Friday, December 29, 2006
I did the online dating thing briefly, so I'm not interested in kicking up an acquaintanceship over the internet. I prefer that the majority of our significant interactions happen in person, because when I did the internet dating thing, I had the same conversations over and over again with different guys and every time after we met in person it didn't work out. When I did speed dating that one time, I hit it off with that one guy that I never thought I'd like on paper, but after a conversation something sparked, and flickered into flames (until he ousted me).
I'm not trying to blow you off, I just don't want to have the same getting to know you conversations only to find that we're not really a good fit in the end. I like the idea that our connection can be based on conversations we have in person, and things that we do together. That's how my best friendships have developed, and I think relationships probably work the same way.
I feel lonely more often than I'd like to, but I've also grown too accustomed to having all of my time as my own. I enjoy having the autonomy of singlehood - I don't need to check with anyone before I do something, if I'm feeling off-kilter then I can take a weekend and just shut out the world, I don't have to worry about whether I am keeping up my end of the bargain. Not being in a relationship also means never having to fret about whether you like me as much as I like you, never having to wonder why such an amazing person would be interested in little old me, never having to worry about not being pretty enough or girly enough or funny enough or just ENOUGH, enough to keep your attention and your affection and your interest. Enough, to give you enough and be available enough to you and attend to you when you need it.
I'm afraid of dating anyone that I know I'll have to see again. I won't date anyone at work, or anywhere that I go regularly. That means once I know you well enough to like you, it's going to be uncomfortable, because then suddenly I'm in a situation so if it doesn't work out, then my day changes without you in it, and I have some regularly scheduled reminder of yet another dating failure.
Despite those shortcomings, I think that for the right person, I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun in shared activities, whatever they may be, and I'm looking forward to being attentive and flirty and supportive and thoughtful and doting and adventurous and committed to someone other than myself.
Chances are, we won't make it past the second date. But it's not you, it's me.
Unless it's you.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
In the past, I've had a jobs working with at-risk youth, doing educational advising and mentoring. Recently an old boss got in touch with me and asked me to meet with a student who is currently in the program. We met today, and my whole world seems brighter. The jobs that I have loved most have been jobs where I've done advocacy work with juveniles in a non-courtroom setting. I recently saw a job posting that was actually a job description I had created, doing similar advocacy work with incarcerated juveniles, and it broke my heart to not jump on it. I feel like I have to be good at what I do now before I can move on. But you know what? It's a New Year, and my resolution is to work towards that job. That's what I want, that's what I love, and that one hour meeting with an inspiring and incredible young person made me realize that's what is missing from my life.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
2. There are things I used to love being involved in and am trying to get back into. I have applied to volunteer in a hospital to read bedtime stories to kids and to do projects and play games with kids who cannot leave their beds. I was very excited about this position and had been looking forward to being involved in it for some time. Finally, this past week I had one of those state holidays that's not a holiday for anyone else in the private sector, and went in for an interview.
I knew the hospital was in an undesirable part of town, but nothing prepared me for the reality of it. The neighborhood is one of the most dangerous in the city, which makes it no doubt one of the most dangerous in the country. Making my way to the hospital in broad daylight felt rather unsafe. When I got to the hospital, I was put in a glorified storage closet and told to wait. I waited. and waited. When the volunteer coordinator arrived, she asked why I hadn't filled out the forms I was supposed to fill out and said, "Didn't you tell anyone you were here?" I was not only put off by the location of the hospital and the location of my wait, I was quite put off by the implication that I just decided to wander into the broom closet and was content to stay there without alerting anyone to my presence.
In the hour it took me to get to the hospital (much longer than I thought it would be, which is one strike against this), and in the additional 20 minutes I waited in the broom closet, I had pretty much decided that this wasn't going to be the opportunity for me. Once I sat down with the coordinator in her office, I started to soften a bit. There was a large library of books in great condition, and many of the books had several copies so we can give them to kids who particularly enjoy them. The programs seem to be very well coordinated, and there are many programs available just in the pediatric ward alone. Hmmm, I thought, too bad I don't think I'll ever make it back here without a gunshot wound.
Then the coordinator asked how I heard about the opportunity. When I told her that I heard about it from a volunteer website, she exclaimed, "Wow, that's great. You know, no one ever follows through with that website. We get hundreds of inquiries and some people even come in for interviews but no one ever ends up working here. No one ever follows through." My reaction, instead of being a rational "Why the hell don't you think people want to come out here?!?!" was to bristle defensively and become more steadfast in my desire to volunteer there. I almost felt like I had to prove that I really was interested in the work. I considered her statement a challenge, and I don't back down from challenges.
So now I'm signed up for an orientation and have some medical paperwork that I have to take to my own GP (which I do not have, I only go to a gyno, so now I have to find my own doctor in my own hospital and make an appointment). And now I can't decide what to do. Absolutely everyone has told me to steer clear and not to even think about wandering back and forth, via public transportation and walking, at night, by myself, to do this. I would never, ever, ever recommend that someone else do it either. Part of me wants to never go back to that hospital, and part of me invokes idealistic forgetfulness in order to consider going back. I'm conflicted about what I should do. Perhaps I'll just go back for the orientation and decide from there. Perhaps I'll start packin' a piece. (Just kidding. Hugs not guns.)
I just don't know what to do. I hate to walk away from this opportunity, particularly since I think these communities are precisely the ones that need good volunteers. On the other hand, I think there is a very good chance that I will be at least mugged repeatedly, if not raped / stabbed / shot. However, I REALLY don't like to admit fear or defeat in the face of socio-economically plagued communities. I like to delude myself into thinking that I'm somehow above that, that somehow my good spirit will protect me from harm.
3. I recently received a mysterious phone message from corrections. When I returned the call, the captain informed me that a client of mine, who I didn't have a lot of contact with but whom I remembered, died in custody. He was doing a jail bid on the plea he had taken while I represented him and died in jail. He was in his early to mid 40s. The cause of death was a brain aneurysm. He had no next of kin. I tapped my connections in programs that I knew he had been in to see if they had any info about family members. Nothing. He had no family, just a prior address of a homeless shelter. He will be disposed of, courtesy of the government, in some anonymous manner if no one comes forward in 6 weeks.
I've had clients die before, but I've never had clients die so anonymously. I'm trying to figure out what to do. I was thinking about making a food donation to the homeless shelter in his name, but the bureaucracy involved in this process seems prohibitive. I was thinking of trying to put flowers on his grave, but it seems that's not quite how things work when the government's responsible for your body. I would really like to do something to make sure that he doesn't just disappear, forgotten forever. My newest thought was to get a plant for my office and put a little planter stick in it, bearing his name. I'm sure no one would like to be remembered via a plant in a public defender's office, but there's nowhere to plant trees around here. Does anyone have any other suggestions?
4. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is a weekend dedicated solely to family (of origin, and of choice) and eating. Awesome.
Just a few minutes later, through my iPod, I hear this woman grumble loudly, "Where's the KKK when you need them?"
I looked around in alarm. Did she really say that? I must have been mistaken. She said nothing else. No one else was looking around or saying anything. There's no way she said that.
Further toward the back, a group of teenage girls (who happened to be African-American) were singing songs to pass the time. They were singing them loudly.
The woman plugs her ears dramatically and starts yelling, "Can I use your walkman? I need a walkman. Can I use yours? I need to move out of this fucking country. I can't stand this fucking country anymore. Too many blacks."
I continue to ignore her because I'm pretty sure she's about to get shivved, and I don't want to be stabbed as a potential supporter of this crazy woman. I am also now incredibly disgusted and angered by the fact that she probably did, indeed, say exactly what I thought she said earlier. Should I get up and walk away? Just a few more minutes home, and I have to climb over her to get out.
"Stop looking at me! Stop looking at me, you dirty Mexican! I don't date your kind! I only date whites!" she starts yelling to the harmless Latino guy minding his own business across the aisle. Another guy, who looks Latino, looks over at her and she says very politely, "No, I don't mean you. I'm talking to that guy. I need to get out of this country." He asks her, "What country are you from?" to which she responds, "I'm from Spain and Colombia. But everyone thinks I'm Puerto Rican," she snorted in disgust. [I seriously doubt that she's ever set foot in any of those countries, particularly since she has a pretty thick local accent.]
And then she continues. "Why do these black and Mexican guys always look at me? Is it because I'm ugly? Is that why the ugly guys stare at me and want to ask me out? Am I ugly?" The not-the-dirty-Mexican guy says very nicely back to her, "No. You're not ugly. You are very pretty." And by this time, I had vaulted out of my seat and got myself far, far away from this scene that everyone was listening to.
I still can't decide whether she was just a normal type of crazy - that is, a woman on her way home from work who is just fed up and can't deal with city living so she starts spewing her innermost racist beliefs... or if she was actually crazy, like schizophrenic and not racist.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Seconds after I climbed into bed, a car alarm started up. It emulates the sound of water dripping into a pot full of water. (I know this because we have a leaky faucet, and I left a pot filled with soapy water in the sink).
Bink. Bink. Bink. Bink.
Dear God, make it stop.
Update: I never thought I'd look forward to the Jeep car alarm that goes off every 45 min or so for 3 minutes each time, every single night all through the night. But when it went off it was a nice distraction from this Bink. Bink. Bink. 45 minutes now.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Friday, September 01, 2006
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I think her words say it best for me:
there's no objective way of measuring whether you are 'good' at doing your work. You expect to lose cases; you expect your clients to hate you and do an unreasonable amount of time; you expect judges to yell at you; you expect polite society to suspect that you are a naive enabler of evil in the world. What you don't expect is the sinking and persistent feeling that you are actually bad at what you do.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
"[T]he ABA voted to declare that it ``opposes, as contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers, the misuse of presidential signing statements by claiming the authority . . . to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law the president has signed, or to interpret such a law in a manner inconsistent with the clear intent of Congress."
The ABA also urged Congress to pass legislation giving courts greater jurisdiction to review signing statements in which a president asserts that some parts of a bill unconstitutionally infringe on his executive powers and need not be obeyed. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, has already filed such a bill."
All your internet searches really are being scrutinized.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Monday, July 31, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
- I want to start volunteering with kids again. I did it for years. I love children, I love the trappings of childhood, and I have enough free time to dedicate myself to doing something, other than work, that is personally fulfilling to me. I think I am going to start by reading bedtime stories to children in the hospital.
- I am going to stop being so stingy with my time. When my caseload numbers suddenly shot up and when the cases themselves got complex, I started doing a lot of prioritizing, because I had to. Now, I am going to let the client whose case has already been dismissed, but who keeps insisting on coming in to say hi, come in and say hi. I will start calling clients I have not spoken to in a while, just to check in. I will acknowledge that even the small cases are big cases. I anticipate that a frustrating number of my clients won't have accurate contact information, and won't call me back, but this is my job, I get paid to deal with the frustration of this system, and they don't. I can at least try.
- I will resume reading US Supreme Court cases and state Supreme Court cases regularly, because I like to.
- I'm going to take more weekend trips to visit people who are near and dear to me.
- I'm going to take more weekend trips to be outside and to be present in nature, in the world around me. I'm going to get out of the city and make my way to the woods and just breathe.
I hope that these things will get me in touch with what's important to me and what brought me here. I might not get around to reaching all of the goals on this list, but just identifying concrete steps I can take to rejuvenate myself is a good way to stop feeling helpless and hopeless. I want to give my clients the best attorney that money could never buy. And I want to make sure that my life, too, is fulfilling and rewarding, and that I am a good friend, sister, daughter, confidante, citizen, community member to others.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
The New York Times has been covering a trial in New York City that has been charged as a hate crime based on the use of a word: you know, the N word. The crux of the case seems to be this: is it a slang term used in a ghetto-fabulous way, or was the attack solely racially based? That is, can people of different races assault one another without it being a hate crime? If so, does the N word change that? In all cases? How can you tell?
I think that's the tricky part with hate crimes. It's hard to tell what someone's motivation is. And, if in New York City, the only evidence is the use of the N word, is that sufficient? Perhaps the jury will let us know.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Spending time around couples who are young, fun, in love, and leading the life I thought I wanted to be leading right now is difficult. Seeing them together is uplifting and inspiring. I admire them for the relationships they've cultivated. And then when I go to bed by myself, I am emotionally tired and very much alone.
I finally realized that I still feel powerless over my own life. I have accomplished the things that I want to accomplish, for now, as far as concrete goals go. I went to a palm reader for fun a few weeks back and left in shock. You had everything all planned out, she said. You've always had life planned out. First this, then that. But now, the things that you planned aren't working out. One commenter in the last post wasn't so far off. I do want to get married, get a house, get pets. Have kids. That's what I had planned to be working on right now. But right now, it's not even on the radar, and I'm at a loss as to what to do now.
I think that I've convinced myself that I'm in the right location because I have the job I want, I work with people I like, I am around close friends who are also single and are in similar positions. Being away from my new home for a while has made me realize that I don't have much interest in going back. If I'm going to be lonely, I might as well be lonely in a quieter and more peaceful place. I want to have a backyard and an old pickup truck and a quiet neighborhood. I want to be near the people I know and love, but I'm not sure I can stay where I am. I miss seeing trees and the ocean - the actual ocean, not just a commercial harbor - I miss swimming in green lakes ringed with pine trees, where fish will nibble your toes. I miss burying my toes in the cool green grass and the wet dirt underneath it. I miss setting up my lawn chair and grill and making drinks and drinking beers in the sunshine. Living in a city has its attributes, no doubt, but the things that this particular city has to offer are mostly things I do not value deeply.
A friend asked me how I ended up where I am now. I thought I had the answer.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I think he's perfectly comfortable with me, despite the fact that I might not be able to feel him, but I have to ask: what's he doing wrapped around me anyway? [ok, that was a question, but this person actually made a statement and didn't ask a question. so this is like jeopardy.]
Probably because you're beating her when you give her these 'instructions.'
Pantyhose judo is the answer.
An excellent hobby.
Well, they have a wedding ring, and beyond that frankly you shouldn't be inquiring.
Clearly you're a mailman.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
From the article:
"The jail population is increasingly unconvicted," Beck said. "Judges are perhaps more reluctant to release people pretrial."
The report by the Justice Department agency found that 62 percent of people in jails have not been convicted, meaning many of them are awaiting trial.
The racial makeup of inmates changed little in recent years, Beck said. In the 25-29 age group, an estimated 11.9 percent of black men were in prison or jails, compared with 3.9 percent of Hispanic males and 1.7 percent of white males.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Except he responded.
And then I responded. ("WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT EMAIL HIM BACK" this same friend told me. I told her that she and I both knew I was going to ignore her very wise advice.)
And then he emailed back and asked me if I wanted to get together this Saturday.
Of course, I really want to see him again. I also still have very strong reservations about embarking on date #3 that looks a lot like dates #1 and #2. That is, a date that looks like drunkenly making out at the bar and / or getting booted after he's decided he's had his fun. I won't be able to see him this weekend because I already had something [really lame] to do and couldn't break plans. Not that I would for him anyway. So when I emailed him back, I let him know that this weekend was bad but asked him about next weekend. He hasn't bothered to respond. Now I have to wait.
I also caved and met up with Tenacious D last night. It was immediately disappointing and mostly a mistake. He's a good person, but still hasn't actually taken me out on a date despite all my pleading, and when I try to talk to him about why it's disappointing that he hasn't so much as asked me out in the past two months, he tells me it's because I'm always busy and out with other people. I don't like being told that it's my fault, but I can see that he must feel that he's giving me space that he wishes he didn't have to give me. Last night was awkward and I couldn't even stand to kiss him because I realized that it was really and truly done.
I was doing so well for a while there! 3 or 4 whole weeks... then, crash! kapow! Back to the same bad habits.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
Who can help me out?