Just Playin'
Random Thoughts...
Monday, July 31, 2006

It's All Relative

I guess the rental car company's idea of "clean and ready to go" does not include washing the radar detector suction cup-shaped dried spit stains off the windshield of the car I rented this morning.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Deposition Misery

I have refrained from blogging on Kelly's space for a while, though she keep encouraging me to. I always feel like a intruder, but will share this story.

As most of you know, unlike most of my friends, I practice criminal law, so depositions are much less frequent and much less of a bother for me. Usually, I just sit there while opposing counsel questions the witness, just keeping an ear open for an objectionable question.

However, I always go over a few ground rules with the witness first to alleviate their worries and make the process go much easier. The rules are:

1. Always tell the truth, no matter how embarrassing/hurtful or any other emotion it may be.
2. Answer the question asked, and only the question asked.
3. If you didn't hear or didn't understand the question, ask it to be repeated or rephrased.
4. Don't blurt out the answer immediately; think for a second to make sure the answer is correct since you will be under oath.
5. Opposing counsel is bound to show some attitude, but remain calm.

I will save the details of my deposition Friday for a dinner with friends. But let's just say this deposition was supposed to take ten minutes, and it took an hour and a half. And when I was alone with the witness, what were the first words out of her mouth?

"I didn't do anything you told me to, did I?"

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hoosier Humor?

I attended a risk management seminar this afternoon - it was strongly encouraged by the powers that be at my firm because the more attorneys who attend, the more of a discount we get on our malpractice premiums.

It was what you'd probably expect: boring but somewhat informative. Early on, however, one of the not-so-dynamic speakers made a thankfully infrequent attempt at humor. He was telling a malpractice horror story, the details of which I missed. Something about an attorney accidentally letting his policy lapse and then getting in trouble and ultimately receiving a stiff fine and a six year jail sentence as punishment. "This is the way Texas treats their own," the speaker said. He got a couple chuckles and forged ahead with the kicker, "You have to be careful; they have tall oak trees in Texas."

I sat nonplussed for a couple minutes. Then I whispered to the attorney to my left, "some people might not think that's funny." I got a blank stare. I tried again, writing a note to the attorney to my left: 'Was that reference to tall oak trees a reference to hanging?' He agreed that was the most likely point. At the break, I double checked with another friend of mine sitting several tables away. "Did you catch that bit about the tall trees in Texas?" I was not alone. His immediate response was, "Nothing says humor like a lynching."

I left this comment on the evaluation form:
Off-the-cuff humor IS appreciated, but a passing reference to "tall oak trees" in Texas was in poor taste. If hanging/lynching jokes have an appropriate place, it's probably not in a crowd of strangers, even in Indiana.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I just had a wrestling match with a vending machine. I won. My reward? Skittles.

Score one for me; it's the only scoring I'll be doing today.


Waves of good luck, best wishes, good karma, happy thoughts, unbroken concentration, and legal knowledge to everyone taking the bar exam this week. (Including but not limited to E. Spat, Ambimb, Beanie, and F&D).

It certainly is a trip down memory lane to think back to taking the bar last year. I'm frankly amazed that it was only one year ago. While I remember it vividly, it seems like much more than a year has passed.

For me, finishing the exam did not bring relief. (Though I managed to party as though I didn't have a care in the world). I tend to be a worrier, and so my friends, worry and dread, set in comfortably after I completed the arduous task. We had weeks together before the results were announced - publicly. Only then did the feelings of relief and accomplishment and gratitude come.

And so with the waves of good luck I send my wishes that all bar takers are able to experience some well-deserved release and relaxation between completing the bar and waiting for those much-anticipated results.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Throwing in the Towel*

It's not a very good picture, but the upshot is this: my shower door has given up. And I am not too far behind.

*No actual showerers were harmed in the taking of this picture.

And So It Begins Again

-Less than 48 hours after returning home from her 23-day trip to Seattle;
-8 days before two-a-day volleyball practices start; and
-29 days before school is scheduled to begin...

T has already chosen her next battle. She has been talking about playing volleyball all summer. She played last fall and enjoyed herself. I was hoping she'd want to play again and when she eventually announced that she did, I was relieved.

She just came to me and wondered aloud what she would do if her fall semester became "miserable" again as she juggled volleyball, tech crew, and school work. Foolishly, I suggested that because she'd done it once before, it might be a little easier this time around. Also, like a dork, I floated the possibility that perhaps she should stop thinking of it as being "miserable" but rather as being busy doing things she has chosen to do because she enjoys doing them. Yeah, right.

Then came what I didn't realize we were working up to: she doesn't want to play volleyball. Then why has she been talking about playing all summer long? Because she figured I was going to make her play a sport. Well, she's right. Much as I would like peace in the house instead, I think this is important. Without a structured sport, T engages in zero physical activity. It's important she get some form of exercise and this is how she gets it.

Thus far her grades have not been stellar and colleges will want to see that she has been busy trying different extra-curricular activities, including a sport or two. She will work tech crew, which is time consuming, but the coaches and instructors at her school are committed to helping the kids work out conflicts between their various extra-curricular endeavors.

I don't think of myself as a demanding parent. In fact, I'm not. But T's favorite game is to declare how awful and demanding I am and then sulk around and b*tch to her friends about it. Seems she missed the game and decided to start the next round early. It's unfortunate, but I'm not backing down. One sport and one other interest, one that she loves and that won't start in earnest until at LEAST September, are not too much to ask.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lawyer Up

Early and often.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

This Old House

My house isn't old, but you wouldn't know it they way things are falling apart. I wanted an older house, actually, but for various reasons compromised and bought something a little newer. I thought one of the benefits to me would be less upkeep, but so far this has not been the case. Here is a partial list of things that need to be addressed, soon:

-Handle on front door keeps falling off
-Shower doors are suddenly and mysteriously off track and flapping in the wind
-Hole in downstairs bathroom ceiling due to leak several months ago
-***Air conditioner is not working properly***
-Garage door #2 is broken
-Kitchen faucet needs repair
-Master bath faucet #1 has lost pressure
-Shelf above mantle is not stable, needs fixing
-Roof: all my neighbors supposedly have hail damage but I haven't had mine looked at yet

You get the picture. Some of these things are admittedly not a big deal, others are more of an issue. None of them, unfortunately, are things I am capable of repairing myself. And in case you don't know, there is no handyman in the house to whom I can hand a to-do list and bat my eyes. I like my house, very much, but keeping up with the details and not-so-details can be tough.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Totally Overused Words/Phrases

1. "Breaking News": If I saw you report the exact same story yesterday, or even 12 hours ago, then it is no longer "breaking" news. It might not even be news.

2. "Caught on tape": Caught on tape is now used to describe anything that happens to be on videotape. They don't mean "caught" on anything, they just mean videotaped, and often, staged.

3. "Totally": Totally.


If a grown woman pouts in an empty house and there's no one around to see it, does it still count as pouting?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Set Me Free

I'm trying to get some work done, but TNT keeps showing episode after episode of Law & Order. Work is all but impossible; it's like some form of torture by TV.

I Know, I Know

And I don't really even have any good excuses. Work? Sort of. In fact, I'm putting off some "work" right now, though admittedly it's only a training type of thing and not something billable. Home? Well, not really. I have done some uncharacteristic and much overdue cleaning lately, but not enough to speak of, so I won't even bring it up. T? Not yet. She comes home late Friday.

Just life in general, I guess. I was in South Bend all day yesterday and I was frankly a bit of a slacker at work for half of last week. Those things have added up to make me feel behind at work and to create a situation where I have so many different random tasks to complete that I don't quite know where to start.

I've just lost a little blogivation. Bless you if you keep checking in, but I won't blame you if you decide they payoff just isn't worth it :-)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My Girl

I miss my girl. She's been gone since the 29th of June and she isn't scheduled to return until Friday night. She's at a camp in Washington state near Seattle. It is her self-proclaimed favorite place in the world to be. For a teen to admit to loving something so much and to openly volunteer emotions other than apathy or displeasure definitely says something. I love that she loves camp and I'm grateful she gets to go every year and reconnect with her friends (and cousin) there.

In addition, it takes a little pressure off of me when she's gone. Whether I'm working or just hanging out with friends, I don't have to feel guilty or worry about what she's doing. (I don't worry much about her when she is at camp. I hope this feeling of comfort with the operation there is justified).

That said, I miss her. As I drove back from Fort Wayne this morning, some song lyrics reminded me of her and I became acutely aware that I miss being around her. Within the last year or so she and I have developed a love for my Paul Simon's Greatest Hits CD. A couple weeks ago I was singing along to Slip Sliding Away:

Me: (singing, or something like it) "She said a good day...ain't got no rain."

T: (looking at me) That wouldn't be a good day for me. I like rain.

Remembering this conversation makes me smile. T does not want to "turn into" her mother; she's said as much. And yet, she is undeniably like me in many ways. I was terrified of storms as a child, but now I love them and I love warm, rainy days. T loves rain, too. And despite a relatively traumatic experience with severe storms a year or two ago, she is coming around with regard to storms, as well.

I don't want to push my dreams and goals on her, and I try hard not to do that. I truly just want her to be "happy," whatever that means. It's fascinating to watch her evolve, her personality taking little twists and turns as she tries to figure out who she "is" and what she enjoys. I love her to pieces and while we don't always get along (ha!) I will be happy to have her back home with me.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Maybe, Just Maybe

I think I might like Rusted Root.

Don't tell anyone; it might impact my street cred.

Lightbulb Moment

While I sat in the car this morning, painting my fingernails before pulling out of the garage, the song Voices Carry came on the radio. I never much liked it, but I've heard it many (many) times. And for the first time since 1980-something I realized: it's voices carry, as in a verb, instead of voices Carrie, as in a woman. I always thought Voices Carrie was a stupid name for a song. And I couldn't figure out what it meant - was she schizophrenic or something? Hearing voices? What were they saying?

It's nice to have finally solved this little mystery.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I just can't seem to get motivated today. I slept a decent amount last night, largely because I kept letting my alarm go to snooze this morning. I fought the urge to goof off all morning, then took an early lunch so I could walk to the bank and get some fresh air. I even ate rather light: a salad and half a cup of some not-very-good soup. Instead of being invigorated, I am now fighting the urge to take a nap(py).* I suppose I could go home for a nap, but such a move is difficult to justify given my workload.

I'm going to attempt to kick it into gear, but things aren't looking good at the moment.

*For Amanda.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Welcome Wagon

A woman I've never met joined me on the elevator this morning. It became apparent that we work the same firm by the buttons of the floors we pushed.

She turned to me and said, "Do you work for X firm?"

I said that I did and introduced myself. She then told me who she was and proceeded to comment on how many new people there were that she did not know. Then she went on:

Woman: We hear names over the intercom and turn to each other and say, 'who is that?'

K: Yeah, I can't keep up with everyone either.

Woman: We just wish it could go back to the way it used to be, but that will never happen.

Good morning to me.

MadBlogs (Complete the Sentence)

Happiness is...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Simply Irresistible

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Must-Read for Men:

I'll miss Fresh? (again) but he's left you men out there with a fantastic recipe.

And I'm not talking about how to make pecan pralines.

Safe and Mostly Sound

Me, Mom, Grandma, J

I took a weekend trip to Texas, which included taking Friday off of work, in as spur-of-the-moment fashion as it gets around here. I'm so glad I did. All of my immediate family was out there for a reunion with extended family. While I missed the reunion, I got to spend some time at the ranch hanging out with family, and even got to spend a little time watching the amazing Banana showing off her new walking skills.

We don't all get together very often, but when we do, it's always a good time. Friday evening at the ranch brought a fajita cookout and margaritas. I held off on the margaritas for a while, and even tried to take a nap to add to my stamina for the rest of the night. My efforts at good behavior were to no avail. My memory of the evening is spotty at best and I managed to somehow break my Dad's digital camera along the way. Aye. One of the only things I know about the incident is that it must have occurred after my rendition of "Ka-to Ma-te." Do you watch Run's House? Great episode. I've no idea what it means, but I apparently managed a mean impression, caught on film, which was evidently also before I decided to nap on the ranch porch among the spiders, flies, ants, Texas-sized cockroaches, and other assorted critters. Said nap may have something to do with why my feet are on fire with various and sundry bites.

I also managed to incur a speeding ticket from the Texas Highway Patrol and I completely forgot to fill the gas tank of my rental before returning it to the airport. Ouch.

But I survived and so did everyone else. I'm home, after a quick stop at Walgreen's for Calamine lotion and some sort of Aveeno cream, and the rest of the crew will return home tomorrow. I attempted to check my work e-mail before posting this little update, but I can't log in. Not a good sign after taking a weekend off work. I don't have any voicemail messages announcing my termination, but if I arrive to find my office has been cleared out I'll be sure to let you know.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Stars at Night, Are Big and Bright....

I'm off for the weekend - starting a little early, like now!!!

Have a great weekend, y'all. Catch you next week.

(T)issue of Monumental Importance

Charmin or Quilted Northern?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Maiden Voyage

I may finally enter the world of iTunes and iPods. Thus far, I don't think I've ever even visited the iTunes site. I recently bought some airplane tickets from Continental, though, and they e-mailed me a promotion code good for 5 free downloads. 5 free songs! - It'd be silly to pass up that offer. It's a lot of pressure for me, though, because I hate to designate things as my "favorite" and I'll have trouble choosing which 5 songs I want to download for the first time ever. I'll probably still be analyzing it when the offer expires.

If I manage to download the songs in time, though, this might just be the start of something. I can see myself giving in and eventually buying an iPod. I need to remember not to let it interfere with my general goal of becoming more social, though. I read this about iPods yesterday in a Seattle Times article linked to by E.Spat:

He's corked off the rest of the world with his iPod. Those telltale white earbuds announce: I've got 10,000 songs to render you mute.

That summed up how I often feel when I encounter folks in public who seem literally attached to their iPods. That said, I'd like to have one. And 5 free songs may be just the place to start.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sex for Money

I found it hard to force myself to come to work today. No, not because I was engaged in sex for money. And not even because it's a holiday (I'm taking this coming weekend off, including Friday, and my family is out of town - so working today isn't a big deal). Rather, I ran across a COPS marathon on TV and had a difficult time dragging myself away from the set.

Something in the last 2 episodes bothered me, though. They were both set in Albuquerque and the officers there implemented various "stings" targeted at prostitution related arrests. In the first one I saw, officers dressed up as "rock stars" and cruised the local strip in a limo, hoping to attract prostitutes who were then arrested. I watched them arrest 2 local hookers, both well known to those who worked vice. As they prepared to put one of them in a squad car, they asked her what number arrest this was for her. She said 53.

53?!? I began to wonder what the point of arresting and releasing her could possibly be. I get that what she's doing is "illegal," and I'm not suggesting she shouldn't have to deal with the consequences of her actions. But if the goal is to reduce prostitution and have some sort of real impact, the methods being used are clearly inadequate. Here is a woman who has been arrested over 50 times for the same crime. Whatever sentences she's receiving are obviously not deterring her in the least. Does she get counseling? Job training? Assistance of any sort? I don't know. But at some point you'd think a different strategy might be in order.

Then came the next sting. Female cops strolled along the strip, looking for potential customers to arrest. The officer in charge of the operation told the group that they should be quite successful that day because there were so few real prostitutes working the streets that the johns were desperate. Huh??? "So few real prostitutes?" Doesn't that mean prostitution is down? Isn't that the goal? The logic escapes me:

There are virtually no prostitutes on the street, boss, what should we do?

Why, send out fake ones, of course! We WILL create crimes where there are none and we WILL make arrests today!

I'm not saying I think prostitution should be legal. I just think our cities and towns are wasting valuable resources that could be better spent fighting this "scourge."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I'd Kill to Work Here

Long-time bartender at Ike's to bartender-wannabe in women's restroom, while counting out her substantial tips: You'd have to wait for someone to die before a position opened up. Some of these people have been here since day one.

Wannabe: I understand. So can I fill out an application?

Take the Effin' Picture!

People look ridiculous while posing for pictures. Need proof? Check out these hilarious video clips.*

*Link found at MamaQ's

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Saturday in the Park

Actually, I've spent the entire day in my house, most of it in my bedroom. And it's the 1st of July, not the 4th.

T is in Seattle, and will be there for several weeks. I promised myself I'd spend the entire day at work today, but I just can't seem to get motivated. I may still make it in for a few hours, or I may not. I'm trying to convince myself it's OK to take an entire day off of work.

Either way, more partying will take place tonight. Yesterday I took off work early and met friends for a few drinks and some early holiday fun and relaxation. I even got to dance a little. Tonight promises to be a full night of dancing and frivolity...should be good times. Happy holiday weekend, folks!

About Me

Approaching Middle Age
Dabbling in Blogdom

Tear Down The Walls

Today's Song Lyric

All you do is call me, I'll be anything you need

Contact Me

E-mail: justplayinblog -at- gmail.com


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Blawgs I Read

(Fresh Pepper)
In the Agora
Do Not Overmix
From Engineer to Lawyer
Failure to Comprehend
Favorable Dicta
A Girl Walks Into a Bar(exam)
the imbroglio
Indiana Barrister
The Indiana Law Blog
IndyLaw Net
Legal Underground
The Menagerie
Mother in Law
The Neutral Zone Trap
Obiter Dictum
Screaming Bean
SC Trial Law Blog
Taking Down Words

Blogs I Read

About a Nurse
advanced maternal age
Be The Boy
code blog: tales of a nurse
Deb, hatched
Go Fug Yourself
Going Bananas
The Great Spirit
Jelly Beans...
Martinis, Persistence...
Overheard in New York
The Perils of Being in 3D
Post Secret
preaching to the perverted
Ruth's Blog
...the slack daily
Texas T-bone
30 Something Baby Doc
Unnamed Source
Waiting for the Punchline


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