Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Perils of Monday Night Television

I freely admit that I am addicted to watching TLC television.

"Little People, Big World?" I'm there. "What Not to Wear?" SO there.

So I really don't think I can be blamed for being sucked into the show that was on last night about the Duggar Family.

Have you heard about these people? An Arkansas family, some variety of conservative fundamentalist Christian, who have . . .

(Oh, Lord, I can't even type it without taking a deep breath first.)

. . . seventeen children.


People, I have seen hell, and it is the Duggar Family. Imagine: seventeen children, two sets of twins, dressed in uniformly bad clothing, all with NAMES THAT BEGIN WITH J.

Oh, and the father's name is Jim Bob. And he has served as an Arkansas state legislator. You guess at the party affiliation. Go on, guess!

I used to think that Saw was the most disturbing thing I had ever seen, but after watching this show, I had to huddle under the dining room table for an hour, rocking back and forth, holding on to my Ortho-Novum for dear life.

Their justification for single-handedly ensuring the survival of the Republican Party? They asked God to bless them with as many children as He saw fit. Mom Michelle (who has, without a doubt, the worst hair I have ever seen, and since I'm from Henry County, AND work in warrant court every day, that's saying something) says, "Children are like flowers, how could you ever have too many?"

Well, hells bells, Michelle, have a flower garden, then, but STOP with the children! Even Angelina Jolie is appalled!

Does God want ANYONE to have seventeen children? I mean, God knows me pretty well, I think, and I'm not sure that He is willing to trust me with even one. I think he's waiting to see how Penny the Wonder Puppy turns out.

And I can't help but think about all the resources going into the upkeep of seventeen baby Duggars, and what could be done with all that money. I mean, I suppose people have a right to make their own decisions about whether to have children or not, and how many, but doesn't seventeen seem a bit . . . well . . . irresponsible?

Not to mention . . . OUCH.

Say it with me ladies: OW-FREAKING-CH.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Just Another Random Monday

Do you know any of those people who use the word "literally" alot?

As in, the classic: "I was literally scared to death. TO DEATH, I tell you."

Sheesh. Can't we just delete the poor word from the dictionary and put it out of its misery?

But I have to say, this weekend was a pain in the neck.


I woke up on Saturday, full of resolve to swim laps and reward myself with a trip to the Farmer's Market, tried to do something outrageous -- like look to the right -- and HURT MY NECK.

Seriously, how stupid is that? I spent most of Saturday laying on the couch and whining about how I couldn't move my head.

(Which reminds me of a friend of mine who once thought her dog had had a stroke, but in fact, he had just strained his neck. Why that cracks me up today, I do not know.)

People, I'm here to tell you, you do not appreciate the normal range of motion you have with your neck. Necks are marvelous things, and I will never, ever, take mine for granted again. I'm going to give it a little grateful pat right now, just for good measure.

It IS getting better, now, thank you very much. But still -- SHEESH.

I tried to drown my sorrows with a new batch of banana ice cream, this time with toffee chips. The lesson I learned from this experiment: Toffee chips are mostly SUGAR and therefore will DISSOLVE if left to sit in the ice cream mixture to chill.

So the banana ice cream was just plain banana ice cream with a mild toffee flavor. Scrumptious nonetheless, particularly with a bit of butterscotch ice cream topping. Boy howdy.

And since I could quite easily look straight forward, Todd and I watched a movie on Saturday, too: Factory Girl. I had never even heard of Edie Sedgwick before this, but now I am totally obsessed with whether I would have been "mod" or "hippy" had I been alive in the 60's.

I've always said that I would have been a hippy anti-war activist, but that was before I had fully appreciated the makeup that the Edie Sedgwick-types wore.

Have you SEEN that makeup? The dark, dark eyeshadow, the thick eyeliner, and the FALSE EYELASHES?!? It makes me swoon. And the earrings? Man, oh man. Give me some thigh-high boots and a polka-dotted minidress and I would be perfectly happy. Shoot, I think I could make my hair look mod right now, with the cut I so fortuitously already have.

And yes, now that you mention it, I DO think I would steer clear of the propensity to jam heroin filled syringes into my ass THROUGH MY CLOTHES. No need to go overboard, people.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Well-Deserved Credit

When I was a brand-spanking-new public defender who had never had my own desk before, I had a fabulous secretary. One of those really good ones who you could trust implicitly to take care of you; one of those people who made you look good.

She became a good friend. She was a single mom, had been in the military, and was struggling to raise her son, go to school, work full-time, and keep it all going on the salary of a secretary at a public defender's office (I'm sure you can imagine that people don't exactly get rich at such a job).

That was nearly five years ago. Last night I went to a reception for her to celebrate her new position as the first full-time -- PAID -- director of a group called "Women in Transition," a group she helped start.

WIT is a group which works at fighting the effects of poverty, and at preventing poverty. It was started by a group of college welfare recipients in the late 90's, just when the welfare laws were drastically changing. They are doing good work, and my friend has been with them since the beginning.

She's not going to get rich at this job, either. Not monetarily, anyway. But boy, did she look good, standing at a podium, talking about the work she plans to do, and the passion she has for doing it. I'm so proud of her, and so happy that she is getting the chance to do something with all that potential and talent -- happy that she's no longer using that talent to make some lawyer look good.

Todd and I have often spoken about how in our professions, we are surrounded by people who have pretty afluent and privileged backgrounds; third and fourth generation lawyers. I think we blend in pretty well, mostly, but the fact remains that we don't share that background.

And I'm glad.

My life is full of people who have come really far from where they started. All three of my own parents, as well as my parents-in-law, have done some pretty major pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. My father was in foster care. Both my step-father and my father-in-law did tours in Vietnam. My mother and my mother-in-law each lost fathers a lot younger than you should. None of them had any money. And I've learned something about life and survival and what it takes to find contentment from each of them.

It's a good legacy to have. I don't know that I'll ever be able to live up to it, or go as far, comparitively speaking, as they have. But I think they should know that I know it.

So, for my family, and my friend at WIT, and all those other people who have what they have because they've worked for it -- I'm proud of you all.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

No Spoilers Here, and That's a Promise

Well, I finished the book. Stayed up till 5:30 this morning reading the first two-thirds, slept for a few hours, then finished the whole kit and caboodle about an hour ago.

I'm not going to post any sort of review or discussion. If you're not a Harry Potter fan, I've bored you enough in the past few days, and if you ARE a fan, you're probably still reading it yourself and/or likely have better insight than I do.

All I'm going to say is -- I liked it. Okay, I loved it. And I'm already looking forward to an annual re-read, much like I do with the Chronicles of Narnia. J.K. Rowling, go have yourself a butterbeer, or a martini, or whatever it is you like; you deserve it.

As for myself, I SO need a nap.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Very Surreptitious Friday Fripperies

Hello? Is it safe?

(creeping on tip-toe into the blog)

(whisper) Okay, I'm still pretty afraid to be here right now, what with all the spoilers, but wanted to pop in for some Friday Fripperies.

In anticipation of all the reading let-down after this weekend, I've been playing around with the What Should I Read Next site. Kind of fun, and has given me some suggestions of books I hadn't heard of before, which I take as a good sign.

Oh, and for those of you actually in Louisville (not you terrible horrible comment-spammers who have been dropping in lately -- I KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND I'VE LEARNED HOW TO DELETE COMMENTS!) I just have to note that Hedwig and the Angry Inch will be at Actors Theatre, September 11-30. When a friend of mine left me a note at work about this, I think I actually squealed. I ADORE this movie, and listen to the soundtrack at least once a week. (Todd and I tried desperately to think of a song from it that we could play at our wedding reception, but I couldn't come up with one that I could listen to in the same room with my mother.) I am SO tempted to buy a Hedwig wig for the occasion.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Guest Post From My Inner 12-Year Old

Ack. Just Ack, and Harumph, too.

I'm sitting here, utterly terrified to go beyond my own blog into the wilds of the internet for fear of accidentally reading Harry Potter spoilers, which have already leaked, you know.

Shoot, now that I think about it, I'm really quite afraid that some rogue Harry-hater might leave a random comment on my blog telling me the ending.

People, I would cry.

My current plan involves extremely limited news access until Midnight on Friday, at which time I will go to the Dirty Kroger by my house (the bookstores aren't safe, I tell you), buy the book, and STAY UP ALL NIGHT to finish it before Time magazine puts the ending on the cover or something crazy like that.

So, in honor of this occasion, I thought I would put forth my own predictions -- PREDICTIONS, mind you, which are very, very different from SPOILERS, in that I am not actually friends with J.K. Rowling and haven't read the leaked pages (which purportedly include a lurid sex scene with Harry and Ginny -- odd departure for Ms. Rowling, I must say).

While I haven't written a dissertation on ol' Harry or anything (and yes, I've heard of some who have), I have read them all several times and I do have a few predictions, all of which will likely be wrong.

1. Harry will die. I think it's necessary. And I'm actually okay with this; I think it's vastly preferrable to Harry having to give up his powers or pulling a Frodo and withdrawing completely from normal life.

2. Hagrid will die. This will make me cry, and I hate it, but it's what I think. I just love that big ol' lug.

3. Ron and Hermione will both live, stay together and likely name their first-born Harry.

4. Hogwarts will reopen, but Harry won't return as a student.

5. Petunia will be revealed as a very cowardly woman who nonetheless loved her sister very much and has acted accordingly. (No, I'm not sure what exactly that means, it's just a feeling I have.)

6. Voldemort will be finally and irrevocably vanquished, all Horcruxes destroyed, etc., etc. Evil snake guy, poo on you.

7. Snape. What to say about Snape? Interesting how the most unlikeable character in the whole series also turns out to be the key to everything. Like Harry, I hate him enough to believe that he is evil. But I can't believe that Dumbledore was that wrong. So I -- reluctantly -- have to say he will turn out to be good. Good in the slimiest, ickiest, nauseating-est way possible. Greasy, nasty GIT (one of my favorite British words ever) -- poo on you, too. Even if you are "good."

What a let-down this will be when it's all over. I will probably pop in tomorrow to post some Friday Fripperies, but otherwise, I am UNDERGROUND from this point on. Battoning down the hatches, burying my head in the sand, etc., etc.

Be careful out there, everybody.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Warming the Cockles of Your Heart

Just a brief check-in; I'm in a (hopefully) super-quick trial today, but am also trying to be a more consistent blogger this week.

So . . . just to prove that not ALL animals are bad, I give you:

Otters Holding Hands

If this doesn't make you smile today, nothing will, and you probably need to get on some good drugs.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Sad Tale of the Four Animals' War

Once upon a time, there was a lovely young Princess who rescued a handsome Orange Cat from a life of scavenging on the streets. One day, the Princess met a lovely young man, and he had also rescued a scrappy Gray Cat from the streets. The Prince and the Princess fell in love.

The Prince and Princess lived together in a Castle, secure in their love and knowing that their two cats would love each other as well.

But dark times were coming to the Kingdom of the young lovers. The cats despised one another on sight, and each tried very hard to rid the Castle of the other. Failing in that endeavor, the Orange Cat began expressing his sorrow in the only way he knew how . . . through Improper Elimination.

These were troubled days, yet the Prince and Princess decided to bring into the Castle a new bundle of black labrador joy. Each secretly hoped this new addition would unite them all and bring peace to the Kingdom.

Peace was not to be found. The Prince and Princess sealed their devotion to one another in a ceremony full of pomp and circumstance and chocolate cake. Now King and Queen, they rescued a tiny and ailing baby girl -- the brown labrador kind -- and nursed her back to health.

The Royals felt their family was complete. Health and prosperity abounded in the Kingdom, with Cat and Dog Chow for all.

But alas, a curse was upon the Kingdom, for the Animals could not make their peace with one another. War ensued. The Cats fought daily for the contested rights to the Best Spot on the Bed, and Improper Elimination was used as a weapon of the highest evil.

The Brown Puppy, now recovered from her long illness, became a Force Which Could Not Be Contained. Her lust for life -- and jumping and biting -- knew no bounds, and though oft imprisoned in Pens and Crates, she always escaped to return to the battlefront. She, too, was well-versed in the weapon of Improper Elimination, and she added to her arsenal a new weapon which became known as Mass Book Destruction. Not even hardbacks were safe from her wrath.

The Black Dog attempted reconciliation on numerous occasions, but was defeated every time. He became more and more desperate in his attempts to protect the Castle and the King and Queen from the other Animals, while still fighting the forces of Thunder Storms and Fireworks, which often forced him to flee the Kingdom, albeit temporarily.

The King and Queen were very sad. The War reached its peak when the Orange Cat sustained an Injury to the Paw, but the fighting continued. Books continued to be destroyed, and damage to the Pens and Crates was, finally, irreparable. Fearing that the War would never end, the King and Queen went into exile, abandoning the Castle to the Four Animals. They renounced their throne, and worked as commoners to support themselves in the Village in a Single Bedroom Hovel with Washer and Dryer Hookups.

The King and Queen missed the Animals, each of whom they loved. They listened anxiously for news of the War of the Four Animals, but none came. Hearing their tale, the other villagers vowed never to employ the weapons of Improper Elimination and Mass Book Destruction against one another.

It is said that the War rages on still, and that the former King and Queen are still waiting for peace so that they may return home to the Castle. At times they contemplate adopting new Animals to keep them company, but they always manage to talk one another out of such a dire mistake.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Overheard in Kroger

If you know me in real life (and since I have an entire readership of approximately 5 people, you probably do), you know that I spend my days immersed in this other sort of sub-culture known as "warrant court."

The people who spend time in warrant court (and aren't paid for doing so) are a breed unto themselves. These are people for whom the common response to a fight with a boyfriend is to file a criminal complaint. People who will file charges against their grandma lickety-split. People whose grandmas have criminal records longer than the latest Harry Potter book.

Doing the job I do has its perks, though. It makes me a fairly amusing dinner companion, as I generally have at least one warrant court story to tell. Lately, though, I've been concerned that warrant court is leaking over into the "normal" world.

Case in point:

I was in Kroger the other day. Granted, it was the one fondly referred to as "Dirty Kroger," but it also is the one that happens to be closest to my house. It's in MY neighborhood, where the rabid raccoon in front of my house was considered a crime wave.

Anyway. There was a woman, about my age, a bit harried, with two children, a boy of around 5-ish (I'm childless, myself, so not so good with the age estimations) and a girl a bit older. The boy was holding a box of popsicles, and insisting, in a louder and louder voice, "I WANT THESE! I WANT THESE! I WANT THESE!"

The mother started out pretty well, first saying, "We'll buy you a treat, but we'll pick it out together in just a minute." But after several of the IWANTTHESE cries, she finally lost it and screamed back at him: "CAN YOU JUST GIVE ME A MINUTE PLEASE TO FINISH THIS I JUST NEED ONE MINUTE!"

The boy stomped off, wailing hysterically. As he pushed past his sister, she hitched her purse up on her shoulder, rolled her eyes, and muttered, "SOMEBODY has an ANGER problem."

Huh. A kid well-versed in the difficulties of anger management. Personally, I think I would have shoved them both in the freezer and pretended I didn't know what happened to them.

Guess that's why I don't have kids.

Monday, July 9, 2007

A Return to the Blogosphere

Gracious! It's been awhile, hasn't it? Would you believe that I've been faithfully blogging every day, only to have my computer eat my posts?

I didn't think so.

Okay, so I took a small break from . . . well, . . . everything. Much needed and greatly enjoyed.

Todd and I spent the weekend before the 4th in Cincinnati, relaxing and having a great time. We stayed at our greatest new discovery, The Gaslight Bed and Breakfast. This was absolutely the best B&B I've stayed in. It's in a cute, funky neighborhood full of Indian restaurants, and the owners are a nice couple with a bunch of dogs who make a killer breakfast. By a stroke of luck, we had an entire floor to ourselves, including our bedroom, bath, kitchen, living room, and this terrific porch:

Perfect for drinking cold beer and reading a good book.

What good book would that be, you ask? Well, my book of choice for a holiday weekend was the latest Charles de Lint, Widdershins. If you've never read any Charles de Lint, then by all means, get thee to a bookstore and get started. He's just beautiful and magical, with characters you'll wish you could be friends with in real life. Seriously.

We also decided to satisfy some curiosity and rent recumbent bikes and head out to the Loveland Bike Trail. Before you read any farther, I must warn you, this is a terrible picture that I am highly ashamed of, but I believe cold hard proof is needed if you are to believe that I rode 28 miles ON A BIKE:

One of my favorite parts of the bike trail is seeing all the lovely spots where my dear husband used to play as a child:

Why, yes! That IS an abandoned mill! Just the place you would want your own children to play, isn't it? I'm sure it looked much safer back then.

After all this fun, we came back home where I proceeded to spend two days lazing in front of the TV, finishing up Widdershins. On the actual 4th, this handsome fellow graced us with his presence for dinner:

He was quite the charming guest, providing dinner music and even letting his parents come along.

I have to say, it's been quite the rude awakening, coming back to regular life. Luckily, vacation is just around the corner!