Procrastination (But I Digress)

Friday, March 31, 2006

Time, time, time

Last night was the Girl Scout annual meeting. They have an opening on the board and I so want to volunteer, but I am waiting until I have $5,000 to donate. That will be a good long time, but someday...

Then I was balancing my checkbook and I saw that my check to ABWA from two months ago didn't clear. I still have banking to do for that long--I am way behind on my ABWA work. And the Recording Secretary resigned. For those of you with a scorecard, no I am not the treasurer, I'm the president, but our treasurer didn't pay their dues so they never officially took over and I am still doing that job or I'm supposed to anyway.

I also was cleaning out my purse (it's small and nothing extra is allowed, hence it requires cleaning often--maybe that would be a time saver--get a huge purse that never needs to be cleaned out, but I digress) and I found a stack of checks and cash. I'm also the treasurer for Kiwanis--and yes, we're about two months behind for Kiwanis too. For those of you with a scorecard, no I am not the treasurer of my club, I'm the president, but I am the treasurer for our division. The elected treasurer for the division quit in a huff and in a moment of weakness or as we like to say par for the course, I volunteered to take over.

And I forgot to pay for all the girl scout cookies I got from Rosa, so her banking is not going to balance. Then there's the parent who sent me a check for the cookies they picked up at council without going through their troop. How do these people find me.

I really need to go the bank and the other bank and the other bank, soon. I'll just declare Monday a work holiday to go to the banks. Sure, that's the ticket.

I can't believe the sheer volume of stuff I have to do and yet I always find time for sudoku (and blogging). I promised my students that I'd grade their tests this weekend, no excuses. It's a good thing I just remembered that before I started on my bank holiday project.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

New York Contest

Marje just called and wants to enter me into a contest to win a trip to New York. I had to promise to take her if I win. No problem. Get all the community service you've done and all the newspaper articles and pictures together for the application. Just what I need, more work, but New York City--isn't the miniscule chance that I'll win a trip worth all the work. Actually, they will also give $2,500 to the charity of my choice--that's a pretty good incentive.

The termite guys were here this week, in the rain. I could have sworn the guy told me when I was getting the estimate that the deadly chemicals would last for 10 years except for earth movement (for which I heard earthquakes) and water erosion. Seems to me that treating the ground, in the rain kind of speeds up that water erosion part.

Then today I had the plumber out--Steve, Barb's son, nice guy. He told me that I have tempermental toilets. He can replace the full "innerds" or he can put in a few replacement parts for a lot less. Replacing the full "innerds" (yes I made that word up) doesn't make the thing any less tempermental, just costs more. I guess I blinked a few times, not answering and Steve kindly said that he'd order the replacement parts. What I don't know about toilets should be so much more than it is.

I tried to make a list of things to do, but it was taking so long I figured I better get back to work instead (and then of course my blog called me--btw great comments lately--ants--I'm still laughing).

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Round of Applause

In my head I had drafted a very nice, self centered, self egrandizing blog for today. Then I had to go to court and I didn't have time to type it. So on the drive I was thinking about how much I enjoy blogging and yes, how neat it is to get a comment from Erika. I started to think about how I sometimes feel badly that I don't spend more time commenting on other people's blogs because I know how fun it is to get a comment. I take responsibility very seriously and I am not doing my part in the comment department. You know who is excellant at it--Erika. She is really, really good at it. I would almost say she takes commenting to an art form, but at least to the really excellant level. So who will comment for Erika and give back just a little of what she gives all of us. Adrienne and Mom are next in line for really good commentors. Melody, Megan and Marisa are no slouches in the comment department. Has Adam ever commented? I can't remember. Gretchen is good, but I haven't heard from her before today in so long I can't remember. Does poor Steph even have a computer? All in all, Erika has set the bar so high that I've come to expect that she will carry the load. So this round of applause goes out to Erika--in lieu of the love, please accept my blog of the day kudos.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

And the Winner is ...

Just got in from the speech contest. I left work early yesterday and did not go to Kiwanis Middle School Tract meet and did not participate in the Ways & Means conference call for the 2006 National Conf.--just went home and sat for two hours without moving. I actually felt myself get mostly over my cold in those two hours. I still have the snuffels a little, but amazingly I am pretty much over a cold that had me lightheaded and quesy most of the week.

So I'm not too horse for the speech contest and I'm not lightheaded, my voice is ok. Then I saw my competition. Bruce did an evaluation for me several months back and he's very good. The other guy ouzed confidence and they were both so young. Ok, everyone is young to me anymore. What the heck, I tell myself--I'm here to sell girl scout cookies--the contest is gravy.

I did sell six boxes of girl scout cookies, but I got the gravy too. I won! Maybe it's my experience (ok, fine, I'm old) or maybe I love my topic (though it is difficult to come across as a savy attorney when you are gushing about girl scouts) or maybe I just didn't care if I won so I was more comfortable in front of the audience. Whatever the reason, yippie.

The next level of the contest is in April after Girl Scout cookie sales are over, so I'm not too sure how it will go over, but we'll see. My next speech in the club is about the death penalty--pretty serious subject. So far my speeches have been light, so this will be a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately I keep getting weepy at one part of the speech, so I either have to cut it or tough it out. I can handle it. Being old, I mean experienced, has it's benefits.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bells and Whistles

So I'm in a speech contest on Saturday and the topic of the speech is buy girl scout cookies. So I was thinking that I need to wear my girl scout uniform to give the speech bells and whistles, but my girl scout uniform is way too big now. So I was trying to figure out how to get over to the council and buy a new one at the last minute. Then I remembered that I have my cookie tee shirt. So I think I will wear a black suit with my cookie tee shirt under the jacket and then pull off the jacket as a surprise at the end when I finish with buy your girl scout cookies today. Kind of like superman.

And of course I'll have some girl scout cookie samples (bribes) to hand out.

Saturday is in the last weekend of girl scout cookie sales, so then I was thinking I would invite some girl scouts to have cookies for sale after the speech. Talk about bells and whistles.

I pity the fool (toast) who has to go up against all that.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A little pile of dirt

On Friday, I did my taxes. I pay estimated taxes and all my estimations were that I was going to owe a lot this year, so I've been putting it off. So Friday I started going through my receipts and my notes and my mileage (they increased mileage to 48 cents from 36--pretty spiffy) and I start filing in the numbers and doing the math and the end result was--I'm getting a refund. Wow. I was so excited because not only do I get a refund, but I get to take that reserve that I've been saving to pay all the taxes I thought I owed and keep it for me. It was quickly spent eight times over in my head on all the things I want, but can't afford.

Then I got home and saw a little pile of dirt. There was a little pile of dirt on the side of the casing around the window. That's right a little pile of dirt on the side of a board. How did it stay up there; what on earth is it really and how on earth did it get there. I was tempted to simply brush it off, but it looked a bit like a nest and I was frighted by what could be in such a nest. So after asking everyone in the house if they knew what it was (no's all around), I took a closer look and saw a leg wiggle out--a really disgusting orangish florescent leg. I got the raid and drenched it. There was another pile below it and I drenched that one too. There was a tini tiny pile of dirt on the opposite side of the window and that got the full effect of raid. Now we waited for the thing with the florescent orange leg to die. Was it a really big spider. An orange spider did not sound too likely. A while later Adam asked if I'd noticed that the leg fell off. Yes I had and now it didn't look so much like a leg, but a worm. Baby orange worms??? When we were sure they were dead, Adam cleaned off the little piles of dirt and behind them were holes in the wall. Termites. Termites are much bigger in person then you'd think. Adam says that the total weight of termites in the world is ten times heavier than the total weight of all humans in the world. You have to wonder why termites would come out when there's so much more wood under the house in the dark. So it makes me think that I probably have ten times the weight of termites as I do humans in the house. That's a lot. For some reason I woke up this morning listening to the hum in my room that still drives me crazy and thought I've heard that termites sing. I have a new theory about the hum in my room.

This is going to be expensive.

Friday, March 10, 2006

And I was in the room

A friend of mine donated a lot of money to the Reagan Library, so she gets invited to attend their lecture series. Last fall, she invited me to see Sandra Day O'Connor speak--it was totally awesome. I told her it was like seeing a rock star--I was very excited. Justice O'Connor was able to somehow explain why she voted the way she did in Gore v. Bush and for that moment I didn't think there'd been a coup. (Yes there is a p on the end, but it's silent--the French must hate p.)

This week, my friend once again invited me to join her to hear CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERT!!! I was so knocked out. WOW. He looks very young, but he was actually a 20 something young attorney in the Reagan white house. I guess I was 20 something when Reagan was in the white house, so that can't be so old. He's a terrific speaker and I tried to memorize what he was saying to no avail. He spent some time thanking the Reagan Library archive staff for getting together 60,000 documents for congress to review in his confirmation hearing and at dinner, the centerpiece included some of the memo's he'd written in the white house. There was one in which a fellow from France had the same name as the president and had written a letter to ask the president to write him a letter confirming that he was not related to the president. John Robert as attorney for the president advised in the memo that maybe it was not a good idea to write the letter because the fellow Reaggan in France had used a picture of the white house on his last album cover and it was suspected that he wanted to use a letter from the president for commercial purposes. However, John Robert did suggest that further investigation was needed and that he volunteered to go to France to interview the fellow.

On philosophy grounds, he said that the United States is governed by law, not men, such that public opinion and personal prejudices do not influence the interpretation of the law. Unfortunately for me, as an attorney I know darn well that smart people can make the law say whatever they want it to. I'm pretty convinced that he's a very smart fellow.

On a funny note, he was asked the difference between his role as an appellate court judge and a supreme court justice. He said, well, as an appellate court judge I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the Supreme Court meant, and now, not so much. If you can't laugh, you'd have to cry.

It was very cool to be in the room (although a little claustrophobic from so many republicans all in one place) and at dinner my table was terribly impressed that I was an attorney. They wanted to know my opinion about the South Dakota law banning abortion and how soon the Supreme Court would get the case. The John Roberts I saw is not going to take that case the way it'll be presented from South Dakota, but other very smart people are out there figuring out the case he will take and we all know it's coming.

My high school class always wants me to have a debate about abortion and they want my opinion, but I keep reframing the debate. It's important to remember that it's not really about abortion at all, it's about the right to privacy. I reread Roe v. Wade to my class last semester and I came across an argument I hadn't remembered. The ninth amendment says that the Bill of Rights is not exclusive and that nothing in the Constitution limits other rights that we have. I don't know about the other smart people in the room, but the right to dictate what happens to my body seems pretty inalienable to me. Of course the founding fathers had slaves, so there you go. It's coming. I just had a thought. My favorite "ah ha" moment was in the movie "Broadcast News" when the Albert Brooks character describes the devil--he'll be very good looking and charming and everyone will think what a great guy he is. I do believe that John Robert will be an excellent Chief Justice, even if he is the devil. My Gemini is showing.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


If you are dedicated to your craft, and I am, then you put 110% into everything you do. You go the extra mile, you read the extra treatise, you research that arcane case, you have every book ever written on the subject opened on your desk making you look extremely dedicated and industrious. Or purhaps this is the picture of procrastination. For whatever reason, which I like to call being a perfectionist, I just can't get writing the opposition brief which is due today. I have eight books all open on my desk and I've read every ounce of information available on the subject and it's all there. But I can't seem to write it down. I thought I might need chocolate, but that didn't help at all. Maybe I need chips. No. I need inspiration. This is the most ridiculous thing I've come across in my 15 years doing this law biz, but I always say that and stuff just keeps getting more bizzaro. My usual solution to this problem is to just go ahead and write something awful and hope that it's really ok afterall and I was just being too hard on myself. Barbecue chips, yes that could work.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

March Already

I won the speech contest. My competition--the other two speechs were so depressing and I did send around a box of Thin Mints, so that might have bribed the judges a little. My class is down to a manageable size, but be careful what you wish for: I have three or four very gung ho students--definitely pre-law, who challenge every single thing I do or say. Talk about keeping on your toes. I already miss my do nothing students (almost). I had to take an "inservice" training about teaching career essentials yesterday. The speaker actually taught one of the lessons that we are to teach to the students. The subject was Harrassment and it seems like important, interesting material, but I was seriously afraid I'd start snoring. I was so sleepy and bored and unable to keep my eyes open. I played sudoko the whole time even and still my eyes were closing. Imagine what the kids will be going through. I think I'll make it a research project to actually look up the underlying laws against harrassment to see just how complex and scary the whole subject really is. I'm reading their essays about their interests and quite a few are interested in criminal law. I wish I had a mock trial for a criminal case--that's what I need to find (because I really have too much time on my hands).