Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The tam who helped me with drivel

Tonight I went to a friend's art opening and her shit is really good. It reminded me how much I miss being an artist. I'm glad I quit smoking pot, since now I have a house and good credit and can remember where I'm supposed to be most of the time, but I particularly miss poetry. Photographer bandit, however, introduced me to her friend, who was wearing a leather tam and runs poetry slams. Now, let me say I don't really like slams. They are a breeding ground for self centered babbling that often makes as much sense as eggs on a horse. This guy was pretty interesting and after we talked about our writing a while, suggested I try a slam, and write on this subject: what bugs you?

Ironically, it's what will probably keep me from a slam. One of the many things that bug me is drivel. And here's my slam on that.

I don't like drivel. Words are too precious to be piled together like unmanned freight trains, banging into a mass of sparks and crashiness. How many breaths do you have? Can you count them? No, you can't. Do you want your last breath to be spent babbling? Because any breath could be your last. Or hell, your first. Your first breath spent after putting together a cogent thought and driving it out of your mouth and into someone's head in one piece. Make it anything; just make it count. Words have led to marriages, and murders, and revolutions. In the beginning, there was the word. The word is a continually forming jewel in your mouth, ready to spill forth and change the world. Your world, built with people making plans and building bridges and dropping bombs all started with words. Shut up. Now speak. No drivel. What do you really mean? Come out from under the frieght train and drive.

And that's my silent slam for the day. I did not write it in a tam, but nevertheless, stand by every word.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gimme money or give me grief

I was talking to a friend from law school yesterday about how hard it is to decide what to charge people, and he pointed out that it was the people he gave a price break to who were the biggest pains in his ass. I realized the same thing happens to me. Then it hit me - that's why lawyers charge so much! If you charge enough, people shut the hell up. Try to help them? You're their bitch. That's fucked up, isn't it? I'm coming to the conclusion that appreciation just isn't human nature.

Of course, I do court appointed work, meaning I send in applications for $150 to the state and the client pays nothing. How do I get treated? Let's just see. I actually cussed an appointed client out a couple of weeks ago and yes, he deserved it. He'd apparently been running from a bad check to a used car dealership for about four years and they finally caught up with him. Rather than pay even 1/3 of it, the guy, who was a total dick, insisted that he didn't write the check. I pointed out the circumstantial evidence and the common sense questions, such as "If your ex wife bought the car, how are you going to explain coming home to a new car in the driveway and not asking how it got there, getting any of the letters or calls about the bounced check or seeing a big ass "INSUFFICIENT FUNDS" on your bank statement, which is right here?" No go. It was the first time I felt sleazy; I had to try to get this guy off and really didn't want to.

I felt bad for the car sales people, and my job required pointing out that if they didn't have anyone who remembered taking the check, the guy couldn't be convicted. The guy got pissy that he had to wait an hour for the sales guy to get there and said if this wasn't fixed today, he was getting a lawyer. I ignored him. Later I tried to explain where everyone was coming from, which was a big mistake. I knew if I didn't handle this nicely, I'd get stuck in a really shitty trial. He said he'd get a lawyer again to uh, uh, . . . "Appeal?" I said, thinking "beat some fucking decency into you, you arrogant peice of shit?" I explained appeals. The D.A. and I hung out over lunch with these people trying to work something out and while she was on the phone, he started threatening to get a lawyer again. I turned around and said "I am your fucking lawyer, and I'm here on my lunch break busting my ass to save yours, so why don't you just shut the fuck up?" He shut the fuck up, I got his charges dismissed and hope to hell someone beats the crap out of him sometime soon.

And now for another day of getting abused for helping people. No good deed goes unpunished. I'm doubling my fees today and this week, I ain't getting kicked around.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What 20 years will do, if you're lucky

Girlfriend bandit, new neighbor bandits and yours truly have been doing some yard work, including building boxes and planting vegetables. Also, I bought a new jigsaw today. Let's see - can I say anything more fucking lesbian? I'm eating tempeh. There's an old cat on the couch. I should go buy an Indigo Girls CD, put it on and see if all the men on the planet disappear. Only I don't like the Indigo Girls.

New neighbor bandits are hippie chicks, young, newly in love, who like bartering and forming community, whatever that means. I think it has something to do with mowing our yard and planting some stuff here, since they live in an apartment. I told one of them today about some serious hell that broke loose this week, involving an elected official, a hijacked courtroom, suspicious motives and a day of frantic research that promises to drag on for ugly weeks ahead. She said that pain bodies attract pain bodies and there's lots of tough life experiences coming into courtrooms, which draw more bad experiences and feelings. I looked at her blankly and, with all my heart, said "what?" Speaking of bodies, she also said the other day that all bodies are beautiful. I've been to the beach. I disagree. There are some fucked up looking motherfuckers who are definitely not beautiful.

I envy them a little, though. All those positive thoughts! The idea that people are beautiful, and all good, and that it is never necessary to just beat the shit out of someone. I remember feeling a little like that, a few times in my twenties, when the drugs were right. I also know a few people over 40 who are like this, but they limit their interaction with the outside world quite a bit, and seem almost ready to float away when I try to talk to them. "Hello? Ya in there? You should listen to some Usher." I want to say. I don't, though. I just let them ramble about peace rallies and reading labels to make sure there isn't anything animal based in the vitamins or whatever. They clearly don't want to know any better, or they would.

So, I'm more than happy to share some zucchini space with these chicks, and remember what it was like to not have been robbed, ripped off, cheated on, arrested,to have comforted a molested child, punched a drunk asshole at a party, cussed out a crackhead, seen the worst and the best of humanity in myself, loved and hated, lied, fought, cried, and gotten puking drunk over a girl who wasn't worth it. In other words, to have lived. More power to them, but may they get to 40 a little worse for the wear, yet still willing to believe in themselves, humanity and each other. We should all be so lucky.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Picking a Jury

Your lawyer's mind during jury selection:

Why is everybody white? Fuck! That guy has his arms all folded. Is that bad body language or is he just getting comfortable? Ok, just ask the questions. Shit, she's lying. I know she knows that other guy on the jury, I saw them talking in the hall. Why do people lie? Being on a jury sucks. It's 12 people not smart enough to get out of it. Yet, people lie to get on one. Why? Because they think my guy is guilty and want to convict him, I bet. This shit was in the papers,after all.

Shit, I don't know. This is such a crap shoot. That dude looks pretty reasonable. Hey, he drives trucks! Bet he's hired a hooker before. That should help. That lady beside him looks like she has a broomstick up her ass, though. Heh heh maybe she should hire the truck driver. Dammit, the D.A. got rid of the trailer chick! Argh! It's OK, it's OK. How is it that crackheads, tramps and theives get tried by conservative white people? Fuck it, just ask the question. Whoa, those four people just admitted they think if someone gets arrested they must be guilty. Get the fuck out of here. I think she's asleep. Wish I were still asleep. That dude's shirt has a fish on it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Inside the mind

I have a nasty trial coming up. I've done lots of trials down in district court, but this is my first jury trial, and true to my pattern of jumping right the hell into anything I do, the guy is facing decades in prison, the prosecutor is known for being underhanded, slimy and sneaky and the judge is notorious for being completely unfair and biased toward the prosecution, which he gets away with because people never have the money to appeal. I understand that my feelings and thoughts right now are pretty normal. So, I thought I'd share with you what's going through your lawyer's head the week before a big jury trial.

"Oh, crap! Well, I guess that bitch is showing up. Maybe she'll smoke too much crack and not make it. No, I won't get that lucky. Hell, my guy won't get that lucky; if he were lucky he wouldn't be here. Ok, Ok, I got this. No I don't. What the hell? We should have taken that plea. No, dammit, he didn't do this. And he wants a trial. What if we lose? I can't think that way. So, what kind of underhanded shit is Asshole D.A. going to pull? I just need to be ready for it. Surely the jury will see he's just being a dick. What if the jury is full of dicks? You never know about people and it's such a crap shoot. That's OK. I got this. I got this. What have I gotten myself into? Too late, got to get my game on here. Shit shit suddenly I can't remember a single rule of evidence. OK, I'm going to list all the hearsay exceptions. . . .this is a waste of time. I got to get ready. Hey, look! One of their cops got fired and moved to Florida! Oh, hell, wait - this is the one who shows that chick was telling conflicting stories. Wow, my paralegal's brother had some good ideas. Shit, he came up with things I missed and he's not even a lawyer! I am so going to tank this. No, I'm going to win it because I'm talking to people and getting ideas. It's going to be OK. Yeah. Fuck them. We got this. That cracked out 'ho isn't beleivable and the jury will certainly see that. She ain't shit. Fuck them. The cops didn't even know her stories conficted. Well, my guy's story isn't that believable, either. Just focus on her, just focus on her . . . "

and that's a day in the life. Why did I go to law school again?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Only in America

I've loosely followed the AIG bonus scandal and honestly, can only get so mad. That's what these fuckers do - get rich irresponsibly and without principle at the expense of other people. That's how we got into this mess. Kind of late to get pissed now. Where were you hell raisers the past 8 years while big companies were allowed to run rampant like fat children at a pizza buffet, or frat monkeys at a kegger? Distracted by the flag waving? I have to give Bush that; he was a master magician. The public was properly distracted by the hand waving the flag while the other hand pickpocketed us. Hey, where's my retirement account? Stop, theif! Oh, hell, he's long gone.

It's nice that there is a bill to have the AIG bonuses, and perhaps others, taxed at a high rate. After all, that is taxpayer money. But the bonuses were 1/1000 percent of the bailout money. It's kind of like (watch out, metaphor #4!) telling the guy who robbed you that you want your pennies back. What does confuse me is that the bonuses were to entice the very people who fucked everything up to not quit their jobs. Really? It seems like they would want to fire those idiots, not pay them to stick around. "Hey John! You suck! Here's a million dollars!"

Only in America.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

L-A-W yer!

Sigh. The hot D.A. hasn't been flirting with me lately, and has been having lunch with cops, and dating some meathead state trooper, ( a guy, too; what a waste) and won't even cut deals when her case sucks anymore. This goes to show you that hanging out with cops is just bad for everyone.

I have a few theories on why. My favorite is that the stench of kevlar and misused power is toxic. I suspect it creates an invisible, soul-killing poison, all the more insidious because it is deceptively sexy. Stay away, hot D.A.! Stay away! It's gonna get you! They're out to get us all!

I still managed to get the proper legal argument through on one of the several guy D.A.'s, who I don't find hot, but are far more sensible. I crack on guys a lot, but if you break out a book and show them in black and white you are right, they will generally go along with you unless they are total idiot pricks who aren't going to listen to anyone anyway. The trick is to manage to break out a book, because it is you who will have to do this. I was in the front of the courtroom where the lawyers sit, reading the statute book, and this old guy lawyer makes fun of me, saying "Reading the statute book again?" "Uh, yeah." I said. "Huh", he says, followed by something mumbled and pointless."Well, I just got my client's DWI dismissed because I read the statutes, so I think he considers it worth my while." I told him. He seemed impressed and suprised. Dude, we're fucking lawyers. L-A-W yers. That means we 'yer' the law, which I think is an old english book for "read the fucking". Seriously? Cracking on a lawyer for reading the law? Where do I work? Of course, later I turned to a woman lawyer and asked if she knew the statute number for something, as I couldn't remember it. "Me? Know statute numbers?" she said. "Uh, yeah." I said. "Oh, I don't know any statute numbers." Dude. We're fucking lawyers. L-A-W yers. Whoa.

I work in backwards land where the hot D.A. is corrupted by jackbooted trooper stink, and the guy D.A.s will listen and the guy attorneys don't want to read the law and the women attorneys don't want to remember it. I am a lesbian in a strange land. But it's a land where I can kick some serious ass simply because I'm willing to read the damn statute book - unless I'm talking to the hot D.A., who is quickly becoming a lost cause. Just call me L-A-W yer, dammit. And bring me in some money when you do.