Friday, December 31, 2004

Just write a number. Any number, and you win.

It happened AGAIN. I'm sitting there, playing Scattergories with the folks, and the following happened.

Category: Things in the Ocean
Letter: "C"

Mom: "Crustaceans"
Dad: "Crabs"
Me: "Cornbread"

I thought it said "Things in the OVEN." This time I was laughing so hard I couldn't even say it, my mom had to read it off my slip of paper and then she just about died too. My God, what is wrong with me...besides the obvious fact that I am playing Scattergories deep in the heart of the boonies with my parents and going to bed at 10pm on New Year's Eve. And also blogging about what a loser I am. It just gets worse and worse. At least I have a filthy romance novel with no redeeming social or literary value whatsoever to keep me company. Which, I guess, technically, just makes me an even bigger loser than I was two sentences ago. On that high note, I'm off to bed. Happy New Years!!!

Don't feed the bears.

You know what makes Mama Spatula's eyes bug out real far and the veins in her temples get all huffy puffy? If you touch up your dark red hair dye over her fabulously expensive carpet and then wash it out in her marble shower. You should try it. Kinda funny.

Not to worry, I didn't spill any and I squeegeed (how the eff is that spelled?) the shower. All is well.

I got some new super fabulous hot pink yarn today so if I finish another scarf before I have to go back to the TVPNM on Sunday I'll post a pic. Which makes me also remember that I'm considering getting a digital camera. Nothing fancy...just something that's small enough to fit in an air vent my purse with moderate memory and no super fancy stuff. A starter camera. Suggestions from my technologically able readers?

Screws just fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.

Due to my newfound meditational crocheting and my natural zen-arific nature, I'm able to let the stress of yesterday go, and start anew today. Unfortunately, it's only 9am PST so I don't have much to report, but you know, I'm trying to get my relaxation on.

There are some little odds and end that I've been thinking about though.

First, I want to give the world's hugest shout-out to my friend Joe, who has quit smoking after A LONG TIME of being a heavy smoker. I don't know how long, but I would guess at least 15 years. He hasn't had a cigarette in 7 weeks. Joe, you rock! Way to be ahead of the curve come New Years Resolution time!

Second, when I got up this morning my dad's clothes were all laid out just like he was sitting on the couch, complete with slippers, only he wasn't in them. I was worried he had been abducted by aliens, but he came back, so I guess it's OK. I still don't know why his clothes were like that. Weird.

Third, my friend LQ and I have been thinking about starting a bakery/law office called The Queen of Torts. She makes the.best.cupcakes.ever, and I (as already stated below) make a mean snickerdoodle. And we both have a cursory knowledge of the law. What could be wrong about this? My mom suggested I sell my scarves there and then we could call it Scarfing Torts, and that seems pretty good too. I heart my mom.

Fourth, if you haven't played Bejeweled 2 yet, you don't know what you're missing. Holy crap, it's the best thing ever invented. We'll just see if I can ever make it through classes again without it (just kidding if any of my prof's read this, and also, if you are one of my profs and you read this, I *swear* I am generally much more mature in real life than this blog would tend to indicate). It's over at MSN under Free Games. Go. Now.

Fifth, I have a busy, busy day ahead of me...Mama Spatula and I are headed to a couple of stores to look for some good unique yarn for our crocheting, and then the whole fam (all 3 of us, plus probably Molly the Satanic Dog since she's a princess and goes everywhere with us) is going to the one decent local Mexican joint for New Year's dinner.

Sixth, I *may* try to write some resolutions or something, and I may either do serious ones or funny ones, or I may not do them at all since Rufus made me feel all shamefaced and embarassed for even considering doing it. It remains to be seen if I'm going to, first of all, make the time, and second of all, actually USE the time for anything productive. Seems doubtful.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

On NO you didn't!!!

I think this speaks for itself. A witty rejoinder by f/k/a to my comments in the post below this one. I'm so hurt...wait, no...I'm :( .

update [7 PM]: Special (Legal) Ed? In addition to emoticons, Energy Spatula seems fail gray s:
to need captions explaining the topic being covered. Apparently, I should have said
(slowly, with tiny words): "I am not talking about whether AL is funny or likeable
or good at what he's doing. The topic of this blurb is whether a satirist agrees with the conduct described."


I guess I can console myself with the thought that, even though I didn't get into Harvard, at least I can crochet. And also, one time I got to go to explosives training in the Air Force and blow some shit up...that was pretty cool. And I make a mean snickerdoodle. Take that!

If anyone cares, here's the exact text of David's comment at Notes from the (Legal) Underground:

This morning, I am not willintg to think very hard about the definitional nuances of "satire". It seems to me that AL falls in that category, which to me includes using hyperbole and focusing on the faults rather than virtues of the subject institution. That said, I am always amazed at otherwise intelligent people who believe that the writer of satire condones the conduct described. I guess we live in a world where authors need to use lots of emoticons to keep the readers in tune.

I'm also tired hearing from lawyers [who for a living often select facts to make their client look good and the opponent look bad, in the service of advocacy] complain when the faults of the profession are depicted. Admitting the faults is a lot more likely to gain public respect than covering them up or imposing Omerta.
The context of the comment is a post by Evan regarding different senses of humor and why some people think AL is very funny and some don't think it's so great. The comment itself is directed (I believe -- I have no empirical evidence for this belief, but I still have it anyway, I'm illogical like that, if that's even a word) at Larry's post regarding her thoughts on AL. And, once again, I *believe* that the comment seems to say that "otherwise intelligent people" can't understand a blog like AL as satire because we (the "otherwise intelligent" readers) are unable to understand the subtle satirical stylings of AL without some emoticons to help us out.

See, I get it. I still don't think it's funny. :( If I did think it was funny I would do this so my "otherwise intelligent" readers would know... :) And, if I wanted to flirt with my readers I would do this... ;) Sometimes it's not enough to wear a lowcut shirt and try to look satirical. You guys sometimes need help, and that's what I'm here for.

Why can't we all just get along?

I'm a big ole Texas dummy!

Gosh, I just hope that one day I can be smart enough to understand Anonymous Lawyer. According to this guy the reason I don't like it or think it's funny is because I'm too stupid to understand anything not written with emoticons. Wow. Glad I got that cleared up. Do you think I can get one of those special notetakers at school...someone who will attend all my classes with me and translate all my notes into emoticons so I don't flunk out of my not-Harvard-so-it-must-be-crappy law school?

I'm so glad I finally understand...the world has been a mystery for far too long.

PS: See the comments to this Legal Underground post for all the other reasons us mere mortals just don't get it.

I need help!

I can't stop the damn dirty crocheting. Pretty soon everything in my house will be covered with doilies and I'll have 9 cats, 4 parakeets, and a tank full of dead fish with cat food floating in it. I started a pink scarf last night and finished it this morning. Once again, your model is Molly the Satanic Dog. It's pretty funny too because now whenever she sees me coming with the digital camera she sits down and sort of leans in real close to me because she knows if she lets me take her picture she gets a Cheeto. She loves Cheetos. See how my life is stranger than fiction? Anyway, behold, the magic princess cotton candy-esque pink scarf...my fave so far...out of two. Larry, if you want one, just say the word! :)



Wednesday, December 29, 2004

E. Spat on Croissant Shaped Paperweights

Holy shit you guys, someone read something I wrote here and it actually made them think about...life and stuff...and whether to go to law school. I'm so proud...not because they would second guess law school, because if it's what they really want then I think that's fab-yoo-less, but just that something I wrote was actually semi-coherent enough to provoke thought in another living, breathing, sentient human being. Hooray!

I'm a one-woman scarf making machine!

I finally finished my very first scarf. It's definitely not the greatest scarf ever crocheted, but it's not that bad either. I made Molly the Satanic Dog model it for you since she's such a prissy diva and she loves to model (and eat scarves...and hummingbirds...hence the name). I'm also throwing in a pic of Molly with her new Christmas toy, we're calling it her "cavebaby" since it sort of looks like a caveman and she carries it with her everywhere (by its huge bulging eyes no less) and sleeps with it and just generally coddles it...except when she's trying to break its neck. Whenever my dad comes into the room Molly picks up the cavebaby and shakes it real hard till it's dead and then gives it to him. It's kind of sweet in a sick way. I think she's in love.






Beavers are funny.

You'll notice in the comments to this post that I suggested The Hot Librarian make us one of her special fine-art renderings of what happens when Beavers and The Irish collide. Behold...art.

He put the "Law" in Law & Order.

I am currently trying to get some work done, but saw that Jerry Orbach of Law and Order had died. That's kind of sad...I thought he was great on that show. It always made me laugh when he would try to relate to someone he met by talking about how awful his ex-wives were or he would ask people if they knew "Bill W.". It's like the end of an era!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Beware...long, boring, angst filled post ahead. Read at your own risk.

I am grouchy. And grumpy. I'm in a funk...a mood...a good old fashioned wallow. Do you ever wonder if any of your relationships are real? I was (finally) watching my back episodes of Boston Legal tonight, and I watched the one where my boyfriend James Spader almost gets killed and is surprised to find out that people love him and would miss him if he was gone. It just makes you think about whether or not you're making a difference in the world. For instance, there is a student organization that I am the president of, and it means a lot to me, and I work very, very hard trying to make good things happen. And no one returns my emails. Should I just quit? Do people actually just not care about the difference you try to make for them? And this whole blogging thing...I mean...why the hell do I spend a couple of hours a day pouring my heart out to virtual strangers on the internet, who, as it turns out, probably know me better than most of the people in my life...the answer is, because (in my own mind) you (presumably) take the time to read (most of) what I write. That's more than I can say for many of the people I see in school every day who can't even remember simple details about my life I've told them 87 times. This is totally not directed at the people who are my good friends, I *hope* that you know who you are...but sometimes it's so tiring to feel like you constantly have to try and reach out over and over again to people and try to form decent friendships when it seems like they could pretty much take you or leave you. In general, I feel conflicted...I hate always being the person to pursue friendships and always trying to keep in touch and make plans...but I hate not feeling like I have people I can count on when I need them, so in order to have that security (or false security) I have to pursue friendships which then leaves me feeling like I am putting forth a lot of effort for people who don't really care much for me or about me (once again, totally not directed at anyone in my immediate circle of friends).

I grew up all over the world, and way before email and blogs...and so I didn't keep up much with the people I knew over the years. I went to four high schools. I moved about 15 times before college, and another 7 or 8 times since. And I can honestly say the only long-term friend I have is M...I mean, I hear from a couple of others once in a while, but they are mostly all military brats too and they're spread out all over the place. Everyone from my past has just sort of disappeared. I feel sad when I come "home" to this city that I wasn't raised in, where I don't know anyone but my Mom and Dad, where I didn't go to school, or learn to drive, or get married...and there's no one here I know. But I feel sad when I go to my other "home" too...in a city I decided to move to in order to attend law school because it was close to my parents, where I don't know anyone except the few good friends I've made at school, where I have no past, no history, and probably no future since I have no ties and so don't feel compelled to stay there. In one sense, it's very freeing to feel like after law school I can go anywhere I want if I find the right job (if I can convince anyone to hire me without "ties" to their area), but in another sense it makes me wonder if anyone will even notice when I move away. Everyone will graduate, get married and/or have babies and/or get great wonderful jobs, and just ease into the next stage of their lives and I *know* that I will still feel compelled to keep up with them, and to write, and I'll truly want to hear about their lives and their husbands and wives and babies and jobs. But, somehow, I know that if I didn't make the effort to keep up with them, they wouldn't keep in touch with me.

I don't know where I was going with this post. It's very whiny and so I apologize. I've been feeling a real struggle lately with balancing who I want to be with who other people want me to be. It seems like the less I want to fit into a fixed category or mold, the more uncomfortable people are. And so they do the strangest thing. They put me into whatever category is comfortable for them, and then treat me that way regardless of what I'm actually like. I don't know what I'm trying to say...I wish I was a better writer and more articulate, because in my mind this is all rolling around and it at least *kind of* makes sense...not that you can tell from reading the last couple of paragraphs.

People don't get me. Maybe that's the whole crux of my angst. I am officially Holden from The Good Girl. I'm too intensified for everyone...that must be it. Damnit. I wanted to be deeper than that.

It's late. I'm going to bed. Maybe not back tomorrow...back Thursday probably...tomorrow I'm going shopping with Mama Spatula...retail therapy.

Newsflash!

There's a headline on the front page of the Boonieville Gazette tonight that reads:

Beavers, Irish Clash Tonight.

For some reason I thought that was funny. Probably because it says Beavers. Not that I'm totally immature or anything.

The Boredom Dimension.

The weirdest thing about visiting my parents is the fact that, although there is nothing to do here in Boonieville, my days are just sucked up and so busy that I feel like I can't get anything done. It's bizarre. Like, I get up around 7:30 or 8, we go for a hike around 9 or 9:30 which takes about an hour or a little longer, and then by the time I get home, get cleaned up, go run some errands with my mom, check my email to see if anyone loves and misses me, and wander around the kitchen eating cookies for a few minutes, it's 1:30 or 2. So, I generally try to use the afternoons to get some work done, but then something always happens. Like today my uncle came over for a visit and that ate up over an hour of my afternoon and it's almost 3 and I have gotten nothing done all day. Grrrr.

Anyway, that entire paragraph was my way of saying that I am probably not going to get anything substantive up today...besides, nothing interesting has happened today anyway. Not even one good game of Tiger Woods Golf to report on. I did rent Garden State to watch later today or tomorrow, so maybe then I'll have something to say...I think I'm the last person in the 25-40 age demographic that hasn't seen it...what can I say, I've been busy!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Are you English or retarded?

Played Scattergories tonight with the family (for those who don't know, you have a list of things, you roll a die and get a letter, and you have to try to guess the things on your list that start with that letter...basically) and here's how it went:

Category: Things in a desert
Letter: "S"

Mom: "Snakes"
Dad: "Sand dunes"
E. Spat: "Streusel"

I thought it said "dessert." I am officially the world's biggest loser. My dad goes "Uhh...we changed our minds, we want to find another lawyer. One that can read." My mom and I laughed until we cried. Sheesh.

I'm a piece of work...

In Milbarge[sic]* style...here's E. Spat At Large:

What I am doing at work: Just trying to get my 80 hours for this month done so I won't feel guilty about spending the paycheck. My project is mostly research but there is some writing which I have yet to even start because I'm horribly intimidated by trying to "summarize" HUGE overarching federal regulations into one page or less. I am mostly doing a lot of pretty interesting reading, translating that into a spreadsheet for my employer that looks like Mrs. McGee's third grade class came up with it, and avoiding writing anything altogether. I'm sure right now they wish they'd hired someone else...someone with academic prowess and mad summarizing skillz.

What I am doing at home: Playing a damn lot 0f 2005 Tiger Woods Golf, consuming HUGE amounts of Diet Coke, playing with Molly the Satanic Dog, trying to get some work done, and trying to spend time with the family. I've taken SO many hikes and walks since I've been here, I keep forgetting to tick some miles off my Sin City counter, but I bet we walk about 4-5 miles a day between our morning hikes and our family walks with Molly every night. Not that it's near enough to combat the sheer number of cookies I've eaten. I am also waiting for my parents to leave the house for more than 2 minutes so I can watch the two episodes of Boston Legal I have TiVO'd.

What I'm listening to: "License To Chill" by Jimmy Buffett. I hadn't really given it a good listen before I got here, but it's been on rapid rotation for the past few days since my parents seem to enjoy it and usually the only thing they listen to in the car is Praise and Worship music...so you can imagine my delight at finding something else they'll listen to.

What I'm reading: As usual, dirty dirty romance novels, and I'm about to start the new Jimmy Buffett book, "A Salty Piece of Land" which M. gave me for Christmas. I also just finished (for work) Safeguarding Privacy in the Fight Against Terrorism: Report of the Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee, and a law review article by Orin Kerr on the USA Patriot Act.

What I'm thinking about: I've been thinking a lot about my upcoming 30th birthday. I am alternately worried, stressed out, happy to be out of my stupid 20's, and disappointed that I haven't done many of the things I thought I would do by now...or, as M. pointed out, I've done them...just poorly. I am also thinking about whether or not to have a real birthday party or just try to get my friends together for dinner or something. Aside from aging angst, I am thinking about all the stuff I still have to do before school starts a week from today. And, I had a dream last night that I bought this guy in my class at school sushi and chocolates, and so I've been thinking about what that might mean...I HATE sushi, but I LOVE chocolates and I generally don't must like the guy, so it's strange. Last, and certainly least, I've been thinking about New Year's Resolutions...generally, I have the same one every year. But I'm wondering if it's time to make some new ones...so I might have to come up with something between now and this weekend. I am also thinking about the fact that they have TiVO's at Costco for 269.99 (no tax here) with a $100 rebate...does anyone know the monthly service fee?

What I'm NOT thinking about: Those little ribbon magnets on cars, people who can't seem to ever get their flags up properly, the terrible side-effects of aspartame, whether or not I got a decent grade in Free Expression, the fact that I almost definitely need glasses, the hard water at my parents house (they use a well) which makes me kind of itchy, and why all combination fruit juices insist on putting bananas in...yuck.

* Milby, I am so sorry...I just can't help it, it's too funny to resist!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Soon the whole world will be covered in scarves!

I am one step closer to world scarf domination. There are still a lot of...uh...issues...with my crocheting, namely that I suck. But, you'll notice that it's all the right width now, and looks rather scarfy, except that I ran out of yarn because it was just scrap from one of my mom's projects. But still, I think I'm getting better.

The day after....

The Christmas Highlight Reel:

- My dad riding his bike in circles in the front yard with Molly chasing him because he didn't have time to take her for a long walk.

- Me opening the two sided knife sharpener my parents gave me, the picture on the box of which depicts on the one hand a man sharpening a knife, and on the other hand a man sharpening an AX, and going "Well, thank God! I've SO been meaning to sharpen my ax!"...and my dad responding "Severing heads will take the sharp edge off QUICK!"...and my mom laughing. Ahhhh...nothing like a happy Christmas morning story about severed heads.

- M. calling me and telling me that she had an epiphany...she actually has...wait for it...annoying habits. She apparently is such a total princess that she had no idea until yesterday that she was anything less than perfect in any way...not that I think she's less than perfect. That would disturb our carefully balanced dual reciprocating co-dependent system of total permission and support no matter how bad, badly planned, or badly executed the behavior if one of us was...well, less than. It can't be true!

- FINALLY getting money from the relatives who usually just take the $20 and buy something dumb from the Avon catalog...I would MUCH rather have the $20...really!

- Last but not least, my dad and I got the new 2005 Tiger Woods Golf for the X-box. Not only did we watch the Long Drive Challenge AND the Special Skills Challenge, but we played an insane amount of X-box golf...INSANE! We had to build our characters again which took like four hours...no one in the family is willing to have a character who is less than ideal...and then we played two rounds of 18 holes as a family last night, and today all three of us have already played individual games. We're sick for the Tiger Woods Golf around here.

- Overall, I got nice presents, the whole family was in a good mood and got along, and my mom made some fantabulous food and we all stuffed ourselves silly...it was great.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Presents and stuff....

We went and saw Flight of the Phoenix tonight, personally, I loved it. Not sure it's everyone's cup of tea, but it had high drama, hot boys without their shirts on, and no stupid lovey-dovey storyline screwing it up. Hoorah.

Then we came home and indulged ourselves in the Spatula family tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve. Traditionally I think this was an exercise invented by my parents to keep me from bugging the shit out of them all night, and now, it's just kind of sad. It's really just the three of us as far as presents go, so we open one present each, and then we each have like three left over for tomorrow -- and half of them are gift certificates. Yet another reason getting old sucks.

However, with all that being said, we are watching a traditional Christmas movie as well tonight, Coyote Ugly...it's on TV...perhaps in an effort to counteract the fact that 90 of the 200 or so stations my parents get via satellite are playing A Christmas Story with that little creep Peter Billingsley -- I HATE that movie!

I have to go now, I have crocheting to practice if I'm going to make everyone a nice scarf by next Christmas. I may or may not be back tomorrow, but I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend with their family, regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof, and that you've all started to think about what to get me for my birthday -- only 18 shopping days left.

When booze and coke go terribly wrong.

You are probably wondering (I know I was) how someone ends up with a pair of cooking tongs up their ass. And, as it turns out, I have the answer for you (not from personal knowledge of course...I read it on the internets).

1. Get mobile home.
2. Do shitloads of cocaine and booze in said mobile home.
3. Invite in two strange women that are walking by to share your booze, coke, and mobile home.
4. Black out and wake up "in pain."
5. Have cousin take you to hospital.
6. Have doctors surgically remove an object identified as "one half of a pair of food tongs."

There you have it. I hope everyone's holiday wishes come true...just like this guy's.

Just Because: A Boy and his Dog

Tom Cruise

Ricky Martin

Olivier Martinez

Thursday, December 23, 2004

No really, I'm just teaching my four year old cousin to crochet...this isn't something I did...oh hell no.

Here's my first foray into crocheting...I started out kinda OK...and ended up with a shape I like to call the rectangoval. Oh well. I am confident that I will soon be making scarf masterpieces.




Mr. Postman

Actual phone call from my mom, just now:

Mama Spatula: "Hey, can you do me a favor?"
Me: "Ummmm...sure, what?"
MS: "Go out to the mailbox, and if the mailman hasn't come yet, take out the card I left in there with his Christmas money in it because I addressed it to 'Mr. Mailman' and now I feel guilty that I don't know his name so I'm going to call the post office, find out his 'real' name, and then leave it out there tomorrow."

Did I go out to the end of the very long driveway, in the freezing cold, in my pajamas and retrieve the envelope? Yes I did. Am I wearing pajamas even though it is 11:15? Yes I am. Does our mailman apparently get a hefty cash bonus for, well, doing his job? Yes, it would appear so. Is my mom totally insane on many levels? Yes, absolutely.

PS: I have like nine million gmail invites if anyone wants one (OK, really it's about 12, but god...they multiply at night like gremlins or something.

PS pt. 2: Who wants to read this 75 page law review article on the USA Patriot Act and summarize it for me in 25 words or less?

We're going to the post office, and the bank, and then I'm going to get TUTORED!

The saddest thing in the whole world is when my mom leaves to go somewhere and Molly the Satanic Dog is SOOOOO excited and prancing all around behind her because they're gonna go in the car, and then my mom goes "No Molly, you have to stay behind with sister [she really does say that...no respect I tell ya -- ed.] and take a nap." And poor Molly, you can just see the happiness fade out of her big dumb dog eyes when she realizes that not only is my mom leaving, but she's going for a RIDE, in the CAR, without her. I'm telling you, if I didn't have a heart three sizes too small it would bring a tear to my eye.

Of course, that is only about 1/10 as sad as when my dad leaves, because then Molly not only sits by the door in total disbelief that he would leave without her, but after about five minutes she will heave this HUGE sigh, hunker down on the mat in front of the door, put her head on her paws, and just stare up at the doorknob with big baleful dog eyes, just hoping that any minute the doorknob will turn and it will be Daddy Spatula who all of the sudden remembered that he forgot his most important girl and came back to rescue her from an entire day of taking naps and patroling the entire interior perimeter of the house every half hour to ascertain whether there are any new crumbs that could be snarfed up. I swear, watching her do this walk around the house over and over is like watching a whale siphon plankton or something...none of us can actually see these microscopic crumbs, but Molly constantly has her nose glued to the floor and I'm convinced she is sucking up minute cookie crumbs (we eat a lot of cookies around here) and altogether, over the course of the day, she's actually eating like 15.3 pounds of cookies or something. It's bizarre.

When I grow up I don't WANNA be a lawyer...I wanna be a PRINCESS!

Today I am *trying* to get some work done...my parents are both gone doing their various activities, so it's just me and Molly the Satanic Dog having some alone-time and thinking about the Fourth Amendment. Last night I wrapped Christmas presents, and if possible, my present wrapping skills are even less fully developed than my knitting skills. I feel like God is trying to tell me that I wasn't meant to be artsy craftsy. It's weird, because my mom is SUPER artsy craftsy, and is, in fact, an artist. And I have no artistic skill whatsoever. My dad is SUPER math guy, even has a degree in math, and is a pilot, and a crazy Type-A spock-ish logical thinker. Needless to say, I am not really any of those things either. I guess I am probably pretty Type-A, but I think I sublimate it well most of the time. So, what I'm saying is that I totally lost in the genetic lottery -- I have all the useless skills from both parents. Tone deaf like my dad -- check! Never think I'm smart enough like my mom -- check! I will say this for myself, I make some pretty badass baked goods on occassion, and I think I have my mom to thank for that. I always joke with my mom that my real dad is a UPS guy or a milk man or something, but the more I think about how I don't have any of their amazing talents, the more I wonder if there is some beer-drinking, Jimmy Buffett-loving, joke-telling traveling salesman out there that remembers this one house he went to about 30 years ago where the lady of the house was *extra* nice. Not that my mom would ever do that of course. Because she's a saint. Obviously.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. It's time to get to real work. I added (I hope it works) a thumbnail under "News and Stuff" of my friend Nikolai's artwork, and hopefully if you click it then it will take you to his website. That's the whole thing that got me on this subject, thinking about people who are artistically talented and why I'm not.

I'm off to do my research.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me figuring out how to do something old people do in their sleep.

Oh my god. My mom decided to start me out on crocheting, because she thinks it's easier than knitting. It basically IS knitting, only instead of two needles, there is one needle and a finger. If crocheting was a team sport my jersey would say "Corky" on the back, because I am totally retarded at this.* It's so hard. So far I have a tiny square of effed up stitches that look kind of like what happens to yarn after cats play with it. Also, at one point I crocheted my finger into the yarn ball thing and had about 1/192 of a mitten I guess. I always see my mom doing this stuff and it looks so easy, she just sits and watches TV and like three hours later there is a queen size afghan with beautiful stripes of color and patterns in it...I just sat for an hour and have a very lovely thimble coaster.

But, I am undeterred. If I can get the hang of this, then knitting is on the near horizon. There will be scarves for everyone. And world peace. And Diet Coke. And Cabana Boys. YAY!


*I mean that in the most non-offensive to mentally challenged people way possible.

E.Spat Designs Unlimited

My mom is teaching me to knit scarves, so presumably I will also soon know how to knit potholders (a small scarf) and afghans for the couch (a very large scarf). If I ever figure it out with any degree of non-retardedness I will post one of my efforts. Right now they look like something that you would buy at a charity auction of second grade art projects. But, I'm on it. I heart scarves. And knitting. And any activity that keeps me from going stark raving mad out here in the boonies.

My parents just went off to play golf for the first time since I've been home...sweet, sweet alone-ness. I love them so much, and I love hanging out with them, but I also love that feeling of being totally alone in the house and just knowing that I can do anything I want, including blog with the door open...which makes blogging sound much dirtier and more illicit than it really is. I feel like I'm hiding a terrible addiction or something!

Anyway, I still don't feel like Christmas is on Saturday even though my mom put a bunch of presents under the tree and made like thirty different kinds of cookies...I'm still hoping that in the next few minutes I will somehow just come down with the Christmas spirit, like a sudden onset flu-bug. I hope everyone else is feeling more merry and mirthful than I am.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Like a Bad Date...but with the potential for forever!

Well, I ran out of bad date stories (not really, but I decided to quit at 5), so I am starting a new feature...Stupid Things My Ex-Husbands Said or Did That Make Me Glad I'm Not Married To Them Anymore. First off, let me fill you in on Ex#1...I don't plan on using a name or anything too specific, mostly because he's not someone I ever want to hear from again (in addition to the fact that he's a TOTAL criminal now, just believe me on this one) and so it just makes me feel better to not go into specifics too much.

Ex#1: Ex#1 was a really good friend in my senior year of high school, who I had a HUGE crush on, who I always thought was too good for me (a thought that he worked very hard to foster). Looking back, I have no idea why I thought that (well, I kinda do...once again, he worked hard at it). He was a good-looking guy, probably too good-looking for his own good (and, he thought, far too good looking for me), but not really that smart, and just complete trash through and through. He came from a single-wide trailer that housed his dad, his dad's third wife, the wife's four daughters, the dad and third-wife's son, and the Ex's two other brothers. Plus there was a brother and sister out of the house already (and by "out of the house" I mean "in prison"). Yeah, that's right...10 kids. And one part-time job amongst the adults of the house...so the Ex provided quite a bit of family financial support, which I think is part of why I initially liked him...he seemed to have potential for being a good responsible person. As it turned out, he had neither the internal fortitude nor the strength of character, even with my total unwavering support and utter undying devotion, to escape his upbringing and roots.

So, in light of all that, here's some of the stupidest things he ever said to me while we were married.

In response to an argument, where, apparently I was speaking a little too fast for him to keep up with: "Quit talking so fast, I know you're just doing that to confuse me."

In response to me telling him to quit cussing while yelling at me: "Yeah right, as if 'Fuck' is a cuss word!"

In response to me finding letters from other women describing all the things they had done with him/would like to do him (including his apparent desire for a scratch and sniff nude picture from a girl with the stripperific name of Angelica): "Those letters are just joke letters from the guys at work...that's why I kept them, because they're jokes...they're funny...really. I mean, who would be stupid enough to keep letters from girls he's been having sex with who aren't his wife?" Who indeed?

In response to a $200 cable bill I received while he was deployed...$200 worth of porn movies: "I didn't watch those movies. Some of my friends must have come into the house while we were sleeping and watched those movies because they knew we would get stuck with the bill."

In response to me, while we were separated, walking into the bank to find his girlfriend (the girl he was having an affair with) sitting on his lap: "It's not how it looks, we're just friends! She's engaged to my friend Bill. Why would I cheat on you with her, and why would she cheat on him with me, right out in the open at the bank we all use?" Again, why indeed?

In response to his dad calling me the C-word...the four letter not nice one: "Well, I mean...you are kind of a snob." Oh yeah, you know me...with my high-falutin higher education and wanting more from my life than a single-wide full of creepy little kids I can't afford to support...I'm such a snob.

In response to me finding a porn mag under the mattress in the spare bedroom the DAY my extremely puritanical parents were due to arrive for Christmas: "I bought it for the articles. Look, there's an article in here about those aliens they have in Roswell and Area 51. I had to read it for work!"

In response to me finding out he wasn't at work when he said he would be at work: "I had to go downtown, TO BUY YOU A PRESENT, and my car broke down and I couldn't get to work." The further response to the fact that I had actually called work and he wasn't even scheduled that day was "They are just jealous of me and they're trying to get me into trouble with you." Why? "Because I'm so good at my job everyone wants to bring me down."

Anyway, perhaps tomorrow or the next day we'll revisit some of the highlights of marriage #2...the one I think of as "Fun, but still a totally stupid idea."

You're gonna have to pry it from my cold dead hand!

At the Spatula House there is only one rule. No Diet Pepsi. We are SLAVES to the Diet Coke around here. Not only do we snatch up Diet Coke merchandise like total freaks, but we start out every day with gigantic cups of Diet Coke before most people are even out of bed. And seriously, do not try to bring Diet Pepsi into this house because my parents are shooters...they have guns and they shoot traitors on sight. So, the upshot of all this addiction in one house is that I not only get all of my Diet Coke needs met on a daily basis, but they are routinely *exceeded*. Every day, every single damn day, my dad and I go to the one 7-11 in town and we buy Diet Cokes (Super Big Gulp for me, regular Big Gulp for him). Every day. The old guy that works there is named Woody. He's surly. The manager is Ellen. She's nice (and has a bit of a crush on my dad I think).

So, today, we went for our family walk (every morning at 9:30 rain or shine), and then my dad and I headed up to 7-11. And the first thing that happened was that they were out of his brand of hot peanuts. My dad has to have hot peanuts with his Diet Coke. HAS TO HAVE THEM. He'll settle for Planters, but he likes some other brand (the name of which escapes me right now). His brand comes 2 little sleeve packs for $1, and he splits them with Molly the Satanic Dog. She loves hot peanuts. So, they were out of his brand, which made him cranky. But, we got up to the counter and the girl was new...she didn't know us *horrors*.

However, despite her newness, she caught on quick (probably because when we walked in everyone in the store went "NORM!"...just kidding), and offered us EACH a certificate for a free Big Gulp between now and New Years. YAY! And then...the following exchange.

Girl: "So, you guys come here every day?"
Me and Dad: "Yup, every day...we love the Diet Coke...gotta have the Diet Coke."
Girl: "Well, in addition to the free Big Gulp coupons I have these ones for a free burrito or hot dog."
Dad: *politely* "Oh no thank you, we usually just get our Cokes and some peanuts."
Me: "OH MY GOD, my Mom would KILL US if we ate food from 7-11."
Dad: *totally embarrassed by my outburst*
Girl: "Well....."
Me to Dad: "Well, Molly might like to have a hot dog!"
Girl: *perks up* "Oh well, would you like a certificate then for Molly?"
Me: *scornfully* "Molly is our dog."
Dad: "Thank you so much, that's very kind but no thank you...we HAVE TO GO NOW."

My poor dad, he was so embarrassed, and none of what I said was meant to be mean at all, I started out just trying to fill in conversational space and somehow became a bad guy. Oops.

Anyway, last night we went and looked at Christmas lights...my dad left the windows down so Molly could see the lights, despite the fact that it was about 20 degrees outside...he goes "Well, I guess you should have worn your coat." Uh huh...yeah, I always wear my coat when I'm going to be nowhere but in the car...the car that has a heater. Today I am hoping to get the rest of my Christmas shopping done since I have to drop my mom off at an appointment later and then I have the car for an hour and a half.

I can't believe Christmas is on Saturday...it is NOT beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. I still can't believe we're past Halloween!!!

Total Badass

My friend LQ, who Beefy is staying with, snapped this awesome picture of him...her husband held up a mirror so Beefy would get all up into his little fighting posture. Ladies and gentlemen, Beefy McManstick Badass Spatula, in Total Badass mode!


Monday, December 20, 2004

The neverending story of my life.

I came home for the break only to be confronted with the fact that (a) my job has paid me for this entire month, for which I am expected to perform 80 hours of work, and (b) it is Dec. 20th and I have performed approximately 10 hours of work so far due to exams and stuff. So, right now I have to do a minimum of about 6 or 7 hours of work every day that I'm home in order to justify the paycheck I'm about to cash and spend on presents and probably booze and glitter nailpolish. I worked diligently today and got a spreadsheet set up and started filling it in with the stuff I'm researching. Even though it's pretty crappy I sent it to my boss anyway so he'll know I'm doing *something* besides cashing my check and making excuses about exams for why I haven't done shit yet.

My mom is SO sad that I have to work over break. Usually we go do stuff together all day and run errands and shop and stuff and now I have to sit in the computer room all day and do work and she mopes around the house looking for reasons to interrupt me and talk to me. Today she just HAD to clean the ceiling fan, and bring me cookies, and ask me questions, and tell me something funny Molly the Satanic Dog had done. It's pathetic really. So, in light of all that, I am going to go right now and spend some quality mother/daughter time with her and finish another two or three hours of work tonight after they go to bed (which is easy when they go to bed at 9:30pm every night).

Also, in totally unrelated news, of the four presents I bought for my parents, they each already have one of the things I bought them. I am therefore hovering at about a 50% success rate so far in terms of Christmas presents...why is it so hard to pick something out that isn't dumb and that people haven't already bought for themselves? I have been stressing about what to give M., but I have a couple of ideas...albeit ideas that will not, in any way, shape or form, come to fruition in time for Christmas. Good thing she loves me enough to realize that for me, the actual day of the holiday is more like a suggestion in terms of present giving...sometimes you have to wait for inspiration or for just the right opportunity. It's true.

Finally, and lastly, the weather here is gorgeous! I got out for about an hour today to hike with my mom up in the mountains, and when we went to the bank earlier it was 50, sunny, and blue skies. YAY! Last year we had a blizzard that caused me to not be able to get home for a couple days...so the nice weather is welcome...not that I wouldn't be happy to stay here and not go back to school.

Bad Date #5: Don't ask, don't tell. Please.

Bad Date #5 is a little story I like to call "Don't Ask the Question if you Don't Want to Know the Answer."

I don't even know if this technically qualifies as a date, but it was pretty bad (and it's a short story - yay!) so I'm gonna throw it in here.

Without even going into all the background (which would take weeks) I had been dating this guy, let's call him Lars (he had some crazy Scandinavian name) long distance for a couple of months. He finally came to visit me in Texas, and after I introduced him to all my friends at a great big dinner (they all hated him), we got a bottle of wine and went back to my place, where the plan was to sit in front of the fire and have a romantic evening.

We get home, get LARGE glasses of wine, and just sit there for a while, drinking and watching the fire. And then Lars says "E. Spat, can I tell you something?" And I, so happy that he's finally going to tell me he loves me, go "Of course" and just stare at him all lovey dovey and stupid.

And Lars goes, "One time, at a party, I made out with a man." Ummmm...oh. That's not what I was expecting. So, trying to figure out what to say, I just sort of mumble something like "Uh huh...oh...I see." And then, this is the worst part...he tells me the ENTIRE story..."See, I was at this party and there was this guy named Warren there and we are really drunk and somehow the next morning I ended up sleeping in the same bed as him...and I kind of liked it..." Oh. Uhhhhhh.... There were actually dates, etc...it was pretty awkward.

What can you say to a story like that? Let's just say the mood was pretty much killed.

Our relationship actually went on for awhile after this incident, but pretty much it was all downhill...and strangely, not because he had kissed a boy. Because, as it turned out, he was still kissing girls. A lot of them.

And, just for your edification, here are some interesting tidbits about Lars.

- I was making him a queen size quilt for Christmas and when we broke up (in the summer) I got so mad I sent him the unfinished quilt top that I had spent literally hundreds of hours on. Later on, when I decided I wanted it back, a friend of his asked him for it and he claimed I was lying and that I had never sent him anything like that.

- He broke up with me on my cell phone after I tracked him down because I hadn't heard from him in a week. He told me, and this is a direct quote "I just can't stop thinking about all the other girls I want to be effing." During the week I couldn't track him down it's because he was boning some girl he met on a trip for work.

- I had an opportunity once, on a trip that I took, to be with perhaps the most fantabulous man I have ever laid eyes on, and I turned it down because I don't cheat...ever. When I found out Lars had been cheating on ME, at least 50% of my anger was directed at the fact that I turned down perhaps the finest specimen of manflesh that is ever going to cross my path outside of my dreams.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Damnit...why do I always get the lump of coal.

I still don't have a car, and yet my parents have decided to pick up one of these as their THIRD car. Bah Humbug! Just kidding, they deserve it...and they're going to get rid of one of their other vehicles once they argue out who is going to lose their current ride. Although, they are also talking about getting one of these... but my mom REALLY wants the Mustang, so who knows. Technically she wants my dad to buy her a "muscle car" so she can "be cool and race people" and he told her if she wants one it has to be the Mustang since it has the new safety features and stuff. And yes, at one time in her life she actually used to drag race one of these. In the South. My mom effing rocks!

Also, I put links to all four Bad Date Stories so far here. I note there that I am happy to continue with Bad Date Stories, but am considering starting in on ex-husband stories...who wants to hear about the time Ex#1 told me to quit talking so fast because he knew I was doing it on purpose to confuse him?! God I have good taste in men.

My mom...just as crazy as she ever was.

I got here in one piece, no thanks to the airline or the evil people sitting all around me. But, my mom made biscuits this morning (State Fair Blue Ribbon Winners!), Molly is running all around in her antlers (scroll down a few days for a pic), and the house is all decorated for Christmas. YAY!

So, my mom has been growing her hair out for a few months now with only one goal in mind...the french braid. Every time I come home she makes me french braid it, she is looking for a new hairstylist because hers doesn't know how to french braid, and basically all she can talk about is french braiding, french braid technique, methods of securing the french braid...etc. This morning, after biscuits, my mom said that she's been practicing french braiding and she's "getting pretty good at it" and then proceeded to french braid her hair right in front of me (ooooohhhh...magic!!!) before they left for church. And at this point, one of the funniest things I've ever witnessed in my life happened.

Mom: "Your dad is going to learn to french braid so he can do my hair."
Dad: *looks sheepish*
Mom: "Go get your board honey and show E. Spat."
Dad: *runs into back room and comes back with his "board"*
Mom: "See, the ropes are like hair and that way he can practice while he watches TV. But you need to teach him because I can't do it except on my own hair. Do it right now. Papa Spat WATCH HER...quit playing with the dog and watch E. Spat do a french braid so you can learn."
Dad: *rolls eyes...keeps playing with dog*
Mom: "Don't you roll your eyes, you SAID you were going to learn to french braid and then YOU came up with the idea for the board so you could practice. Didn't you? Tell E. Spat the board was your idea."
Dad: "Uhhh...ummm...yes dear."
Mom: "Show her how you practice on the board."
Dad: "I have to go take a shower for church."
Mom: "He made that board, I don't know why he won't admit it now."

Yeah, who knows why he wouldn't admit it?! Anyway, I *had* to tell this story, with pics, for all of you who believe that I exaggerate Mama Spatula's strange ways. Behold...the homemade teach-your-husband-to-french-braid learning board.






PS: Beefy is staying with my friend, LQ, you can check him out right here...she will be posting updates on his status occassionally and she has a sweet digital camera....look at my little baby, he's so cute!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Santa baby, hurry down the chimney tonight.

Presents YAY!!

I am off to the airport for my crazy late night flight home. I think posting will be relatively normal over the break since I have A LOT of work to do and thus will be on the computer constantly. Or it won't. Either way, I'm sure my three loyal readers will still love me and the rest of you will just have to get your daily dose of idiocy in the archives or something.

My mom is a Christmas fiend...she's nuts. There is one tree that stays up and decorated all year. Yeah, I said ALL YEAR! Plus there will be a real one where the presents and stuff will be. And there will be cookies, and homemade goodies of all sorts, and macaroni and cheese, and walks on the golf course with Molly the Satanic Dog, and family hikes, and family bike rides, and rides to look at Christmas lights, and my mom's nutty collection of Christmas music (she loves those damn Muppets). I'm so excited. This is my favorite time of year. Finding the perfect present for everyone is my favorite challenge, and being able to finally spend holidays with my family after so many years away is just wonderful and fun and fabulous.

And, for an extra-special bonus, when I get back it will be the week before my birthday and I can be wracked with angst and you guys can leave me nice comments to help me get through it. It's gonna be fun for everyone!

PS: GOD, I hate those Pepto Bismol commercials with the people doing the All-Manners-Of-Intestinal-Discomfort Dance. ICKY! Now there's ones with elves doing it. GROSS!!!!

Bad Date #4...The Master of Surprise

UPDATE: By request in the comments, here are Bad Dates One, Two, and Three. You can expect Bad Date #5 tomorrow, and more stories are available if people are interested...just let me know. I could churn these out all day...as I said in some of the comments, I'm nearly 30, twice divorced, and have dated pretty much all the losers in the Northern Hemisphere. OR, I could start in on ex-husband stories, which are even better. Either way, I'm happy to be here and proud to serve (a little Air Force joke for those of you out of the loop).

I was going to wait until Monday for the next bad date story, but I'm bored and my plane doesn't leave until tonight, so here is #4 of my Top 5 Bad Dates Ever (also, just so we're all clear, I have an INFINITE number of bad date stories, I could do this for the next three months...these five dates were arbitrarily chosen for being generally bad and being safe for work...I've got a couple bad date stories that are funny, but I'm not sharing with you pervs).

Bad date #4 was named David. David was an electrician working on the construction crew that was building a new atrium cafe place in the building I worked at. I met David shortly after I lost a bunch of weight because I had really amped up my running (10+ miles a day) and I was taking boxing lessons at a real boxing place...not tae bo...actual boxing. I was about to go into the Air Force and I wanted to be in great shape, and I was. Anyway, since I was then the thinnest I had ever been (and thinner than I will ever be again), I was pretty much at the top of my game in terms of being able to get a hot guy. Instead, I decided to go out with David.

David actually was pretty hot...he just looked like a hot construction worker guy, complete with toolbelt and hardhat. And he was tall, so hooray for that. On the other hand, David had the IQ of a dead gerbil. After we broke up I would come to find out that David was pretty much a total drug addict. However, I just thought he was really stupid and that's why he was always late, drove a super-old Ford Bronco with flames painted on the side and the word "MONSTER" on the windshield, and basically couldn't hold a conversation about anything but himself.

David was late. Always late. Sometimes an hour or two. This drove me nuts because I am completely anal about timeliness, but I figured we weren't serious so why bother nagging? Well, we had gone on maybe three real dates (all bowling or a movie) and he had come over a couple times to "hang out" (use your imagination), and so, on the particular night of the Bad Date I wasn't surprised when he was about forty minutes late. And just when I was about to call his cell phone and tell him not to even bother, the doorbell rings.

As I mentioned when I told you about Gene the Psycho, my studio apartment at this time didn't have a fisheye thing to look through, so basically I just had to open the door and see who was there. So, knowing that it was probably David, I opened the door.

And it was David. And a baby. A tiny infant child. I must have looked completely stunned because David goes "Oh, this is Cody." Cody? I go "Are you babysitting?" And David says "No, this is my son, didn't I tell you?" "UH NO! You must have forgotten to mention the fact that you have an INFANT." So, trying to stay calm, I say "Well, uh...no...you didn't. Um...I don't know what to say." David assures me that he just couldn't find a sitter, and so Cody, the INFANT, is going to dinner with us.

I think more out of sheer shock than anything else, I actually went to dinner with David and Cody. It was only across the street, so I figured I could escape if I needed to. As soon as we sit down, David goes "Yeah, I've got little Cody here, and my other son Dallas." WHAT??!!! Oh yeah, there's two kids I don't know about. I tentatively ask who the mother of these children is. And this is the best part, David goes "She's a total bitch. I left her when she was 8 months pregnant with Cody because she was cheating on me with some guy from her work." And I go "Oh, so you're divorced?" David, ever the master of surprise, goes "Well, not exactly. We got back together after Cody was born, and then we broke up when I met you."

OH MY GOD, I couldn't believe I a homewrecker! Further, David informs me that his WIFE is VERY pissed and I should probably be careful about parking my car at his house from now on, because she says if she sees it there she's going to key it. GREAT! AND, to top all of this off, just as I start to tell David that there is no way IN HELL that I am looking to get involved, at 23 years old, with a father of two who's STILL MARRIED to someone else, and also is as dumb as a rock, he has to go to the bathroom. So, he goes to the bathroom and leaves me with the kid. Who promptly starts screaming his head off because he's like TWO MONTHS OLD.

Every other person in the restaurant is staring at me like I'm the worst mother on the planet and I can't just get up and leave, I mean, there's an infant at the table...someone has to be there. I didn't know what to do, so I'm patting the kid and trying to give him toys and stuff. Finally David comes back from the bathroom and I just tell him I have to go, and walk right out of the restaurant and back to my house. The next workday he came to my desk and wanted to have a big dramatic blowout (Yeah, I'm the secretary for the CEO and the construction guy is causing a scene...classy), and he actually has he nerve to tell me that he wants me to NOT go into the Air Force and to stay in Albuquerque with him and his two little kids, and presumably his psycho (albeit with a good reason) wife. I told him to walk away and never talk to me again, and actually, the next day a couple of the other guys who worked with him who I had gotten to know came up and told me he was a total drug addict and I should be glad I was smart enough to get away when I did.

Another fabulous date brought to you by E. Spat.

Friday, December 17, 2004

I have friends. I do! SHUT UP!

I don't know what's more pathetic, that someone was searching for "home alone on a Friday night", or that I am not only the 8th result, but that I am, right now, AGAIN, home alone on a Friday night. Pa. Thet. Ic.

Who doesn't need more knives?

Hooray for the internet. I just bought this electric knife for my mom. It's swanky and has a bread AND a carving blade. And a little wood block thing that's pretty snazzy as well. Go me! My dad SO better appreciate this because he's going to reap the benefits since it's technically from both of us and my mom is gonna be so stoked. I am the best kid ever!

I have the holiday spirit...I said spirit, not spirits.

Today I went Christmas shopping, and as much as I hate to admit it, it was actually pretty OK. Normally the thought of being in the mall with tons of people, screaming kids, old slow people, etc., just makes me want to shoot myself. But, the mall wasn't that bad, I found some good presents, and they even had a Macaroni Grill, so I brought home takeout pasta and had a big ass plate of it for dinner. Yummy.

I bought my mom a scented oil burner from The Body Shop, and this really swank measuring cup that you can see how much is in it from the top. Like, as you pour you can see how much is in there, rather than holding it up and looking from the side. Anyway, I want to get my mom an electric knife, and Williams Sonoma and That Kitchen Place both don't have them, so if any of you culinary geniuses knows where to get one, leave a comment or drop me a line.

I got my dad a baseball cap from the TVPNU. He loves ball caps and my mom just made him throw all his really worn out ones away, so I figured he might need a new one. I also got him some X-box game with cars, I forget which one and I'm too tired to get off the couch to check though. He's rented it before and liked it, so I figured I would just go ahead and get it for him. He's so hard to shop for...I mean he's the kind of person that likes real expensive toys, like Harley Davidson's, and $2,000 road bikes, and bass boats...what the hell can I get him that he can't get himself?

Now I just have to get some stocking stuffer things, find something for M., and get Beefy his new tank filter. Gonna do a little bit more shopping tomorrow since my plane doesn't leave here until 10pm. Here's the funny parent story of the day.

Dad: "We're so excited to see you tomorrow!"
Me: "Me too, it's so nice to be done with school."
Dad: "Well, I have to work tomorrow, so your mom is going to pick you up at the airport and then you guys are going to go shopping, and then you're going to pick me up and we're all going to this new Mexican place we found for dinner."
Me: "Um...." *confused*
Dad: "Well, I'm sorry I can't come to the airport but I just couldn't get out of work tomorrow."
Me: "It's just that...I don't think my plane comes in until close to midnight."
Dad: "No, it comes in at noon."
Me: "Dad, I swear, I think it's midnight."
Dad: "I bought that ticket. Why would I buy a ticket that would get you here at midnight?"
Me: "I've been wondering the same thing for a month."
Dad: "Alright, well, I have to go check on this."
Me: "OK"

He called back like 10 minutes later and was just like "Well, I'm so glad we talked...your mom was going to drive over there tomorrow and it would have been pretty awful if you hadn't gotten off the plane."

Yeah.

Parents are weird.

Heartbroken Hillbillies

I don't know about you guys, but I think that the stripper wearing her license on stage is going to take away from the whole experience for customers. Hair cutting people are allowed to put their licenses on the wall. Restaurants put their licenses on the wall.

Also, strippers have licenses? What are they licensed to do? They're sure as shit not licenses validating the realness of their boobies, or for that matter, how hot they are...because I lived in San Antonio a long time and I friends of mine saw some pretty heinous sea donkey looking strippers. They're not serving food (insert joke here), or touching the customers (yeah right)....I don't get it.

Gene: King of the Freaks

OK, the third in my series of my Top 5 Bad Dates introduces you (and me) to a little thing called the "E.Spat Go Ahead And Have Five Zima's Because This Guy Is A PSYCHO" Doctrine.

Bad Date #3 was named Gene, unlike the other two, I remember Gene's name because he turned out to be such a complete freak. After writing this story I feel like I have to add a disclaimer: I would NEVER, EVER put up with this kind of crap today. Ever. I got married at 19 to my high school sweetheart, so as a young 20-something, dating was kind of rough for me. I felt like when men asked me out I *had* to go because I didn't want to hurt their feelings, and it wasn't until I went in the Air Force that I learned to really control situations and just tell people who were trying to take advantage of me how it was really going to be. Anyway, just thought you should know that this story is, while funny, also scary to me now that I look back on it, and you should know that I have an appreciation for the fact that this guy didn't turn out to be Ted Bundy.

Gene worked for the same company as me, he made the paychecks. I'm not sure exactly *what* he really did, some kind of accounting thing, but every Friday it was my job to drive over to his office in another building across town and pick up the paychecks. And so, after my divorce (the first one) he kind of started hitting on me. Gene was much older than me, like at least 10 years, and probably more like 12. Gene LOOKED like a guy who sat in his office doing math all day. He wore Dockers with pleats in the front and sweater vests and all his long sleeve button down shirts had the company logo on them. He was normal sized though at least, and had a kind of boyish smile and seemed shy, like he wanted to ask me out but was afraid or something. It took maybe 6 months of excruciatingly awkward moments for him to ask me to dinner.

Gene took me to Chili's...swear to God. At dinner there were long.....awkward...pauses in the conversation. I am naturally a total blabbermouth and usually I feel bad because I ramble if I get nervous or anything, but with Gene it was turning out to be a godsend, because he was basically drinking beer, staring at his burger, and looking a little weird. Finally dinner is over and at this point I'm seriously wondering how to get out of this situation because Gene is starting to seem less *shy* and more *quietly considering how to kill me and add me to his trophy collection.* But, because I was so much more naive back then, I didn't want to be impolite, so when Gene said he had this grand date plan, I played along (seriously, Chili's was part of the plan?).

After leaving Chili's we went to some kind of street fair downtown. It was free to get into and I remember it was freezing cold and you had to walk around and there were booths with people selling things like apple butter and homemade soap. What a great first date choice, nothing makes me like a guy like freezing my ass off (I think at one point it started snowing), having sore feet, and dealing with a crowd of people who are belligerently stoned and drunk out of their minds. I was being a big enough bitch about the street fair that Gene suggested we go to a movie instead. Yes. I love movies. So, we drive to the theater and nothing is playing, so, and this is where the whole thing turns really bad, Gene suggests we go to my place and rent a movie.

I have no idea, to this day, why I said yes. I think I just felt sorry for him and thought that it would be easier to just go through the date and then never talk to him again. So, we go rent a movie and head back to my apartment, a very small studio. Gene wants to cuddle. I want to scream. Gene starts telling me about his daughter and how he got custody of her in some kind of protracted custody battle with his psycho ex-wife and not only "warns" me about how crazy his ex would get if she knew he was dating someone (um...we're not dating YET Gene!), but tells me he can't wait for the summer so I can go to Disney World with him and his daughter and how we're going to get along so great. By now I'm seriously stressed out. I'm 23, I don't have any desire to be on THIS date with Gene, let alone get to know his creepy kid, and I've been stupid enough to let this guy into my house and he doesn't seem to want to leave because he's too busy planning our future together. So, just like you'd expect, I start having a drink (or five) to try to calm down.

The problem with this plan is that now Gene is laying on my bed (note to self: burn sheets) watching the movie (remember, it's a studio) and I am basically sitting on the floor close to the kitchen and guzzling Zima, which at that time in my life, was the only thing I had in my fridge. Then Gene wants some Zima. So I am drunk, now Gene is drunk, he's in control of my bed, and it's snowing and he lives up in the foothills, so his ability to drive home is getting more and more compromised. Finally, it's so late that I can't stay awake, and Gene still hasn't left. I keep asking him when he's going to go home and he keeps saying he just likes me so much and thinks I'm perfect for him, etc. The Zima seems to really be working for Gene because now, instead of a shy accountant, he's a raging sex maniac and is trying desperately to get me to do it with him. Finally, after maybe an hour of me avoiding looking him the eye, and him practically begging me to get up on the bed, he gets down to what he really wants. And it is straight-up dirty sex. And I am just not going to give that to Gene, so now we're in a standoff. The best part is that now I would call the police, but at the time I actually felt like I couldn't kick him out because he was so drunk and it would be irresponsible to let him drive in that condition, especially given the weather situation.

Gene finally passes out. I sleep on the other side of the bed, far away from any grabby hands, and with one eye open. At this point in my life I was getting up at 4:30am to run every day, so at 4:30 I was like "Time for you to go, get out!" and Gene STILL is operating under the belief that I secretly like him and am just hiding it really, really, really well. But, he leaves, after a whole bunch more talk about all the great times we're gonna have now that I'm his girlfriend.

The next night, a Sunday night, I hear this pounding on my door around 2am, BIG POUNDING, like you would expect if your neighbor was dying and desperately needed your help. I didn't have a little fisheye thing, so I (stupidly) opened the door. Gene was leaning against the door, so drunk that I could almost smell him THROUGH the metal door, and he just fell into my house...literally. And passed out. On my floor. Every few minutes he would wake up and mumble something about how much he loved me (creepy!) and so I just left him there. On the floor. I couldn't move him. I still thought I shouldn't call the cops because I worked with this guy. I couldn't call my ex-husband because he would have killed Gene. And it was 2am, so everyone else was pretty much out as well.

The next morning I kicked Gene and woke him up when I got up, and it was early, probably 5am-ish, and he sits up, starts to cry and says that he came to my house because he NEEDED TO BE HELD and I was such a bitch for not helping him when he needed it and why didn't I take care of him in his drunken state? I pointed out that I could have called the police, and that he should go away, never come back, and if we saw each other at work he should just pretend like he didn't know me. And he did call a couple times trying to apologize and get me to go out with him again (now we have an appreciation for why Gene was still single).

About a year later our two buildings merged into a new building and who did I see at the copy machine one morning? That's right, Gene the Pyscho Machine. And he goes "Gosh, I hope this won't be awkward with both of us working in the same office" and I go "Well, I guess if you think it's awkward that everyone in this office knows the story about what you did, it might be." Thankfully, about a month later I left for Air Force Officer Training School, and never saw or heard from Mr. Psycho again. And now, I'm not nearly as nice and trusting...that shit would never fly these days.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

WTF?

Dear Neighbor,

God. Kill that hooker already and shut the hell up...some of us are trying to take a nap...and drink beer. Shut up. Shuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut up.

I wish I knew what they were doing over there. Building a manger scene with all blowup dolls? Throwing illegal firecrackers at each other and then screaming "Dance motherf*#@er!"? Nailing wreaths of fake flowers to the wall over spilled Mad Dog bottles in memory of all their homies that went to the Promised Land this year? Having a photoshoot for the "50 Hottest Crackwhores in TVPNM"?

I just want a nap. Is that so wrong?

UPDATE: Now it's turned into a soft tapping....tap tap tap. Maybe it's morse code...oh wait, they're saying "We are total f*ckers. STOP. Come over here and beat our asses. STOP. We suck huge hairy goat balls. STOP. Celine Dion is our GOD. STOP."

Doing the Happy Dance

I'm Done!!! YAY! Int'l Law was actually kind of...well...good. The questions were interesting but difficult, it had some True/False but he left room for you to explain your answer, so hopefully there are some partial credit opportunities there. It's my favorite class for a reason, I love the subject. Even if, for some strange reason, I do horribly, I'm still happy I took it. Love it.

Now, I'm off for lunch, bank, nap, find clean clothes, get DRUNK as hell, pass out, sleep all day tomorrow. I have goals people, goals and priorities.

I reserve the right to arbitrarily remove any post I make, while drunk, on this blog, in the next 20 or so hours once I become sober enough to realize what a fool I am. If you are a person that I know, uh, in person (god I'm stupid), and you DO NOT wish to be contacted via telephone tonight, I would probably turn that thing off. If you are a person whose email address I have, in the past, found and abused while drunk...well, there's nothing you can do I guess. Just don't hold whatever I say against me later. You may all get lucky if I actually pass out nice and early and am not in control of my faculties long enough to exploit technology.

Congrats to everyone who is finished, and good luck if you're almost done!

Where's your pot of gold, bitch?!***

OK, Bad Date Story #2 goes a little something like this.

Yet ANOTHER blind date. I was set up by a girl at work (back then I was 22, newly divorced, and working at an HMO), named Michelle. Michelle was 4'9", 300 pounds, and eventually got pregnant by a guy she met on the internet, went to see, lost her 30+ year old virginity too, and we found out later the man had a closed head injury that meant he had to wear a helmet all the time. The baby was all jacked up when it was born and she ended up working at home from the "spare room" in her parents single-wide trailer. Anyway, that's all extraneous.

Michelle had a night-job (saving up for a faster internet connection no doubt), and wanted to set me up with the manager of the store she worked at, some kind of audio/video superstore if I remember right. As I was newly divorced, and desperately in need of a rebound fling, I decided to (a) find out more about him, and (b) if he sounded OK, to go out with him.

Because of Michelle's lilliputian stature, I made EXTRA sure to ask how tall he was. I am 5'9", and not fragile looking at all...just a normal looking girl, but tall. I also have a this weird thing about hands. I HATE small hands on men. Not small in proportion to the size of the rest of them, but extra-small, child-sized hands on a grown man. It's even worse if the nails are buffed. Gack, I can't even imagine letting hands like that touch me. Anyway, where were we?

So, I ask Michelle for this guy's vitals, and she SWEARS he is AT LEAST 5'9"...I even give her a chance to check it out that night at work and get back to me, and she says "yes, he is definitely over 5'9"." She also tells me he has a college degree, is the manager of their store, and is very nice and polite and cute. So she gave him my phone number and we talked twice on the phone before we went out.

First strike against him (let's call him Mike b/c it's easy and I can't remember his name), is that he is taking me on the first date to Chili's*. I effing HATE that. God, anywhere but friggin Chili's, PLEASE! Put some thought into it guys! Mike says he'll be wearing a gray sweater and he has brown eyes and blond hair and is thin. I tell him what I look like, and we agree to meet there Friday night.

I show up at Chili's (blech) and look around. I don't see anyone matching his description, so, in a harbringer of who I would become, I headed to the bar for a drink. Halfway into my second gin and tonic I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn around on my stool. No one is there. And then....I look down. Oh.

Mike is indeed wearing a gray sweater...the style is a-la 1985 and it has leather epaulets on each shoulder. Further, it is a child's size extra-small. Mike is, perhaps, on a good day, in elevator shoes, 5'2"**. His feet are each the size of a miniature Baby Ruth. His hands look like tiny little kitten paws, they are roughly the size of a half-dollar.

I tried throughout dinner not to laugh. His voice was so high-pitched. I mean, he was a nice guy, but I TOWERED over him, I felt like the Jolly Green Giant stomping through a forest made entirely of miniature broccoli trees. At one point during dinner he held his glass with BOTH HANDS, like a child.

Oh, but it gets worse. He had bought tickets to a hockey game. And he was so excited, and I just couldn't bring myself to head to the bathroom and never come back (I was a lot nicer and less of a lush back then) so I huddled in a cold-ass arena for two hours through the world's longest hockey game making small talk about green clovers and purple diamonds. At the end of the hockey game, he drove us back to the Chili's parking lot, where my car was parked, and I was just anxiety ridden that he would try to put the moves on me. To his credit, he gave me a hug (who wouldn't when your head ends up right between a girl's boobs every time?), and then shook my hand (nice doing business with you Ma'am) and he actually did call me several times until my polite refusals eventually made it through his tiny little skull.

Next time we'll be learning a little thing about dating I like to call the "Go Ahead E. Spat, Have Another Zima Because This Guy Is A PSYCHO Doctrine."

*Do NOT leave a comment about how Chili's is a good date place because they have lots of different kinds of food and you don't want to spend too much at first until you know you like someone. That is lame.

**This story is not a disparagement of short men by any stretch of the imagination, it's just a story about what happens when a tall girl gets set up on a date with a leprechaun and ends up spending the whole date feeling like Alice in Wonderland after she took the pill to make her bigger.

***This title is taken from an actual incident of a short guy, with an attitude, attempting to pick one of my friends up at a bar.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Proscrastinating

I'm only gonna ask this once...how, on the eve of the final in a class I *loved* do I discover that I somehow neglected to read nearly 75 pages of the assigned reading?

Bizarre.

Also, my advice, if you find a Glad Ware container in your fridge and you don't know what's in it (and can't see because it's wrapped in a paper towel for some reason even though you don't remember doing that), but you just cleaned your fridge so you figure it can't be that old, is DO NOT, under ANY circumstances take that lid off. Walk right out to the dumpster and throw that disposable $1 container away. As Jack Handy would say "If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let'em go, because, man, they're gone." Let it go. My god.

I'm feeling pretty OK about my final tomorrow. For some reason, maybe because I like the subject and the prof and did the reading religiously (except for one chapter apparently), I feel like it's going to be OK...even though it is closed note, no outline...etc. I'm feeling especially good about the drinking part that comes after. And REALLY good about the fact that for once my parents made my plane ticket for a couple of days after exams so I won't have to be looking like a strung-out crackwhore on the plane like I did last year. Although it got me much sympathy at home because my parents thought it was remnants of exam stress, rather than an all-night session of Absolut, beer, tequila, something orange and in a martini glass and more beer.

Why can't the first song be that good one about the horse with no name?

Me, about an hour ago: "God, I can't stay awake, despite how interesting the Alien Tort Statute and Act of State Doctrine are, maybe I'll put some music on. Hmmmmm...well, I've listened to the Buffett box set 762 times in the last four days, time for something new. What to pick, what to pick? OHHHH, I haven't listed to THIS CD in a LONG time! Billboard Hits of 1972."

First Song.

Alone Again Naturally
Gilbert O'Sullivan
In a little while from now, If I'm not feeling any less sour.
I promised myself, to treat myself,And visit a nearby tower ..........
And climbing to the top, Would throw myself off,
In an effort to, make clear to whoever,
What it's like when your shattered .......
Left standing in a lurch, In a church with people saying .....
My God, that's tough, she stood him up,
No point in us remaining .......
I may as well go home, As I did on my own,
Alone again, naturally.

To think that only yesterday, I was cheerful, bright and gay.
Looking forward to, and who wouldn’t do,
The role I was about to play.
But as if to knock me down, Reality came around,
And without so much as a mere touch, Cut me into little pieces.
Leaving me to doubt, all about God and His mercy,
Oh, if He really does exist, Why did He desert me?
And in my hour of need, I truly am, indeed,
Alone again, naturally.

It seems to me that there are more hearts,
Broken in the world that can’t be mended, Left unattended, what do we do?
What do we do?

Now looking back over the years, And whatever else that appears.
I remember I cried when my father died, Never wishing to hide the tears.
At sixty-five years old, My mother, God rest her soul,
Couldn’t understand why the only man, She had ever loved had been taken.
Leaving her to start, with a heart so badly broken,
Despite encouragement from me, No words were ever spoken.
And when she passed away, I cried and cried all day,
Alone again, naturally .....Alone again ................................. naturally.

I spent the last hour curled in the fetal position in the corner sucking my thumb and softly hitting my head against the wall.

Oh my god, NOTE TO SELF: Pick a different G*#damned CD next time!!!! I put in some Prince, I'm hoping that will help, but at this point, I might need professional intervention.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Horror stories from the past make the present seem better!

I have been wracking my brain to think of something to write about besides exams, which are boring, even to me, but something I am currently obsessed with. But, after I put on my thinkin cap, I thought of this funny story that I told Larry awhile back and thought I would share with you. Maybe I'll even do a series, my Top 5 Bad Dates ever.

Anyway, for your enjoyment, one of my Top 5 Bad Dates ever.

I got set up on a blind date by a friend at work. I HATE blind dates (the origins of my hatred are TWO of my other Top 5 Bad Date Stories) because I inevitably feel like I can never live up to the other person's expectations. I just feel so...scrutinized. And, here's the sick part, if the guy actually acts like he likes me, that makes me even MORE uncomfortable. Why does he like me? What's wrong with him? Anyway, that's not important to the story.

So, I met this guy, we'll call him Joel (because I can't remember his name at all), at Starbucks in a Barnes and Noble, and had some coffee and he seemed very nice. He was tall...that's good. He wasn't overtly gay, misogynistic, married, or obsessed with tropical fruit or goats, all good. And, I can't remember what exactly he did, but it was something that paid well and was technical and had math. I heart geeks. All good. So, I tentatively agreed to go out with Joel for another "real" date the next weekend.

Over dinner at the "real" date, Joel turned out to be...just...not interesting. There was nothing wrong with him really, but he didn't think I was very funny (a sure sign of dementia...uh huh...I have a great personality!), he ordered something weird which I can't remember now, but it was strange, like a chicken sandwich with no bread and extra tomatoes and a side of capers or something. Then, and I do remember this, we went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I am a chick, I thought this movie was SO funny. Joel didn't laugh ONCE. Not even a courtesy "you're laughing and so I'll laugh too in the hopes that it will get me on your good side and possibly get me mostly or totally laid in the near future."

After the movie we had a very awkward moment. Joel wanted to go get a drink. I wanted to go home and arrange flowers (read: try to get in touch with a local booty call I had on the backburner...because a girl always needs a backup plan). We compromised by going to my very favorite beer bar in San Antonio, a place where, literally, EVERYONE knew my name...The Flying Saucer. We got there and of course all my friends were there. I stopped and talked, silently begging my friends (all guys) with my eyes to give me SOME excuse to get away from Joel. Sadly, they were all drunk and oblivious, not so different from when they were sober I guess...but I was really desperately looking for a way out by then. Joel had started telling "funny" stories that were actually not funny at all, and kind of awkward...like "oh wow, we're so much alike, listen to this story that actually is nothing like you at all but will start sowing the seeds of resentment and anger deep within you."

I toldl Joel that I was SUPER tired and we should maybe just have one beer and then I needed to get home for bed, since I had to work the next day (hey, it was the military, I probably DID have to work the next day). Joel was like "oh, you're so great, let's have beer and talk and blah blah blah." So, we ordered some beer. I slugged back my Bitburger in like, 2.8 seconds. Joel daintily sipped his Guiness. I had another beer. Joel sipped. One more for me! Joel was still sipping.

Finally, Joel got done with his beer, and he was starting to look a little...peaked. He was kind of red and lumpy. And wheezing. "Um, hey Joel, are you OK man?" "Yeah, it's just that...I'M ALLERGIC TO BEER...I think I'm going into ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK." "WHAT!????"

Joel had to go to the hospital in an ambulance. Seriously. He tried to drive home but couldn't make it. I lived close by (close enough to walk...pretty tipsy at this point) and told him I would go straight home and wait by the phone for him to call and tell me he was OK and stuff. The next time I heard from him was in an email a couple days later asking me when we could get together again and telling me he had, in fact, lived through the episode.

I pretended to go home, even going so far as to wave and walk down the street away from the bar, so he would think I was appropriately saddened by how our "date" had turned out, but then sat in my car until I was sure he was gone, and, when the coast was clear, climbed the balcony fence (the bouncers all knew me, it wasn't like climbing a fence in a "bad way"...that's yet ANOTHER bad date story) and went right back into the bar and not only got completely shitfaced with my friends, but told them the whole Joel story, including the fact that he was apparently allergic to hops, but thought Guiness didn't have "as much" hops and didn't want to disappoint me because he knew I liked beer and also he "thought it would probably be OK" even though he KNEW that not only was he deathly allergic to hops, but the last couple of times he had tried it had ended the same way. I swear, that's what he told me! We all had a good laugh at Joel's expense.

I never talked to Joel again.

Why, in the name of sweet baby Jesus, would you drink beer, which you know you are DEATHLY ALLERGIC to, to impress a girl, when you could have done it by being interesting and laughing at the movie she liked and not telling stupid smarmy stories? WHY?

Next time I'll tell you about the time I had a blind date with a guy who was 5'3" and had hands the size of half-dollars.

OK, this did make me smile.

Molly The Satanic Holiday Dog


You're invited to a pity party!

I am busy wallowing in self-pity and kicking myself for not following BASIC law school exam rules...uh, duh...identify the "call of the question" and then answer it...DUMBASS.

I am going to have some alone-time tonight, thinking about all the reasons I don't deserve to graduate and be a lawyer, and why I'm a terrible person...and then hopefully I will get my first night of more than three hours of sleep tonight and tomorrow I will once again be my normal self and be over the trauma of today. Nothing makes me more irrational and incapable of just letting this go than lack of sleep.

I am going to not study, eat ice cream, and watch NCIS and moon over Mark Harmon.

Back tomorrow.

Oh boy.

There is nothing like the sinking feeling of having ten minutes left and realizing you have filled up the page limit with a pretty darn good analysis of a question that wasn't actually asked. All I could do is go back, add a sentence into the introduction indicating that I did in fact understand what the issue was, despite the fact that I didn't really analyze it, and hope that when he reads it I get some points for the fact that it's obvious I was in class and learned some of the concepts, albeit not the main point, which is, of course, answer the question you are asked.

Oh well. No point in being upset now...I still have another exam on Thursday morning, so I'm off to study for that.

How bad would it be to pass Family Law and fail First Amendment? Just wondering.

9 Minutes

I pick up my First Amendment exam in 9 minutes, and start writing at 8:30. I got 4 hours of sleep and came to school at around 5:30 in order to try to catch up on what I could of the reading I had missed.

I am as tired as I have ever been.

After this is over I have a study group meeting for my next exam on Thursday and then, ladies and gentlemen, I am taking a nap. Oh hell yeah.

Monday, December 13, 2004

DONE!

YAY!

Family Law is a thing of my past!

Because our test is to basically write what we think an appellate opinion would be for a lower court case that he provides an excerpt from, we are able to check at least our outcome and standard of review and stuff by looking up the case on Lexis or Westlaw after the exam. Which I have just done.

I got the contention mostly right, the outcome totally right, and the standard of review totally right. I didn't read down into the reasoning because I think it will just make me second guess myself and that will freak me out.

I also explicitly went against all the advice he gave in class about making sure our "traditional legal analysis" was the most well-thought out and coherent part of the exam and not spending as much time on the other sections, because, well, the other sections were where I thought I could really impress him with my ability to spin solid-gold bullshit out of wholecloth.

Anyway, not it's on to Free Expression, the final for which starts tomorrow morning at 8:30. Between now and then I plan to become my apartment's foremost leading expert on the First Amendment, Free Speech, The Establishment Clause and Separation of Church and State. Right now Beefy is probably the expert in the apartment, but that's only because he didn't have a Family Law final this morning that sucked up his entire life (not to mention his will to live) for the past several days.

I'm off to lose myself in the romantic glow of a candlelit lunch of Eggo waffles and the warm starry eyes of Erwin Chemerinsky. Thanks for all the heartfelt wishes of good luck on Family Law...I'm so glad it's over!