Monday, October 29, 2007

How 'Bout Them Sox?

Well here we are, three years later and another sweep. As shocked as I was that they actually swept the Rockies, (pretty impressive considering at the onset of the series the Rockies had won 21 of their last 22 games, including their sweep of the Diamondbacks,) I must say I was able to enjoy this run to the pennant much more than in 2004. That year it was just a little too surreal. You know, like I kept waiting for them to screw it up. Like every year. Or, at least, every year before 2004. Anyway...

I wasn't always a Red Sox fan. I kind of got assimilated into the Red Sox Nation. That's what happens when you marry someone who was born in Boston, or a suburb thereof, and whose entire family is from there. Resistance is futile? (Gee, haven't I said that before?) Not that I minded that much. I grew up in Wyoming, remember? No pro team close enough to root for. No, not even the Rockies, since they have only been in existance for 11 years, and I moved away 13 years ago. I have a few friends that immediately took up with the Rockies. My only thoughts were, "hmm, nice colors." But I was never that interested in following them. Don't get me wrong, I was glad they got as far as they did. But I have now become a permanent part of the Red Sox Nation, so there was no way I was going to cheer for the Rockies. It seems that's how it happens with the Sox. Did you ever see Fever Pitch? Decent movie, made better by the fact that they actually had to change the ending, since they were in the middle of filming in 2004 when the Sox took the series. At the beginning of the movie the main character talks about how he became one of those pathetic creatures called a Red Sox fan. I love that comment. Because up until '04, that's exactly what we were. (I admit, I had only been a fan for about 7 years at that point, but I find that one year as fan and you're hooked, regardless of how many times they break your heart.) Once a Sox fan, always a Sox fan. Though in the last three years, I'm not so sure that still applies. I've seen a big increase in Sox fans, but only since they won in '04. I wonder what will happen with the posers if the Sox go on another elongated losing streak (hopefully not 84 years long, but still.) Such is the price of championship, I guess.

I will tell you what I didn't like about this year's series. The commercials!! I am so sick and tired of those commercials I fully intend to turn the channel and possibly even throw something at the TV the next time one comes on. I will never buy a Chevy Malibu, probably never go to Taco Bell again (except maybe tomorrow to get my free taco) and if I hadn't already had Verizon as my cell provider for three years, I might seriously rethink my decision on that, too. Ok, the Malibu commercials were funny the first time. Who wouldn't laugh at a bunch of bank robbers running out of the bank and getting in their car just as the police pulled up, only to have the police run right by as if they didn't see the robbers? Or at a woman who jogs straight into the car and flops over the hood, then slides down to the ground and sits there looking around like, did I just do that? I even laughed the first time at the Taco Bell commercial "Big Brother's Rules". But for crying out loud. Do we have to see these things EVERY commercial break. Gag. At least Miller High-Life had the decency to vary their commercials. They may be stupid, but at least you don't see the same one over and over until you want to just rip that delivery guy out of the TV beat him down with your own baseball bat!

The other thing I know I won't do is go and see the new Will Smith movie. It's called "I Am Legend". Have you seen the ads for this? What am I talking about, if you watched any little bit of the World Series, OF COURSE you saw the ads. Well I don't know about you, but the ads scared the crap out of me! It doesn't give you much information, of course, but from what I can gather there is some sort of airborne something or other that kills everyone on the planet (supposedly) except Will Smith's character. The part that bothers me, aside from the horrific thought of that anyway, is that his character at least starts out with a family, a wife and little girl. They show a clip of the little girl sitting in her car seat just tapping her fingers together as children do, completely oblivious to what's going on around her. There's even a clip showing them going through the line and the police or somebody saying "you're not infected" to him and his little girl. And then all of a sudden he's alone. That means something happened to that little girl, and that just kills me. Anymore, anything happening to children bothers me immensely. Ever since my daughter was born. I even try to avoid the news. I'm perfectly happy only knowing a little bit of what's going on in the world around me if it means I get to avoid hearing about some child that got hurt, kidnapped, killed, etc. Part of motherhood, I suppose, but I don't see other mothers avoiding the news like I do. But I digress.

The rest of what is bugging me about that movie is the whole "end of the world sort of" concept. That creeps me out. *shudder* (Maybe because, to an extent, a lot of these things invented by Hollywood are possible.) I couldn't even finish watching The Day After Tomorrow. The ads for it haunted me for days. I thought it would bother me forever if I didn't at least try to watch it. I watched the beginning, and then ended up making my sister tell me what happened to the main characters in the end. I'm satisfied with that, have no need to ever watch the whole thing. I struggled with Deep Impact, I think because it was so generalized. I did better with Armageddon, but that did focus more on specific characters. I hated Independence Day. Maybe it's the mass destruction or loss of innocent lives. I really don't know, but I do know that there's too much of that happening in the real world, I don't need to go to the movies to watch all the possibilities of how all life on our planet could get killed off. Enough! Whatever happened to happily ever after? Oh, incidentally, I saw another ad for Will's movie and he's not alone. There appear to be horrible man-like creatures that are attacking him...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

If It Wasn't Attached...

On my friend’s blog yesterday, she posted an entry saying her brain had turned to mush. I decided it must be going around. Take me, for example. In the last week I’ve forgotten my purse at work. Twice. I’ve walked out of the office leaving it hanging up on my coat tree, even though I have put on my jacket to leave, which has also been hanging on the coat tree. The first time I left it, I didn’t notice until the next morning when I was getting ready to leave for work. It was not hanging on the closet door knob, where it usually is, so I spent 20 minutes searching the house in a panic, thinking Sweetpea had decided it was better to drag my purse around than one of her many. I finally gave up, having run out of time, and just hoped it was still at work. Yup. It was. The second time I left it was just this last Tuesday. I had left work a little early to go and do some Halloween treat shopping. I didn’t notice it was missing until I pulled into the Big Lots parking lot, and went to get out of the car. No purse. Since I knew I had had it that morning, and I had been no where else, it could only have been on the coat tree at work. Do you know how very difficult it is to shop without a purse? Some people would say no problem, I do it all the time. Sure, but it becomes very difficult when that’s where your money is. Treat shopping got put on hold. And my best friend will probably require a little therapy, since I'm sure I turned her ears red with all the swearing I did when I discovered the absence of purse. (Yes, I was on the phone with her, and yes, I can swear with the best of sailors.)

It's wishful thinking to imagine that is the only evidence I have that I have developed a skull full of cream o' wheat. It's not. In the last couple of weeks I have also left my cell phone at work. Three times. Once I didn't remember until I'd gotten home, but the other two I remembered before I got to the car and went back for it. I have also left it at home once. I was about half-way to work before I realized it. And no, even though I immediately freaked out, I did not turn around and go back for it. How is it I managed to live 20 or so years without a cell phone, and now leaving it sitting on the dining room table is cause for sheer panic?

My daughter has had three accidents at daycare in the last three weeks. Since she is still in late stages of potty training, she does still have quite a few accidents. The first occurred when the teacher did not remind her to go potty before laying down for her nap. Mistake. Needless to say she woke up soaking wet, and that would be the reason for the use of her spare clothing. (We are supposed to keep her supplied with spare clothes to be stored at the daycare for instances such as these.) So I needed to replace the spares. I forgot. Of course. Last week she launched herself off of a table, crashed into a shelf (she led with her nose) and managed a bloody nose. Not to mention a bruise right across the bridge of her nose and two slightly black eyes. After the crash, she stood and cried without making any sort of effort to stop the blood, which, of course, poured down the front of her shirt. Why wouldn't it? It was a white shirt. *sigh* Damn that Murphy. Being that I had not replaced her spare clothing, she came home wearing her undershirt with the bloody shirt in a ziplock bag. To the daycare's credit, I would mention that the "table" is a child-size table that only stands about a foot high, and Sweetpea was apparently jumping to try and reach the paper Halloween bats that were hanging from the ceiling, which is also only about 6 feet high. The Halloween bats have now been banished as constant trouble-makers, and the teacher soaked the shirt in cold water. Though it came home damp, I believe we managed to get it clean. You would think with this incident, I would remember to send new spare clothes to daycare. You'd think, but nope, that wasn't the case. I still didn't remember. Today Sweetpea didn't quite make it to the restroom in time. She soaked her jeans, her underwear and her socks. Being that she did not have any spares, the teacher put her in a pair of pants belonging to the daycare for just these occasions. However, underwear and socks could not be found, so Sweetpea had to suffer sockless and commando all afternoon. Spare clothing is currently sitting on top of my purse ready to go for the morning. If only I can remember my purse.

It gets worse. I've gone shopping three times in the last week and all three times walked out of the store without something I needed. And no, none of the three items were the same. The kicker? Yep, you guessed it. All of the items were on my lists. I have yet to go back to get any of them. Yikes. I'm also discovering that the evidence of a mushy brain is not limited to forgetfulness. I noticed on my last blog that I said the icon to have updates to my blog emailed to you is located on the left side of the blog. Uh huh. There's nothing on the left side of my blog. It's all on the right. Yesterday in Court I told a fellow attorney that I had endorseded his Order online. Did you get that? EndorsedED.

I've also noticed the appearance of AOADD. That would be Adult Onset Attention Deficit Disorder. The signs of this? Here's an example. I pick up a cup to take to the kitchen. On my way I notice a book of Sweetpea's that has been left out. I put the cup down and head the other direction to her room. On my way by, I notice the bathroom light has been left on. I go to shut it off and notice some barrettes sitting in the soap dish on the sink. I set the book down, and pick up the barrettes to take to the hallway closet to put away. As I'm putting the barrettes away, I glance into the kitchen and see the rest of my coke that I have been looking all over for. I figure I better finish it. On my way to grab it, I remember I have a piece of chocolate in the fridge. Mmm, chocolate and coke. I open the fridge and find Sweetpea has shoved pieces of plastic food into the drawers and into the nooks and crannies on the door shelves. I gather up the food, and head back toward Sweetpea's room. On the way down the hallway, I trip over a cat who is laying across several of her catnip toys, loving them like there is no tomorrow. The cat screeches and runs, the plastic food flies everywhere, I swear up a storm until Sweetpea comes running to see what has happened and I have to stop. By this time I decide it is just a good time to give up and go to bed. The cup is still in the living room, the book is sitting on the toilet, the hallway closet door is standing wide open, my coke is still on the kitchen counter, there's plastic food scattered all over the hallway, I'm frustrated and tired and can't figure out why my house looks like a tornado hit it when I know I've been cleaning all night. I hear this gets worse as you get older. I somehow can't imagine that.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pokemon Lives!

Before I get started tonight, let me point a couple of things out. I've had several people mention that they forget to check my blog for new posts. I told them I figured that was the case. I can be pretty forgetable. So, to help those like me that on most days would forget their head if it wasn't attached to their neck, I've added a feature on the left side of this blog that allows you to insert your email address. It will automatically email you every time I post something new. Your email address will not be added to any spam lists, nor will I contact you to sell anything. I won't even give it to Congress or the aliens. It's just so you can be notified that it's time for healthy guffaw in my direction. Second, I have also added a guestbook feature to the right side of the blog. Please, sign my guestbook. I keep track of the number of hits the page receives, but it sure would be nice to know who's dropping in.

I am writing while my daughter has Finding Nemo on tv, and is also happily keeping herself entertained with the Speckled Frogs song. So if I all of a sudden break into "Aw, saw the whole thing man. First you were like WHOA! And we were like Whoa! And then you were like whoooaaa." or "eating the most delicious bugs, yum yum" you know why. Oh, for those of you who don't know the Speckled Frogs song, let me lay down the lyrics for you:

Five little speckled frogs,
Sat on the speckled log,
Eating the most delicious bugs,
Yum yum

One jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool,
And now there are four speckled frogs,

Glub glub.

This continues on until there are no more speckled frogs on the speckled log. Sounds annoying, right? Yeah, it is, except when it's your kid that's singing it. And you've never heard her sing it before. She's so cute! And speaking of cutie, here's a pic of Sweetpea and her cousin at Sweetpea's birthday party this past February:

We will never be able to get them to do that again. Yes, this is the same boy I attempted the Horstachio cake for. Which brings me to my subject for tonight. I am very proud to announce that while Horstachio was unable to hang on, we were able to pull Pokemon (or more precisely, Blastoise) through. Tuesday night I completed this Blastoise cake for a co-worker's children:

Ok, so it was more like Wednesday morning. 1:00 in the morning...or so. I must admit, it turned out better than expected. And the customer was happy, which is the most important part. But don't get me wrong, I don't like the cake. I never like any cake that I do, no matter how well it turns out. It's because I can always see the mistakes, even if no one else can. It's a character flaw. But I always learn something new with every cake. Here is a list of things I learned with this cake:

1. Cooking spray sprayed into a curved pan will launch itself off of the surface of the pan and into the air. If you happen to be looking into the pan at too close a distance, it will launch itself into your face, mouth, eyes, hair....

2. Cooking spray with flour, while FANTASTIC stuff to avoid food sticking to the pan, and consequently burning, will sting your eyes to the point that you feel like they are being jabbed out with sharp sticks.

3. Cooking spray with flour also makes you choke, cough and sputter uncontrolably. If you've ever accidentally inhaled powdered sugar or cocoa powder while eating a doughnut, you know what this feels like.

4. Red and blue fondant dry out faster than any of the other colors. A Pokemon toy pushed down into dry fondant will crack the fondant.

5. No one cares about cracked fondant at 1:00 in the morning. Especially the cook.

6. One boxed cake mix makes approximately 4 ½ cups of batter. A ball cake pan requires 2 ¼ cups batter per side. How convenient is that?

7. A ball cake pan comes in two pieces. More batter in one side than the other will result in a ball cake that, were it a real ball, would not roll at all and would probably bounce sideways.

8. Butter-recipe yellow cake mixes call for actual sticks of butter.

9. It is helpful to have sticks of butter in the house when making butter-recipe yellow cake.

10. The cake will never look as good for real as it does in your mind. (This is not new, just something I re-learn every time I make a cake.)

I wonder why I always learn things in 10's.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tales of Oddity

I read another blog recently that had an entry about quirks. In the blog, the author had received one of those forwarded emails that was a questionnaire you’re supposed to fill out and forward on. This one was just one question: name 10 of your quirks. She was only able to name four of her own. While I didn’t get the email, I thought it might be an interesting thing for you to see how weird I am. So my husband says anyway. More humor at my expense, but I’d rather people laugh with me that at me. I did look up the definition of “quirk”, by the way, just to make sure I was answering the question right. (Maybe that’s a quirk in itself.) According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the first definition of a quirk is “A peculiarity of behavior; an idiosyncrasy”. Yeah, I have a lot of those. Sometimes I refer to them as my OCDs, which, of course, stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, so if you hear me make reference to my OCD you know why. Each of these requires some detail, so maybe I’ll break them down into two posts. We’ll see by the time I’m finished writing them out. So, here we go:

1. Expiration Dates: I have an obsession with expiration dates. Especially with dairy foods. I check the expiration date of everything before I eat or use it. Right now I can tell you that the gallon of milk in my refrigerator at home expires on October 20th. (Oh, guess we’d better go shopping.) When I bring yogurt to work, I actually line it up in the refrigerator in order of expiration date. I eat the one that will expire soonest first. My husband has attempted over and over again to explain to me that the date is not an expiration date, it is only a “sell by” date so that the stores know when to pull it from their shelves if it has not been sold. Yeah, I’m not buying that argument. I will use or eat the item up to the day before that date. If we reach that date and the product is not used up, it gets chucked. That’s just the rule. In my defense, I do have a good reason for this obsession. I have gotten food poisoning from rotten cottage cheese twice. It’s no fun. In fact, I think it’s the worst I’ve been sick in my life. If I can help it, never again. Oh, here’s a useless fact for you: did you know the only food product that doesn’t expire is honey?

2. Directions: I am, as my family puts it, anal about directions. When I refer to directions I mean things like recipes, the directions on a box of something to cook/bake, patterns for cross stitch or latch-hook, instructions on how to assemble things, how to make a craft from a kit, etc. I guess this bleeds over a little into reading of maps, too, though I don’t use them very often. “When all else fails, read the directions.” Just seems to me that the directions are there for a reason. I have no desire to “improve” on them. I am convinced that whoever designed the product probably attempted to make it thousands of times, and learned by trial and error which is the best way to get the task accomplished. They’ve made the mistakes for me, so why reinvent the wheel? So, I follow the directions. It apparently appears to my family that I do this beyond normal direction following, to the point that this is one of my OCDs. As you can imagine, this is a source of great hilarity for them. I don’t think it’s quite that funny.

3. Matching Jewelry: This OCD is probably pretty extreme, but I have to have matching jewelry. I have difficulty wearing “mismatched” sets. Let me elaborate. A “set” to me means earrings (sometimes two pairs since I have both ears double pierced), a necklace, a bracelet and at least one ring. It actually bothers me to wear jewelry that does not match. I can’t do it. The majority of my jewelry has all these things in it, though a lot of them I am still working on the exact match. For instance, I have a set of rubies that includes earrings, necklace and ring, but I have yet to get a matching bracelet. So far I have placated myself with a red bracelet and a silver heart bracelet to fill in the gap. I have a set of sapphires that is the same (this one has two pairs of earrings). Luckily I have beaded bracelets that are blue, so that works for now. I have a pink cat’s eye set that is complete. I have several sets of amethysts and one of copper that are complete. I have two sets of pearls, one Tahitian, one lavender. The Tahitian only has earrings and necklace, the lavender is missing only the ring. You get the point. There was a time, too, when I began to think that I needed the shapes to match as well. For instance, the stone in my sapphire necklace is oval. I briefly thought I needed to have all the other pieces of the set in oval shape as well. Luckily, I was able to talk myself right out of that. Anyway, I’ve had several people comment that I match my jewelry more than anyone they know. I’m sure they’re right. I’m a freak that way.

4. Dirty Hands: I literally cannot stand to have dirty hands. This includes having anything under my fingernails. This doesn’t bother most people, I hear, but I can’t stand it. Here’s an example: I can barely stand to make rice krispie treats, since part of that requires that I cover my hands in butter to help spread the treats in the pan. Another example: I hate making hamburgers with anything mixed in, like Worcestershire or garlic salt, because that requires mixing with my hands and they end up covered in hamburger grease. Ew. I take it far enough that I will wash my hands 5 or 6 times during preparation of a meal, even if I have to touch the same food again after I’ve washed. It’s been suggested that it’s the fear of things like salmonella or other food-borne illnesses that is causing me to wash. It’s not. I can’t stand to wash dishes with a sink-full of water, because I hate to stick my hands in the dirty water (lately I have been able to manage it if I just wash using running water.) I even loathe having lotion on my hands if it is the kind that makes my hands feel greasy. Incidentally, Satin Hands by Mary Kay is fantastic, no greasy feel at all.

5. Space at the Dinner Table: Also a point of hilarity for my family, I am unable to continue to eat at the dinner table if I have too many dishes or other table knick knacks surrounding my place setting in too close proximity. When we were kids my sister used to love to pile serving dishes, salt and pepper shakers, butter dishes, etc. around my plate just to watch me squirm until I had to move them away again. This probably touches a little on claustrophobia, though I don’t have any problem with any other closed in sort of spaces. I just have to have the elbow room. This causes me problems, as you might guess, at dinners with a lot of food, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. More food means more dishes and less space. *shudder* Gives me the creeps just thinking about it.

6. Lists: I make lists for everything – any sort of shopping, things to do, things to pack on the occasion of a trip, supplies for a specific cake, etc. I will even write out a detailed description of a cake, list-style, and sometimes a list of tasks to get the cake accomplished in the order they will need to be completed. Granted, I do not take this issue as far as my sister, who rewrites her grocery/shopping lists a minimum of twice. First she writes a list of everything she needs from the store, then she rewrites the list to categorize where the items are in the store. (Come to think of it, I think my mom does this too.) If I am not mistaken, I believe she even has to rewrite it again if she adds a last minute thing to the list and there is no room in the column for that section of the store. This sort of thing for me could mean I would be doing nothing but rewriting lists, since I’m forever adding something last minute. Thankfully, I don’t take it that far. But I can seldom get my shopping or packing done without a list.

7. Quotes and Facts: I seem to have a fascination for quotes and useless facts. This works several ways:
First, movie quotes. I can compare most situations in my life to a movie, and generally can quote from that movie. A lot of movie quotes I can identify without knowing which character said it.
Second, quotes or sayings in general. I actually collect these. I have a journal of sorts in which I add a quote or saying I have read or heard that I like. An example of this would be the quote on my calendar for today “Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.” – Steven Wright. Hmm, I’ll have to write that down. Anyway, this is something I have been doing since high school, so you can imagine the collection.
Lastly, useless facts. I love them. Like, did you know that Edgar Allan Poe married his first cousin when she was 13? Or that butterflies taste with their feet? Or that the gestation period for an elephant is two years? These are completely, utterly of no use to me, yet I remember a large majority of the ones I read or hear. Maybe I should write them down, too.

8. Edgar Allan Poe: Speaking of which, this is also another quirk. I love Poe’s work. Now I know some of you out there are saying, well of course you do! You were an English major for crying out loud! Well, sure, that’s true. And the majority of people have been exposed to Poe’s writings in even the very basic college, sometimes high school, English classes. But, how many people do you know read his poems and stories just for fun? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Me either. I actually have a book that is a collection of his works, just to have them. Anymore I don’t have a lot of time on my hands, but I used to read something of his every night. I’m still not all the way through, but I’m working on it.

9. TV Shows: I actually get angry at television shows. If a show makes me angry, I stop watching it. And I don’t mean just that episode. I mean the show altogether. For instance, Ally McBeal. I loved that show. LOVED it. And then they killed off Billy. It made me mad. So I stopped watching for a while. Then Robert Downey, Jr. came to the show. I began watching again, and really liked him as Ally’s boyfriend. Then they wrote him out of the show. Now, I understand a lot of that had to do with his real-life arrest and, I believe, conviction for drug possession, but it still made me mad. So I stopped watching and never went back. The same thing happened with ER. They wrote Doug, George Clooney’s character, out. I stopped watching. Then I went back for a while, and they killed off Mark Green, Anthony Edwards’ character. I stopped watching. I gave them one more chance for a short while, then Carter and Abby broke up and he wandered off to Africa or some ridiculous place and that was it. Never watched again, with the odd occasion when my sister forces me to. The X-Files when David Duchovny left, 90210 when Brandon and Kelly didn’t get married, The Drew Carey show when Kate left, I could go on and on. My husband finds this amazingly amusing. I just find it irritating.

10. The Rain: My last quirk has to do with the rain. You all know about my issues with the Fall. Well the rain is somewhat different. I actually like it, quite a bit. I’m a person who is happier on a rainy day than I am on a sunny day. I love the sound of the raindrops and the thunder. I love the lightening flashes and the grey clouds. I love the smell, though more so in Wyoming (that’s the smell of wet sagebrush). I don’t even mind walking through the rain without an umbrella, as long as I’m not on my way to work or to court. For most people it’s the opposite, a rainy day is a bad day. Not for me. They’re always good. A co-worker suggested maybe that would not be the case if I lived, or had lived, in someplace like the Pacific Northwest. I doubt it, but you never know. I did grow up in a desert, after all. Maybe I’d hate it if it rained 9 months out of the year. Somehow, I can’t imagine that, though.

Well, there’re ten. I’m sure there’re lots more I could come up with, but this is probably long enough. So now you are aware of how completely wacked out I really am. So I’m told. It’s ok, I admit I’m goofy. If any of you would like to share your quirks, feel free to leave a comment or email me. I’d love to hear them!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Call in the Life of Law

So I realized I have this funny work-related story that I'm pretty sure I can safely tell without getting in trouble. A lot of my family and a couple of friends already know this, because it was just too classic not to share. So here's the scoop.

Up until recently I was practicing as debtors' counsel in the bankruptcy field. As part of my job, I would answer calls from first-time callers. These are people who are interested either in filing for bankruptcy, or asking questions about the process, or are price shopping for fees, etc. A lot of people, in an effort to get additional information about bankruptcy without actually having to meet with me, would tell me all or part of their story - that part of their recent past that had put them in the position that they need to file for bankruptcy relief. But one caller I will never forget. (Please keep in mind that I feel I can safely tell you this because this woman never became a client of mine and never disclosed any sort of information that I could possibly identify her with.) The conversation went something like this:

Me: "This is Janci, how can I help you?"

Caller: "I'm a victim of identity theft, and I would like to file for bankruptcy." (Note on this: this is not an altogether uncommon reason for filing bankruptcy. These days it is actually too common a problem, so this did not strike me as odd at all.)

Me: "Alright, so someone who stole your identity incurred enough debt that it is just easier to file for bankruptcy, right?"

Caller: "Yes, they stole it while I was out of the country, and I think it would just be easier to file and get on with restarting my life now that I'm back."

Me: "Oh, you've been out of the country? For how long?" (Note: at this point I am analyzing possible issues in my head with the new bankruptcy code, since exemptions of property available to the debtor are based upon where the debtor lived within a certain number of days prior to the filing of the case. I'll try not to get too technical on this stuff, just so you understand my motives in the line of questions.)

Caller: "For the last five years."

Me: "And where did you live during that time?"

Caller: "Well, I was abducted by aliens five years ago."

Me: (Stunned silence. I am waiting for the punchline....)

Caller: "Hello?"

Me: "I'm sorry, did you say you were abducted by aliens?"

Caller: "Yes, five years ago."

Me: "And someone stole your identity while you were gone?"

Caller: "Yes, a member of congress."

Me: (Additional stunned silence) "A member of congress?"

Caller: "Yes. Congress is in communication with the aliens, and knew I had been abducted. So while I was gone the certain member of Congress stole my identity and charged up all of this debt that I can't afford to pay. Would you like to know which member?"

Me: "No, I don't think that is necessary." (Still waiting for the punchline.)

Caller: "So what do I do to get started?"

Me: (another long pause) "Let's see..." (pause) "You know, I'm not sure bankruptcy is for you." (Note: all I can think at this point is that I don't have the time nor the sanity to deal with this nut as a client.)

Caller: "You don't? Why not?"

Me: "Well, I think there may be other options for you. If I were you I would call the D.A. and see what I needed to do to press charges against the aliens for kidnapping, and against the congress-person for the crime of identity theft. Then I think I would contact a civil attorney to find out what needed to be done to sue the congress-person for the damages caused by the identity theft." (Note: Yes, I am aware that I am evil, and that civil attorneys and D.A.s have just as little time to deal with crap like this as I do, but there was NO WAY I was setting this woman up with an appointment.)

Caller: (Like the thought had never even crossed her mind ) "Oh my gosh, that's a great idea! I think I'll do that. Thank you so much for your time."

I swear you cannot make this stuff up. And if they say lawyers are crazy, it's only because we have clients like these. One of my friends, a fellow crazy attorney, said I should have set up the appointment because he would have loved to sit in on it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Murphy Who?

Do you believe in karma? Or what goes around? Or comeuppances? You know, like "Nasty little men like yourself always get their comeuppances." (Hehe. If you can tell me what movie that is from, leave me a comment and I'll try and come up with a prize! Geez I crack myself up!) Anyway, back on subject. I've always believed in karma. There are just some things that happen that are so absolutely and utterly deserved, there really is no other explanation for them. And isn't it wonderful when they happen to someone else and you can sit back and laugh at them? ;-) Even so, karma isn't always very consistent, and often not very speedy. Have you noticed this? Karma seems to me to be a very strike-when-and-where-I-feel-like-it sort of power. Probably of the female persuasion.

But I've come to notice recently that there is another power out there that is much more consistent, accurate and just as vindicitive, (though not necessarily derived from any derserving word or action). So much so that the name we've given it indicates that it is force to be reckoned with: Murphy's Law. I've noticed its appearance more and more recently, mostly in traffic. I'm not saying Murphy only likes to hang out on the public streets during rush hour, because you cannot help but notice his influence throughout all areas of your life. This is just where I've noticed him most the last few days. Murphy has developed quite a few laws in dealing with traffic, and it appears that they are only intensified during rush hour. For instance, if you are attempting to make a right-hand turn at a red light or stop sign, there will always, always be a vehicle of higher profile than yours that will pull up next to you in such a manner as to completely and totally inhibit the view of on-coming traffic. In this situation you are unable to go anywhere, since seeing around them requires the contortionist's move of laying the entire top half of your body forward across the steering wheel, craning your neck and head forward until they resemble that of a giraffe and inching your car forward ever so slowly until your vehicle's whole front end is sticking out in the lane, virtually guaranteeing that you will lose that front end. (Incidentally, the most recent offending vehicle in my case was what could only be called a monster truck in neon yellow that had somehow forgotten to stop in his lane until his front bumper had crossed the OUTSIDE line of the crosswalk.)

Another law: people who buy high end vehicles forget how to drive. You know what I mean by high end - BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Mustang, etc. I have even seen this bleed over into Cadillac and Lincoln, but they seem to be the exception. I have no idea what it is, but when you place your cash down to purchase one of these vehicles, it must also be part of the purchase contract that you allow them to do a mindmeld and erase everything you ever knew about driving. I've also noticed that age has no bearing on this law whatsoever. You can be 16 or 86 and the result is the same. No knowledge of the rules of the road - at all! In addition, it seems to affect people at both extremes. These vehicles cause you to either go extremely slow or extremly fast, there is no in between. You either forget what a turn signal is, or forget how to turn it off. And breaks! I think they sell you certain models based on your age. The younger you are the less effective the breaks are. The youngest drives have none at all. And the oldest drivers, well I don't think those models come with a gas pedal. But believe me, they all come with headlights set to permanent flashing get-out-of-my-way mode. If you see one of these drivers coming your way, know that Murphy has worked his voodoo and switch lanes fast!

Murphy also works on the stoplights too. It's a guarantee that if you are running late two things will happen: #1 no one else in the entire town/city/metropolis will be in a hurry but you, and #2 every traffic light will turn red upon your vehicle's approach. Every one! If I had no knowledge of Murphy's existance I would assume it's some sort of sick, twisted conspiracy!

Unfortunately Murphy does not confine his laws to the rat race on the streets. One of the biggest of his laws I've noticed in every day life is, extra efforts to prevent something from happening will simply ensure that it does. For instance, when bringing a three-year-old into your office during a work day, repeated mentioning of the need for quiet will only result in her talking to other people at the top of her lungs and giggling uncontrollably as loud as her little giggle box will allow. Another example: planning a trip well in advance, complete with precautions with your health, will only result in one or all members of your family becoming deathly ill just days before you are scheduled to leave. Murphy doesn't always do things on such a grand scale with this law. For example, taking a three-year-old to the doctor only because she says her ear hurts (in an effort to head off the ear infection that's coming on) will only result in the diagnosis that she is perfectly fine with no sign of infections whatsoever. (It also results in the doctor doing her very best to TRY to find something wrong, so you don't feel you've wasted your hour and a half and your $20 co-pay.)

So, with his ever present influence in our lives, I think there's really only a little something I want to know. Who the hell is Murphy and who decided to give him all this power? And where can I find him? Anyone want to join up with my posse?

Monday, October 8, 2007


Ok, I can't deny it anymore. Fall is definitely here. Like there was any doubt, right? Right, but since my SAD gives me the ability to feel Fall a minimum of two to three weeks before everyone else, I try to pretend it's not here for as long as possible. For those of you who don't know, SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder. (I always found the acronym ironic. What sicko came up with this?) I've never been officially diagnosed, as I have an out-of-the-ordinary case in that it affects me in the Fall. Most cases affect people in the winter. Something about the clouds and lack of sunshine as well as freezing temperatures that bring people down. Plus the snow. If you ask me, those aren't the worst things in the world. I actually start to feel better when the first snow falls. And for those of you in the Wyoming/Utah area who are saying "well, you should be fine then since it has now snowed twice in the last two weeks" - wrong. I don't mean snow in the mountains. I mean it needs to at least cover the valley floor. An inch is good. More is better. THAT'S when I'll start feeling better.

I hate Fall. I mean I really, REALLY hate Fall. But I know there are people out there who absolutely LOVE the Fall. My dad is one. My friend Emilee is another. Although, Em's "Birthday Season" is in the Fall, so I think she has a valid reason. (For explanations of the "Birthday Season", please check out Em's blog: Her Sept. 21 entry explains it all.) If my birthday was in the Fall, maybe I would have a different opinion as well. The fact of the matter is, I can't think of one single thing that's good about the Fall. To me it just means endings. All the vegitation dies, animals get ready to hybernate, the weather cools off, hunting season begins.

--A word on that for just a minute. I have nothing against hunting. I don't do it myself, mainly because tromping around in the cold of early dawn (or before) out in the middle of massive areas of sagebrush doing my best to be quiet while dealing with my horrific Fall allergies all the while searching for something to kill is not my idea of a good time. (Did I mention I'm not a morning person? And that I'm allergic to sagebrush? That's irony for you, a Wyoming girl who is allergic to sagebrush.) I do like wild meat quite a bit, and am more than willing to eat it. It's just the activity of hunting that I don't care for, and just one more sign to me that Fall is a seasons of endings.--

I dislike everything about Fall, right down to the colors. Yes, I am referring to the "beautiful" colors of the Fall leaves. Please remember that I grew up in Wyoming, where Fall colors amount to yellow and brown. No reds, no oranges, just yellow and brown. Sometimes yellow speckled with brown. (Now you know where the Wyoming Cowboys got their color scheme.) However, throwing red and orange into the mix didn't help things for me. I still don't like them. But it's not just the leaves that change colors. The sky changes, too, and is somehow a deeper shade of blue. Even the very air around us, turns a different color - a kind of pale yellow, if you're interested. If you've never been tuned in to nature enough to notice these things, I do suggest you slow down long enough to pay attention, even just once. As much as I don't like being able to see and sense these things, it is quite an amazing thing to see how much the world changes in such a small window of time.

The Fall also means homesickness for me. As I've said, I grew up in Southwest Wyoming, Rock Springs to be exact. I now live in Utah. But whenever Fall comes around I start missing home. In the worst way. My family still lives there, and they all know when Fall has come, whether they can see it or not, because my trips home become more frequent (whether they like it or not!) Why is this, you ask? I don't know. Wish I did. My mom suggests that the first real homesickness I ever had was when I left for college the Fall of 1994 (ouch, has it been that long?) and maybe that is why I'm homesick every year at the same time. Someone else suggested to me that Fall is a season where things turn inward. People do the same and perhaps I don't like what I see. Maybe, I don't know. All I know is it's a horrible time of year and I can't wait until it's over.

Even so, I still do the ridiculous things that come with the season. I put out Fall decorations, a wreath on my door, a festive fall candle, even a teddy bear holding a pumpkin. How silly is this? Decorations for a season I hate in colors I hate. I've even gone so far as to seriously consider buying a cross stitch or two in the Fall theme. Let's be clear on that - CONSIDERED buying. I have yet to actually give in and buy one, and when I do who knows if I'll actually stitch it or not. But the consideration is pretty monumental for me. Resistance is futile?

I even do things such as make and drink Spiced Tea (by the gallons) and bake. Fall is the season for my zuchinni bread. And as much as I like to do these things, I have figured out that they are things that link me to home. The smells of cinnimon and cloves from the tea, and baking zuchinni bread take me home again. Especially since it was in my mom's kitchen that I developed my recipe for zuchinni bread, and first tasted Spiced Tea.

Truthfully, I'm not even especially fond of Halloween. WHAT?!? Sacrilege, right? It only has to do with when the holiday falls, nothing else. And, Halloween to me arrives at the end of the season, since most of my Halloween costumes as a kid were made to fit over a snowsuit. (Hey, I grew up in the Rockies.) I must say Halloween is getting better for me, though, since I've had a child. She enjoys it so much, it's really hard for me not to. Besides, how can you look out at a sea of vampires, princesses, devils and angels and not like what you see?

So what was the point of all of this, right? We've established that I hate the Fall, but so what? Nothing, really. Just one of those days that I struggled, so I thought I'd vent a little. And now you know me a little better, I guess. Now I realize that my post today was not so entertaining and thought-provoking as anything I've written prior, and I apologize. So, to make it up to you I would like to direct your attention to someone who seems to always be entertaining. Some of you may have already been introduced to this lady when I forwarded her eBay listing for the Pokemon cards. However, her blog is so much more hilarious, I have to share. This woman is truly my idol, and I hope I can write like she does someday!! Her name is Dawn Meehan, and the site really is worth a look-see: So, Happy Fall to everyone. HA!

P.S. Now a shameless plug: most of you are probably aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Most of you are probably also aware that my mom is a breast cancer surviver of nearly two years now. Needless to say, this is a cause I support and would appreciate it if you do, too. As you are out shopping, please note all of the products out there this month that will donate to breast cancer research with their purchase. If you are a consumer of these products, I ask you to purchase this month. A few I have noticed: Yoplait (though you have to mail in the lids on this one), M&M's, TicTacs and General Mills products. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the travel mugs from Einsteins Bagels, though. There is a donation with each purchase, but the mugs themselves are $18, and I believe the donation is $1.50 or less per mug. I have also added a link to my blog that allows you to click daily, which in turn prompts the site sponsor to pay for mammograms. The site is It also has a store you can purchase from, and has links to other causes such as child health, literacy and hunger. (Sorry, though, I only have the capacity to support one cause at a time!) This month if the clicks equal 500 mammograms, the sponsors will fund an additional 150, so please click away! Also, if you just wish to donate outright, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation is a dedicated organization who raises money for breast cancer research only. I have added a site link for the foundation as well. Thanks to all of you who take the time to read my reandom musings, and I hope you will take a moment more to help in the fight against breast cancer.

*Disclaimer: the addition of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure link is not intended in any way to imply that this blog is endorsed, sponsored or otherwise supported by the Komen organization. I have no affiliation with the organization and simply wish to support the cause.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

From the Mouths of Babes

I think Art Linkletter had it right. Kids do say the darndest things. Ever since my daughter, who I lovingly refer to as Sweetpea, began to speak in full sentences , she has continued to delight, amaze and amuse me. Sweetpea shows signs of being a very intelligent child. I know what you're thinking, and you're right. I am biased. But that doesn't change the fact that she's smart. She will be four in February, and already she knows all of her numbers through at least 35 (that's about the time she starts getting bored with the counting), all of her alphabet, colors, shapes, seasons, months, days of the week (usually she can tell you what day of the week today is, what month it is and what day of the month), and I'm sure some stuff I haven't even thought to ask her if she knows. She has begun to connect words with the letters they start with, and can usually name five or six words per letter. She has not yet begun to read, but if I miss a word, or even say the wrong word, when reading to her she will quickly correct my error for me. She can operate her game on the laptop, the TV, VCR and DVD player with no help, the surround sound with just a little help and her CD player in her room as long as someone helps her reach it. She knows the name of every movie she owns (as well as a few of the ones I own), where they go on the shelf and can quote most of them by heart (which may be a sign of entirely too much movie watching, but I won't go there). She can identify songs on the radio or on TV as being part of one of her movies, and can usually sing the words right along with it. She still asks about toys I've thrown or put away months ago. She astonishes me on a daily basis, and believe me, I wouldn't have it any other way.

But, much as it appears that way, my reason for writing today is not to brag. It is, instead, to highlight the humor my daughter has brought to my life in just the things she says, many of which I believe can be attributed to her intelligence. Unfortunately there are times that the humor is at my expense, but so goes the way of parenthood. A wise sole once said "Children seldom misquote you. More often than not, they repeat word-for-word what you shouldn't have said." So I discovered recently when, while shopping in my favorite store to hate, Wal-Mart, I yelled at my daughter to stop misbehaving, only to have her retort with tearful eyes "mama, don't kill me!" Several passers by found that fantastically funny. As did my mother-in-law, when Sweetpea dropped something and then uttered "damn" under her breath. Apparently that Sweetpea swore was not the funny part. It was that she knew the appropriate use of the word that was so amusing.

In her early days of full sentences, I recall doing my best not to laugh when one evening Sweetpea came running to me all in tears, as if her poor little heart had just been shattered. I realized that was probably the case when I asked her what was the matter, and she replied "Daddy said no". She is daddy's little girl, after all.

In recent months the humerous comments have become more and more frequent. While visiting my family in Wyoming not too long ago, we were having dinner at my grandparents house. Most of the family had finished the meal and left the table, with the remaining few of us just sitting and talking. My sister, Jenni, has two children. The youngest child, a now one-year-old girl, is affectionately referred to by my grandma as "Cupcake". I had not realized until that moment just how often grandma must have referred to her that way. Cupcake was in her high chair at the end of the table, Jenni sitting next to her preparing to give her some baby food. Sweetpea, who was standing up on the chair next to Jenni, suddenly scooted up beside Jenni, draped her arm around Jenni's shoulders, leaned forward and peaked around my sister at Cupcake, and then, with her head cocked to one side, looked Jenni square in the face and said "What's that little cupcake doing?" Jenni was not able to answer, nor was anyone else sitting at the table.

At dinner a few weeks ago, Sweetpea had milk in a sippy cup. The cup had come straight out of the clean dishwasher. Apparently there had been a little water in the rim of the lid that became trapped there when I had snapped it on the cup. Everytime Sweetpea took a drink, the water would drip on her. Though I had explained to her that it was just water, and why it was dripping, I did not fix the problem for her. With every drip, she became more and more annoyed. Finally my husband and I were quite surprised when she suddenly slammed the cup down on the table and announced "Mom, dad, this thing is dripping on me. It's ridiculous." Needless to say it was quite a few minutes before we could eat again. Not too long after that I was forced to stop reading to her in the middle of one of her books when she, out of nowhere, announced to me that her daddy and I needed to buy her a baby sister. Sometimes I wonder where she could possibly get these ideas. A few nights ago, when my husband was digging through the cabinet looking for cold medicine, he asked me if we were out. When I answered yes, Sweetpea piped up and said "What about hot medicine?" It was all I could do to tell her I didn't think we had any of that, either.

It was what she said this morning that finally made me decide I needed to write all of this down, even though my mom has been telling me that for the last two years. Sweetpea tends to get frenquent nose bleeds in the fall and winter months. As a child, my husband did as well. It seems to be connected with the drier weather that occurs in those seasons. This morning, as I was brushing her hair, she suddenly developed a relatively strong nose bleed. After we had managed to get it slowed down, I had finished her hair, and we had gotten her shirt changed, (all the while with her holding a kleenex to her nose), I pointed out to her that she had had a pretty good nose bleed, and to look at all that red on the kleenex. She looked at the kleenex, shrugged her shoulders and said in an utterly non-chalant way "Well, it's not green." Now how can you argue with that?

Monday, October 1, 2007

R.I.P. Horstachio

I am saddened today to bring you the news of the tragic and untimely (if not inconvenient) demise of Horstachio R.K.T. (Rice Krispie Treat) Cake Sr. His unfortunate undoing was brought on by several factors ranging from the softness of his body to the heaviness of his head (all you out there with big egos should remember this.) His passing brought on long minutes of tearful mourning from myself and the present members of my family, followed by frantic thoughts of "Now what do we do?" (Oh, and there are no present plans for a Horstachio Jr.)

So here's how it happened: the addition of his head and neck (molded from rice krispie treats) to the top of his body, anchored with dowels, created enough weight on one side of the cake that a large crevice formed down the middle of his body, which prevented his head from staying up straight, something that is completely unfixable. The bad news is, this happened approximately half an hour before we were supposed to leave for my nephew's birthday party. With no way to fix the disaster and no time to make a replacement, I did what I could to "paste" the body back together using the fondant decorations I had made for the outside. Basically, my nephew got a very large, rectangle-shaped cake covered in what looked a lot like the streamers on the outside of a pinata. I still got a lot of compliments, all of which I took with a grain of salt. And no, I did not take any pictures. I would have preferred that this travesty of a cake never see the light of day.

In an effort to draw out the good from the bad, I am happy to report that I have learned a few things from this disaster that I will hopefully be able to put to use in the future. They go a little something like this:

1. Chocolate cake is a very bad choice when carving - it crumbles relentlessly. I recommend having the vacuum (and preferably someone to do the vacuuming) on stand-by.

2. Crumbled chocolate cake will be tracked everywhere, by everyone, and ground into your carpet. Carpet cleaner is also handy to have on stand-by.

3. When creating any sort of cake that is intended to defy gravity, one must use a very dry, very dense cake to accomplish the feat. These cakes will not be enjoyable to eat, but hey, they'll look good.

4. Rice Krispie Treats are much heavier than you would think. Less is definitely more.

5. Any cake that is destined to fail will not do so until the 11th hour.

6. If there is a possibility of a failed cake, prepare your back-up cake first. It makes it easier to swallow your mistakes.

7. Swallowing your mistakes while decorating your cake will make you completely uninterested in eating any of the finished product.

8. Fondant does not cooperate when you are in a hurry (similarly, neither does a 3-year-old.)

9. A crack down the middle of your cake is not the end of the world, no matter how much it feels like it is. A quote from my mother-in-law "it still cuts the same".

10. 10-year-old boys do not care if their birthday cake looks nothing like Horstachio. As long as it tastes good, they are happy.

*On a little side note, I have been informed by my brother-in-law that there is someone working at the University of Utah that has a Horstachio pinata sitting on her desk. Apparently she got it from my most favorite party supply store in the whole world....