Random thoughts, ideas and pictures of a multi-tasking, yarn-addicted Lady Lawyer
Sunday, April 20, 2008
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
Note: The pictures are completely irrelevant to this post -- it's Jenny in October of 2007 (at about 14-15 months) in her Penn State cheerleading outfit after she learned "Jenny... do Eagles touchdown." The 2 pics are sequential and taken one after another.
This is a LONG, LONG post -- I have some venting to do. Read on if you dare....
The life of a lawyer can be crazy. The life of a mom can be crazy. The life of a political volunteer can be crazy. The life of a knitter can be crazy and projects do NOT always work as planned. When all of those "hats" that I balance are worn in a stack on top of my head, they are bound to topple over eventually. I suddenly had a mental image this morning (or was it late last night) of the beloved Dr. Suess character taking hat after hat off his head, revealing a bunch of little cat helpers to clean up a pink spot and spreading it everywhere around the house and yard. If you remember the book from childhood, the image describes this past week. If you don't remember the book, re-read it... it's fun.
The lawyer hat started out of control and got worse with each passing moment. I walked in Monday morning to a voice mail FILLED with messages from my client that makes me crazy. Finally, by Wednesday, I found the three hours I needed to write a 4 page single spaced letter to him/her, explaining AGAIN the status of his/her case. When I went into the office yesterday (Saturday), there was AGAIN a long message (left at 7 something on Friday night) asking the same questions answered by the letter (which s/he acknowledged receiving). I wrote and mailed a three sentence letter saying "what part of 'you need to communicate with me in writing' was it you don't understand? All information has been provided to you ad nauseum." The letter didn't put it QUITE that bluntly, but it came darn close.
The week also involved dealing with an opposing counsel who thinks her client is a perfect individual and my client is therefore evil. Never mind that her client is a deadbeat parent, refuses to follow court orders and cares nothing for the child involved other than at his/her convenience. Never mind that the lawyer thinks she is God's gift to the court system and it is apparently beneath her to answer numerous letters and emails. Monday of this coming week is going to start with me filing a petition or two that basically plead to the court that I've had it up to my ears with the lawyer's and her client's holier-than-thou attitudes -- I have enough ammo lined up to bury both of them and my patience is gone. I tried to be nice. I tried NOT to bring this case back to court, but apparently this lawyer is more interested in billing her client than she is in watching out for the child's best interests or negotiating on her client's behalf. I can play it either way she wants it, but I think she will be sad when I'm done with her. I think her client will be sadder. I think the child will be better off.
This is a non-stop frustration for me in practicing law. It is completely counter-productive to refuse to work with the opposing attorney in the long run. On a criminal case, if I have discovery in a prompt manner, I can analyze the strengths and weaknesses, decide what to file by way of pre-trial motions or IF such motions are appropriate and negotiate a plea if one is appropriate. No..... depending on which ADA is assigned, I need to chase down discovery, be lied to by young ADAs, have promises made regarding pleas that aren't put into files before the young ADA goes away on a vacation to Puerto Rico and then I need to spend HOURS with the (very nice) ADA who knows nothing about the case. In family law, the frustrations quadruple because the vast majority of domestic attorneys are more worried about their billable hours than about the most expeditious way to finish a case.
The political hat was a mild distraction as far as time, but a HUGE distraction as far as where my brain kept drifting. I'm a PA Republican so I am not part of the insanity that IS the PA primary. I had a quick meeting on Thursday night (right in the middle of my knitting group, of course) to pick up signs and handouts for April 22nd. I have to be at the polls for 13 hours on this coming Tuesday when MAYBE 10 Republicans (out of over a thousand registered) will bother to vote because we are completely uncontested. I'll be able to knit all day.
I did, however, watch the debate on Wednesday night and am flabbergasted by the reaction to it by the media in the days that followed. I'm sorry... at what point did it become "unfair" to ask someone who wants to lead this country who he hangs out with??????? I am a moderate Republican (and more importantly, I am EXTREMELY opposed to continued U.S. presence in Iraq). There are a lot of moderate Republicans and Independents and conservative Democrats and undecided voters who have never once seen Senator Obama questioned in a debate about that horrid minister, about a 70's era terrorist who is apparently friendly still with the Senator, about comments he made which call people "bitter" because they believe in the 2nd Amendment and God. What would the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses (held on my birthday by the way) have looked like if the debate this past Wednesday had been held on January 15th?
I repeat: I am a moderate and I want our soldiers and marines OUT of that quagmire in the Middle East. That being said, while I would absolutely consider voting for Senator Clinton on the war issue alone (I have other problems with her, not the least of which was her Bosnia "misstatement"), the debate showed me that in the Fall, I will have no problem voting for Senator McCain if Obama is the candidate. It isn't that I believe Obama to be a bad person because quite the contrary is true; it is that I think Obama (and the media) believe HE gets to decide what is or is not important to the voters he wishes to represent. I am offended by the very concept of that attitude.
Keith Olberman, Dan Abrams, Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow, Howard Dean (loser in 2004), John Kerry (loser in 2004), Ted Kennedy (loser in 1980 and we won't even DISCUSS his affiliations over the years; Game of Bridge, Senator?), Jimmy Carter (loser in 1980 also) and Donna Brazille (who is apparently allowed to re-define words like "fairytale" into a racial slur and who claims to be uncommitted as a Super Delegate.... snort!) do not get to tell middle-class America what issues SHOULD be. I could care less WHO the question came from about Obama's terrorist friend. I am not at all perturbed that ABC News spent half the debate on "non-substantive issues" or "the politics of personal destruction." To the contrary, after 15 months, this was the first time I saw anyone in the media ask these candidates hard questions about issues that will be important to voters like me in November. I have watched every debate for both parties since last year. There has not been a single point where Obama has articulated a specific plan for how he will address MY issues.
I've checked Senator Obama's website (and Clinton's and McCain's) because I really WANTED to drink his Kool-Aid. A choice between Senators McCain and Clinton would be difficult for me -- a true "undecided until the last minute" scenario. A choice between McCain and Obama is no longer difficult for me -- you don't get to insult my Commonwealth, disregard real middle class concerns and continuously try to gloss over serious issues with "hope and change" instead of concrete solutions. You also don't get to wiggle out of questions about the details of your economic plans that might very well raise my taxes -- I pay enough already. You don't get to tell me that you sitting in a church for 20 years with that minister and exposing your children to his hatred (or the potential of that hatred) shows good judgment. You don't get to tell me that your relationship with William Ayres is the same as your relationship with a GOP congressman -- the terrorist was instrumental in starting your political career; the GOP congressman was not; the terrorist said after 9/11 that he wished he had done more to blow things up -- you still are "friendly" with a person like that?!
Oh wait... that isn't supposed to matter because this election is about "change". Dear Senator Obama: it matters to me and I was more than willing to vote (not decided, but willing) for you until 2 days ago. How DARE you tell me what "should" or "shouldn't" matter? The President and all other elected officials (including myself because I am on the ballot as a low-level committeeperson on Tuesday) answer to the people; not the other way around.
Like I said... no actual time, but lots of emotional time on that one.
There was also the Knitting Nightmare... Jenny's pink sweater simply didn't work out as planned. She grew, the pattern had problems so I ended up ripping back the whole neckline, crocheting a scalloped border as a neckline so she can wear it and casting on a new sweater (in purple). I didn't cast that sweater on until I spent HOURS measuring her, combining patterns, doing math calculations to create my own pattern calculator and knitting several swatches. That being said, the purple sweater is turning out wonderfully well -- the yoke is done, the sleeves are on holders and I'm knitting down the body. It fits over her head beautifully (which is where all was wrong with the pink sweater) and she's watching me make it, knowing it's for her (because I keep putting it on her). I also got a new crochet book called "48 hour afghans" which holds some promise.
Finally the Mom Hat... the baby is still suffering from a nasty stomach virus which came on VERY quickly on Friday morning, in the car. I had court at 8:30 a.m. and her sitter was fine with her being there. By last night at 5:15 p.m., she had a 102 fever and by 8:20 (with Motrin only 3 hours in her), the fever was 104. We called the doctor who said to keep cooling her off and pushing fluids (which keep coming up and out) and that 105 would be the tipping point when she needed to go to the emergency room. Her fever is mostly gone today and we've gotten some applesauce into her, but we are EXHAUSTED and she is cranky.
We did have a nice dinner with all five kids last night though. The older boys were both home from college and eldest daughter came over too. It's really rare we have the whole gang without others -- I love my daughter's boyfriend and all the other assorted people who come over for holidays, football games and birthdays, but once in a little while, it is really special to just be the 7 of us!
I ran errands for hours yesterday and need to take one of the boys back to college this afternoon. The upcoming week is going to be nuts. I need a long weekend away with my hubby, my knitting and the soundtrack to "Braveheart" !!!!