Friday, December 29, 2006

Letter to Potential Suitor

I've got a glass of red wine down the hatch and I'm working on the second. So while I've got this warm feeling that I'm no doubt mistaking for honesty and the desire to be happy just the way I am, I think this is what you need to know.

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

things are brighter

I've had friends tell me that I don't smile as much as I used to, that I don't seem to be having fun in life anymore, that I no longer seem inspired. It's true. I've wilted inside. I feel like I conduct my days on autopilot. I had a work nightmare on Christmas night. I do love my job, but more in theory than in practice. In practice I'm riddled with doubt and stress.

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

opening up to the people

I have a few New Year's resolutions, a few aspirations, and a few holdovers from years past. But I thought that maybe some of you out there might have some insight so I'm asking, What should my New Year's resolutions and aspirations be? What are yours? What are some good ones to keep in mind?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

iTrain, iComplain

I've been doing the same workout for about 3 years now, and like all the fitness gurus tell you, it just starts to get old, and makes working out much more of a chore with much fewer results.  I've fallen off the workout bandwagon since I left law school.  I work out maybe 3 times a week, doing shorter workouts, and doing so reluctantly.  I've been looking for ways to jazz up my workout (usually via my music selection) but I just discovered something wonderful called iTrain.  It's a website where you can download workouts to your iPod, where someone coaches you through something you'd probably rather not do without someone bossing you around.
I tried it for the first time this morning and you know what?  It worked!  Well, it worked, until a little over halfway through it I started cursing Grace, the demon workout vixen.  Damn you with those inclines!!!  My heart felt like it was going to forcibly claw its way out of my chest so I cut out about halfway through.  As a plus, it's really motivated me to get back on the treadmill, which I've been avoiding in favor of the much easier elliptical for the past few months. 
So Grace, you saucy little bitch, I think we have a solid love-hate relationship in our future.  Looking forward to it!


Slate article on how conservative judges are activist-ly denying Seventh Amendment rights.
I bet you don't remember what the Seventh Amendment says, do you?  I'm not sure, to be honest, that I ever knew what it said before today.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I think I've grown more as an attorney in the past week than I have in the past 3 months.
Whether the scheduling crunch is might fault or the court's, I cannot say.  But I had dozens of hearings and trials scheduled, and there is no mercy if the DA and the court are prepared to start.  For 72 straight hours, I spent every moment either in a hearing or starting a trial.  While I did one hearing after another, all I could think about was the trial.  For almost two weeks I was working 12 hour days and had to come in over the weekend.  I was only home to sleep.  That's the life of a public defender, I suppose but whew.  I was so exhausted by the time I was informed that there were no juries available this week that all I could feel was sweet relief, and then spent the rest of the week just trying to remain upright and muttering monosyllabic responses to people's questions.  For the past two days I've been counting down the minutes until I could go to bed and not wake up until Monday morning.
Now it's Saturday morning, and my body just can't let me sleep past 7:30 a.m.  Curses!
I'm going on vacation next Wednesday and not returning until after the New Year.  I'd be much more excited about the time off if I didn't have 4 motions due the day I got back.  That means work is coming on vacation with me.  Boo.
A lot of the cases I have currently are being litigated, as opposed to being resolved otherwise.  I can't figure out exactly why - maybe it's just the luck of the draw as far as cases go, or maybe I'm just getting better at calling BULLSHIT with the DA's offers, or maybe just more of my clients are out and able to fight their cases, as opposed to fighting from the inside.  But it is overwhelming to have a caseload so high if all of them require investigation and motions and hearings subpoenas and setting a trial date which means finding witnesses and maybe even prepping a few of them.  I'm still new at the trial stuff - it requires a different skill set than negotiating, and every time I prep a hearing or trial I realize how much I still don't know. 
This whole post is just a long way of saying, I'm really tired and suffering from my recurring case of, "If this type of work stresses me out this much does this mean that I was never meant for this job to begin with?  Am I just pretending to be a lawyer, when in reality I'm nothing but a hack?"
Maybe I was never meant to be a litigator.  Or maybe, litigators aren't born, they're made, and that being 'made' just comes with a lot of growing pains and an overwhelming caseload.

Friday, December 08, 2006


It's been a long time since I thought about you.  It took me a long time to stop thinking about you, at first.  Much too long.  Then day after day after month after month went by, and my day didn't include you or thoughts of you.  But then you insist on worming your way back in, sliding effortlessly back on the scene like you belonged here all along.  It was nice of you to think of me, when that came up, and to let me know about it.  A friendly hello, you might be interested to know... 
With the passing of time, seeing your name only brought up a small flutter inside, not the wild somersaults on my insides that you used to elicit.  I didn't think it caused more than a ripple in my day until I started dreaming.  The dream wasn't of you, per se, but it was reminiscent of you, because it was about the unique variety of feelings that I had about you.  I have the emotional hangover of those dreams today, which have again become the remnants of the feelings I had for you once, and maybe still, or maybe yet again.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Another round at the Supreme Court.

Dahlia Lithwick's Dispatches from the Supreme Court, from today's affirmative action cases.
It's interesting to me to think about other areas of law, now that I've promptly forgotten most of them.  I can't even remember the levels of scrutiny for 14th Amendment violations anymore.  I wonder now what the heck the Supreme Court is doing, again, with these race / school cases, again.  Another round with no real indication of what the right thing is to do.  My own suggestion, if we're looking at distributing, is to examine a redistribution based on socio-economic standing, which I suspect may be a much more important distinction when it comes to education.  And, it's not a protected class, so no 14th Amendment violations.  You can discriminate against poor or rich people all you want!
Ah, I yearn for the days when I listened to oral arguments as soon as they came out; sat by my computer waiting to read released court opinions; was up to date on all the latest blawgs.  There is no law in what I do, day to day.  I miss the critical thinking and analyzing the rules and making reasoned arguments.  Mostly, I just beg.
As an aside, I have decided that one of my most unattainable goals in life is to be on Slate - either as an author or as a subject (in a good way, not in like a Paris&Britney, OJ type way).  My God, I worship that webzine.

few and far between

Today I had a DA do something very favorable for my client, not because he had to, but because it was the RIGHT thing to do.  The DA agreed to give me the disposition I needed on the basis of what I believe to be a compelling social justice argument.  Since I spend most of my time railing against the fascist prosecutorial techniques of my adversaries, I think it's only appropriate to share with everyone when a DA does something really good for the sake of doing what's right, instead of going for what would have been a slam-dunk conviction.
Thank you, DA.  You have my utmost respect, and for this case, my deepest and most sincere appreciation.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

here I am!

An updated on my previous post:  Thanks to Sanchovilla's excellent investigative advice and guidance, I uncovered some family information for my client, and they are going to try to make burial arrangements for him.  I was nervous about being the one to break the news to his family, but I was delighted that I was able to contact them.  It was a nice way to begin Thanksgiving.
I'm still going back and forth about the volunteer thing - I had made up my mind not to, but now I'm fully back in the "I'm going to do this" camp.  We'll see how it turns out.  I don't start until after the holidays. 
Going home for the holidays always leaves me feeling unsettled.  It's always great to see family and friends again.  But sometimes I feel like I'm knocked off-kilter.  I'm not sure what it is - I guess I get confused about where the right place is for me to be, and I can't be in both places.  I'm slowly getting accustomed to being in both places though - maintaining a life in my hometown with friends I've known for years, and maintaining a life in my new town (well, not so new... over a year now!) while developing as a grown-up in both.  What an awkward transitional phase, this whole growing-up thing.  I don't like the idea that some things can be outgrown.  I prefer that other aspects of my life would develop along with me, but if it means that I have to drag these things kicking and screaming, I wonder sometimes if it's the right thing to do.
No new men, alas.  No men at all, really.  The on-again, off-again guy is blowing ME off, for the first time in our one-year acquaintance, and it's driving me nuts.  I've always been here for his booty calls even when I didn't want to be a booty call, and now that I'm making the calls he's not answering.  That is SO UNFAIR.
I'm attending my first blog party over at Stay of Execution.  Are you going?