Thursday, October 27, 2005

Cause for Joy or Further Worry?

Harriet Miers withdraws her name as a Supreme Court nominee. Hoorah!
But wait -- what does this mean? What's the lunatic (for those who are new here, I mean Bush) going to do next? Try to appease his uber-religious-right/neo-con base? (You know the ones -- the ones who all of a sudden don't think perjury is a real crime...even though it was real enough to impeach Clinton). Or will Bush do the smart thing and pick a moderate that will make his whole party happy? Never mind - I just answered my own question -- Bush and smart just don't mix. Which means all us moderates out there (yes, I'm a moderate, fiscally anyway) are going to have to band together to keep the lunatic from ruining our country with an uber-conservative pick for the next justice. Really, if Bush or whoever it is that is advising him these days (I imagine that Rove and the VP have their minds on other things...can you say indictments) really want to help this country (yeah right) they should just ask Sandra Day stay for the season, so to speak, and worry about a replacement after the Court's fall session is over. I somehow doubt that will happen, but one can always hope. Besides, if the fucking idiot Bush picks a uber-conservative court nominee, he may very well piss off enough Republicans that he'll end up getting himself impeached. Wouldn't that be fun?
And one more thing -- I can't help but think that this whole "withdrawal" is nothing but another smoke screen meant to distract the American people from more important news. Can you say indictments? Not that this is much of a smoke screen -- it's kind of pathetic actually. But they're still trying. Isn't that cute?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Clients Are Listening...

But are the lawyers?

I went to another exciting ICLE class last night (see 'Day 6' on "9 Days Gone" for more details) – this time to sit through what I thought would be a three hour lecture on “Professional Responsibility” (aka Ethics). I generally do not look forward to these damn things, but I was especially uninterested in this class – not because I don’t believe in being ethical, but because I’ve already sat through 7 hours of ethics lectures in the last few months, and its starts to get a little repetitive after about the first hour. Anyway – lucky me – it wasn’t a three hour lecture I had to attend last night…it as only part lecture; the rest was a video! That’s right – a video…little role playing vignettes followed by discussion of the vignettes with regard to the NJ ethics rules. ICLE classes are bad enough when real people are talking, but on video…Zzzzzzzzzzzz…

My point is that this was the ethics lecture. And ethics are (sorry to say) boring enough without having to stay awake through a boring ass video. And considering how important ethics are (esp. for lawyers, given that our rep already sux as it is), you’d think the good ole’ NJ Bar powers-that-be would try to make it a little interesting; you’d think they’d want people to at least stay awake . But, I was there, and looking around I saw people sleeping, reading novels, zoning out, nodding off, etc. – everything except actually paying attention. And considering that NJ lawyers NEVER have to take another ethics class as long as they live, that’s more than a little scary. Half the people in this class have no idea what’s going on because they're in la-la land and the other half will forget because they never have to take a refresher course. Now some states do require refresher courses (like NY which requires 3 hours of ethics every 2 years, thus my recent experience with ethics classes) – but not NJ. Nope – NJ just makes you watch a dreadfully boring video and hopes for the best when it comes to professionally responsible and ethical lawyering in their state. What a fucking waste of time. No wonder lawyers have such a bad rep! Our clients listen to everything we say (or so says the video vignette), but we, as a group anyway, don’t listen to shit. Instead we use our ethics class as naptime (or at least some do). It made me (who was not fucking sleeping) want to stand up in the lecture hall and scream, “Wake up assholes – this is my rep on the line too!” I didn’t, but I really wanted to. Then again, maybe I’ll get the chance again tonight – that’s right – another fun and exciting ICLE ethics session featuring the NJ Bar Players in…. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Let Them Build

Let me first say that my sympathies are with everyone who lost a loved one in the September 11 World Trade Center Attacks. Only by the grace of the goddess do I not count myself among one the “families of the victims.” My brother was working on the 90th Floor of one of the buildings when they were senselessly attacked. He felt the building shake as the first building was hit and he immediately left his work area and began running down the stairs. When over the loudspeakers came an announcement that every one should return to their workstations, my brother, never really one to listen to authority, once again didn’t listen. He kept running. He ran all the way out of the building and home to his children. And as much as his problems with authority used to get on my nerves when we were younger, I am thankful for it now because I believe it saved his life. So, because my brother doesn’t listen when people tell him what to do, I am not a member of the “families of the victims” group. But I do feel their loss; and my heart goes out to every single one of them.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t give them a piece of my mind when I think it is due. And right about now I think someone should stand up to “them.” I understand their wanting a proper memorial for their loved ones. I really do. But “they” seem to be forgetting that “they” are not the only people in America to have lost their loved ones in a senseless tragedy. And their loss does not give them the right to dictate what is done with that very large piece of real estate in land starved Manhattan. It’s getting ridiculous. Seriously. If you don’t follow the drama of the rebuilding, its long and convoluted, but here’s a quick snippet: the families of the victims have put their two cents in at every step in this process. At this point, nothing has been finalized, because every time it gets close to being finalized, the families find something else wrong. If its not one thing, its another. They got the biggest press though, I think, when they decided that they didn’t want the International Freedom Center on the site. “They” didn’t want it there so it got the boot. (Doesn't any one besides me see how fucked up it is that the International Freedom Center got thrown out of rebuilding a site of a terror attack?) Going back to the beginning, there were some who wanted to leave the site an open wound, to remind everyone of the horror. But what has set me off is their latest bitch – apparently, “they” have now decided that there should not be a PATH train at the site. Don’t ask me why. Probably something to do with honor or some other fucking thing. But come on – no PATH? How the fuck are people supposed to get to work? Walk across the river, you fuckers? Really, their demands are getting out of hand.

So, enough already. It’s time that everyone stopped cow-towing to the families of victims. Yes, they suffered loss. Yes, they suffered tragedy. But they are not the only people to do so. What makes the lives of their loved ones more important that the lives of other people’s loved ones who also died in senseless tragedies? How is it that they get to dictate what happens to a particular piece of land? A piece of land, I might add, that they neither own nor are making any financial contribution towards. They just complain. Complain about the location of the building – its in the footprint. Complain about the Freedom Center -- we don’t want people to think about anything but our families members. Complain about the PATH train – (I got nothing on this one). And while they complain the City is struggling through a financial crisis of epic proportions. A large, and lucrative (for the owner, yes, but also for the City) parcel of land is going unused. Thousands remain out of work; business has fled to Jersey because there isn’t any where else for them to go. At this rate, if people do not stop all this bullshit, nothing will ever get built there. But perhaps that is the point.

Maybe this is brutal. Maybe I’m a total fucking bitch. But you know what, I really don’t give a fuck. There is no rule or law that says anyone has to listen to these people. People are listening because they don’t want to look like assholes. Well, I’m not afraid. I’ve had enough. First, rich bitches complained they were only getting $1 mil from the government and they would have to move out of their mansions. Boo fucking hoo…ever heard of life insurance? Now, they want to decide what happens to the WTC site; they want to decide how everyone else has to commute, and work, and whatever the fuck else they come up with. Well if no one else has the guts to say it, I do. I say no more. People are victims and die senselessly every single day. Their families don’t get to rule over the scene of the accident like kings. And there’s no reason why these families should be treated any different. You don’t hear the police department bitching, or the fire department bitching (other than a few concerns about safety – which makes a lot more sense than not wanting a Freedom Center). If they were, perhaps that I would understand – those men and women were the true heroes of that day and they deserve a fitting and profound memorial. But I don’t get why the lives of “the families” loved ones are so much more important than the life of a child who dies from being shot by a stray bullet during a gang fight, or the father who dies coming home from work when some drunk asshole runs a red light; or the mother who dies when her abusive husband beats the shit out of her. People die senselessly every single day. But for those who are still living, life has to go on. We still have to eat, and sleep and love. We still need to work. And commute. And talk. And think. And argue. And politic. And everything else. And if these “families” can’t understand that nearly four years after the horrors of that day, well then tough shit. Because life goes marching on whether you want it to or not. So, enough already. Let them build.

Friday, October 14, 2005

God Damn

Twice now I have spent entirely too much time drafting posts that were just freaking awesome only to have them disappear for no fucking reason. The first had to do with a string of bad luck I'd been having...and the glory of seeing Frist and Delay going down. The second -- which I just lost a moment ago, was an open letter to the religious right. And it was beautiful. Just spectacular, if I do say so myself. But I am out of time and so I cannot rewrite the whole damn thing - even assuming I could reproduce what I already did. SDo from here on out, I'm not going to draft my entries here. I'll draft them somewhere else and then copy them -- because when I can't use Ctrl-Z to undue whatever I did that erased the entire entry, I get pissed. And that's no way to start a weekend. Especially a weekend I don't have to work.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


OK - so this other lawyer was supposed to serve us with papers today in response to papers we served him weeks ago. And then we were supposed to respond back by Monday. I planned my whole week & all of next week around this stupid thing. I have plans for dinner with a friend I haven't seen in ages; plans to participate in this really awesone pro bono program; plans. I actually made plans. What the hell was I thinking? So here we are - 30 minutes before the court closes & the guy actually calls to ask for an extension. Um - hello - what if we say no -- does he have the papers ready to go? And if he has them ready -- why does he need more time? And why the fuck didn't he ask us yesterday? Could it be he was enjoying a federal holiday while suckers like me worked our butts off? Of course I'm still just a lowly junior associate so I have no control and don't get to make the decision....I just have to track down the partner (in court!) and the client (who doesn't seem to want to return my calls) and then let this other guy know what we think. Oh - and - the other (junior) partner on the case (who is leaving the firm!) doesn't seem to think that any of this is a big deal. But what the fuck does she care - she's leaving. All she has to do is cash out her partnership shares and give away her work (to suckers like me). But I get to sit around and wait - wait for the senior partner to call me back, wait for the client to call me back, wait and see if all my plans for next week are about to go south. DAMMIT! If it was up to me, this asshole would be SOL -- none of this last minute bullshit. If he wanted extra time, he should have asked in advance . If it were up to me, I'd tell him to take a long walk off a short pier because fuck that -- I am not giving up my whole week becaue this guy is a slacker. But its not up to me. Welcome to my life.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The New & Improved All-Nighter

I just pulled an all-nighter for the first time in I-don't-even-know-how-many years. Needless to say, I'm feeling a little punchy. ; ) That said, please forgive me for any nonsensical things I'm about to say.

It would be awesome if the all-nighter was the result of a crazy night out or even a crazy night in, but, alas, it was not. No such luck for stina. No, I got to pull an all-nighter so I could draft an opposition brief. Doesn't that sound like fun, children? OK - I admit it - except for the not sleeping part, it actually was kind of fun. (Well, maybe "fun" isn't exactly the right word, but I haven't slept since 9:00AM yesterday and I'm running on pure caffeine so my vocab may not be up to snuff. OK? ) Anywho -- I was granted the privilege of losing all hopes of sleep to draft this brief, for work, and the sad part is I didn't mind it all that much. Well, while I was doing it, it kinda sucked (especially when DH went up to bed and I ran out of coffee and didn't want to go out in the torrential rain to get more), but overall, it wasn't so bad. Holy shit - did I just say that? Who am I? Especially since this was the first time I've had to work past 9PM and only the second weekend day I've had to work since starting my new job (somewhere on this damn blog is an entry about that, but I am way to tired and fuzzy headed to find it and put a link here). My point, as sleep-deprived and poorly thought out as it may be, is that although I've billed more than 20 hours since yesterday morning, the whole experience was not too terrible. At least they (the powers that be at my new firm) trust me enough to actually draft a brief (not like my last firm where I was lucky they even let me use a computer -- I swear, that place really must have thought I was gonna run with scissors or something, because they didn't let me do squat). But like I was saying, it wasn't too bad -- I got to do some pretty interesting research and writing, scored some major brownie points with the firm's managing partner (who, by the way, I was doing this work for), and above all, I get to feel like I didn't waste the disgusting amount of money I spent getting my J.D. Does this mean I'm a grown up now, because I don't really want to be.

This does not mean I am looking forward to any more of these. But they're not as bad as I remember, and so long as I have a stockpile of coffee, I'll survive, which is a good thing because its possible I'll be doing it again on Wednesday for a different brief. Fucking courts with their fucking deadlines!

Now that I have dutifully managed to ramble on about nothing in particular, and keep to my self-imposed rule of blogging at least once a week, even if I have nothing really to say (i.e. see my last entry, which was kinda cheating, but due to a technology malfunction beyond my control, or understanding, I lost a entry I was working on that was so freaking awesome, you would not believe it), I bid you all good night. Come on, that was fun, wasn't it?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Books 2005

I read alot. I mean seriously, ALOT! I admit it - I'm a book worm. Always have been, probably always will be. One of my favorite websites is and if you like reading, even a little, you should check it out. Especially if you like reading but don't necessarily like buying books. Anywho - I'm a member of Bookcrossing and on My Bookshelf there, I was keeping a list of every book I've read or re-read (or tried to read but couldn't finish) for the Year 2005. That list was getting a bit long so I decided to move it here. Plus, that way I can shamelessply plug my blog twice on my bookcrossing page. So anyway, here's my 2005 list...

Books I've Read, Re-read, or Gave Up on in 2005 -- as of 12/31/2005

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani
Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani
Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
Crossing the Line by Lauren Baratz-Logstead
The Thin Pink Line by Lauren Baratz-Logstead
The Magic Circle by Katherine Neville
All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki
Where is Joe Merchant by Jimmy Buffet
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
Neurotica by Sue Margolis
The Playboy by Carly Phillips
The Dominant Blonde by Alisa Kwitney
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Kidd
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
The Invisibles by Grant Morrison
Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons
Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells
From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
Was It Something I Said by Valerie Block
Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale with Stan Redding
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicolas Sparks
The Madhatter's Guide to Chocolate by Rhett Devane
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Dog Handling: A Novel by Clare Naylor

Nectar yb Lily Prior
A Widow for One Year by John Irving
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (re-read)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (re-read)
Girl's Poker Night: A Novel of High Stakes by Jill A. Davis (gave up on)
Romiette & Julio by Sharon M. Draper (gave up on)