Friday, December 28, 2012

Sometimes "justice" doesn't feel very just...
I think this is completely unnecessary. If you don't want to click the link, the nutshell version is that a 4 year old got his hands on an improperly stored and loaded gun and accidentally shot and killed his two year old brother. Now the state has charged the father w/manslaughter and endangering a child, both felonies, because the father didn't store his guns properly (he apparently had a small arsenal of guns in the home).
Yes, I get it: he should have stored the guns in a safe way so the children could not have accessed them. If he had, the child would still be alive. But, I'm sure he already knows that, seeing as how he has lost his son. I'm sure that he is struggling w/ unimaginable grief and pain and, yes, even guilt and regret. He is paying for his bad decisions in the most excruciating way possible, by burying his tiny son. How does charging this man do any good?
He is now looking at two felonies, including prison time, despite never having any previous criminal convictions. He is dealing with the loss of his son, he and his family are reeling from this tragedy, and now he and his family have to deal with the stress and strain of criminal charges.
Why do this? It doesn't bring the child back. Assuming he and his wife are still together, it won't help the victim's family feel closure but will only further tear the family apart if he is sent to prison. I doubt it will "correct" any "criminal" behavior in this guy, since it doesn't appear he has criminal predilections (given his lack of criminal history) but rather lacks judgment skills. And I would guess that he won't ever store his guns in this manner again. So what purpose does charging him serve? Prosecutors have  the power and ability to use discretion in charging cases. Maybe as a defense attorney, I'm missing something that a prosecutor would see that puts a different light on this. But I just don't get why some prosecutorial discretion wasn't used to say, "You know what? He is going to be paying for his decisions for the rest of his life. Criminal charges won't correct, cure, vindicate, or help this situation one bit."
Like I said, maybe I'm not seeing something. But putting aside my "lawyer" hat and viewing this simply as a regular person with a heart, I still don't get it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

How to understand Minnesotans

We don't like to brag or complain, so we keep it neutral. In case you are in the area for the holidays and need to know what is going on, here is a quick one-question guide.
Question: "How are you?"
"Not too bad" = everything is going okay, no concerns
"I'm doing okay" = meh, things could be better
"Hanging in there" = things are really bad right now
"Pretty good" = really great
"Really good" = just won the lottery

Merry Christmas!

Hope all your holidays are filled with naps, kitties, family, food, joy, happiness, peace, and everything else you are dreaming of this season.
PDgirl, Hubert, and Ward

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

PD life.

We have a new PD at the office. I was very sad that my office bestie didn't get the job, bc she is remarkably awesome and hilarious and I love having her around. But the newest addition to our office family is also very nice and friendly. She is a new attorney, fresh out of law school, and around my age. Plus, she actually drives right by my place on her drive into work, so we have been able to carpool a couple days of the week the last couple weeks. My gas tank and my wallet are very happy with this. Maybe I won't have to pay for gas with quarters now. Yes!

I've got my year-end recharge vacay coming up very soon. Only have the rest of the week and then I'm off. There will be lots of sleeping in, visiting family and friends, relaxing, and doing things I never make time for, like sewing and drawing. I'm really looking forward to it. Sometimes I just need to let my brain relax and watch bad reality tv for awhile to refresh and avoid getting burnt out. This job can be mentally exhausting. Dealing with bad situations, terrible things at times, and difficult clients can take a lot out of you. I love my job, but sometimes I need to take a break from all the seriousness and not be immersed in crime all day.

Oh, and Ward has become a total whiny cling-on lately, meowing and crying if I'm not immediately nearby him. So, I'll have to spend some time with the kitties too. Whiners...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I'm being transferred at work to a different county than the one I've been in for the last 2 years. I'm actually pretty sad about the move.  I like the county that I work in and I'm sad that I will have to change. Plus, I hate change with a passion. I hate having to meet new people and I hate having to be in new situations where I don't know what's expected... Every court has its own idiosyncrasies and I hate not knowing what those are when I am in court.  After you've been in court for awhile in a certain area, you get used to what to expect and what the judges are like and how things operate...but, I'm going to be tossed into a new environment and have to learn this new court's processes.  Sigh... Plus, I have to say goodbye to all the awesome people at my current county!  That makes me sad, too.  A couple of the court clerks have asked me if it is true I'm moving and said that they hoped I'd be back soon because they liked having me there.  That was really nice to hear.  And I'll miss the prosecutors, too, since I genuinely like and get along w/ all of them.  I'd consider them all friends, so I am sad to have to leave.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I don't think that is what that word means...

Police report: "I observed latent footprints throughout the scene which had a distinctive tread pattern."

Latent: present but not visible, apparent, or actualized


Sunday, December 02, 2012


While sitting in the hall lobby of church, I overheard the following conversation between a dad and his two year old daughter.
Daughter: I wanna go in the hall.
Dad: We are in the hall.
Daughter: But I wanna go in the hall.
Dad: I know. We are in the hall.
Daughter: Can we go in the hall? I wanna be in the hall.
Dad: (sigh) We are already in the hall. See? We are already here. We're in the hall. Right now, we are in the hall.
Daughter: Can we go in the hall?
Dad: (sigh, no response)
Daughter: (very excited) We're in the hall!!!
Dad: I know, that's what I've been saying...
Daughter: Daddy, do you know what? We're in the hall.
Bwahaha!! Kids are hilarious sometimes. A conversation between an adult and a two year old is delightful to overhear.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sounds about right

A prosecutor today said to me that he was only going to call people by their last name and then starting calling anyone around him by their last name. (He was in a silly mood). So, I immediately informed if that was the new thing he was doing, I was changing my last name to Murderawesome.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Oh you fancy, huh?

After a little more than 3 1/2 years, I've changed offices. I got to  take an office that is slightly bigger office than my old office AND my new office has windows! I'm liking it. Moving my stuff sucked, but whatev. I'm big time now, with my windows.  Baller, baby!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Here is what I did this weekend

So, my step-dad went back in the hospital again and then back out. It's an ongoing debacle with his health right now. Blood too thick, then too thin, clots, pneumonia, necrotic section of his's a mess. But he is hanging on, so that is good. But he looks terrible. He is definitely struggling.
Other than that, Thanksgiving went well. It was small, just me and my mom, step-dad, my brothers, and a couple other people. But it was laid back, which was nice. I went over to my mom's place the night before and had a nervous-then-later-funny experience.
When I got to the house, the radio in the kitchen was on and it looked like Mom was in the middle of making something, but she wasn't there. I asked my brother where she was and he said she went to the store. But her car was still in the driveway, so I called her cell to find out where she was at and how long she would be. Then her phone rang in the kitchen. I went into the kitchen again and realized her cell phone, her purse, her wallet and her keys were all still on the kitchen table. So, at this point, I was getting concerned. I went outside and noticed there were wet tire tracks in the driveway. Out of an abundance of caution, I used my cell phone camera to take pictures of the tracks (and no, they weren't mine...I parked on the street).  I figured it couldn't hurt to have pics since they would eventually evaporate.
Turns out my mom had cash and had walked (in the dark) to the store. She made fun of me for taking pics but I reminded her that if something HAD happened to her, she should be glad I'd taken them. She kept calling me CSI all night. I told her it was her fault for leaving and making it look like an episode of Forensic Files.
So that is our funny story for this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Actual conversation

Me: Just because they have a biological specimen doesn't mean that they can pull a useable DNA sample from it.
Other attorney: Really? I didn't know that. Where did you learn that?
Me: CSI.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

At some point, I should think about looking into this concept of growing up

My step dad is out of the hospital. They were able to shrink the massive clot in his lung enough for him to be released. He is still really fragile, weak, and very ill, but no longer on the verge of death. The icu dr said if he had waited even one more day, the clot would have moved to his heart and likely killed him. It moved that way while he was in the icu but they were able to do something about it. Had he not been there, it would have been a different situation.
Still not divorced yet. We have talked about the last of the details so I'm expecting to get the papers every day that I open my mailbox but so far, nothing. So, I'm still waiting on that.
As usual, I once again was the epitome of maturity as I waited in the courtroom for my turn and listened to the prosecutor give an offer of the facts the state would intend to prove at trial. It was a case where apparently a witness statement included the term "pee pee" and as a result, the prosecutor repeatedly had to say "pee pee." There was something too hilarious about a 48 year old man who is extremely intelligent and very professional saying "pee pee" over and over again. I had a serious case of the church giggles over it. After the hearing was done, I said to him, "Hehehe, I heard you say 'pee pee.' Hehehe." To which he grinned and replied, "I know!" So there you go...your public defender may be silently holding in her giggling at the most immature and ridiculous things. You just never know. Can you believe they gave me a law degree? Ahahaha, I'm hearing him say "pee pee" in my head as I'm writing this and it's making me giggle again.
Other than that, everything is pretty much the same sh*t, different day. Just me, Ward, and dumb baby Hubert doing what we do, living the thug life.
Which of course means watching Sister Wives and taking a nap. Because, Sister Wives? W.T.F.?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stupid Dumb Baby

Hubert has decided that his new favorite thing to do is to sneak into the bathroom, pull the tampon wrappers out of the garbage and run around the house with them.
I suppose I should be glad that it's only the wrappers and not anying else. But it's still annoying to find tampon wrappers all over the house.
Stupid dumb baby cat.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Funny work moment

Today was my office day. I spent the morning watching interrogation videos on a couple of cases. My co-worker came in during two different videos. The second time he came in, he asked, "So, are you just going to sit in here and watch movies all day?"


Knock it off any time, Universe

So my step-dad is in the ICU now. He has massive blood clots in his femoral artery and his lung. The one in his lung has started moving towards his heart. I'm hoping he will be okay.
I'm officially at my end point. I cannot handle one more emotional or stressful event. I'm about ready to just give up on everything. My practical side won't let me not work or pay rent, etc. but I'm basically turning into a robot. I've started to resign myself to the fact that I will never be truly happy and I'm simply going through the motions, waiting to die one day. My brain and emotions can't handle anything more.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Just call me Little Miss Sunshine

So I think that knowing that feeling mildly unhappy each day is not normal actually makes me feel more unhappy, if that is possible. It's like when you're a kid and you don't know you've got some cut or scrape till someone asks about it and then it suddenly starts hurting now that you are aware of it.
Now it's like, "Great, everyone else is feeling happy and content, not mildly unhappy like I always thought. That is not fair. Why can't I feel like that? Oh right, the depression. Well, that's not fair, either." (Insert grumpy sigh here).
Apparently, atypical depression responds well to MAOIs. They apparently have the best success for treating it. And they can't be mixed with pretty much every other med I'm on. So that is fun.
So in sum, I'm a barrel of sunshine lately.

Friend is a Four-Letter Word

To me, coming from you,
Friend is a four-letter word
End is the only part of the word
That I heard
Call me morbid or absurd
But to me, coming from you,
Friend is a four-letter word.
To me, coming from you,
Friend is a four-letter word
End is the only part of the word
That I heard
Call me morbid or absurd
But to me, coming from you,
Friend is a four-letter word.
When I go fishing
For the words
I am wishing
You would say to me
I'm really only praying
That the words you'll soon be saying
Might betray
The way
You feel about me.
To me, coming from you,
Friend is a four-letter word
End is the only part of the word
That I heard
Call me morbid or absurd
But to me, coming from you,
Friend is a four-letter word.
- Friend is a Four-Letter Word by Cake

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Well, balls...and here I thought that was just my personality

My counselor mentioned that he thought I might have dysthymia.  I didn't know exactly what that was, so I was looking it up after my last appointment.  It didn't sound like a really great fit for my situation, since I'm not always unhappy.  In fact, I'm perfectly capable of having a good time if there's something enjoyable going on around me.  I'm not incapable of having fun or laughing or having good days.  It's just that most of the time, I don't see what there is to get all excited about on a day to day basis.  I mean, let's be honest--life kind of sucks hard more often than not.  So, why would I get up every day and be all chipper and excited for the day when I'm going to just get up, go to work, go home, and repeat?  It's not like that's super awesome or something.  It just is what it is.  

But apparently, that's not normal.  Well, that's news to me...I thought I was just as normal as everyone else.  Sure, I'm aware I'm more cynical than most people, but I always assumed that is because I'm not delusional.  I didn't know that my opinion that most days are boring, uneventful, and sucky was not a routine feeling.  I guess it was enough to make my therapist think I might have dysthymia.  But, again, that didn't sound like a totally accurate fit for me.

And then I ran into this:


Obama wins!
Now just waiting to see about the marriage amendment and voter ID amendment.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Short & sweet

I'm going to see Flight tonight. It looks awesome. And Denzel is pretty good looking.
YKW and I have a phone conference on Monday to discuss the incorrect divorce papers. I'm assuming that we will finally get everything corrected and then he can submit the corrections to his lawyer. And then hopefully this whole nightmare can finally be over. I just want to be done. I don't have enough energy anymore and I just want there to be some end to this horrible holding pattern I've been in for more than a year. I don't want to be divorced anymore than I want to be kicked in the head, but if it has to happen, I'd rather get it over with quickly. I don't want to keep waiting for the painful event.
I want a nap.
That is all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Not guilty.
My two favorite words.

Trial machine

Friday: win award for most jury trials in 2012.
Tuesday: start jury trial

Monday, October 29, 2012

Okay, seriously..., my book is on sale for free through today, apparently. Because when Amazon said Oct. 27 & 28, it really meant Oct. 28 & 29. Glad that is cleared up.

So, in bonus news, if you still want to get a copy, it's still on sale for free through today!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Amazon lied and said my book would be free this weekend but apparently it's not...sorry about that. Stupid technology...

Friday, October 26, 2012

My book is FREE this weekend only!

Still need to get your copy of my book, "They Call Me Ninja Fireballs?"  Well, this weekend there's a free promotion and you can get your very own copy for the low, low price of FREE!  So, snatch it while you can, because the promotion starts Saturday and ends Sunday. 

Awwww, yeah!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

And now, here's this stuff

I got the "corrected" divorce paperwork today.  Guess what?  Still not correct.  Including--once again--my name.  Even after notifying YKW's attorney that there were errors, there are still errors.  This is never going to be over...ugggghhhhh...  Again, this just continues to drag on and on and on and on...can it just be over?!?!  I just want this to be over... 

Monday, October 22, 2012


So apparently, cats fart.

I've recently learned this fun fact because Hubert has suddenly started to reek.  I switched food for the cats recently since my mom had a ton that her cat wouldn't eat, so she gave it to me to see if my cats would eat it.  And they have been. They seem to like it. And it was free, so bonus!

Except that now Hubert keeps dropping these horrible stink bombs every day. He'll curl up next to me in bed, purring and being all cute and tiny and baby-like (since he is only about 5 months old now), and then suddenly it will smell like death. They are totally silent but they are the worst thing I've ever smelled. I had no idea cats farted. But holy crap, it's terrible.

So, whatever brand of food this is, we are not using this again. Otherwise I might die from the stench.

Friday, October 19, 2012

That takes a bit of the sting of losing out

I had a contested hearing today. My staff and I worked pretty hard on it (which means my staff did like 98% of the work and then handed all of it to me so I look like I'm on my game in, I freaking LOVE support staff!). But, we didn't win. And of course, that's always at least a little disappointing. It's disappointing even when you know you've haven't got a snowball's chance in hell. Because there is always that tiny part of you that thinks, "Well, maybe..."  I've heard it referred to as trial delusion, since it happens a lot during trial. But I digress...
At any rate, so lost the hearing, which was disappointing, of course. But, my client wanted to talk after the hearing so I met w/ him, thinking he had questions or something. Nope, he just wanted to tell me thank you. And thank you to my staff. He said he knew we had worked hard on the hearing and he was really grateful for the effort we put into it.
Losing sucks, of course, but nothing makes me feel like the work I do matters than when someone says thank you. Especially when we don't get the result that we were hoping for. Because it's easy to be thankful for the attorney who gets the outcome you are hoping for, but it isn't always easy to be pleased when you don't get the result you wanted. So, when clients who don't get the outcome we were aiming for tell me thank you, it means a hell of a lot. And it feels good to give a voice to someone who otherwise may not have one.
And, even the judge said during the hearing (twice!) that I had done a nice job and that I had made compelling arguments. So even though we didn't win, my client felt well-represented and the court acknowledged the work that was put into building my argument. It's nice to know that whether I'm winning or losing, others around me notice when I do good work. It's really stuff like that that makes this job rewarding. Win or lose, I always hope my clients feel like there was someone there to fight for them and to put effort into helping them. And I hope that others recognize the time and effort I put into my cases, trying to be the best advocate I can be and learning how to be a smart and prepared attorney.
It's amazing how much a simple "thank you" can really touch my heart. Especially when it is coming from a client who didn't get the outcome we had hoped for. It takes a bit of the sting out of losing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Delicious chicken salad

I love this recipe so I am going to share it/have it somewhere that I can find it again. Don't ask me for specific quantities or measurements...this is a recipe that Hat showed me/used to make for me and he never uses measurements.

One can of chicken breast (I use the canned chicken because I'm lazy. You can use chicken that you cook and shred if you want)
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup plain yogurt
Chopped green onions
Finely shredded white cheese
Lemon juice-a couple squeezes
Curry seasoning
Old Bay seasoning

Combine chicken, mayo, and yogurt. Mix well. Add in onions and mix well. Add salt, pepper, and seasonings and mix all together (add this stuff till it tastes good to you). Add the cheese and craisins and mix together. Do not add in the cashews-they will get soggy and gross within a day. Spread the salad on the bread and add a layer of cashews on top before adding the second slice of bread. Tada!

It tastes delicious the first day and even better after the first day when the flavors have time to meld. Mmmmmmmm...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Damn Science...stay out of my job!

During a training today, we discussed forensic science and the need for us, as lawyers, to learn how to understand it.

Damnit! I became a lawyer because I suck at math and science and I have no head for those subjects.  I don't want to have to know science!  I just wanna stand around a courtroom and say, "blah blah blah blah, lawyer-things, big words, big words, yakity yak yak." Now I'm supposed to know science?!

Science, stay in your own field. Quit making me have to learn you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Double digits!

To date, twelve copies of my book have sold. I'm pretty excited about that. And it's not just people I know, so that is extra cool. I expected like my mom to buy it and that would be it. I didn't expect people to buy it. I just wanted to accomplish something. But people buying it is very exciting!

People I do know say it's really funny. I'm glad to know people think it's funny bc I was worried that it would only be funny to me. It's rather hard to know for sure if what you're writing reads as funny as intended. So I was nervous. But so far, it seems like I did ok.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Proposed change in the laws

I have a pet peeve about current laws re: restraining orders.  If someone has a  restraining order against you, say your former lover who you still have feelings for, you are barred from any interaction w/ them.  Even if they decide they miss you and so they drop in at your home or give you a call. 

The common scenario I run into is a cranky person who abuses the order by only calling police to report a violation when they aren't getting their way in the relationship. They lie and say they had the order dropped or they lull the other person into a false sense of security that they won't report violations since they want contact.

I have even seen cases where the person with the order was calling the guy, inviting him over, and sleeping with him! But when he biked by and waved to her, THEN she called the police. Dumb!

So here is my proposed change to the law. A restraining order implies that someone doesn't want to interact with the other person. So how about the law include an affirmative defense that they initiated contact and thus nullified the order? That way, people who really need the protection, who don't want any contact, are protected still but the law can't be used as a tool for a disgruntled mate.

Just saying.

Monday, October 08, 2012

I know what you're really asking...

"How long have you been practicing?" = "Are you  even old enough to be my lawyer?"

Friday, October 05, 2012

My book is done!

My book is officially finished!!

It's currently being reviewed for formatting, etc. by and then it will be available for purchase in approximately 12 hours.  

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Things, things, things

My book is coming along at a quick clip. I'm hoping it should be done within the next few weeks. Then it will be ready to make its debut.
I'm actually pretty proud of myself for really taking the time to do the work and write a book. Even if no one reads it, at least I did it. I wrote an entire book. So I can cross that off my bucket list when it's finished.
In other news, work has been busy. A lot of contested hearings lately but those are actually pretty fun. I like those. They are like mini-trials but without the hassle of a jury and with much looser rules. And they only take like an hour, instead of several days. The only thing I don't like is having to write a brief afterwards. That isn't really all that fun. But, that's okay.
I think my medicine for my hypersomnia needs to be adjusted again. It's been like 6 or 7 years since the last adjustment. But lately I've been feeling really, really tired again during the day and I'm having trouble doing sedentary activities without falling asleep.  Reading, watching tv, etc. are all starting to become nap sessions, just like in the past. So I have an appt in October with my sleep specialist and I'm guessing I'll need to have my medication levels tweaked. The only concern is that I'm already at a very high dose (80 mgs of Adderall each day) and my specialist doesn't like to put people on any higher dose than 100 mgs/day.  So there isn't much room to adjust. Plus what happens if/when the new dose stops being as effective? I'm only 29. I've got many years left where I will need to be awake and on medication of some kind. What happens if I'm at the top of what can be prescribed? That makes me nervous. I guess technically I can try to work my schedule around my disorder, because it does qualify as a disability.  So my job has to make reasonable accommodations for my disability, which in my case would mean allowing me time to take a nap during the day.  My office has already cleared me for that (although so far I haven't had to use it real often) but I doubt that that would work very well for scheduling court hearings. My sleepiest time of the day is about 1:00-3:00 p.m., which is when a majority of afternoon hearings are scheduled.  So taking a nap during that time would not work at all. 
Hopefully that won't become an issue. I'm hoping that the specialist can adjust my medications so that they keep me awake and alert during the day like they used to do.  That would be ideal. So fingers crossed that that can happen.
Other than that, life is pretty mundane. Same sh*t, different day, as they say. The cats and I are basically just hanging out, doing what we do (which is being killer amazing, of course). Nothing else to report for now.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

One Year

Today marks the one year anniversary of when YKW told me he wanted a divorce.  Today is the one year mark of the saddest moment of my life. 

One year ago, I could barely breathe because the pain I was in was so intense it was a physical thing.  I bawled every night before bed, hard enough to give myself a headache.  One year ago, I wanted to die just to give my poor heart a reprieve from the agony of losing him.  At times the pain was so overwhelming that I thought I actually might die from heartache.  One year ago, I could not imagine a life without him. I could not imagine ever being happy again.  One year ago, I thought my life was over.  And it came close on many occasions, when I felt like I just could not go on even one more minute.

I wish I could say that I'm 100% better than one year ago. That I picked myself up and never looked back. I wish I could say I never shed anymore tears for him, that I don't care at all about him, and that I'm happier without him.

But, I can't say any of those things. None of those things are true.

What I can say is that, while I do still cry about him (sometimes very hard), those sessions are now much more rare. While I still have days where things feel awful, I have been able to have many happy times.  I can laugh again, and pretty much do every day.  I can have fun again.  While I still care about him and still love him, I don't feel like I need him anymore--just want.  Not need.  While I can't say I'm happier without him, I can say that I have been able to find happiness without him.

I do look back. I do think about what we had and it still makes me sad to have lost him.  My heart is not okay yet.  But, it's trying to be.

Would I feel happier if he said he loved me and wanted to try to work on out marriage? Probably.  He still has my heart, right or wrong.  Would my preference be that we would be together again? Yes. I'd prefer that.  But, even without those things being true, I can still have days that are good and fun and enjoyable.  I can be okay.

We are still married.  He has not yet filed the paperwork for the divorce.  A part of my heart continues to hope that if we aren't divorced, then maybe we can still make things work.  I don't know if it will ever be true or if it's wishful thinking.

I'm grateful for the people who have surrounded me in love and thoughts and prayers over the last year. I have felt more love and care as I have walked this dark path than I ever have in my life.  When I have been too tired to keep going, when my legs have collapsed beneath me, when the desire to keep going has left me, when even the desire to eat has disappeared, when I have fallen under the weight of this emotional burden, when I have felt alone in my grief, people were there to pick me back up, to carry me, to feed me, to help me walk, to grieve with me, to be my strength when I had none left, to take care of me when I didn't care. The love and support I have been surrounded by has been more than I could have ever expected. I would never have survived without the people who have been there for me.

Am I 100% better? No. I'm not even sure I could say that I'm 50% better. But, I am sure that I will get there eventually. And that is much more than I could say one year ago.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Look what I can do!

I can sew stuff.  Like this dress: 

You can tell it's homemade if you look at the part that I totally messed up when I was doing the lining right by the zipper in the back.  Good thing it's just the lining and it's not visible from the outside at all. 

I was pretty pumped that this turned out!  I wanted it to look like it wasn't handmade because I always think that's the litmus test to determine if something is well-made.  If no one can tell it's homemade, then I did a good job on it. 

So far, I've made 2 dresses that are done decently enough so that I don't think they are obviously handmade.  I'm moving on to a suit jacket next.  We'll see if I can make that turn out...that seems much harder.  Because it has sleeves...

Sunday, September 09, 2012

This is like your VIP pass

Remember that time I said that I was going to write a book?  I actually am following through on that.  Crazy, huh?  Who would have thought that I would have ever had the ability to actually follow through with something like that.  But, I'm on Chapter 10 of my (hopefully funny) book.  And, just for you, dear Nftmonosyllabicers, I'm going to give you a sneak peek.  I'm going to post one chapter from my book. Hopefully you all like it and think it's funny.  If not, be nice when you're telling me it blows--it's the first time I've ever written anything like this and it's still a rough draft.  Thanks!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A ridiculous number of cat photos

For whatever reason, the Blogger app on my phone no longer lets me upload photos when I want to write a post.  It always says, "Publish failed" and then I can't post pictures.  I find this insanely frustrating.  In part because I haven't been able to put up any photos of Hubert since I first got him!  And he's adorable so there definitely needs to be more pictures of him on my blog. Be prepared for your face to explode with cuteness overload.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Well, that's a surprise

Recently, a handful of people I know have told me that I'm "easy to talk to."  Given that I have crushing social anxiety (which has eased significantly since I started taking anti-anxiety meds) and find it difficult to talk to people, this has been a surprising description.  I don't know that I would ever have described myself as easy to talk to.
So, what makes someone "easy to talk to?"  I decided to Google it to see what characteristics make someone easy to talk to.  And now I'm more confused...
Popular characteristics included:
-a good listener
-a good conversationalist
Looking at those, I am not sure how I fit with those descriptors. Maybe "a good listener," but only bc I'm usually to shy to say much, so the other person can run at the mouth and I will just politely nod bc then I don't have to talk. But all the other ones? I'm not sure about those. Especially the non-judgmental one.  I'm so good at being judgmental that I could win the gold medal at the Judgment Olympics.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Things Not to Say to Your Public Defender

Nftmonosyllabicers, I hope you are never in a position to need a public defender. If you are, that means you are 1) in trouble, whether you should be or not and 2) poor enough to qualify for a public defender. But, if you are ever in need of our services, please keep this list with you so you can easily access things you shouldn't say to your public defender.

1. "So, is this what you're doing until you get a real job?"  Last time I checked, I got a paycheck, benefits, and paid vacation, sick days, and holidays. Pretty sure this counts as a real job.

2. "So I know an attorney and when I talked to him, he told me to tell you that you should (file this motion, request this, do that)."  Oh really? That's fascinating. Go hire that guy, then.

3. "I'm going to have to get a lawyer for this/do I need to get a lawyer for this?"  When you filled out your application for a court-appointed lawyer, did you miss the part about the court appointing you a lawyer? What exactly do you think my role is? If you are confused about me being your lawyer, what do you think my job is?

4. "Marijuana should be legal." Maybe it should, maybe it shouldn't. But, it's not. So, just because you don't like the law doesn't mean that's going to get you out of the charges. Go talk to your legislators, get the law changed, and possess all the marijuana you want. In the meantime, it's still illegal.

5. "I know I did (whatever the charge is), but (someone else tangentially related to the case) did (crime), so why am I in trouble?"  Easy--you got caught.

6. "The cops didn't read me my rights, so this whole thing should be thrown out, right?" The caveat on this that while you should tell your public defender if the police didn't read you your rights, you should not finish that sentence with a assumption that that is an automatic get-out-of-jail-free card. That simply means whatever you said could be suppressed. That doesn't mean they don't have other evidence against you. It's not that easy.

7. "It's just a couple people saying I did that. They don't have any evidence. Let's go to trial." trial, when someone testifies, that counts as evidence. Evidence isn't just DNA and video and tangible things like that. So, when all 10 people testify that they saw you hit that guy with a bar stool, the State doesn't need to get surveillance camera footage from the bar.

8. "I need you to call me (this morning/this afternoon/today/before a certain time today/immediately/right away/before my court hearing today/etc.)."  Most public defenders are in court. A lot. Oftentimes, they are in court all day. If you call, it's extremely unlikely that you will get a phone call back the same day. If you know you won't be able to make it to court, don't call an hour before you're supposed to be there and expect your public defender to be in the office. They are already in court with other clients. When you call, just anticipate that it may take a few days to hear back and call ahead of your deadline.

9. "I have had (other public defender) before and they sucked!" Well, that may be true. But that's my co-worker who I probably get along with so I'm not going to bash them with you.

10. "You guys are bringing these charges against me/you're trying to say I violated probation/(any other statement that groups your public defender's purpose in with the state's or the court's purpose)."  Trust me, we're not connected. Yes  we are all parts of the justice system and yes, the government pays us our wages. But in Minnesota, the counties/cities pay the prosecutors and the state pays public defenders. We aren't working on their side. We don't share files (well the state technically gives us the contents of their files bc it's required by the discovery rules, but they don't share any notes or strategy with us). We aren't trying to get you.

11. "All public defenders are crap." Well, hi! It's nice to meet you too! That statement totally motivates me to work extra hard on your case...

12. "Are you a real attorney?" Yes. In what state is it not illegal to practice law without a law license (or in law school and being supervised by a licensed attorney)?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ever feel like pulling the covers over your head and going back to bed?

That's kind of how I feel all the time lately. Like I just want to crawl up into bed and sleep the rest of my life. Don't bother waking me up.

Friday, August 17, 2012


I just wrapped up my third trial this summer with the same client. I had one in June, one in July, and one in August. I don't honestly know how I have been doing it, but it's getting done. Although not much else is getting done... I have been in a constant state of catch-up this summer.  This is my Year of the Trial.  I'm starting to wonder if I will end up winning the "Most Jury Trials of 2012" award this year at our annual PD meeting.
At the rate I'm going, I'm either going to be a kick-ass, super experienced trial ninja or I'll be in a persistent vegetative state after my brain turns to complete mush.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The next time someone says we aren't "real" attorneys, I'll just remind them of this:

Two public defenders' work on a case ledto the shutdown of drug testing at a crime lab in St. Paul because of shoddy practices and lack of procedures to ensure integrity of evidence/results.  The lab had been operating for awhile without the huge, glaring problems coming to light until these two started asking questions. As a result of their work and the subsequent testimony elicited at a hearing questioning the evidence in their client's case, the lab's drug testing was shut down by the police chief. Moreover, three counties that used this lab are now offering favorable plea deals to drug defendants that focus on treatment and not on incarceration. These two public defenders managed to assist not only their client, but all defendants with pending and future cases in the affected counties and their work will impact the way this lab operates from now on, ensuring that the integrity of the evidence being used against people is preserved and that convictions are based on solid, reliable evidence.
How's that for being a "real" lawyer?
Way to go, Christine Funk and Lauri Traub!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pet Peeve of the Day:

When people I haven't spoken to for years send me a message on Facebook wanting me to help them w/ their legal issues.
1. The only area of law I actually know w/any level of proficiency is criminal. Not child support, not divorce, not real estate, not personal injury. I don't have any idea about other areas.
2. No, your five sentence summary of your problem is not nearly enough for me to help you, even if I could and/or wanted to.
3. When I go to work, I produce nothing. I make nothing, I create nothing, I have nothing tangible to sell, I do not produce goods of any kind. The only reason I get paid is to dispense legal advice. My advice and analysis of a case are my only commodity. As such, please don't expect me to do your case for free, especially when we haven't seen each other since middle school. I would guess you don't go up to your acquaintance who builds cabinets and ask him to make you a full set of cabinets for free. It's the same thing.
(Aside: #3 doesn't apply if you are my family).

Monday, July 30, 2012

I am such a Millenial...

On Friday, I misplaced my check card. I had exactly $9 in cash. My immediate reaction was thinking that I needed to cancel the card. Then, I thought to myself: "Crap. What am I going to do  until I get the replacement card? How will I pay for things? I guess I could use cash...but I only have $9! How am I supposed to get my money out of the bank?!"
Then, gradually, a small nugget of memory emerged from the time capsule of my childhood that is in my brain. Didn't my mom used to go inside the bank all the time? When a "check card" wasn't even a thing and everyone wrote foggy childhood memory seemed to recall standing in line @ the bank. The concept seems so foreign to me now that I almost didn't believe that it was a real experience I had. But as I though about it more, more memories of this mysterious "inside the bank" came to mind: pens on really long chains; those stretchy elastic barriers that made up the line people had to stand in; an island in the middle where people would stand and fill out little pieces of paper that they would hand to the person behind the counter... These things were real! I just had forgotten these days of yore. So, there HAD to be some way to go inside the bank and get my money.  Problem solved.
I lost my card on Friday. It took me until today to figure this out. Talk about being a product of my generation...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Where is my hoverboard?

So, if they can make pajama jeans, why can't they make pajamas business suits?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Life in bullet format

The apt is coming along slowly but surely. I get a little bit unpacked here and there as much as I can. It has been difficult to find time, but I try to do a little each day so at least something is getting done. I wish it would just magically be finished but oh well. I'm sure I will get everything unpacked about ten weeks before I have to move again.
Other events lately:
• Had my fifth trial this year. Lost. I'm on pace to have the most trials this year that I've ever had.
• YKW has been confusing and odd lately. First there was the recent statement from him that he likes talking to me and didn't ever really think about not talking with me (except for that time in December he told me not to talk to him...).  Now he has says that we may potentially hang out in the future and he doesn't see why not.  Really? I'm starting to be concerned that perhaps he has suffered some kind of traumatic brain injury since we separated, as I can think of about 9 months' worth of reasons why not. So, I don't know what that is all about. I find the whole thing rather stressful so I'm just going to continue to ignore it.
• I'm going camping in August. I'm excited. It's been like 3 yrs since I've gone camping, so it should be a nice time.
Yep, that's all I have for now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's too hot

The ridiculous heat lately is making it hard to do everything lately. I basically want to lay down in a room with sub-zero temperatures and get frostbite.  It's so hot and humid that when I'm outside, it feels like I'm breathing through a wet blanket.  It's gross. As I'm sure most everyone everywhere is thinking since the entire country appears to be having a heat wave of epic proportions.
And holy crap, wearing a business suit in this weather is terrible and cruel.  Suit fabrics, especially in northern states, aren't exactly lightweight and breathable. And the lining! Double layers in a suit jacket! Lining is never a breathable fabric! Ugh, it's like being wrapped in Saran Wrap all day. I'm hot and sweaty and uncomfortable all day when it's this hot.  I wish that there was a "too hot" exception to the suit jacket requirement. Even with the air conditioner on, it's still really hard to cool down after being outside and then having to wear a heat-trapping jacket.
I wonder if the dress code for court is more relaxed in states that are consistently hot year round. Like can you get away with a lightweight cardigan as as "jacket" in Hawaii or Arizona? Or a cute short sleeved jacket? Or no jacket at all as long as you're otherwise in business attire? How do people do it in southern states? Could a woman wear dressy capris? A sundress?
If I'm ever a judge, suit jackets will totally be optional if the temp hits 80° or more. If the heat index hits 100+ and I were a judge, there would be a good chance I wouldn't even be wearing pants under my robe.  I mean, the robe is kind of like a big sack dress anyway, right?

Friday, July 13, 2012

So that's happening now...

Just got back from Chi-town, visiting RV and her spawn and her husby.  I'm pretty proud of myself bc this time I taught Spawn to say, "I'm not a terrorist!" and "That sounds like communism!" Just for funsies. This is probably why it's a good thing I don't have kids. Although it was super adorable when I got there and Spawn saw me and jumped out of her chair, calling my name, and threw her tiny, midget arms around my legs in a hug. Awwwww...cute...she is super funny and adorable.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hello, Hubert!

This is Hubert, the newest member of the family. He is one month old and polydactyl, meaning he has 6 toes on his front paws.
Ward has been super lonely since we lost Oscar. He cries and cries and clings to me like crazy. So, I figured it was probably a good idea to get him a new friend to help him not feel so lonely.  Everything I read said to get a kitten (not an older cat) to be a companion for a cat that has recently lost another cat.  Apparently an older cat can be seen as a threat/the reason the other cat is now gone, causing the remaining cat to fight with the older, new cat. So, although I never get kittens and always adopt older cats, the humane society had a few kittens so I went there to get one.
And so, we have Hubert now. Ward seems to be fascinated by him. He likes to lick him a lot and wants to follow him around. Hubert seems more interested in exploring the apt at the moment, although they did snuggle for a minute.
Hubert is so cute.  He's never gonna replace my big kitty Oscar, but at least he is cute and now Ward won't be so sad and lonely.

Monday, July 02, 2012


I am finally starting to not feel like death.  Today I accomplished eating without immediately feeling like I was going to throw up, so that's an improvement. Having an upset stomach is pretty much the worst thing ever, so I'm glad I'm finally feeling like I am not always ready to puke. I am hopeful I'll feel well enough to go to work tomorrow. I was sick on Thursday and Friday, as well as today (plus all weekend but I don't have to call my boss to tell her I'm sick on a weekend).

I swear, I'm not an episode of "Hoarders..."

It just really looks that way at the moment bc I have to figure out where things are going to go in the new place.
But I'm still not feeling well at all, so I was barely able to do anything more than locate where a fresh set of sheet were in this mess, put them on the bed, and collapse.  I'm so exhausted from being sick and stressed and sad and grieving and having to pack and to move stuff that I can barely think straight anymore.
And poor Ward! I thought he was going to have an aneurysm or something. This poor cat was already freaking out bc Oscar is gone. He kept wanting me to hold and cuddle him ever since Thursday. Then today, when a whole ton of Mormon guys showed up to move all my stuff, Ward was totally tweaking. I had to put him in the cat carrier until the move was over and he was not happy one bit about that. And then when the move was over, he kept running around and crying the most pathetic, sad, confused meows ever. He was so miserable.  Poor stressed out kitty lost his best bud and his home all at the same time.
Once I got the bed set up, he seemed to do a bit better.  It was somewhere familiar for him and I laid down with him for a few minutes after it was set up so he could see that I was still there, too. Bed and me, his two favorite things. Well, I might actually come after food, so two of his three favorite things...
And now, more feeling horrible and ill and wishing my things would just put themselves in place so I won't have to do it whenever I feel better/have time. But at least I've got the bed set up so I have a place to lay down while I am sick.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

It's Moving Day

Just like in "The Secret of NIMH." Minus the deadly tractor.
I hate moving. I hate this move especially, since I'm down two family members in this move. What a crapper...
But I'm trying to convince myself this is my fresh start, time to turn the page to a new chapter in my life as a young, (still not technically but might as well be for all intents and purposes) single, professional lady, blazing a trail and all that other feel-good empowerment crap.  We will see if I can make myself believe that.
And I'm off, to haul the multiple boxes of my life to the new apt that will be the first apt I have ever lived in all by myself for the entire time. It's definitely going to be a different experience.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Poor Ward...

He has been so confused without Oscar around. He keeps wandering around, looking for him, and going to all the spots in the house where Oscar used to sleep or hang out. He keeps trying to find him and then when he can't, he will meow a little and go lay on something that Oscar used to always lay on. And he has been super clingy lately, like when I woke up this morning and found him curled up next to my tummy (see photo).  Poor guy has never lived in the apt without Oscar here, so I'm sure he is lonely without his best bud. I'm not sure how he will deal with things when I am gone at work all day and he is all alone.
At least I am moving this weekend, so Ward will be in a new environment after losing his buddy.  Then maybe he won't miss him so much bc he won't be able to go look for him in all his normal spots.
Poor guy...too bad I can't just explain to  him what happened. Instead, he just lost his best friend and doesn't know where he went or when he is coming back.  Poor Wardy...

Friday, June 29, 2012

I had to see YKW yesterday and today

The move is this weekend, so he came to pick up the last few of his items that were still at my apt and to help with some of the clean-up that is required in order to get the security deposit back.

I found Oscar literally minutes before YKW called to tell me that he was outside, ready to be let in. I was bawling like crazy about Oscar (who was actually Hat's first cat that he had ever owned and who convinced Hat that he was actually a cat person even though he shears said he wasn't).  YKW was actually very great about the whole situation. He wrapped him up in a towel and let me hold him and he hugged me a few times while I cried and held Oscar one more time. He got a box to put him in and I needed to bring Oscar over to my mom's (where he is going to be buried on Monday after I am done moving and she is back from camping).  He offered to stay and clean while I went to my mom's, but the thought of doing this terribly sad task on my own made me cry even harder and I said, "I can't. I can't do it by myself. Not this..." So without hesitation, he carefully picked up the box and said, "Ok, let's take care of him, then."  He rode with me, holding onto Oscar's box, and talked to me about work and his family and my family and our friends, about anything other than my poor kitty. He was actually very kind and caring about the whole situation, especially since we haven't talked really at all since December and now suddenly he was having to help me deal with this crisis situation.

Then, we got back to the apt and he helped me clean and pack up some of my stuff that I haven't had enough time to get packed up. It was actually not awkward or uncomfortable like I was worried it would be. We just kind of chatted about things that we had been doing in the last few months and avoided any serious conservation. He asked me about where I was moving to a few times in a few different ways and I just said I was staying in the same general area without giving any real details.

He came back over today to continue with the cleaning and again was very kind about Oscar. I think he could probably tell from my face that I had cried quite a bit last night, because my eyes were really swollen (a side effect of crying that I have always had and I usually have to put ice on them if I'm going anywhere and need to de-puff) and I had huge bags under my eyes. He right away asked if I was doing okay today and I just said I was okay. He then asked if I was dealing with Oscar's death okay and I just shrugged and said I was coping with it. And then we moved on and cleaned and packed and avoided anymore Oscar-talk bc I had clearly been crying about it. 

Things went fine again today. No serious topics discussed again, chit chatted, etc and packed and cleaned. He had to work, so he left in the late afternoon. Before he left, we took a break from all the work we had been doing and  sat on the couch and Ward cuddled with him for a while. Ward has been a bit lost without Oscar, so he has been pretty clingy and wanting to cuddle a lot. And he always loved Hat a lot, so he was happy to see him and wanted to be by him the whole time he was here.

Things went fine, YKW was very helpful and did a lot of work on the apt, and it wasn't awkward or weird, like I thought it might be. He offered to come over on Sunday morning if I needed help still on Sunday.  So, depending on how much I can get done between now and then, I may still need his help on Sunday, but I'm hoping that I will be all set by then.

So, that's that, I guess.

I miss my kitty

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In bad news...

I have felt sick to my stomach for the last two days. I keep trying to tell myself that I feel better, but I really don't. Tums isn't helping. Pepto bismal isn't helping. Laying on my stomach helps a bit but not much. Not moving also seems to help a bit too.
It's both rolling around and also occasional stabbing pain. So that is miserable feeling. I also keep burping all the time, which makes me feel better for about 30 seconds and then the rolling returns. And my tummy is all swollen and bloaty. It's like the worst case of indigestion + gas + bloating + stabbing pain for no apparent reason all put together. It's pretty much the suckiest illness ever. I'll take a cold or sore throat any day.
I have a couple of co-workers who have also been having tummy troubles lately, so I think there must be something going around the office. Whoever brought this in is cursed in my heart. Stomach issues were the worst. I am not happy about this at all. Stupid stomach ache.
Ugh...I'm hoping I will feel better tomorrow... So far, it hasn't improved but I figure it has to start getting better soon...right??

Check out my sweet nails!

Time for a product review! It's been awhile since I've done one of these, so it's long overdue.
Two Saturdays ago, I tried out Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. I went for pink and brown argyle, bc I figured, hey why the heck not? They also have normal shades as well, but who wants that?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Talk about highway robbery!

Apparently, there were some problems with attorneys not getting the first statement about needing to register this year, so the Clerk of the Appellate Courts Office sent them all again.  That's when I realized that I was one of those that hadn't gotten the first statement. Awesome.
So, I now have until July 1 to cough up $329 to be able to keep my license from getting suspended. Last year, I was still getting the discounted rate for being licensed for less than three years. I didn't realize how much it would be this year. Cripes, what a racket...
Well, it's a good thing we public defenders make soooooooo much money that I just have $329 laying around...oh, wait, never mind. No, I don't.
So that's gonna be fun trying to get that together now. Sigh...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Whew! Support staff to the rescue!

Made it through two very tough, very busy days in court yesterday and today. Between the two days, I had 45 hearings--24 on Tuesday and 21 today. I think that might be like 1/3 of my entire caseload right there!
Thankfully, the court staff was awesome and helpful and I had assistance from our office on both days. Without both the court staff and my co-workers, I don't know that I would have ever managed to make it through all those cases!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Holy smokes...

Stopped by the office late yesterday evening to grab whatever files I had scheduled for today. That's when I realized I have 23 hearings on today. And 21 tomorrow.
Holy balls, that's a lot of hearings in two days.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ben Franklin knows what I'm talking about

My recent win of my suppression motion that resulted in a dismissal of 14 felony counts has been met with uncertainty from some of my friends and family. Most frequently, people ask me something along the lines of whether the dismissal is really a good thing and/or if I'm actually happy that the defendant "gets off" on 14 counts.
My answer to that is a pretty solid "YES." Here's why I say yes, and why anyone who thinks otherwise should reconsider.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Yay, I won!

I checked on a motion I had in before trial/vacation that I figured the judge's order would come out when I was gone on vacation and saw that it had. And that I won! The evidence was suppressed and as a result, 14 felony counts were dismissed!! I'm really excited! This is definitely my biggest pretrial win of my short legal career.  I had 4 different arguments and the court agreed with three of them, which was neat to see that. It's cool when the courts agree with my arguments, because then I feel like I might actually know what I'm doing! Lolz!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

Well, we are traveling home today. Won't be in until pretty late tonight, which doesn't include the hour we lose switching from mountain time back to central time.  It was a wonderful vacation and really neat to get to see so many excellent sites and gorgeous scenery.  I got to add three magnets to my refrigerator magnet collection (that's my thing--I collect magnets from every place I go each time I go there, one for each trip. I don't currently have very many, but I hope that eventually I will have more) and I got to spend time with my good friends. It was really nice and it was cool to do things I've never been able to do before!
But it's back to reality when I get home. And by "reality," I mean a trip to the doctor's office, a long weekend of packing my entire apartment into boxes to prepare to move in about two weeks, and cleaning my entire apartment before moving out. Blech. I have to do that intense, super-deep-cleaning that is required when you move out of a place...oven, vacuum every nook and cranny, clean the fridge, defrost the freezer and clean that... This is the part I hate the most about moving. It takes at least a few days and a couple of very generous friends to get everything done that is required. It's so exhausting. So, once I get back to Minnesota, it's a long weekend of that! Yay... I took a couple days off work in order to get everything done because I'll be doing most of it on my own. Normally, YKW would be around to help me pack and the job would go much faster, but it's just me so it's going to take a few days...sigh. I hate moving... Oh well. It must be done.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My visit to a hot spring was basically what I expected...

Today is our last day on vacation.  We decided to go visit a hot springs nearby.  The guide online said that it was an "easy" walk down to the hot springs from the parking area.  The online guide was a filthy liar.  It was very rocky and full of pointy boulders on the way down.  The "path" wasn't so much a path as it was a series of semi-clear spots in between pointy boulders.  I was wearing sandals, as was my friend.  This made the "easy" walk trek of death even more difficult since sandals are generally not conducive to scaling cliff faces. 

Did I mention I'm terrified of heights?

Did I also mention that if you slipped, you would roll down the side of the rock face hundreds and hundreds of feet, severely breaking every bone in your body, before finally smashing into the Rio Grande?


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Next stop...

Taos, New Mexico!
I'm pretty excited. I love my friends for inviting me along on this trip.
This has been a tough last 10 months to live through, but things like this make me realize that even with the sadness and bad things that have occurred, I'm very blessed in many ways.  Having friends who are thoughtful enough to invite me along to help keep my spirits up, having a job where I can take time off for vacations, having the financial ability to save up some money to go on this trip, and being able to see this beautiful, breathtaking area of the world are just a few of the ways I've been blessed even in times of great sadness.  Recognizing these things makes it easier to pass through the dark times in life.  Plus, it's hard to feel sad when I'm surrounded by such incredible beauty in such a majestic place. I'm more relaxed and stress-free than I have been in the last 10 months.  I definitely needed to get away and be in a place where it's impossible for me to feel sad.
This is the first time in 10 months I've felt really truly happy, really content with things. I'd forgotten how wonderful that feels. Even if it doesn't last, even if the sadness creeps back in once I get home, I'm very grateful for being able to feel that contentment and happiness for right now.  Because at least I know it's possible to feel that way again, something I wasn't sure of before.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

I'm tired

I'm in the middle of a trial this week.
I'm pooped and it's only Tuesday. Whew...
If anyone invents a 30 hour day, please let me know. I could use the extra time.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I love this

It's from a movie but I really liked it.
"Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yep. There it is. That's why.

I had a sentencing hrg at the beginning of May for a client who I had lost at trial with. We were asking for a departure and my staff and I had put in a lot of work into it. We ultimately didn't win (although the judge did tell me after the hrg that it was a really nice presentation, which was really awesome) and my client was sent to prison.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Don't Expect to Come to my Book Signing or Anything

I've decided that I think I'm funny enough to write a book of comedic memoirs, a la David Sedaris and others. Why not, right? You guys read this and this is just my brain vomiting things out, often without even proofreading it. And I usually stick with present-day events, meaning no one ever gets to hear all the amazing stories that occurred in my life before I started blogging in 2004 and/or before I took down the archives from my blog over a year ago (sorry, newcomers...).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Made it out alive!

I made it through Sad Week last week. I was very relieved to have RV there to help keep my mind off things. I don't think I would have gotten through it without her being there. Between her and her super  adorable 3 1/2 year old girl, I had plenty of company to get me through most of the week. She ended up having to go back home on Wednesday, instead of staying the whole week (like originally planned) so it was a bit more difficult to get through the rest of the week (which probably explains my lack of motivation to get things done on Thursday, since RV wasn't there to keep me distracted anymore and then I got super depressed and couldn't get my crap together till Saturday. But, I was actually productive on Saturday so I managed to shake it off).
So, I managed to make it through with only minimal tears and I actually had a lot of fun with RV. I miss her a lot and it's always awesome to see her and her family. I'm really blessed to have such amazing friends and family to help me through this stuff. I'd be a total mess without them.
Now that I've survived Sad Week, I'm looking forward to not have any milestones to dread. No birthday without YKW, no anniversary... Just summertime. It's nice not to have this looming date that I know will be really difficult waiting for me in the future. 
The weather is gorgeous, my plants are growing, I've figured out my housing's hoping that things are finally starting to look less bleak for me.
And even if they don't, I've still always got the cats...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Here's What I Don't Get...

Nude pantyhose.
Why? Why even bother? It's not like nylons are the epitome of comfort. If it just looks like your leg, then why  wear them? I mean, at least the tan ones make it look like you aren't all pastey, but, nude? Really? Why are those even a thing?
Seriously. I've never understood this.
And do not even get me started on nylons with open-toed shoes... That should be a felony punishable by having Clint and Stacy from What Not to Wear judge you on your poor fashion choices.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This is why I am not really great at being a grown-up

Yesterday, here were my thoughts:
"Tomorrow, I will get up before 9:00, do all the errands I haven't had time to do lately, make sure to get my oil changed finally, and have everything wrapped up by like 5:00 p.m. Then I will make a great, healthy dinner and go for a walk after dinner."
Today, I woke up at 9:35. I ate breakfast. I haven't changed out of my pajamas. I haven't gotten my oil changed. I did nothing that I told myself that I would do.
The day wasn't a total loss, though. I DID manage to watch like 7 episodes of shows that I have had on my DVR for months.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp

For realz...

That's What Friends Are For

My third anniversary is this Tuesday. I can't tell if it makes it better or worse that we are still technically married...
To make it through Sad Week, I took time off work so I wouldn't end up crying in court (that would be awkward) and my BFFE RV is coming into town today. She is staying till Thursday. She and her hilarious three year old are going to distract me.
On Tuesday, I got us super awesome seats at the Twins game. I figure this is a perfect cover for the saddest day of Sad Week, because if I'm crying at the game, everyone will assume I'm crying because the Twins are doing so horribly this year it's not even funny!  No one will ever guess I'm crying for some other reason.
And I get to teach the little ankle-biter all sorts of awesome things. When I visited over Thanksgiving, I taught her to brush her shoulder while saying, "Brush ya shoulder off" a la Jay-Z and to make a diamond with her fingers over her head and shout, "HOV!!" like Jay-Z.  Then, less than a week later, guess who happened to go into the restaurant where RV works and sat at one of her tables? I shit you not: Jay-Z and Beyonce (RV snapped a photo of the credit card reciept {minus the actual credit card numbers} to show me the signature line that read "Knowles/Beyonce" under it because I told her she was a liar and there was no way they were actually there). I am like some magic summoner of celebrities, apparently. I teach this child famous catch phrases of celebrities and then, WHAM, they appear within days.
So now the question is, who do I want to meet and what is that person known for saying that I can easily teach a three year old to mimic...? Hmmm... As Ursula the Sea Witch once said, "Life's full of tough choices in it."
Yeah, once I start quoting "The Little Mermaid," it's time to end the post.
Later, gators.

Friday, May 11, 2012

So far, pottery class is nothing like that scene in "Ghost" but it's still fun.

I've been taking a pottery class for like 12 weeks now, since the end of February.  That has translated into me having a ridiculous number of pots.  So, I've just given them away to people so that way my house isn't cluttered with a billion clay items.  And they seem to make people really happy to have them, even when I think they look like crap or are all wonky.  People seem really excited to have things that are handmade, even if they aren't all that awesome. 

Here is some of the stuff I've made: 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Isn't there a Mulligan for your life?

I have never wanted so badly to get into my car and just drive away.  I worked super hard when I was younger so that life would be easier and happier when I got older but that didn't exactly work out.
Life is neither easier nor happier for me. In fact, I think it's now harder and sadder than it ever has been. Which seems unfair, since I could have been unhappy without putting in so much effort to try to change things.  Why did I do all the hard work again?
I'm 29, (basically) divorced (I'm assuming I'll get served with papers any day now), riddled with health problems such as hypothyroidism and narcolepsy, struggling financially, and living in an area I don't want to live in.  The only thing that actually seemed to turn out was getting a job as a public defender, but even that has not really turned out to be what I'd hoped it would.
I used to really enjoy my job and got a lot of satisfaction out of it, even when it was stressful. But lately, I just find it stressful and overwhelming. I rarely feel much else.  I feel guilty sometimes, just to add something new to the mix, bc I can't get to everyone who needs me. But satisfaction is sorely lacking in recent months.
Probably it's due in part to being unhappy in general, but I think part of it is just the crushing caseload and the insufficient resources and the feeling like I am not able to do enough because I'm spread so thin and there are only so many hours in a day.
Plus, I almost always expect to lose on everything.  I don't think I should lose on everything but I expect to. I mean, I've got the defendant.  I get that. I don't have any delusions about that. But, it does cross my mind when I'm at the office at 10:30 at night working on something that this effort and time is likely going to result in nothing.  It's not particularly motivating, although it doesn't deter me from continuing to put in my all. It's just a depressing realization to have. Of course, on the occasions that I do win, it's extra awesome because I didn't expect it. But that isn't the usual outcome.
So between the personal life crap and the grinding machine of work, I'm pretty much ready to phone it in. Pack a bag, hop in the car, and disappear. I can change my name to Regina and start a new life as a fun, cocky, and street-smart drifter. I sense a delightfully light-hearted sitcom here... NBC, call me.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Lamest Weekend Ever

So, because I have like 20 minutes of actual in-my-office time during the week, I got to spend my entire weekend working on things that I didn't have time to during the work weeks. That translated into me being at the office until 10:30 p.m. on Friday, 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, and then 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
And the sad part is that despite working all weekend long, I only tackled two cases. I wrote a brief on a suppression motion for one case and a sentencing memo on another. And visited one client who is jail.
I should win on both of those, based solely on the fact that I worked so damn hard on them. Courts should at least give out gold stars or "E for effort" or something.  Busting my butt and then losing sucks (although as a PD, if not unfamiliar).  A sweet gold star sticker to wear on my lapel would totally help.  I'd absolutely give out gold stars if I were a judge! Along with requiring the men ti wear monocles.
Man, why am I not a judge? My courtroom would be so much fun. Gold stars, monocles, theme music, nap a 1900s daycare.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


I am starting to understand why people burn out in public defense. Things have been substantially more difficult since the start of the year for a number of reasons. Having back to back trials right after getting back from vacation meant I started January off being crazy far behind. I don't think I've been able to entirely catch up. I've had to do misdemeanor cases along with felony cases and the volume of misdemeanor cases is always high no matter where you work. I got assigned a high maintenance, although not annoying or frustrating, client who has multiple felony cases that are fairly complicated. And it seems that, in general, my front cases in the last few months have been more complicated than normal, with much more work and investigation needed than normal. Plus, I've had an extreme uptick in contested omnibus issues (non-lawyers, this means I've had an uptick in cases that have potentially problematic evidence issues that we are trying to get thrown out for some legal reason).  Those hearings are often like mini-trials, with witnesses giving testimony, and they are longer than uncontested hearings. Plus, I've obviously been dealing with the emotional fallout of YKW's departure, which means that somedays, just getting out of bed and forcing myself not to cry all day is a monumental task.
So all these things have combined to make work over the last few months pretty overwhelming. Maybe it's just that I'm overly sensitive right now but it certainly feels more intense than it ever has been. I'm having to request continuances because I haven't had time to prepare, which I really haven't had to do very often for the last year or so. I hate doing that. Hate, hate, hate it. It makes the court cranky, makes the prosecutors cranky, and makes me look like crap to my client.  What kind of professional shows up and says, "Sorry, we need to reschedule because I am not ready."  Can you imagine if you showed up for surgery and your surgeon said that?! So I hate asking for continuance because I'm not prepared.  But if I'm not able to get to things, there isn't any other option. But it's stressful.
I am feeling very worn out and like it doesn't matter how much I try, I can't catch up so it's pointless to even try. I'm still trying to stay on top of everything but I definitely feel like I'm rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
I need a clone of myself.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cue the violins

I finally got around to seeing "The Hunger Games" this week.  Am I the only one who noticed that Gale looks almost exactly like Joe Mauer?

Uh...weird... I think I'm looking at the same person...and the more I look at them, the more I'm convinced I'm looking at the same person.  Weird!

At any rate, that's not the only I'm thinking about lately.  Although it's still creeping me out...

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's my birthday today

YKW didn't bother to even acknowledge it. I didn't even get a text or email saying happy birthday from him.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Phone Hates Me

Text from my friend: Are you coming to church today? Should I save you a seat?
Me: Yes! On my way now!
Me: Where are you shitting?
Friend: Hahahahaha!
Friend: In the back.
Me: I'm going hell for texting that to you while you're in church.
Me: Left or right dude?
Me: SIDE. Left or right SIDE. Dang it...
Friend: I'm laughing so hard I'm shaking right now. We are on the left dude.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"...where everybody knows your name..."

I had another client today tell me that he had heard about me before becoming my client.  This one was a bit of a surprise because he isn't from the area where I work and where my clients are from, but he had still somehow heard about me. He even told me that he was from "far away" and that he had still heard about me.  And, like most of the clients who tell me things like this, he wanted to know when I was going to open my own firm.  This question always makes me chuckle a little, as if being a competent attorney and being a public defender are mutually exclusive.  The clients also seem to miss the obvious point that if I ever did open a firm, I wouldn't be a public defender anymore, which means they would not be able to have me as their attorney. 

I was bet surprised that this client had heard of me.  I have become aware of the fact that the clients in my area are often familiar with me/my name because it's a small area and the same groups of people are often in the system. And if they are in jail, they all talk, of course. So I did know that I've somehow gotten a reputation among the people in my area.  But it was very surprising to hear that people who aren't in my area have heard of me. That thought had never even occurred to me.

I don't agree that I'm somehow better than other public defenders, although some clients have told me otherwise. I think this is more of an illusion than anything else. I think two factors about me that I can't change cause people to think I'm better than I actually am. One, I'm the youngest PD we have. And I have been told that I look younger than I really am. Two, I'm a chick. I don't think people expect much from their deceptively-young-looking female attorney, so if I do anything competently, they perceive that to be outstanding. I still get asked how long I've been a lawyer and when I graduated school, so I think people must initially think the brand-new, completely inexperienced PD got assigned to their case. The bar is set so low for me, anything I do is above and beyond what was expected.

I don't do remarkable work on cases. I'm not on the front lines of novel legal arguments; I'm not feared by the opposition; I don't raise new or unexplored issues of law; I don't have some headliner case under my belt... I show up, probably a little haggard, talk to my client for a bit, and in 99.99% of cases, I get a deal for the client and help my client plead guilty to something. In almost 2 years of felony work, I've only had 5 trials and 5 contested hearings (although I have filed more than 5 motions, but I usually am able to get a deal that negates the need for the hearing). I really don't do anything magical or amazing or incredibly legally skilled. The reputation has to come from low expectations of public defenders in general combined with my age and gender. There is nothing I do that sets me apart from other attorneys or other public defenders. I'm just run of the mill.  I honestly don't know where clients  get the idea I'm some legal powerhouse. I mean, I'm glad my clients are happy, but I don't think they would be any less happy with a different public defender.

I suppose eventually the hype will wear off when I no longer look like the baby in the courthouse and people realize I'm just an average attorney.  In the meantime, it's very strange to have become widely known among those accused of crimes.  Strange demographic to become well-known in...

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

My birthday is next Monday. Normally, I love my birthday. It's a day where I get to be extra special for the day. I have always enjoyed my birthday.
But this year, I'm having trouble mustering much enthusiasm for it.  I can't help but remember last year, when Hat surprised me with a sewing box filled with new sewing items.  It was an incredibly thoughtful gift (he has always been a really good gift giver) and really touched me.  He has even picked out thread for me in a variety of colors.
This year, I'm doubtful I'll even get a cursory text or email from him saying "happy birthday." Instead of a fun filled Saturday, I get a work filled Monday. I have zero plans for my birthday.
And I'm going to be 29. I realize that this is not very old. But it's the oldest I've ever been and it feels old bc it's my last year of my twenties.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trial #3 tomorrow

Trial number 3 for 2012 starts tomorrow.  It's a misdemeanor DWI case.  I think it will be relatively quick, which is the benefit of misdemeanor trials.  They tend to be much shorter in duration than felony trials.  And there are only 6 people on the jury, which means jury selection is faster, too.  

I think I'm on track to outpace the number of trials I had in all of last year.  It's only April and I'm already at #3 for the year.  I had three total in all of last year.  So, if in the next 8 months I have another trial (which I definitely will, since I've got a number of cases that are on track for trial), then I beat all of last year's trial record.  Whew...

I've also definitely outpaced the contested omnibus hearings from last year.  Last year I had three of them.  This year, I've already had six, with two more still scheduled for this month. 

I'm a contesting-things machine lately.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Building Client Relationships 101

I flipped off one of my clients today. To his face.

That's a great lead-in, isn't it?! It's not really as shocking as it sounds, though.

I've had this client for nine months and will have him for at least another month. I've had two trials with him. Trials always involve spending a significant amount of time with the client to prep, so doing two trials means I've spent quite a lot of time with him.  He has always been friendly and polite and respectful.  I actually like this client and he has been one of the best clients I've worked with. He also has a dry sense of humor and likes to say things just to see what my reaction will be and/or poke fun at me.  I have a similar sense of humor, although I don't generally crack jokes with my clients. 

I met with him today for a few hours to work on stuff.  After he teased me about something, I flipped him off in response.  He thought that was pretty funny.  I guess most lawyers don't flip off their clients. 

Some people might call flipping off a client inappropriate.  I like to call it "rapport building."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Welcome to the Dark Side

We have a new contract attorney in the office.  She's delightful.  The best part is that she used to be a until about three days before starting with us.
Best quote from her so far? After.talking to her about my client, she said,,"He has so many good things going for him. Jail won't help him...I can't believe that just came out of my mouth..."
Ha! Awesome.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I promise I'm right on this one...

Actual conversation I had:

Woman (to me): Ok, so Mormons can't drink what now?

Me: Alcohol, coffee, and tea.

Man (to me): And pop, right? You can't drink pop. (aside--for any of you non-Minnesota folk, pop is our term for "soda," so he was asking me if Mormons couldn't drink soda)

Me: No, that's not true. We can drink pop.

Man (looking at me like I was very, terribly, sadly misinformed): Uhhhh, no, that's true. Mormons can't drink pop.

Me (sighing inwardly): Yes, we can. Some Mormons CHOOSE not to drink pop. It's not a religious doctrine or anything.

Man (dubiously): Are you sure??

Me (sighing inwardly again): Yes...I'm sure...I am Mormon, I would hope I know what I'm talking about.

...does this happen to non-Mormons ever? Like are people going around saying, "Oh you are Catholic? You guys aren't allowed to sleep on your left side. No, that is too true.  I heard that once from a guy I knew whose sister one time lived next door to some Catholics...are you SURE you can sleep on your left side? Where did you get your information from? Are you POSITIVE?? Well, I guess..."

Trust me, people, when I tell you that I can or can't do something. I mean, not to toot my own horn or whatever, but if I'm Mormon and you're not, I think it's a safe bet that I'm probably going to know more about it than you...

Yes, I drink Coke. No, I'm not going to hell for it.

And yes, I can also wear make-up, dance, celebrate my birthday, participate in major holidays, vote Democratic, and not support Mitt Romney.

Ok, I think that about covers it.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Winner, winner...

...chicken dinner!!

Just found out this week that I won my contested motion on three files.  Suh-weet.  It was one motion that was covering three files and I ended up winning in all three files and successfully had statements made during an interrogation of my client in those files suppressed.  Score!  Even though it was essentially just one hearing/one issue, I'm going to count it as three separate wins since it's three files' statements being suppressed.  That makes my contested omnibus record 4 out of 5.  Not too shabby.  Granted, it helps that my prosecutors are usually willing to discuss things I think may be omnibus issues and adjust their offers if needed, meaning we often don't need to actually contest many issues, but I'm also going to say it's because I'm kicking a$$ and taking names.  Because that makes me feel good about my lawyering skillz.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Can someone please deal with this so I don't have to?

This is my inbox. The stuff on top is all the new stuff that has come in over the last week.
There's so much crap to go through that I am overwhelmed just looking at it. 
So, that's why sometimes I'm behind on stuff for work...because that greets me every week and I've got to somehow find time to deal with it in between being in court all day.
Is it too late to become a trophy wife??

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Well, nevermind...

So, after much debating on my part and weighing of the potential pros and cons, I finally settled on Option B, living in an apartment closer to work.  I thought this might be a needed change of scenery for me.  Unfortunately, YKW still works at the restaurant that is literally 2 minutes away from my apartment, meaning that EVERY TIME I LEAVE MY APARTMENT I have to see it and be reminded of him.  So, even if I'm not thinking about him at the moment, suddenly, WHAM, there's his work and oooooh, yeah... So, I thought that, even though I don't necessarily want to live that far away from my friends and family, changing scenery might be a smart move...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Things Fall Apart

I've been really trying to stay above the ocean of despair, depression, and bitterness that I'm currently swimming in. I am trying to stay afloat and not get overwhelmed. But things seem to continue to pile up and pile on. I'm running on empty and I'm feeling incredibly haggard.
I'm still hurting from being carelessly tossed aside by my husband and still trying to deal with the emotional trauma of that whole ordeal.  That alone should be more than enough for one person to deal with. But on top of that, work has been just running me into the ground since the first of the year. I had to total up what I did from Feb. 14 through about March 23 and I had 92 court hearings, including 5 contested omnibus hearings, and three briefs due within 18 days of each other. One due on Feb. 28, one on March 5, and the last due on March 16.  So work has taken on a whole new level of grueling. 
The combination of heartache and being run into the ground at work has bleed over into almost every other aspect of my life. I'm more tired than I normally am; I am frequently later in paying bills bc I've been forgetting to pay them bc my brain is in such a fog; my house is a disaster zone that I never have time or energy to clean except the very minimal, basic things.  I rarely have time to actually go grocery shopping, instead stopping at the Target on my way home from work to grab some milk, cereal, and Totino's party pizzas.
Then of course there is the problem of my finances being a hot mess, since I can't afford to cover all the bills I'm stuck with on my own. So that is another stressor to deal with. And it appears that my Option A living arrangement is now unlikely to pan out, since I have cats. So, that kind of just fell totally apart rather suddenly.
I'm trying as hard as I can to keep trudging along and not let myself get totally overcome by despair but I am not sure how much more strength I've got in me. I feel like I'm coming undone.
People have told me that I'm handling things well but the truth is that I'm really not handling things well. I'm just really good at putting up a convincing facade. I pretend like I'm fine, I pretend like I can laugh and have fun and be carefree and that at the end of the day, I'm content with my life. It's all one enormous lie. I'm not okay in any way. I'm just a skilled actor.
I'm miserable, I'm unhappy, I'm scared about what will happen, I'm anxious, I'm stressed, I'm tired, and I'm feeling defeated. I can barely drag myself out of bed on some days. I go home from work with just enough time to eat something, crawl into bed and do crossword puzzles to keep my mind off the pain I'm dealing with until I pass out.
Supposedly things will get better. That's what everyone keeps telling me. But I have yet to see any improvement. The only difference between now and when my life first exploded is that I'm better at lying about how I'm doing and I'm better at hiding how I'm really feeling.
But other than that, nothing has changed. Things just keep falling apart and as a result, I'm falling apart.