Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I have no idea what they do for bowlegged kids (and won't until early next month), but I keep picturing these awful, Gump-esque leg braces. Poor kid.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I’m currently working on a case that includes a two-inch binder full of exhibits. Of those 60 or so exhibits, the majority are either excerpts from depositions or copies of cases. Which leads to my public service announcement:
USE SOME COMMON SENSE AND SAVE A FRICKING TREE (OR FIVE)!
Point one: if you cite to a deposition transcript in your memo, there is absolutely no need to include copies of the pages you’re citing as exhibits. This is assuming, of course, that you’ve filed the depo. I’m not going to read your stupid excerpts mid-memo. I’m going to read the whole deposition so I can get a feel for the context of the page you so graciously copied for me. If I have questions about parts you cited while I’m reading the memo, I can very easily look them up in the transcript. The excerpts are wholly unnecessary.
If, on the other hand, you choose not to file the depo, but only file copies of pages as exhibits, I’m likely not going to believe anything you cite because I’m going to be wondering what’s hiding in the transcript that you don’t want me to see. I don’t like being forced to take things that appear favorable to one side out of context. The cited excerpts rarely support the citing party quite as much as the party would have me believe. While I completely understand that it’s your job to convince me that you’re right, you know the whole picture is eventually going to come out, so you might as well file the whole transcript and save us all some time and annoyance (remember, you don’t want to piss off the staff attorney/law clerk/judge’s bitch).
Point two: if a case is widely available on the internet, there’s no reason to give me a copy of it. I think it’s relatively safe to assume that most court employees have some access to a legal research website, which enables them to look up cases. If you’re citing to a published decision – or, in Ohio, a case with a web cite (Year-Ohio-Number) – it’s pretty safe to bet that the court employee reading your memo can get the case on their own.
For unpublished, pre-web cite decisions, a copy is nice but not necessary. If you choose not to include a copy, though, make sure you’re not just citing to one research site’s citation (e.g. Year Lexis Number or Year Westlaw Number). If your court employee only has access to the opposite research site, it’s difficult to find the case. As an alternative, give citations to both publishers. Or, even better, follow the standard state citation rules, which (in Ohio, at least) tell you to include the appeals court from which the decision issued, the appeals court’s case number, and the date on which the case was decided. It’s much easier to find State v. Smith (Apr. 7, 1987), James App. No. 85 CA 465* than it is to find the same case cited as 1987 Westlaw 490572349 when you only have Lexis access. Do you have any idea how many State v. Smith decisions are out there???
The case that sparked my environmental outrage not only includes the two-inch binder, but also includes five deposition transcripts. The total pile of depositions is only about a quarter of an inch thicker than the binder. If you took the depo excerpts and easy-to-find cases out of the binder, there would be far fewer than 60 exhibits, and the stack would probably be less than a quarter of an inch thick. I mean, we’re talking an over an inch and a half of wasted paper here! That has to be close to a full ream, which is what, like, two trees?
Do us all a favor, copier-happy lawyers, and don’t kill so many trees. It’s not nearly as helpful as you might think it is.
*Case entirely made up. There’s not even a James County in Ohio.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I know I’m never going to be able to explain myself so that someone who is in a rational state of mind really understands where I’m coming from and why I’m upset, but I’ll try. I feel a need to defend myself from all the unspoken and thinly veiled accusations directed toward me, both in real life and on the interwebs. I’m hoping those who have gone through an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy might get it a little better than others. There are a lot of feelings involved with that situation that aren’t there when you plan and want a pregnancy.
I spent last night communing with my good friend google trying to validate myself and the absurd feelings and reactions I’ve had about this pregnancy. As usual, google pulled through for me. I found a whole bunch of stuff from other women who had reactions similar to mine. A common theme I found was that these women felt like they were mourning the loss of a daughter they had never and will never actually have.
I have never, never wanted more than two children. After having W, I determined that I was only having one. When I found out I was pregnant again, it took me a long, long time to accept the idea that I was, in fact, having another child – like it or not (and I did/do not). I don’t think I truly got to the point where I fully accepted that, but I was getting close. I had started hoping, somewhere in a small back room of my mind, that this baby would give me the “perfect” family I dreamed of when I was younger: me and a husband, one boy and one girl. I never really felt like I was having a girl (or a boy, for that matter), but I was hoping.
I’ve said before that hope is dangerous, and I still firmly believe it. If you don’t hope, your dreams can’t be crushed. I need to remember and follow that advice more often. Life would probably be much less painful for me that way. At least I know boys don’t come out girls. When they tell you it’s a boy at that ultrasound, you can expect a penis at the birth (unlike with girls, who do occasionally come out as boys). This little fact effectively crushed any tiny glimmers of hope I had left. So all hope in this matter is gone, and I can get on to just dealing with it.
A lot of the nameless, faceless women on the internet who told their stories of being disappointed about having another boy talked about a sense of loss. While I don’t exactly feel a sense of loss about a daughter who never existed, I do feel a sense of disappointment that my “dream family” will never be realized. We are NOT having any more children. Period. I will do whatever it takes to make sure we don’t. We can’t afford it, we don’t have room for it, and I’m not sure I could mentally survive it. This means, however, that I will never have a daughter. I’ll never get to buy cute dresses, put hair in pigtails, play Barbie, shop for prom dresses, plan a wedding, hold a hand through pregnancy. I’m always going to be the mother-in-law. That makes me really sad.
The silver lining is that I’ll never have to deal with periods, boyfriends (well, maybe), giving the sex talk (that one’s all B), cattiness, slutty clothes for little girls, junior high and high school girl drama, or the pink aisle in toy stores. I realize this somewhere in the back of my mind, but it doesn’t bring much comfort right now.
Another issue is that the only experience I have with my offspring is with a boy. I know all kids are different, but my previous experience tells me that a male child borne to me and B will be a colicky, fussy, un-sleeping, bad-at-nursing, crazy-active, crazy-in-general, loud, wild, attached-to-my-hip, mostly-un-cuddly-and-un-lovey, generally-as-frustrating-as-he-is-fun, major-mama’s-boy, mini-B. I know I could very well have ended up with a girl who is exactly like W, or have a boy who is nothing like him. But that’s not what I have experience with. I’ve experienced a boy, and I know that having two 18-month-apart little Ws running around will be the death of me.
I. Can. Not. Handle. That.
(Telling me I can doesn’t help, but thanks).
Rationally, I know this is no big deal, I’ll be fine, I’ll love the kid, blah, blah, blah. But it’s hard to hear the rational voice over the crazy (reason #472 I’m concerned that my mental health is deteriorating a bit). Have I ever mentioned that I hate being pregnant and all the awful things it does to my mind and body? (reason number, um, 2 or so that we’re never having any more children. Well, I suppose B can, if he wants, but they won’t be with me).
I’m finding it especially difficult to assimilate my dreams into the apparent reality of my situation. The death of a dream is sometimes a hard thing to handle, especially if it’s a major or long-held dream. I guess I can’t explain or justify things any better than that.
I think that’s enough rambling for one day. You may still think I’m a selfish, soulless, heartless wench, but, if nothing else, at least you got a peek into the workings of a crazy mind.
- "It'll be ok."
- "Every child is different."
- Anything about my hormones.
- "Oh, but they'll be best friends!"
- Anything pitying or with that pitying look in your eyes.
- Pretty much anything else about the baby.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a donkey on the edge right now. I think the fact that I was trying to choke back sobs while sitting on the exam table made my OB take my claims of feeling more crazy than normal lately less seriously than she generally would have. (Oh, and, Dr. P., telling me about the problems you're having with your five-year-old son did NOT make me feel better about the prospect of having TWO of those. Thanks for the effort, though). I honestly didn't think an unexpected, unwanted pregnancy could get any worse...
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
So, why, in the midst of my favorite time of the whole entire year, am I in such an awful mood? I have just been cranky this year. Nothing has gotten me in the Christmas spirit. Hell, nothing has even gotten me in a good mood most days.
I’m leaning toward blaming the pregnancy. I went through a phase like this when I was pregnant with W, but I thought that was purely related to my work situation. It also occurred closer to the end of my pregnancy than this. Regardless, with W, I would spend hours at work sitting at my desk fuming, no, seething, about stupid stuff said or done by bosses or coworkers, and composing nasty tirades in my head that I only wished I could scream at them. Needless to say, I was super pleasant to be around.
I’m not quite that bad right now. I haven’t really spent any time sitting around seething, nor have I berated people in my head (much). I’m just cranky. And grumpy. And completely out-of-sorts. And tending toward getting irrationally angry about dumb things. I find myself dreading the things I normally love, like shopping and decorating. Nothing and no one has been able to pull me out of this funk.
I need something to pull me out of my December blahs. Normally, the Christmas-related stuff would do it for me. I’m always in a festive mood this time of year. But since that isn’t working, I need some new ideas. How do you snap yourself out of a winter funk?
Oh, and, P.S., being pregnant at Christmastime sucks. There is all kinds of delicious Christmas booze that I am unable to consume, and I’m just too damn tired to want to stay up to do things like shop or party. But at least I have a legitimate excuse for gorging on cookies this year.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
The airing of grievances happens around here every so often, and doesn't usually go well. I'm pretty sure B just tunes me out until I sound like a Peanuts teacher. But it makes me (temporarily) feel better. I remain convinced that some day, some sweet, sweet day, my
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I don't know where I found this guy. But I'm glad I did. His stupid humor cracks me up.