Just Playin'
Random Thoughts...
Friday, July 30, 2004

Today's Biology Lesson

Wednesday's advice column had a letter from a woman with a question about her husband. Seems they have been happily married for 15 years and have 5 great kids. Problem? He has a child from a previous "relationship" but the wife doesn't believe it's really his child. Why not? Because the pregnancy lasted 11 months.

11 months, ladies. Think about it. Many can't even hang in there for the average 8 1/2 to 9 months. This guy was home on military leave for Christmas and New Year's. The 'mother of his child' gave birth the following November. No way, folks. Not gonna happen. Has it ever happened? I don't know but I doubt it.

A woman is considered 'term' by about 37 weeks. Pregnancy due dates are calculated by 40 weeks, which is roughly but a little more than 9 months. Some women carry their babies past the due date. I've seen inductions at as late as 43 weeks, but no longer. That is rare in this day and age when Doctors schedule inductions/C-sections to fit the schedules of themselves and their patients. Not to mention patients, miserable and ready to deliver, who present to their doctors requesting inductions or other methods to speed the onset of labor along.

(For those who read the article, babies don't 'dry out' in the womb, either).

Either the new wife doesn't have all the information here (very possible), or that guy's whole family has been duped - for 25 years!!!

Upshot? If a woman claims you are the father of her child and her pregnancy lasts 11 months, get a DNA test.

Big Brother 5

No, I don't watch it. But I saw a bit last night and I've posted my incredibly insightful comments over at Lawren's.

Moooo...

At the firm where I've been working this summer we don't exactly have set times for coming in and leaving. They did 'suggest' about 8 or 8:30a to 5p or so at the beginning of the summer. I think for the most part almost all the summer associates have followed that guideline.

In fact, much to my surprise, for most of the summer I have been getting up very early (for me) and coming in between 7 and 7:30am. It was nice - the office was essentially dead; almost no one was here at that hour (which I think is a good sign!) I could get some work done early or catch up on some blogging before 'work' hours.

An added bonus didn't hit home until this week. This week T has been participating in a program at which I could not drop her off in the mornings until 8am. Which means I've been getting to work around 8:20 or so. At that hour of the morning, downtown is bustling. Streets are crowded with cars; pedestrians are everywhere. I park in a garage that has an early bird special for those who enter before 8:30.  Which means by the time I was getting to the garage - about 8:15 or so - it was bedlam. Lines form from 2 or 3 different directions. Cars get stuck waiting for a break in vehicle and foot traffic so they can enter the garage.

I hated it - I felt crowded and confined. Most of all, I felt like one of the herd. I'm not used to having a '9 to 5' job and this was an unwelcome and unanticipated side effect. I think I will continue my transformation to an 'early riser' and plan on trying to get to work before the rest of the herd.



Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I'm Going to be a Tia!!!

My sister M recently called with the news that she's having a baby. Congratulations, sweetie! While I made my sisters Tias (Aunts) at an early age, this will be my first niece or nephew.

Send prayers or good thoughts the way of my sis and her boyfriend, please.  And if we start praying now that I make it to Arizona at just the right time (in February) to be present for the birth, it might actually happen.

Is It Fall?

The last couple days I got up early for a walk/attempt jog before work. While I realized it was chilly and I wore a long sleeved-shirt for just that reason, I was blown away when I could see my breath. WTF!?! I thought it was still summer. While I am definitely not pulling for our first 90 degree day of the year like the weather man is, I would like to enjoy some more warm days before summer is officially over.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Happiness Is...
 
Being the first person to open a brand-new binder clip.

*SNAP!*


It's All Good
 
Sorry for the paucity of posting these past few days; everything's OK around here, I've just been focused on other things.

I had a great weekend with T. She arrived home safe and sound on Thursday evening albeit 4 hours after her originally scheduled time.  We saw a movie, went out to eat a couple times, and have been working on trying to get her room whipped into shape for the coming school year.

I've had some less then stellar customer experiences with Olan Mills and American Airlines in the past week - shocking but true.

I plan to resume posting regularly. In addition, I'll be guest posting over at Lawren's blog, along with other bloggers of note.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Homecoming
 
T is coming home today! Yay!!!

If all goes well, she'll shortly be boarding a plane in Seattle and I'll be picking her up @ the Indy airport this evening.

She IM'd me on my cell phone last night. My favorite message read: I am lookin forward to comin home tomorrow.

Awesome. I can't wait. Pray for safe flights, please!


Guys - Don't Do This
 
I arrived downtown for work later than I usually do today. The elevator in the parking garage was crowded. I boarded at the 5th floor and at the 3rd floor, a man got on who was wearing his sunglasses perched smack dab in the middle of his forehead. No, no. Don't do this.

Now, if you must have the sunnies on top of your head, a la some sort of hair accessory, that's closer to acceptable. I am not above using sunglasses as a hair accessory, though personally I think women get away with this much better than men do - especially men in suits. But on your forehead? If not shielding the sun or serving as a hair accent, don't wear your sunglasses in that 'cocked and ready' position.

Unless you have two pair of eyeballs.  




Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Yes, Yes I Did
 
At dinner last night: Drip garlic oil on the pants of one of my suits.
 
At lunch with Chuck today: Splatter oil from my salad dressing on the top and pants of my new 3 piece suit, the replacement suit.
Is God trying to tell me something about my wardrobe?
 
On a brighter note, lunch with Chuck was delightful. And I picked up some Cilantro Lime Pesto (containing Romano cheese) and some Spicy Salsa (lots of cilantro and garlic) at the Farmer's Market.



I'm Blogging This
 
I want one of these!!! I'm sure some or most of you have seen it before, but I saw a kid at Mongolian BBQ wearing one last night and instantly decided I had to have one. I think I would prefer something other than black, though (largely 'cause black is so hot in the sun). There's always this version, but it just doesn't sum things up as well as the other. So black it is.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Mr. Telephone Man  

Yesterday's Best Phone Call:*flash* *flash* (message waiting)  

Chuck left me a message! It was so nice that it was his voice on my voicemail. And did you know if I was a pop singer I'd be Nelly Furtado? Now you know.

Yesterday's Second Best Phone Call:*ring**ring*

Gallup calling! I answered multiple questions regarding my views on Bush, Kerry, Iraq, political issues, and the upcoming election. So when you see the latests Gallup results - I'm in there! 
 



My Mommy Loves Me
 
OK, this isn't news to me but I'm writing about it because she helped me come to a tough decision last night.
 
As many of you know, when I started law school (~2 yrs ago) T and I moved back in with my parents. When I first suggested the idea to my Mom, I was afraid she'd think I was crazy. But she didn't even flinch and both she and my Dad told me we were welcome to move back in with them. We had been on our own for about 8 years, so it was quite a transition. Everyone gets along wonderfully so the main problem has been space. I put some things in storage and got rid of most of my furniture. But, much like my Mom, I'm a pack rat so I have quite a bit of 'stuff' I can't bear to part with.
 
I stay in the finished basement - the room is large, carpeted, and has wood paneling. The only problem is the rain. Twice in the recent past my room has become soaked following heavy rains. These occurrences have totally stressed me out - nothing was ruined, thank God, but I keep worrying that next time I won't be so lucky.
 
So on my recent walks in the neighborhood, I have been alert for houses for rent. Last week I viewed one that sounded perfect: 3 bedrooms, $750/mo. But I learned there was no central air and no kitchen applicances. I'm not looking to buy those things now. Over the weekend, I noticed a house for rent on our block. It's actually located on our same side of the street at the other end of our block and is right between my parents' house and T's school. Perfect. 2 bedrooms, hardwood floors, kitchen appliances, dry basement with washer and dryer, and garage with automatic door opener. Only drawback: $850/mo. Totally doable, but I'd definitely have to pick up more hours at the hospital during the school year.
 
So I struggled with the decision for a couple days and talked to T about it via phone and IM (she's in Seattle). She said it would be 'awesome' but she'd be happy with either decision. She also said she didn't think it would make my Mom sad if we moved out. I knew better. So I laid it all out for Mom and she talked with me about it. And while I knew she might be disappointed, I was still for some reason surprised by her reaction. I asked her why she was sad when we were only going to be down the block and T would likely often spend the night at their house anyway (we just repainted her room to her liking - 2 blue walls, 2 red walls, black trim).
 
Mom's answer was because she likes having us in her house. It was so nice to hear though I knew it already. Sometimes I just get to feeling like an imposition - not because of anything my parents say or do. But because I am, after all, 30 years old and certainly should be out on my own supporting myself.
 
So we talked some more. Waterproofers had already come by yesterday to give an estimate on sealing the house; they are scheduled to begin on August 11th. I am going to break down and move some more stuff from my room to storage to open up some more space. And we're going to buy some shelving so I can get a few more things off the floor, safe from water.
 
I feel so much more relaxed this morning knowing I won't have to stress about working so many hours during the school year; I was already feeling the anxiety of wondering if I'd have enough $$ to pay my rent every month and wondering how frustrated T was going to get with my increased work hours. Now I can relax; I'll be able to save some of the dough I made this summer and have a down payment when I (hopefully) graduate next year.
 
Thanks, Mom. I love you too.




Monday, July 19, 2004

Just Playin', Indeed
 
Blogger has a new design that seems to allow bloggers to use new tools. This post lacks substance, but I just thought I'd try out a few of the new features which include:
  • Bullet Points
  • The ability to post in several colors
  • The ability to change the size of your font
  • A variety of fonts including Arial, Courier, Georgia, Lucida Grande, Times, Trebuchet, Verdana, and WEbdings :)

Let's not forget Numbered Lists, as well.

  1. Pretty Neat
  2. I'd almost rather not have these options, though. I can be very indecisive and this many options may make it too difficult for me to post!!!


Al Sharpton
 
I've recently discovered the New York Times Magazine - I never really paid much attention to it, but have recently found it to contain interesting features.
 
This week's Questions section with Deborah Solomon has questions and answers with Al Sharpton. When asked his definition of a thug, Al responds: "Wanting to be a gangster rather than wanting to be productive. Wanting to talk in profane ways rather than having profound thoughts."
 
Check out Al's upcoming reality show, "I Hate My Job," where he encourages people to go after their dream jobs. About the show Al says: "My reality show is not like the other shows. Those shows are all fake reality. Mine is real reality."




Saturday, July 17, 2004

Perplexing Legal Issue Resolved
 
Under the circumstances, we do not see a reasonable probability that the outcome of Pagan's trial would have differed if trial counsel had objected to the State's questions regarding the "Pimp" tattoo.
 
Check out the decision at 809 N.E.2d 915, 924 for an amusing excerpt from the exchange between defendant and prosecutor. 


Friday, July 16, 2004

Go-To Guy
 
My office mate, let's call him IL, just finalized his schedule for the fall. The money class? Investment Law in the People's Republic of China.
 
Good to know.  He's sure to be the "go-to guy" at the firm for investment law related problems concerning PRC.

Those Crazy Patients
 
Patient to her Gynecologist: "If you're going to put one of those spoons in my sex hole, it better be a small one."
 
Really - just happened yesterday. Nice to know women are getting the basics of anatomy in school.


Thursday, July 15, 2004

My Fortune (from Palomino's)

Be yourself.
No one can ever tell you that you're doing it wrong.
-James Leo Helihy

More like advice rather than a fortune, I suppose.

Marriage Update

Josh has a great post this morning about the dead-for-now marriage amendment and the exercise of freedom.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Senate Marriage Debate

I have taken to watching more and more local government on TV lately. I've always thought the appeals before the Board of Zoning Appeals were interesting and my sisters love to make fun of me for it. Imagine my delight last week while watching BZA appeals when I saw an attorney from our firm representing (successfully) one of his large clients. But I digress.

Last night I was riveted to the U.S. Senate debate on an amendment to our Constitution to define marriage. I didn't join until the debate was almost over - I ran some errands after work. I came in on Senator Santorum (R-Penn) giving an emotional speech on why the Senate should vote for the amendment.

I first heard him list 5 reasons why marriage between a man and a woman is better for society than marriage between a same-sex couple. I caught a couple of the reasons: the bond between the couple and how it causes them to act for the benefit of their communities, procreation and it's necessity for the continuation of society, and how a father in the lives of a child reduces undesirable outcomes for those children (crime, drug use, poverty, etc...).

While these may sound like valid points, what I found was missing was proof that stable same-sex marriages couldn't produce these same beneficial results. Same-sex couples aren't precluded in any way from forming strong bonds with each other or with their children; people are people and when 2 of them, regardless of sex, are in a stable relationship good things are bound to result. As for procreation, I hate that argument. Many hetero couples choose not to have children and many are unable to have children. Are these couples somehow less useful to society? Should they be grateful we allow them to marry and enjoy the benefits that come with marriage. And of course, I don't think there's any danger of the U.S.'s population declining to dangerous levels any time soon. Especially not with the presence of our growing Mexican population ;)

Finally, while I sympathize with and understand the point about having a father in a child's life, as Santorum expounded on this point I became irritated with him. He began discussing traditional male and female roles and stated that men/fathers used to serve the roles of provider and protector in a family. He went on to say that now that women have been assuming these roles "society has robbed men of their identities." He asserts that men have begun to think they no longer have to provide for or protect their families. For pete's sake. This guy wants every family to be like Leave it to Beaver. And I don't see anything wrong with that, frankly, if that's how every family wants to be. But it isn't.

America is a diverse nation. It's not women's fault that men can't figure out that 2 providers and 2 protectors can be just as good as or better than 1. Men think they can be lazy sperm donors just because more women are joining the workforce? What a compelling point.

Santorum addressed the argument that same-sex marriage should be an issue for the States. At least, he talked about that argument. His main rebuttal was that Democrats usually 'cry' for their concerns to be Federal issues and now they all the sudden want the States to decide this one. He even had the nerve to later accuse his opponents in the Senate of not debating the substance of issues - while he clearly was avoiding the substance of this one.

Santorum harped on 2 questions - what benefit to society would come of this "heretofore unseen experiment in sociology"? And what harm could there be in defining legally defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The benefits are loving couples in marriages with families who feel like contributing and accepted members of society. The harm is that we continue to ostracize and exclude a large number of people who simply want to be treated equally and not as outcasts, people who are tired of being denied benefits enjoyed by couple in heterosexual marriages. As far as the sociology experiment, I couldn't help but think of what the opponents to slavery must have argued when it's abolishment was being debated. Civil rights for blacks were at one point in this country "heretofore unseen" but that didn't make them any less necessary.

Santorum described marriage between a man and a woman as the "foundation of everything that makes America great." Wow. I missed that in the history books. (Of course, I missed a lot in my history education so it might have been there). I have always been under the impression that the foundation of what makes this country great is freedom. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Freedom from oppression. Freedom to be a diverse and evolving nation.

PS - My Ivy league office mate strongly advises that I stop blogging and get to work. So smart those Ivy-leaguers.

More Bedroom Stuff

As most of you know, I'm not exactly on top of current events. So it was just in the past couple days that I heard about Illinois Senator Jack Ryan's retirement following public release of allegations made by his ex-wife.

Seems that made public were divorce records which included allegations by Ryan's ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan, that he took her to sex clubs and tried to pressure her to perform sex acts while others watched. Ryan has denied the allegations and conducted an overnight poll following the release of information to gauge public reaction to the claims. Polling showed he was trailing his opponent and losing some of his own conservative supporters. Ryan dropped out of the race.

I have mixed feelings about this. First off, I think he did the right thing. Valid or not, voters were upset with Ryan and inclined not to vote for him. As the linked story indicates, Ryan's only real option to win the Senate race would have been to wage a dirty campaign against his opponent. The right choice was to bow out.

Nevertheless, this brings up an issue with which I struggle. As in the Clinton debacle, I generally believe what we do in our bedrooms (or in 'sex clubs' in this case)is no one else's business - excluding activities such as child pornography and rape. My cynical side assumes that a large percentage of elected officials have certain practices, habits, and/or proclivities that I not only don't want to know about but that also aren't any of my business.

So on the face, a candidate and his spouse's sex life would not influence my voting decision. On the other hand, the allegations here are that he tried to coerce his wife to do things she didn't want to do. That in my mind makes the activities more relevant to the Senator's ability to serve in public office. It speaks to his character and how he handles power. That being said, divorces are ugly. How is the public to know whether Ryan's wife is telling the truth?

Yes, I do think that politicians should serve as role models for citizens and for our youth. Yes, they should be held to a slightly higher standard than people in the general population because they serve as representatives/voices of their constituents.

I just think it's a shame that we spend so much time debating what other folks choose to do with their personal lives. We are so quick to condemn others. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

BTW, you know who might fill the vacated Senate seat, don't you?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Little Things

I bought new eyeglasses at LensCrafters this weekend. My student insurance of course didn't cover the expense so I wrote a check. The salesman informed me that they issue coupons frequently and that I should be on the lookout for one and I could bring it in for a period of days (60? 90?) after the sale. As I left the store with my $300 glasses, he reminded me again about the coupon.

My Mom, wonderful packrat that she is, had such a coupon at home. I took it to the store yesterday and they handed me $75 in cash - even before my check had cleared. Awesome.


I Learn Something New Every Day

It was only a few weeks ago that I accidentally 'clicked' on the small vertical disc between the left and right buttons of my mouse at work and discovered, to my surprise, that it enabled some sort of scroll function on my computer screen. Will wonders never cease.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Landline or Cell?

I'm curious about the phone preferences of my (few) readers. Do you prefer a landline home phone or a cell phone? And which do you have?

This curiosity stems from a pet peeve of mine - people calling from cell phones tend to call cell phone numbers, even when the callee has a regular home phone. I prefer to use my home phone when I'm home and can't figure out why people call my cell first. I generally get better reception out of the landline so compounding the reception of 2 cell phones doesn't make much sense to me when there is an alternative available. And as a friend pointed out, many people have to pay for incoming minutes. So when you call someone's cell you may be costing them $. (I am always well within my free minute allowance, so this isn't an issue for me).

I have both. I like the security and dependability of the landline but the flexibility and convenience of the cell. You?

Marketing

Josh definitely doesn't need my help in attracting readers, but apparently today is International Link to JC.C Day. So, if you haven't lately, head on over.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Incredible Shrinking Woman

So I've been shopping lately - trying to increase my 'professional' wardrobe to meet the demands of having to wear a suit to work every day. I've bought a few pairs of shoes and have noticed, oddly, that a couple pairs have been too big.

I have big feet. The high heels I buy have been size 9. My feet have been that size for years and I even have some shoes (mostly running shoes, I think) that are size 9 1/2. So why are the size 9 shoes I've recently purchased - different brands - too big for me? I have no idea. I thought your feet kept growing the older you got. Maybe the leather uppers stretch when I wear the shoes and then become too loose.

Yesterday I bought a new pair at DSW: size 8 1/2. I haven't bought shoes that small in years. Hope I don't wind up with deformed feet to show for it!

Awash

I love rainy days and thunderstorms. But lately it's all I can do not to cringe every time it rains. My room is in the basement of my parents' house. Unfortunately, the recent rain has not been kind to us. We returned home last night to find the carpet of my room soaked through and a huge "lake" of rain water at the bottom of the basement stairs. I'm lucky - nothing was ruined. We're looking into getting the house water-proofed/sealed to protect against more leaking. It will be nice to enjoy rain and storms again without worrying that my possessions were going to be soaked.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Kerry Edwards

An Indianapolis man created this website some time ago to post pictures of his child for viewing by family and friends.

Now the site is for sale. Edwards has been offered $15,000 and reports say he is holding out for the 'right price.' I say good fortune for him and if he doesn't think he's being offered the right price then he should hold on to his site. It is, after all, his name.

Real Notation from a Medical Chart (Those Crazy Doctors)

On the discharge summary page under the heading Outcome:

"Discharged alive and improved."

Night Moves

Last night was the second night in a row during which I woke up with a charley horse in my right leg. So painful!!! Both nights the cramp was so strong that I was unable to get rid of it without hopping out of bed and putting weight on my right foot.

I know I'm a nurse, Kevin, but I'm only guessing at what causes leg cramps when I say probably a vitamin/nutrient deficiency. The most likely suspects are calcium and potassium. Anyone who knows me knows I get plenty of calcium. And I take a daily multi-vitamin that should cover anything lacking in my diet. Maybe I should force down a few bananas in the next couple days. I'm hoping for a peaceful sleep tonight.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Check Out Dames Demanding Democracy

Interesting concept.

Dreams

I had a weird dream last night/this morning. In my dream I was scheduled to work a 4 hour shift, 7a-11a, at the hospital. Only the 'hospital' appeared to be a gas station from the outside. It looked like a small gas station situated near a highway and it was a gas station when you walked in. And yet my triage area for the hospital was hidden somewhere inside the tiny building.

I left work that morning to check on something, and as will happen in dreams, magically found myself in the car with my folks. They were headed to a baseball game and I really wanted to go - I was trying to find a way to get out of work so I could join them. They were driving me back to work and we were but yards from the gas station when all of the sudden a large passenger airplane came out of the sky and pummelled nose-first into the ground in front of us. We were screaming for Dad to back up as it was clear that some of the flaming debris was headed our way.

Watching the crash, though I was only dreaming, was amazing. We were dumbstruck by the sight. Once the dust cleared, which happened particularly fast, I was surprised by how little debris was left at the site of impact. The crash had occurred right next to the gas station/hospital and there were clearly no survivors. I headed into the building to see if they still needed me to work - I figured the emergency vehicles would be arriving any minute and the 'gas station' would have to close for the day. No such luck. I still had to work. Strange stuff.

Does Toothpaste Go Bad?

Let's hope not.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Testing, Testing...

I was online last night and thought I'd check out the dates for taking the MPRE - the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.

I popped up the screen and soon found out that the deadline for registering to take the exam in August was midnight last night. (There is also an extended, "late" registration deadline for a mere double the cost.) I quickly weighed my options and decided to register for the exam. I know how busy the school semester gets and I would love to have the exam out of the way before school starts back up.

Unfortunately because I registered at the last minute, the test site in Indy was closed. This means if I'm lucky I'll be taking the exam in Bloomington, South Bend, or Valparaiso. Hopefully I won't have to travel to another state!

I won't have much time to study for the exam and I'm not planning to take a review course. I had PR and our instructor patterned his exam after the format of the MPRE. He assured us that if we did well on his exam we would likely pass the MPRE with no problem. I hope he was right. If not, I can always take it again in November or March. Here's hoping I can pull this off in August.

On the Radio

Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Elton John and Kiki Dee, was playing on the radio this morning on my way to work. Great song.

Speaking of the radio, what has happened to our local 93.9 which was the 'Retro' station? All day yesterday it was playing Television show theme songs. While I'll admit I have my favorites, like The Jeffersons' Movin' on Up, how many times can you listen to the theme from M*A*S*H or Benson before you've had enough? Is there really a market for this? I hope it's just a temporary prank by the radio station.

Time Warp

I generally get confused about time changes in the different time zones; I have a hard time keeping things straight. But after spending a few days in California I was familiar with the time change from Indy to Cali.

So yesterday morning I waited a decent amount of time before calling my family to see if T was feeling better. My Mom answered the phone sounding sleepy. I asked if they were still asleep. Her reply? It's 5:37 in the morning.

Oops. I was thinking it was 9:37. Sorry guys!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Elevator Encounter

I boarded the elevator in the parking garage on the 3rd floor this morning. A woman got on at the 2nd floor. She was carrying a brown paper shopping bag to which I paid no particular attention.

After a moment she said "catnip." I looked down and sure enough, there was a large branch of what could have been catnip in her grocery bag.

"I just didn't want you to think it was something illegal," she explained.

Cali

I had a great trip to Cali over the weekend. Much to my relief I returned as planned to Indy last night. I was worried something would happen to our flight and I'd have to miss a day of work again like I did when we flew to Texas in June.

The wedding was beautiful and we had a good time dancing and carrying on at the reception. It was nice to spend time with family despite my portion of the trip being so short. Bride and groom left Cali yesterday for a honeymoon in Hawaii.

My trip was admittedly short and I only saw a very small portion of the state, but I didn't see anything to change my thought that I would never want to live in California. We stayed in/near Ventura which is approx 1 hr north of LA. The weather, the biggest draw for some I'm told, was so-so. It seems each day begins 'hazy' (smoggy) and it's a toss up whether the haze will burn off and the sun will appear. Even the one sunny day we had was only partly sunny.

The 2 biggest cons for me are cost of living and tons of people. The older I get the more I appreciate the affordable cost of living here in Indy. I would be nothing but frustrated if I was paying 2-3 times or more for rent, gas, etc... just to live in a particular locale. I'd rather be somewhere where my money goes farther. Probably most importantly, though, is the number of people. Even Ventura seemed crowded to me. Houses were very close together and there was more traffic than you'll generally find in Indy.

Overall, the trip was great. The only real downside was that several of my family members caught some sort of 24 stomach bug. Yuck. They claim it was the 'Dodger dogs' (hot dogs @ the Dodger game Thurs night) but I think it was something else. Poor T was sick the morning I left to return home. I hope she's feeling better this morning. Aside from missing my girl, it's great to be back home in Indy.

Friday, July 02, 2004

I'm Out

Off to head out on my whirlwind trip to Cali for my uncle's wedding. Won't get there until 11:30p Indy time and will still have an hour drive from LAX to who knows where in the dark in a big, unfamiliar city. Can we say tired?

I'll be back late Monday night. I wish my readers a relaxing and safe holiday weekend.

If you are online and bored over the holiday, try this little game for a bit. You should be sober for best results.

I'm out!

All About the Chedda

I drove to Columbus, IN this morning for closing arguments in the pro se case. Plaintiff and his wife did a respectable job pleading their case and keeping things succinct in their closing. But they screwed it up on rebuttal. They each veered way off topic, bolstered some of the defense's points, and lost some credibility with their rantings and ravings. (IMHO)

I left as soon as closing arguments were over, before jury instructions were read, as I had a ton of work waiting at my desk. I walked over to a Subway near the courthouse to grab a sandwich for the ride home. I ordered a cold cut sandwich.

Apparently every cold cut sandwich comes with 2 little triangles of cheese. The lady asked me what kind of cheese I wanted and I asked for 2 kinds. She clarified - did I want 1 triangle each of 2 kinds or did I want double cheese? No brainer for anyone who knows me. Double cheese all the way (cheddar and pepper jack). But what was funny to me was how careful the employees on the sandwich assembly line were to pass along the word about the double cheese. At least 3 women helped to create my 6" sub and another rang up my order. Each time they passed my sandwich they declared "double cheese on that one" and gave each other meaningful looks. The cashier acknowledged the info by repeating it, thanking the sandwich-passer, and giving a knowing nod of the head.

Do they get bonuses for selling double cheese or what? It was like I was about to receive the combination to a safe at Fort Knox or something. I realize it was all about the chedda - I was getting charged for double cheese and they were diligently tracking that charge. I just wish when I asked for extras that are free or included in a purchase price I could get the same attention to detail from folks.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Just People

Deb had a post about Fahrenheit 9/11 the other day that sparked some discussion. Today she asks of her readers, "The Masses - who are they?"

I am not trying to move that discussion to this blog - but I began writing my comment on her blog and felt bad about how long it was turning out to be. So as not to dominate the discussion over there, I am taking advantage of my own forum to explore the topic for a moment.

I think Deb's post was prompted by another commenter who remarked that 'the masses' tend to be gullible and swallow information without a second thought as to its validity. That person later went on to say that 'the masses' are scary ignorant.

I agreed with the commenter that the 'majority' of citizens tend to take information from the media at face value, questioning neither its origin nor its point of view. I just want to be clear that I in no way feel that the people I referred to - citizens - are lesser than me. In fact, I feel qualified to comment on the subject because I consider myself woefully uneducated on a huge number of topics, especially things historical and political, things that are important.

I don't just assume that many people don't investigate information further; I know they don't. I know because I myself have been in the past, and all-to-often are now, a person who takes a great deal of information at face value. In addition, as a nurse I have come into contact with hundreds of people who I argue represent 'everyday people.' I got to know some of them very intimately in short spans of time. I think some people are so focused on day-to-day living that they don't have the time, energy, or inclination to become involved in politics or other community issues.

Deb feels the dismissive attitude toward 'the masses' is the product of classism and racism. I suppose I take issue with that, at least in some cases. While we all have our biases, myself included, my view that people take things at face value is simply realistic. Take Jessica Simpson as the first example that comes to mind. Whether her 'dumb blonde' routine is an act or not, she is not the brightest girl. I am willing to hazard an assumption that she isn't well informed on current political issues. And yet she is rich and white. She has the means to educate herself, but I think she lacks the motivation.

Maybe motivation is the key. One has to expend energy to gather information beyond what is spoon-fed to the public. For some, that is too much work. It simply isn't important enough to them. Perhaps another factor in this apathy is that we are as a society very self-centered. I by no means think those who choose to take what the media gives them are stupid. I just think they have established their priorities and for many, politics and current events didn't make the cut.

First Sighting

Today I saw a young couple waiting at a red light in an SUV. Man in the driver's seat, woman in the passenger seat. They were each on a cell phone. Wonder if they each forgot the other was there and called each other to have a conversation?

Taken to the Cleaners

A week or so ago I dropped a bunch of stuff off, including 2 new suits, at the cleaners up the street from my house. When I picked up my order, the pants from one of my suits were missing. There was apparently some confusion about whether they were the pair that I had indicated had a stain (they weren't). The kid (in his 20s anyway) at the store told me they'd probably turn up, they were probably at the 'plant.'

I returned to the cleaners Tuesday evening. The kid advised that there was still no word from his manager on the pants. He also indicated that there really wasn't any way for me to get in touch with the manager but that he'd have him call me. No call Wednesday, no call today. So I called the store. The lady I spoke with said no word on my pants but she knew the manager had my message. How encouraging. After some coaxing, she gave me a number I could call to try to reach the manager but warned that he was difficult to get in touch with. By this time I had all but decided I would never take my clothes there again.

I called the # and lo and behold the manager, Chris, answered. He recognized my name (from the message in his pocket he said) and was immediately apologetic. He went on to babble about how the pants will probably turn up but he knew I didn't want to hear that and was sure I'd rather have him make good on the problem as soon as possible.

We talked and I indicated that I have the receipt for the suit. It is, of course, brand new and the nicest suit I currently own. It is also a 3 piece suit of which I had the sleeveless top altered because it was a bit too big. So now I have a top that fits me perfectly and a matching jacket but no pants. And the store only sells them as a set.

He'll pay me back - that's not the problem. But there are several variables I'm left with. Should I ask for the cost of the alteration as well? Should I take in store credit, which he offered and which I would definitely use as far as cleaning needs go. And my last related question: should I even go back there again? It's so conveniently close to home I'd hate not to. But I get this feeling it's a sign of carelessness on their part despite Chris's claim that it only happens once or twice a year.


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