play with him all day.

Do not even care that he woke me up at 5:30 AM, that I took him outside to pee, and waited ... and waited ... and waited ... and then when my sleep-brain decided he didn't want to pee, I brought him back inside.  Where he promptly peed.

Seriously.  Look at him.  Would you care? 

Didn't think so.

I am also resisting the urge to write cutesy captions under his pictures like, "Oh hai!" or "I'm just a writtle guy!" because I want to make myself think that his brain is a little more macho than that.  So instead you will get a super chill, "What's up."

Pretty sure his name is Spence the Spaniel (Spencer when he's bad), but so far he answers to all the names I have tried out. 

And in case you wanted to know -- and of course you do, because he's ADORABLE -- these are the names that have been under consideration at one point or another:

Rocky
Shane
Roland
Albert
Bertie
Thomas
Bruce
Rocco
Colby
Tex
Angelo
Buster
George

But he seems like he might be a Spence to me.

It certainly didn't hurt that his new Grandaddy and Gangi have already committed to calling him Spence.  Even if I visited them this weekend and was like, "Oh hey family, I've decided to call him Freckles," they'd be like, "Nope.  We're calling him Spence."*






* FYI, this is also how my brother "Charlie" ended up with two names. If a mom and dad can't agree on a name, just choose both!  And then use them interchangeably!  If it's not confusing to a child, it won't be confusing to a dog.

Or something.
 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Empathy

So I watch The Bachelorette (of course I do).  And of course, I have engaged in many-a discussion about the behavior of one Bentley Asshat McGee.  (True story: that's actually on his birth certificate.)

And I've heard some arguments in lil Bentler's defense that I really just don't care for.  

Look, let's all agree that dating is just the worst.  No one likes it, but it's a necessary evil for finding your special shmoopy someone.

And in dating, you are bound to both (a) get your feelings hurt and (b) hurt someone else's feelings.

However, this doesn't mean you get to be cavalier about it.

No, Bentley did not like Ashley.  There is no law saying that he had to.

But did he have to act like he liked her?  Did he have to literally pick her up and carry her over to the fireplace to make out with her?  Did he have to break up with her, not by explaining the truth -- that he just didn't think they were a good match -- but by claiming he had to go but didn't want to shut the door on their relationship, knowing full-well he didn't want a relationship with her?

It seems to me there are a lot of people out there who think that because dating inherently involves some amount of deception or rejection, they can behave however they would like.

I had a friend once justify the mass "What are you doing tonight?" text to 10 or so girls with the reasoning that only girls who aren't busy would respond and it's better to be busy than alone on a weekend.  What's more, he expressed irritation that any girl would express irritation at such a lovely overture.

But while his reasoning may have been true enough, isn't it also true that no one likes to be treated as an interchangeable place-holder?  And just because something hypothetically wouldn't 't hurt your feelings, does that excuse you from trying to understand that, yes, it does actually hurt someone else's feelings?

(Seriously gents - is it really so onerous to text girls individually?)

Look, I'm not going to pretend I'm some sort of saint.  I ignore texts from boys I don't like, I've done the fade-out-rather-than-actually-break-up.  It's not nice, I know it.

But there are some things that are categorically mean.  Leading someone on.  Pretending you care more for someone than you really do.  Lying.  Cheating.  Using someone for his big wallet.  Using someone for her pretty face.

Yeah, dating sucks.

But you don't have to make it worse.

Because being a lawyer entitles me to go off on random tangents

1. When people who are not on a jury decide for themselves whether they believe in an individual's guilt or innocence, that is not the same as violating the "innocent until proven guilty" principle.  You are innocent until proven guilty before the law -- time wasters with an internet connection across America can decide whatever they want, whenever they want.
2. Pretty white girls probably do get a disproportionate share of media time when it comes to being accused of violent crimes, but it really doesn't do them any good.  For every Amanda Knox who has the public outraged on her behalf, there's a Casey Anthony who will probably have to go into hiding if she is exonerated.  Being a media sensation is a double-edged sword.   

Monday, June 27, 2011

Things that might kill me before this month is through

Dear House,

You were so awesome when I bought you, but now I want to burn you to the ground, and I haven't even moved in yet.  Please allow the refinishing of your floors with as little fuss as possible, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results.  In return, I promise that I will never wash a paintbrush in your sinks again.



Dear Crossfit,

We are on a break.  I like you, I really do, but the fact is I can't handle any more rounds of medicine ball cleans, toes to bar (or in my case, "knees almost parallel to hips"), mountain climbers, or ring dips while people far more athletic than I will ever be yell encouragement at me.  I know I'm just a contrary person, but I actually don't find, "You can do it!" particularly inspiring.  In fact, it just makes me want to hurl that kettle bell at someone's head.

If I could pick it up, of course.



Dear Ass,

If, during our time away from the gym, you could just somehow get smaller (or at least Kardashian-level bigger), I'd be grateful.  And in fairness to you, I think it's high time that you stole some of the Boobs' thunder.



Mad Libs Edition: Designed To Protect My Personal Privacy, Such That It Is
 
Dear __________ (plural noun),

After more than __________ (period of time) of ____________ (gerund verb) your ___________ (institution) to end sort of like a mash-up of Alien 3 and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, I am _____________ (adverb) surprised that you seem to be _____________ (verb) this alleged "high road" I've heard so much about.  Perhaps this will be the Toy Story 3 of __________ (events)?  Perhaps.



Dear Contractor,

No, you don't get the rest of your money even though the only thing left to do is install a shower door.  You get the rest of your money when the project is DONE.  Remember when we discussed this before the project began?  Also, please address me when explaining your concerns, not my friend's husband.  He may be holding a box of my personal possessions, but that does not make him an owner of this house.

And for future reference, asking someone who is moving into a house -- which, as we've previously discussed, is currently in an unfinished state of renovation -- for money WHILE THEY ARE MOVING is perhaps not the best course of action. 



Dear Writing Aspirations,

I know I have neglected you severely in weeks past.  Please do not give me the cold shoulder when I finally return to you in the coming days.



Dear Universe,

See above.  Pretty sure I deserve a nerdy boyfriend and a cuddly puppy after all this, but I'll settle for a spa day.  GET ON IT.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Trixie has "chronic organization issues"

While I've been packing up my apartment, I've been watching Hoarders on Netflix.  It's fascinating.

But I must say, I get pretty annoyed that people with crap piled hell to breakfast somehow manage to have long-term relationships.  What character trait was it, do you think, that made up for the flaw of "cat skeletons in the attic"?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

home improvement life lesson #3

List all the things you are planning to fix, change, tweak, or improve.

Now rank them in order of how big a disaster it would be if everything on that particular project went wrong.

Then do them in that order.

While it probably won't make "sense" to your contractor, at least you won't run into the problem of having someone declare your hardwood floors "impossible" four days before your move date, at which point you will discover that Plan B (hire new, more expensive, less idiotic person who specializes in hardwood floors) will take a little over a week to refinish the floors and Plan C (hire new, even MORE expensive non-idiot who specializes in hardwood floors) a MONTH to replace the hardwood floors.

Additionally, it may be important to ask yourself, "Self, are we planning to throw an elaborate baby shower at the new house in three weeks? And have the invitations already been printed and mailed?  Because if you have, it may be unreasonable to ask your guests to sit on unfinished subfloor."

As an added bonus, if you follow my advice, you won't have to ponder your oh-so-awesome alternative housing arrangements in the meantime, namely showering at the gym at work and sleeping under your desk, or becoming Queen of the Hobos -- carrying your expensive shoes in a grocery bag over your shoulder, using your framed law degree to provide shelter from the elements, and beating off punk kids intent on poaching your DVD collection with a Wii nunchuk. 

Because if you followed my advice above, you will have discovered your hardwood floor problem a month ago, back when you still had time and money to make a good decision.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's a generational thing

I have tried to teach my Pops how to use a computer roughly 4,000 times.  Given that he's a smart man, I can only conclude that his total resistance to using a computer unless a supervisor under the age of 30 is within shouting distance is due to a mental block.

I've noticed that older people (not all older people, but certainly a majority of people born during FDR's administration or earlier) do not like to fiddle with technology.  No matter how many times you tell them, "You won't break it!", they remain convinced that one wrong push of a button will lead to nuclear Armageddon.

I give you a dramatization:

Dad: What will happen if I click here?


Me: It will print.


Dad: (suspiciously) Are you sure?  


Me: Yes.


Dad: And it won't print the whole screen I'm looking at?  It will know I only want the page printed?


Me: Yes.


Dad: (Having clicked.)  It didn't print!  (Glares at me accusingly.)  A little box popped up!


Me: (Rubbing my eyes.)  That's because you right-clicked.

The thing is, we all need a certain level of familiarity before we're genuinely comfortable doing something, and unfortunately, I don't think my dad is ever going to achieve that level of comfort with computers, iPods, or CD players.  (He and the BluRay, however, have finally achieved detente.) 

But before you assume I've put on my smugpants, let me share another story.

The couple who owned The Casa before me painted all the windows shut from the inside and outside.  I was led to believe that this is an easy fix -- but as I stared at antique glass set into a Craftsman-style window sill, I knew it was going to be anything but. (Especially after contractor D informed me that it took him 20 minutes of careful work to free one window from its paint prison.)

Ensue hand-wringing.  If it took a PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTOR twenty minutes to fix one window, however would I manage to fix the other nine?

I consulted with others.  Do you think we should scrape the paint off the hinges first?  Will that make it easier?  Should I try to protect the glass somehow?  If I duct taped a bunch of sponges over it, would that help?  What if they were really, really thick sponges? 

And then yesterday my dad came over, took one look at a window, whipped a knife out of his pocket, sliced through the paint, and then hit the window with his gloved hand until it popped open -- unbroken.

He didn't say a word after he glanced over at me, eyebrows raised, but I imagine he was thinking something along the lines of, "You couldn't have figured that one out, counselor?"

Well played, sir.  Well played.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So what is Game of Thrones like? Part 2

Part 1 found here.

I was trying to explain Game of Thrones -- again -- to Diego last night.

Me: So you have these two families, the Starks and the Lannisters.

Diego: And the Lannisters are the bad guys?

Me: Umm, mostly. Some of the best characters are Lannisters, actually.  They're all interesting, even the bad ones.  They're aggressive and good at consolidating power and they're really loyal to each other-- to the point of creepiness in some cases.  But yeah, the main bad guys are Lannisters.

Diego: Got it.  Some good ones, mostly bad ones, and super efficient.

Me: Yes.  And the Starks are mostly good guys, in that they always want to do the right thing, but they tend to kind of suck at it.

Diego: How so?

Me: Oh, I don't know.  They just don't seem to be able to accomplish their goals without a million little things going wrong and inevitably everything gets much worse than it was before.

Diego: Hmmm.  So would you say that the Lannisters are the Republicans and the Starks are the Democrats of fantasy literature?

Me: ...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Shameful? Perhaps.

I'll be honest, as I've been transforming my new house from a 2-bed/1-bath into a 3-bed/2-bath, I've thought to myself, "Self, you should photo document this process.  It will be great for posterity, and ideally you'll be able to think of clever captions for the photos. Laughter will ensue. As an ulterior motive, you will probably get some nice compliments on your exquisite taste."

I think I made a brilliant argument, so while I washed and primed and painted and sanded and argued* and ripped, I would often think, "I should take a picture of this."

And then I would realize that between washing, priming, painting, sanding, arguing and ripping, taking a picture would just be a giant pain in my ass -- forget about taking a good picture. I give you Exhibit A:

Notice - the green looks blotchy because the chandelier is throwing weird shadows, the slate gray paint still looks wet, you can see gaps up near the ceiling, and would it have killed me to move the trash out of the shot?  
 
And this is the best picture my phone can produce.

So while I have no pictures to share, I do have a few insights.

1. People who have a lot of pictures of projects on their blogs probably didn't do much work on them. 

Likeliest scenario?  Their significant other did all the heavy lifting while they snap-snap-snapped! away with their digital camera.

2. The degree to which I hate these people in the future will surely depend on how I currently feel about my own projects. 

Case in point:  I am currently covered with green, gray and white paint that doesn't seem to want to wash off no matter how much I shower. 

So everyone who was "inspired" by the Anthropologie/Pottery Barn/Restoration Hardware/Urban Outfitters catalog, then ordered their husbands to purchase these various and sundry items to artfully arrange them while they took pictures for posterity/witty captions/compliment bait?  They can go straight to hell.

But next week, when this is all finished? 

I imagine the worst I will feel will be mild annoyance, and at best mild admiration.





* There's always arguing.  Don't question it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dateypants

If you say to me, "We should go out sometime," and I say, "Definitely," and then you say, "When should we go out?" and I suggest a day, and you say, "What time?" and I come up with that too, and then you say, "What are some things we could when we hang out?" isn't that kind of the same thing as me asking me out?

I'm not saying I want someone to take me on a balloon ride or something, but you really can't figure out, "Uhh, probably dinner" by yourself?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Your contractor, yourself

I have a somewhat troubled relationship with my contractor.

It's not anything he has done.  I think he's perfectly competent -- he's fast and everything looks nice when he's done.

It's our communication skills that are lacking.

Like when I went over to the Casa to inspect the new bathroom and discovered that one of the walls doesn't reach all the way to the other wall.  He'd left a little crawl space available for anyone who wanted to enter the bathroom via a more unconventional route.  (Or, as I immediately thought, allowed for some overly involved couples to listen to each other pee as one was in the bathroom and one was in the bedroom.  It's the new big trend in icky design.) 

When I asked him why the walls didn't meet, he replied, "Because you said you wanted to leave access to the window."

What I thought: "Why is that mutually exclusive?"


What I said: "Yeah, but I want the walls to touch.  Can't you do that and still leave access to the window?"


And what he replied: "Oh, yeah.  I did think it was weird that you didn't want the walls to touch."

Upon careful inspection of the previous conversation, you'll notice that at no point did I ever ask for the walls to not touch.

I think the problem is partly that he's good, and therefore really busy.  We have the same conversation over and over because he forgets what he has and hasn't told me.

Him: "Are you coming over to the house today?"

Me: "Yes, after work."

Him: "What time would that be?"

Me: "4:30 at the absolute earliest."

Him: "Oh, we'll be gone by then."

This happens roughly three times a week.  I will offer to come over early in the morning, late afternoon, evening, lunch hour, or weekend, and inevitably D will ask if I can be there are 10:30am or 3:00pm.

Or when he'll ask me to get him something for one of the projects and then get annoyed when I get the wrong thing.  I don't want to blow anyone's mind here, but believe it or not, I don't know the difference between ceramic glue and whatever glue it was that the fellas at Home Depot recommended.  Perhaps if there was a giant difference, the CONTRACTOR should have gone to get it.

Or he'll text me to apologize for the giant mess the contractors left in the house over the weekend because they forgot their vacuum.  I will text back, "No problem, but the vacuum will be here on Monday, right?"  And he will respond with, "Maybe LOL."

As a point of clarification, I just want to say, fine, maybe I was wearing an inappropriately short dress when I met the contractors (for the record, I was on my way to a bachelorette party) and maybe I offered to buy them pizzas once and maybe I have done my best to respond to every hiccup and problem with a cheery, "No worries!" and maybe I don't have a husband to glare when things go awry, BUT.

I work all day for some very high-strung clients and I just mortgaged the next thirty years of my life to this house and remember two weeks ago when I handed you a rather large stack of cash money to do what I want? THE ANSWER IS NEVER GOING TO BE "LAUGH OUT LOUD."  No, the answer is, "Definitely, and I'm going to bring you a freshly baked pie and a six-pack of Diet Coke to make up for the inconvenience."  Ok, not really.  "Definitely" alone will do just fine.

One more week, boys and girls.

One more week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The YarisDay Massacre

This weekend, I tried a bunch of paint samples on my new walls.  (Paint samples. What a racket.  Necessary, but a racket.)

Then I had a minor panic attack, at which point my friend Alan reminded me that I've complimented the mossy green he has on his walls several times, he has an extra bucket in his basement, and did I want to come pick him up and give that a shot?

The wall.  Round 3 of choices.

So Alan and I tried out his green and I felt my blood pressure decrease significantly.  I think the conversation went like this:

Me: Excellent colour choice!
Alan: Pip pip cheerio!

Having settled on a color for the dining room, Alan and I put the lid back on the paint and set off to Restoration Hardware to see if it was still available.* 

And then, as we drove along, enjoying the breeze and a lovely New Denver day, a pedestrian suddenly stepped out into the road.

The car in front of me slammed on its brakes.  I slammed on mine.

And Spanish Moss Satin Finish flew everywhere.

For a second, Alan and I froze.  And then the swearing started.

I pulled over and Alan and I frantically tried to clean my car.  And no, it's not just that paint splattered everywhere - it was that when the paint bucket lid popped off, it really popped off, leaving a two-inch deep paint puddle around Alan's feet.

Unfortunately, I had cleaned out my car the day before and there was literally nothing to mop up the mess with.  We tried scooping up paint with our hands and dumping it on the grass on the side of the road.  (Sorry, grass.)  I found an old McDonalds cup and that worked for awhile, but eventually we had to get back into the painty car and drive to the nearest supermarket for trashbags and wet wipes.

The final damage was three pairs of shoes ruined, a floor mat tossed I a dumpster, two friends covered in peeling green paint, two hours spent mopping it up, and one car that still needs to be taken in for a nice detailing.  

And a final selection on my dining room color.




*I'm going to admit it -- there was a moment where I thought, "Leave the paint here."  I like to think that was Angel Eugene giving me a little nudge in the sensible direction, which I unfortunately ignored. 

No, it wasn't the Holy Ghost.  That homeskillet doesn't care about home improvement projects.

Monday, June 13, 2011

home improvement life lesson #2

Things I have learned about contractors:

They are generally all very nice blokes.  But they will still take the biggest poops known to man in your bathroom and then fail to crack a window over the weekend.

Friday, June 10, 2011

home improvement life lesson #1

If you go to Home Depot with your friend and her dog, people will think you are lesbians.  Come on folks, can't two straight girls and a farting pup just investigate backsplashes?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Getting theological up in the hiz-ouse

Everyone knows that there is a difference between what people believe and doctrine, right?

The Koran forbids suicide, but suicide-bombers find ways to justify their actions in religious fervor.  The New Testament forbids violence toward others, but that doesn't stop some Christians from proposing ways to make killing abortion clinic employees a form of "justified homicide."  (And you know what they say about apples and barrels.  They smell nice in the fall.)

What a religion says and what people do with that are often two different things, and for the most part, I think that's just a fact of life everyone understands.

Except when it comes to littler things.

Move away from the irony that most religions preach non-violence, and yet religious people can lay the smackdown with the best of them, and take a look at some of the smaller quirks in various religious traditions.

Here's one from mine -- I was told as a kid by a Sunday School teacher that when I was a little pre-mortal spirit up in heaven, I looked down at earth and said, "Yup, those two.  I want to be their kid."

This was done, no doubt, to cause me to feel serious guilt when I took my parents for granted or ever got around to rebelling.  And that is what Sunday School teachers do -- they make kids feel guilty.  It's basically the half the job description: "Sing songs.  Guilt kids."

But everyone who does even a tiny bit of research into the Mormon religion knows that that's not true -- it's just an urban legend created by legions of well-meaning-but-somewhat-creepy Sunday School and seminary teachers after a few too many viewings of Saturday's Warrior.* 

Alright, so now we have our dissonance identified: the Mormon church does not teach that we pick our earthly experiences up in heaven v. a decent chunk of Mormons probably believe that this is at least partly true.

Here's the part that boggles my mind.

Someone in the camp who knows it's not true will blow a gasket when confronted with the fact that yes, some Mormons believe this.  "The church doesn't actually teach that!  If you did any research, you would know!"

Look, I know the church doesn't teach it.  That isn't the point.  The point is, a lot of people believe it, and that influences the way those people interact with the world.

It's one thing to point out a misunderstanding or misapplication of facts, but another to deny the fact that there are plenty of people misunderstanding or misapplying all over the place, just because YOU don't misunderstand or misapply.

And really, it shouldn't matter that people have additional, extracurricular, or even contradictory beliefs when compared with their professed religion.  You want to be a Jewish Christian?  An existential Catholic?  An atheist who believes in heaven?  A vegan Episcopalian?  A pro-choice Baptist?

Go forth and prosper, my homies, as long as what you choose doesn't scrape the skin off my nose or someone else's.  That's why we're all here on this planet -- to find a way of living that is meaningful and makes sense to us.

Or that's what I believe, anyway.





* Totally random, but worth sharing.  When I was a kid, I would mentally re-write things to make them less lame, and then forget I'd done it.  When I was in college and someone mentioned the episode of Saved By The Bell where Jessie gets addicted to caffeine pills, I was SHOCKED, because I was sure she had been addicted to cocaine (which is a real addiction, and therefore not ludicrous).  I held firm to this belief until we went back to the dorms and YouTubed the "I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so scared" clip and I was forced to admit that, indeed, Jessie Spano's greatest  moment of teenage darkness came in the form of pep pills.

Same thing happened with Saturday's Warrior, a horrifyingly bad Mormon morality play, complete with big hair and bad songs.  (For the record, my parents never rented Saturday's Warrior for me, but I did watch it a friend's house in second grade.  And this is what really happens when parents don't double-check what their kids are doing at their friends' houses--kids watch bad, non-church produced musicals with a lot of fog effects.)

For all my fellow 80s-born Mormon friends -- remember when the family's oldest son Jimmy joins a "gang"?  And that gang is identifiable mostly by their even baggier neon clothes, their profligate daytime napping, their littering, and their dark eye makeup? 

My childlike brain told me that this was a real gang, complete with violence and drug use and gun trafficking and thinly veiled misogyny and racism.  Because otherwise, why would Jimmy's family be so very upset that he had fallen in with these reprobates?   

But when I re-watched Saturday's Warrior as an adult, for nostalgia's sake, I realized that, no, actually, the "gang" was mostly just advocating for zero population growth.

Really.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

pretty much plan to detail all my house adventures for ya'll

So were you all wondering how little old Ru was going to cope with the decisions surrounding buying a house?

The answer is, "Not well." 

In addition to realizing I have an affinity for double-ovens and gratitude for my house angel Eugene, this whole life-changing experience business has given me new insight into my soul and psyche.  And if you know anything about me at all, you know I'm not a fan of insight.

But hey, here is the first of what I am sure to be many personal revelations. 

I have an inability to commit to an inability to make good decisions

One should only be allowed one of two character flaws: anal-retentiveness or indecisiveness.  I, unfortunately, have both.

In one given hour meeting with the contractor, ("D") I will both leave several decisions up to his best judgment and waffle on whether I want a shower pan or tiled floor of the shower.  (FYI, I think I've almost-definitely settled on shower pan.  Mostly because it's cheaper.  Even though the tile I want for the surround is, naturally, super expensive and who knows how that will look with the acrylic shower pan?  Maybe I want the tile ...)

Do I care about thicknesses and techniques and grades?  Not really.  But I am very committed to keeping access to the creepy hidey-hole in the basement and not scratching the cement.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What George RR Martin and Sarah Palin have in common, apparently

By a show of hands, how many people are really irritated with Ned Stark on Game of Thrones for constantly showing his hand to the Lannisters? 

"Oh hey guys, just wanted to give you the heads' up, here's my game plan for taking you all down.  Now, give me a shout if you need any help moving out of the castle while the king is away and totally vulnerable, because as you know, I have four sons.  Though one is up on the Wall, one you paralyzed, and one has remain unseen until this week ... okay, one son, but he's strapping. Oh, and I'll also call around and see if we can borrow someone's truck.  Please don't make any plans to counter my strategy in the meantime!"

And while we're at it, I know at this point making fun of Sarah Palin's total ignorance of life, the universe, and everything is pretty stale, but why does she think Paul Revere would have warned THE BRITISH that WE were coming?

(I know I'm running the risk of beating a dead horse, but hey ...)

"Oh hey, I just thought you should know, that big cache of weapons we have?  Yeah, that one.  Well, we know you know about it, and we will be totally prepared for your surprise raid whether you come by land or by sea, or, ya know, both. Pleasure doing revolution with you."

I'm not saying that a rudimentary knowledge of fifth-grade history is a mandatory prerequisite for elected office, but perhaps the ability to consider the consequences of certain war-related decisions. 

I blame my parents

So in the last 24 hours, I redid my new bathroom plans.  Clawfoot tub = out.  Giant tiled shower = in.

The bonus is that I no longer have to pay for a clawfoot tub.

The drawback is that all the tile I like (and therefore love, and therefore cannot live without) is really expensive.

But look how sparkly ...
It would be like showering in a giant Mediterranean cave.  Oooh, subtropical showering ...

If only Mom and Pops had deprived me as a child, now I would be content with metal sheeting surrounding a communal bucket and a piece of soap on orange twine.  But no.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Every time a bell rings ...

So I may or may not have picked up the keys to my new house today ... my new house which has a guardian angel named Eugene.

First of all, I don't know why they didn't mention that on the MLS sheet, I think it would have sold faster.  I'm certainly stoked about it.

But more importantly, upon some googling adventures, I found out some pretty awesome information.

Do you know what saint's day is June 2nd?


ST. EUGENE'S, bitches!*

It's a sign.




* (Please continue to bless my house, Angel Eugene, despite the fact that I have a serious potty-mouth.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Boys versus girls

Here's the thing about document review.  Lawyers are thorough beings, as I've said before, and therefore we tend not to let any stone remain unturned.  If you have to turn over your emails to a lawyer*, prepare to have them all read.  ALL OF THEM.

But in addition to being thorough, lawyers tend to get easily bored.  So in the course of reading your personal correspondence (Guess what - you probably shouldn't conduct personal correspondence in certain forums.  Free tip for the day.), lawyers will probably start feeling personally invested in your drama. (It is a small perk, and yes, I did enjoy it.)

A controversy came one time in Doc Review City about a particularly nasty divorce that was unrelated to our case (but fascinating, nonetheless).  I had spent my morning up in my office on another issue -- when I came downstairs to the Doc Review Room, one of the lawyers immediately said, "Oh good, you're here.  We need a girl's perspective."

As it turns out, neither Molly nor Kitty nor myself had been in the Doc Review Room all morning, which meant our fellow doc reviewers -- roughly 6-7 gentlemen on any given day -- had been debating the issues in this divorce among themselves for five or so hours already.

The "boys" relayed the facts of the divorce as they had discovered thus far and sought my input.  Having read just a few of these cray-cray emails myself, I was surprised at how differently we viewed the facts.

In general, I don't subscribe to the women/men/venus/mars theory of life.  I think that men are perfectly capable of empathizing with women and vice versa -- which is why it surprised me that (a) the boy lawyers weren't merely curious to see if I had a differing opinion, but were certain that I would; and (b) my opinion was, in fact, wildly different than most of theirs. 

Before there were as many women in the legal profession -- heck, before women were allowed to sit on juries -- there were certainly injustices inflicted on women merely because the men who held all of society's power didn't have the ability to see things from a woman's perspective.  (And, you know, the misogyny.)  It wasn't deliberate in many cases, but there was benign discrimination inflicted on women just because well-meaning but unfortunately ignorant men didn't think to consider factors A, B or C.

You would like to think that such "accidental discrimination" would have essentially vanished by now, but while most of my gentlemanly cohorts quickly saw my point on a few issues, one or two remained puzzled, and there was still that one holdout (the one who had so badly wanted a "girl's" perspective**) who smugly insisted I was taking Wife's side on a few disputes simply because we were both members of the Vagina Squad. 

(Which reminds me - ladies, I'm going to be late to our next secret clubhouse meeting.  I'll email you the plans for Take Over The World Plan Phase Three: Force Men to Start Lactating post haste.)

Which brings me to this thought -- are we only good at seeing across gender-lines when in mixed company?  Is it just the presence of a man or woman that reminds us we ought to try to think outside-the-box (pun not intended)?  Would a room full of women be just as likely to inadvertently overlook mitigating factors in a man's favor as these guys were?  And if so, why do you all think we're so short-sighted in our own groups, but almost instantly-enlightened when the missing girl or boy shows up?


(Sorry, this post isn't super fun.  I'll get my joke pants back on tomorrow.)





* I've realized some people don't understand this, so for those of you who are unfamiliar with litigation -- in a lawsuit or during an investigation, parties have the right to gather information to build their case or defense.  A lot of lawyer time is spent reading emails, contracts, flow charts, reports, files, etc. in an effort to figure out what (if anything) happened.  Sometimes this can be fascinating, other times it can be pretty awful, but it is generally necessary if you want to get a total picture.

** I know there are women who dislike being called "girls" past the age of 18, but I actually don't mind it at all, mostly because I don't love the word "woman" when applied to myself.  My beef with his statement was more the fact that he couldn't for one second consider the wife's perspective without someone with the double-X chromosome there to show him the way.