Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


There is  a lot going on.

In fact, there's so much going on I'm not sure where to start.  I guess I should start with apologizing for my conspicuous absence last week. I wrote this thing for this new writing group I'm in, see, and it came out sounding like a blog post. Coincidence? Probably. Anyway, I kept meaning to get back here and write a blog post, but it kind of never happened, and the writing group liked the piece, and did I mention I'm in a new writing group? Remind me to get back to that.

I guess I'll start with the Big News and wind my way down to the Lesser News.  (Maybe we could call that the Children of a Lesser Blog, or something.) The first Item on the agenda is that we are no longer selling our house.  That's right; we yanked it back off the market, troublesome sewer pipe and all.  The reasons are many and varied, from the grim realization that it would probably cost us as much to move as it would to just fix the damn sewer pipe, to the Issues we were having with our real estate person.  (I, as a general rule, do not do very well with real estate persons.  Last time we did a transaction like this I fired three of them. I am not easy to put up with, either, and I know that, so I won't air the Real Estate Person Dirty Laundry in a semipublic forum. That would be Wrong. Doesn't mean I won't gossip about it shamelessly in a more private setting, however.)

Another one of the reasons was The Big Trial, which was supposed to start Monday.  It was my first trial since I started with this firm (three years ago yesterday).  As the trial date approached, I was getting more and more wound up. I mean out of all proportion to the actual situation, which was pretty good; we had a solid case, we were prepared, we thought we'd be able to pick a pretty good jury, etc. etc. Then one night I suddenly realized that I was having flashbacks to my last trial, which was an unmitigated disaster.  It was for another firm in another world long ago in a galaxy far, far away, but, uh, it was pretty traumatic.

This dirty laundry, I can share in public.  Most of it's public record anyway.  To start with, it was a horrendous case.  A commercial truck carrying a driver and two employees ran off the road and crashed when the driver fell asleep at the wheel.  The driver lived, the other men died. Our client was the grown son of one of the men who died, and the other plaintiff was the widower of the other employee.

We had the company dead to rights, tho.  There was a "smoking gun" memo from Personnel about how the driver was working too many hours. Why the case didn't settle long before trial, I have no idea, but two days before we started, the lawyer-in-charge suddenly decided he didn't want to try it.  He handed it to his new junior associate who had been out of law school like a week and working for the firm for a day and a half.  Our client didn't know New Guy and kept looking for the other lawyer, you know, the one he'd actually hired?  (What a concept.)  Once the trial started, New Guy basically let the defendants' lawyers pick the jury because he didn't know how.  The widower's lawyer did his opening statement and when it came time for ours, New Guy leaned over and whispered, "I can't do it.  I have stage fright."

Can we say, not a really good time to find this out?

So he stood up and waived our opening statement and our client looked at him like he had nine heads and things just deteriorated from there. Three days in, the company finally offered a settlement and we basically strongarmed our client into taking it.  That was the worst part of all.  Our client didn't really care about the money.  What he wanted was to get up in front of a jury and tell his story, and we didn't let him.  He went home with some money and boy was he ever pissed.  And yes, I know none of this is really my fault, but I actually care about our clients and I actually want them to have a good outcome, and that one really got blown out of the water.  I mean, the only thing that could have been worse is -- no, never say that.  Anyway, it was bad.  It was really, really bad.  It was so bad I'd never even told Joan about it.

So I told Joan about it.  And Joan began to explain why nothing like that could ever, ever ever happen with the firm I work for now.  And she was, of course, right.

And then I felt better.

And then, out of nowhere, the other side in this trial we were going to have on Monday offered a settlement.  And we took it.  And our client's fine with it, so now there's no trial starting Monday.  Which, by the way, is JUST FINE.

(I have another one in August.)

Let's see what else:  I'm in a new writing group.  Six of us meeting in a lady's private house in the White Rock Lake area.  Our person-in-charge is a retired judge (!), and she's pretty sharp.  She also has fish, and you've just got to love people who have fish.  (I miss my fish.)  The group's take on my mopey here's-where-I'm-at piece was that I need to quit whining and write another book, already.  Yeah, working on that.  Right after I finish digging up that sewer pipe.

I had to kill something this morning.  (I hate killing things.  It's un-Buddhist-y.)  A wasp, or a couple of wasps, that were making a nest ON OUR FRONT DOOR.  I thought we had an arrangement.  They stayed away from the front of the house and I left them alone.  I hope my sudden intervention with a rock won't shatter our truce, or I'll have to call Mikey, the exterminator.  (Get Mikey.  He kills everything.)  That's right, I outsource my random acts of murder.  Ask Joan how many six-legged flying cockroaches she's had to dispatch because I'm too afraid of them to catch them in a glass.

The mighty Law Dogs lost the last game 7 to 14.  Still respectable.  I got two hits, batted in three runners and made it to second base, prompting the usual assortment of bad jokes.  And I did it all with a giant rip in the back of my pants.  That's right, our legion of screaming fans (both of them) now know what color underwear I had on.  Thanks, everybody, for letting me know five minutes before the game ended.

Tonight we got rained out.  So technically we won, right?

One more thing -- R.I.P. Roger Ebert.  You made us love the movies, even when they sucked.  I will miss you on Twitter.


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