Friday, January 29, 2010

More Fun From LegalMist's Email Inbox

Mrs. Jones asked the children in her class to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up, and to turn it in as homework the next day. Here is what little Sally Smith turned in the next day . . .

After the papers were sent home, Mrs. Jones received the following letter from little Sally's Mom:

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.

From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.


Mrs. Smith

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Economic" Entertainment From LegalMist's Email Inbox

I received this today, and it made me chuckle even though I am firmly convinced that our economy is on the upswing and things will be better soon. (Or maybe I was able to laugh precisely because I think things will be better soon?)

* * *
Our economy is so bad that:

. . . I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

. . . I ordered a burger at McDonald's and the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?"

. . . CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

. . . if the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

. . . Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

. . . McDonald's is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

. . . parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names.

. . . a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.

. . . Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

. . . Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

. . . the Mafia is laying off judges.

. . . Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

. . . Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madof scandal. Oh Great!! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!

And, finally... the economy is so bad that:

. . . I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Lifeline. I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.

* * *
And if you didn't like this list, well just remember it was free. You get what you pay for, right? When the economy improves, maybe you'll be able to afford some "real" entertainment.

Happy Tuesday, my bloggy friends. Happy Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Maybe I Should See If SkyDad Already Wrote About This On The "Fire That Agency" Blog

Have any of you seen the new commercial for "Yaz" birth control pills?* I have to admit, I just don't get it.

Near as I can tell, the commercial says that if you take "Yaz," you'll smile and laugh a lot and be very happy while you:

* fall backwards into a bathtub while wearing your jeans and laughing hysterically, and later start blowing bubbles with a bubble wand;
* impulsively cut your long hair so you can have bangs, laughing as your locks fall to your lap and then smugly admiring yourself in the mirror;
* laugh while changing clothes in the back of a car while an unidentified male drives you down the street;
* laugh while painting the wall in your living room, which has a very high ceiling (so you need a big stepladder), a bright tangerine color; and
* laugh while carrying a dressmaker's mannequin (the kind with no legs, arms, or head -just a body) wearing a farily awful dress into some sort of weird huge open space with your girlfriend, set it down on a raised platform, and stand around laughing and admiring it.

What is the meaning of this? Do these people have to drink half a gallon of wine while taking these pills to achieve this level of apparent drunken stupidity, or do the pills themselves help achieve this effect?

Or, in plain English, WTF?

Then again, I haven't laughed that much in months. Maybe I should get me some of those "happy drugs"....?


* I looked for it on Youtube but didn't find it. You can view it on the U.S. Yaz site (although I can't promise they'll keep this particular ad rather than replacing it with another sometime soon) by clicking here and then selecting the "Yaz - as seen on TV" button, on the left side of the screen, second from the bottom. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

I attended a court hearing recently. The attorney on the other side was the attorney I wrote about in another recent post, who got so bent out of shape that I called her during her lunch hour. I'll call her "O.A." since it can so conveniently mean either "obnoxious attorney" or "opposing attorney."

The hearing was scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m.

At 2:30, the Judge entered the courtroom. I was at my counsel table. My client was on the speakerphone, appearing telephonically from out of state. My client's ex-spouse was at the other table. O.A. was nowhere to be seen.

The Judge asked ex-spouse if O.A. was still representing ex-spouse. "Yes, she's just not here yet," replied ex-spouse.

So we waited. I looked at the clock somewhere along the way and it read 2:33.

Shortly thereafter, O.A. came dashing through the courtroom doors stating, "I'm so sorry to be a minute and 47 seconds late!"


I looked at the clock in confusion - sure enough, it read 2:35. The Judge glanced at the clock, too, then looked back at O.A. and obviously decided to just let it go. For all we know, the court's clock was running fast. Or O.A.'s watch was slow. Whatever, it's not that important.

But I found myself thinking anyway: What a doofus, announcing that you are "one minute and 47 seconds late" as if anyone cares or is counting the seconds!! You are late, and that is all there is to it. (And if you *are* counting the seconds, shouldn't you count them correctly, and according to the COURT's clock?!?).

And I was thinking, wow, she really has issues with time, doesn't she?

I stifled my urge to laugh.

I am sure I'll be punished by the universe for laughing, even oh-so-silently, at her misfortune. I hope it's not by being late to a court hearing and having O.A. laugh at me.

Here's a video for you, on the subject of time....

Monday, January 11, 2010

From My Email Inbox

Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.

If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.
If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.
If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.
If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.

She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I've been rather depressed lately. Well, I was reasonably happy, if a bit busy, for a couple of weeks right around Christmas, but I've spent the better part of the past month feeling very down. Maybe you can tell from the content of my posts. Hating everyone (lawyers, motorcycle cops), ranting about trivial annoyances (parking lot jerks, annoying attorneys), and basically ignoring my blog in between.

It's easy to say, hey just suck it up, get over it, adjust your attitude, be happy.... But as Kim Ayres over at Ramblings of the Bearded One pointed out in a couple of recent blog posts (here and here) it's not that easy.

Part of the problem, for me anyway, is that when you are depressed, you literally can't do anything. Some days, it's nearly impossible even to get out of bed in the morning. So, many of the "self-help" things that you could theoretically do to help yourself feel better - things that might help people who are feeling sad, but not truly depressed - simply can't happen. People will say, "take this supplement," or "get some exercise" or "eat better foods," or "go to the doctor," or "get a prescription for Prozac" and it will help you feel happier. They might be right, I really don't know. I know only that the effort required to get to the store and buy the recommended supplement, or to go out and exercise, or to buy and prepare the recommended foods, or to make and keep a doctor appointment, is beyond what I can imagine accomplishing most days.

I have, so far, managed to hold it together enough to get my kids to school on time (and with lunches made), supervise their homework, take them to their activities, and even to plan and do fun things with them. I've managed to meet my work deadlines (mostly - except for those papers I still have to grade, which were due this week but will not be done until Monday). I've managed to keep the kitchen clean so we can all eat without contracting some dread disease from spoiled food. I've managed to keep up with the laundry enough that the kids and I can get dressed each morning, if we're so inclined (some days, I'm not).

But it's as if those things take every ounce of energy, and then when the kids and husband are gone and the deadlines have been met, there is no energy for anything else. I find myself lying in bed staring at the ceiling, sometimes crying.

My house is a wreck and I'm just not motivated to do anything about it. And I haven't managed to put together the client billing, or do the filing, or install the new printer I got, or any number of other tasks that require energy but don't have a "do it now or else" type of deadline.

And so I lie in bed and feel sorry for myself. And then I berate myself for being lazy. And then I drag myself to the kitchen for another cup of coffee, hoping that will give me some energy. And it doesn't and then I hate myself even more and I feel exhausted and I go back to bed.

And I get really scared. I don't want to be one of those people who truly slips into a huge depression and truly can't get out of bed for days at a time, who completely abdicates her responsibility to her family, work, and friends.

I don't mean to be a whiner. I don't even know what I hope to accomplish by posting this. But when I read Kim's post, it struck a chord. He talked about how people just don't understand. They offer sympathy and suggestions in a misguided attempt to help you "adjust your attitude" and "feel better," but it just doesn't work because it's not about your attitude or your desire to be happy; it's a physical inability to "feel better."

I haven't wanted to admit to anyone how depressed I am. It seems like a moral failing, or like mere laziness (thus, the self-hate, and being annoyed with myself...), but it's not that at all.

I am lazy sometimes. I know when I am lazy: I wilfully choose not to do something that needs to be done because I just plain don't want to. And then later I work frantically hard and get everything done anyway, cursing myself all along for being too lazy to get it done ahead of time. Most of the time I am not lazy. I do, and accomplish, a lot of things in my life.

But this is different. It is a physical and mental inability to do anything. I will lie in bed and truly want to get up and do some research that needs to be done, or sweep and mop the house, or call my grandmother, or write a blog post, or shop for new shoes, or any of a thousand other things that both need to be done and sound like something I would, normally, want to do. I will lie there and think about how wonderful it would be if I could just get out of bed and do these things I want to do. But somehow I just can't. It's not, "I should but I don't want to." It's "I want to, but I just can't drag myself out of this swamp of inertia and fog of sadness; I have to cry some more, first."

I hate this. I want it to stop.

I'm finally feeling a little better this week. Maybe now I'll at least have enough energy to try some of those helpful remedies people are always suggesting. And now that the fog and swamp have receded enough that I can move more freely, maybe, just maybe, some of those ideas will actually help me feel better.

Thanks for listening.

If you know anyone who seems depressed, please do try to have more understanding (not "pity," not "sympathy," just understanding) for them. It's not a conscious choice to be withdrawn and unresponsive or irresponsible. If they could "snap out of it," they would. No one wants to feel, or be, this way.

I'm not sure what you should do with this new understanding. It doesn't lead to any advice for how to help the person. But it might at least help some people be more willing to admit they have a depression problem if there were more understanding and less judging going on in the world.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Hate Lawyers

Sometimes I think all those lawyer jokes are justified.

Why do some lawyers have to be so obstreperous, so argumentative, so . . . obnoxious?

Here is just one example from a particularly annoying attorney that I have to deal with regularly. This happened a couple of weeks ago. My exchanges with her since then have been equally annoying, so I can't seem to get this one out of my mind, as it is a perfect example of her utter inability to act like a normal human being.

She emailed me at 12:03 p.m. asking me to call her as soon as I get a chance, to talk about scheduling a meeting.

I received the email at 1:10, on my way out to an appointment. So I called her quickly and got her secretary, who said she was "still out to lunch." I explained that I was on the way to an appointment but would be available after the appointment, so she could call me then, or I would call her again when I finished the appointment.

Most normal people would either call at the stated time or wait for the other person to call them again, or perhaps email a list of available times and ask whether any of the times work for the other person. But not this bitch. Oh, no.

This attorney sent me another email, stating that instead of calling people over the lunch hour, I should try calling them "at a time when they might be expected to be in the office" and accusing me of "obstructing the process" and being "always unavailable," and accusing my client of not cooperating in scheduling a meeting.


I am flabbergasted by the needless escalation of conflict and her apparent need to argue - and not even over an actual issue in the case (although she does it with real issues, too, which is even more annoying) . . . by the rudeness of her expecting me to be at her beck and call - I'm to call her "as soon as possible," but to make sure it's not during her lunch hour? Hello, as if I even know when she eats lunch?!? . . . by the absurdity of emailing someone just after noon with a request to call "as soon as possible" and then criticizing the person for calling "during the lunch hour" . . . by the ridiculousness of the whole exchange.

Some days I just want to go back to being a bus driver.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Last Dog Days of December

A couple of weeks ago - the Saturday before Christmas, to be exact - the Phoenix Greyhound Park opened its doors to the public for the last time. It's been an institution in Phoenix for about 40 years, and they built a huge new building about 20 years ago, around the time I moved to Phoenix.

The first time I went there, it was a new building with huge glass windows facing the track, packed full of people. It was huge - almost overwhelming. The parking lot was packed. People were dressed to the nines, and they willingly paid a fortune for valet parking so they didn't have to walk across the parking lot in their high heels. There was an upstairs area with a fancy restaurant and clubhouse. It cost extra to go up there. There was a less-fancy downstairs area, with grandstand-style seating and a few tables with less-fancy food service, but it was all new and nice no matter where you were. And there was an outside seating area for the adventurous. Betting windows were open everywhere you looked. Each race was an event, announced with great fanfare - and music, too! People excitedly studied the racing programs, discussed their picks with each other, stood in line to place their bets, and then kicked back with their beer or other drink to laugh with their friends and then watch the race. Some went outside to stand along the fence and cheer for "their" dog.

Fast forward 10 years. Gambling had been legalized on Native American reservations across the country, and the casinos had taken a chunk of the gambling business from the Phoenix Greyhound Park. They closed off a portion of the PGP building, so that you could sit only in half of the downstairs area. There were fewer betting windows open. Half of the parking lot had been fenced off to use for "Park-n-Swap" on weekend days. Still, the place was hopping on weekend nights; valet parking was still more convenient, although certainly not necessary. Parties were held there. People still enjoyed going to the races as an "event."

Another 10 years later, and the place was practically deserted. The entire downstairs area was closed. It seemed somewhat dark and desolate. You could still go upstairs or outside. Very few betting windows were available with live agents - although they opened several "self-serve" windows with automated betting machines to make up for it. The restaurant still served food, although I think only on weekend nights and for limited hours, and there was a small snack bar upstairs. Most of the parking lot was not only fenced off, but also featured permanent "stalls" for the weekend Park-n-Swap vendors. Valet parking may still have been an option, but you certainly didn't need it. It was easy to get a parking place near the door.

Somewhere along the way, they legalized off-track betting in Arizona. This did two things: It allowed people to bet on races at the Phoenix Greyhound Park from other locations, and allowed people to bet on races at other locations from the Phoenix Greyhound Park. PGP added huge banks of televisions inside, showing greyhound races from all across the country. This was convenient for the "hard-core" gamblers, allowing them to bet on multiple races at once both at the track itself and at bars or other locations. But for the casual racetrack attendee, it made the on-site races seem less like an event and more like a slot machine experience. The atmosphere was subdued; the hard-core gamblers don't cheer for their dogs, or sit around talking and laughing. They just study their programs and place their bets. Pick a track, pick a race, pick a dog, hope for the best.

We didn't go to the races often. I've been there maybe 10 times in 20 years. But I have good memories of those times - we had a lot of fun with a lot of friends there - and it was sad watching PGP's decline. When we went one day last year, it just didn't seem like much fun anymore. Too few people were laughing or talking or cheering or celebrating. It was too desolate.

December 19 was the last night PGP was open for business. They still had some races, with off-track betting, through the end of December, but since I don't do off-track betting, December 19 was PGP's last night, for me.

We attended on December 19. It was more crowded than I had seen it in years. I guess lots of people, like us, wanted to see it one last time before it closed. They still had the entire downstairs closed off, but the upstairs was hopping, and outside it was crowded, too. There was a buzz and excitement in the air that I hadn't seen in years. People laughed and talked and cheered for their dogs and celebrated when they won.

We bet on three races - picked a dog to "show" each time, and won each time, for a grand total of $6.10 in profit. Not enough to make us rich, but gambling is always more fun when you win, right?

I also entered a "name that tune" contest and correctly identified the song and band ("Obladi Oblada" by the Beatles) after three notes, winning a PGP golf shirt.

So, to the PGP owners, thanks for the winning evening, thanks for the fun, thanks for the memories....