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.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Query me this

I admit it. I'm a total girl about those silly online relationship articles and short personality/love/are you a good kisser?/what kind of duck would you be? quizzes that abound online and in magazines these days. I'd be a Mallard duck! I am a good kisser! Yes, my girlfriend would make me a meatloaf if I asked! I even read the straight girl ones about what guys want in bed, which are utterly and totally inapplicable to me, just because. Of course, I usually say "ewwww..." at some point, but they're still fun.

The other day I read a dating article written by a man that was actually not half bad. I guess he got the job somehow. Lesbian lessons? I'm not sure. The thing that stood out was "men need sex to feel close. Women need to feel close to have sex." I think he's pretty much got it nailed. Even those crazy one night stands, speaking for myself, were preceded with feeling listened to and liked, yet I'd never thought about it that way. Ironically, as I write, I have on a cable radio station with a guy repeating, over a heavy beat, "smack my bitch up, smack my bitch up!" Wow, what a turn on.

So, here are some ideas for new quizzes, for you quiz writers out there. Feel free to use any of them. Publish them in Cosmopolitan or on facebook! I don't even want any credit. This is a public service, legal bandit style. Ok, here we go!

"Are you still a caveman?"
"Are you not getting laid because you are an ass?"
"Are you a candidate for castration as you sleep?"
"Are you a slut?"
"Are you Republican because you're an asshole?"
"Are you really a drunk, like everyone says?"
"Is she really a bitch, or did she dump you because you're fucked up?"
"How long before your boobies sag?"
"Would your breath wilt a squirrel?"
"Does your arrest record weigh more than your pet?"
"Would you rather be right than happy?"

Just some ideas. I think people should know themselves. Of course, the question is what we do with that information. Too often I think people think "Oh, that's how I am" and use it as an excuse for bad behavior, like we're made of formica or something. Of course, it's all in what you want. Want to be right, dammit, and smack your bitch up? Be my guest. But don't come bitching to me when no decent women will sleep with you and people want to stab you in the head. I tried to tell you. You shoulda listened.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I'll love your potluck tomorrow

I'll miss the "L Word." It isn't that I know anyone who wears $300 bras, or looks like Jennifer Beals, or that any of the characters set terribly good examples. It's that otherwise, TV and movies have a serious dearth of lesbian relationships and sex. It just feels a little lonely to totally lack a reflection anymore.

There is an odd balance between a nod to a culture, to tradition, and to finding our own way. This weekend I went to a lesbian wedding. They got married in a church and wore white dresses. I, who desperately need lessons in wearing heels and what to do with a scarf, tried to help one of the brides figure out how to hold her flowers and walk and look a little less like a large tube of satin took her by surprise. I was the one eyed dyke in the land of the blind! Their mom/dads gave them away and they had a hotel reception and a first dance and everything. Of course, the first dance was, I think an unwitting nod, to lesbian drama, being "Will you still love me tomorrow?" I thought, "If you're wondering that, should we really be here, eating reception chicken?"

Far be it from me to deny any girl her white wedding, and I support any dyke who wants to have one wholeheartedly. It just isn't for me. I figure, if I'm far enough from tradition to do away with the fucking groom, what am I going to bust out a white wedding dress and a diamond for? Here's the plan. If my girl and I ever have a ceremony, I think we should go with evites and a potluck. Now, that's lesbian - a potluck! Lots of tofu and girls in pants! Maybe an herbal tea bar. Titanium rings of course, which I won't fuck up working on my truck and she won't fuck up trimming the hedges. We get flowers from the farmer's market and go camping for the honeymoon. Now that sounds like my kind of wedding.

But maybe the point is that we get to create our own traditions, or not. On the cutting edge of civil rights and politics, we get to decide what to take and what to keep on our own, at least so long as our churches and legislators will let us. What ultimately matters is that every day, I can look at girlfriend bandit, and say "Yes, I will love you tomorrow."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Queer advice for the straight guy

I feel bad for straight guys. Recently I found myself freezing outside at a funeral and a guy I know offered me his jacket, which of course I took because I was freezing my ass off. Later we got into a conversation about how confusing it is to be a guy these days - open the door, or not? Offer to help carry stuff, or not? Guys are already operating at a deficit where women are concerned and I guess changing up the rules is pretty hard on them. It's not like they adjust easily anyway. Hey,maybe I'll adopt one! He can mow my yard and I'll call him George.

I do have a couple of long standing straight male friends who do pretty well. Otherwise, based on my experience wanting to strangle men and listening to straight women bitch, it appears that most guys desperately need a lesbian lesson. They storm around and have no idea what they're stomping on. Therefore, in thanks for the jacket at the funeral, I'm here offering a few basic lessons in girl 101 for you husbands, boyfriends, employers, employees, family members and general idiots. I promise it will not shrink your weenie to stop pretending you know everything for a minute.

Lesson one: You do not know everything. That's OK. STOP IT. That know all shit is really, really annoying.

Two: In a relationship, winning is almost always really losing. Next time you are pushing a point, ask yourself this - would you rather be right, or happy? Then shut the hell up. We aren't like guys; we don't argue the point then get over it like a soccer match. We tell you how we feel and if you keep pushing, you may get your way, but it will be very, very expensive. I'm not saying bend over. I'm saying listen and quit trying to shove things down her throat she's already spit out.

Three: What women want most is not money, power, security or your dick. That's what you want. Security is on the list, but it doesn't mean what you think. What women want most is to be listened to. Really listened to - not that shit where you get half drunk or jacked up on coffee, ask a question, listen for what you want to hear or evidence to support your argument for some retarded shit later, interrupt, take what you heard out of context then use it to your own advantage. That's not listening. It's creating fantasies of stabbing you. Try this: drink less beer and coffee. Be ready to be surprised and give up the notion you have to win anything. Ask a question about something she's interested in. Don't interrupt or get in your head strategizing. Look at her face, not her boobs. Think about what she said. Ask a related question. You will learn a lot this way and are far less likely to be stabbed.

Four: You can't even make all the rules with a lawnmower engine. What makes you think you get to make the rules with people? Get off your throne. You are not king. You do not get to do what the hell you want and expect everyone else to deal with it. "I yam what I yam" didn't even fly for a cartoon character. And you definitely can't expect to get away with whatever you want,complain about what another person does and expect them to give a fuck about how you feel. Play fucking fair. You are not made of rock - I mean steel - oh wait, I can't think of a single thing that isn't capable of change! Now grow the hell up and start relating if you want a relationship.

Five: Get some trimmers. Seriously. That nose and ear hair is NOT cute and yes, women notice. Clip your nails. Get some breath strips, especially if you smoke. Do some situps. That gut hanging over your belt? I don't know a ton of straight chicks, but none of them find it sexy.

Six: Security doesn't mean riding in on a white horse or paying for stuff. It means being there. See all those poor guys/girls with women totally in love with them? Yeah. Money and help are great, and financial stability is really important to some of us who do not want to pay your bills. But, they are not, ultimately, what women need. We need to know our partners will stick by us when the shit hits the fan; that they can be faithful, care enough about us to listen, will listen, can listen, (real listening, not the grab something and use it later like we're on fucking trial "listening"), believe in us, support us, care about our kids and pets, care about our welfare, will think to offer a jacket in the cold or pick up soup when we have a cold. That's security.

Of course, I generalize, and some women think all they want is another hit of crack or money enough to not depend on some neanderthal who treats women like they can be bought. But maybe this will help some dude who really is trying. I'm sure there are a few out there somewhere, loaning their jackets in the cold, and trying really hard to pay attention. Good luck guys, because this is definitely not a man's world.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stimulate this

Obama's speech last night laid out some pretty ambitious plans. Not like winning at beer pong, or farting quietly in public - I mean real ambitions. He also seems to get that waving a flag at things doesn't make them good. We seem to have forgotten that. Torture prisoners? No-bid contracts for politician's buddies? Government overseers of the oil companies getting coked up with the CEOs? Barely literate cowboy for president? Wave a flag! It will magically be just great! Dear Republicans: the flag is not magic. Have you seen a bunny fly out of your ass? It's because it is n-o-t m-a-g-i-c.

I am still not so sure I support the economic stimulus package, though. It's treating greedy CEOS like rich frat boys who fuck up all they want then get bailed out when things go bad. How the fuck are they going to learn? If you're gonna let companies gamble, you got to let them lose.

I still think there's lots of ways to save money, though, and get the country back on track. Here are a few of my ideas.

1. Bitch slap every company owner who shut down a plant here then opened one in bum fuck egypt where they can pay slave laborers fourteen cents a day so they can be grossly, obscenely rich instead of just obscenely rich. Then tax them the exact amount that they are saving on labor by doing that shit. Give the money to the people who would have had the jobs.

2. Legalize drugs and prostitution and tax that shit. $4 tax on a blowjob. Etc. We'll pay off the deficit in like 6 months. Unfortunately, I'll be out of a job.

3. Let people actually bid on government jobs. Ahem.

4. Fine people for non violent crimes and stop locking them up. You know what happens when you lock them up? They lose their jobs and stop paying taxes. You know how much money it takes to run a jail? Wardens, guards, water, heat, air conditioning, maintenance, sewage, electricity, uniforms, cameras, other technology, food. . . it's fucking expensive. Does the guy with the weed really need to be in there instead of at his cook job? Really?

5. Actually give out fashion tickets. $500 fine for having a mullet. $250 for acid washed jeans. $1,000 for a haircut with "wings". $100 for shorts with knee high white socks. $800 for having a big ass sticking out of a miniskirt.You get the idea.

6. Take away people's cars who go 90 on the freeway weaving in and out of traffic. Sell them. If they are passing on the right, make them wash the cars before we sell them and spray some of that smell good stuff in there, which they must buy themselves.Screw those assholes. If I stop writing in my blog, it's probably because one of them caused a wreck on my way to work. Jerks.

7. $10,000 fine for dropping out of high school. No money? Work it off picking up trash on the highway. Maybe when you scrape up enough possums you'll get your ass to English class.

8. No more handing out cash to corporations to help them expand and advertise and stay open and shit. Don't know how to run a business? Don't run one.

9. No more sick sized bonuses for the assholes who sit in board rooms and vote to pay shit to their workers and only give out 2% raises while they pay themselves $45 million a year. Cap their salaries and let the people who do the work have the money. Maybe they could keep one house each over their heads. Big shot does not need seven homes while other people are getting foreclosed on, I don't care what he says.

10. Let gay people marry and adopt children, creating more stable homes, less kids in government-sponsored foster care, more two income houses, more families buying family stuff, less volunteer money going to stupid organizations who hate us because it will be pointless.

Just some ideas, but the message he's rocking and the word I am sending is that it is HIGH motherfucking time for some reform. Jump on the bandwagon, y'all, a new country is hopefully about to leave the station.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but . . .

Defendants may, overall, be irresponsible, short sighted, drunk, dishonest, and consider violence a viable means of problem solving, but they are my people. It isn't that I fight, drink, lie, steal or find myself utterly unable to foresee the consequences of my actions - for the most part. It's just that I understand.

I credit my upbringing. One of my great accomplishments is that I got through high school without getting in a fight. You may not think much of this. Let's draw a picture. My fondest memories are riding around with my bare feet sticking out of the window of a Camaro with a big joint in one hand and Mountain Dew in the other with Led Zeppelin playing really loud, on the way to the store to get Moon pies, then to cruise around aimlessly or maybe look for drugs. Yes, we were rednecks. People kept shotguns and were wont to bust out the trailer with one in hand if you showed up in a strange truck. I'm assuming cellphones have helped a lot, for those of them who can pay up their minutes.

My family was not unusual, so I don't know where I learned better. I was born in a trailer and encouraged to kick ass whenever appropriate, I just never really found it to be appropriate. My sister, on the other hand, caught on quickly. Once, some girl showed up at the house intending to beat up my sister, which was just a terrible idea, since she could probably single handedly conquer Afghanistan. The chick pulled up in the driveway, got out and cussed until sister bandit heard her, who promptly went flying out the side door and screamed (insert awesome southern accent)"Get the hell out of here, ya big-footed, hairy bitch!" Of course, the girl didn't leave, so sister bandit kicked her ass all over the front yard. Another time, my father lent her his car to go get in a fight, since she apparently needed to go teach some girl a lesson for something involving her boyfriend J.T. and could simply not put this off until her rusty Escort was running again. About an hour later, she came back without a scratch, but was holding her wrist. My dad, who was watching Nascar,, looked up and asked how she'd gotten hurt, with a subtle tone sugggesting she'd better not have lost - he taught her better. She explained she was so mad when she got back in the car, she slammed her hand on the dash and bruised it. Satisfied his progeny had prevailed, he dispensed the fatherly advice "well, that was stupid. You should have gotten back out and hit her again!" then returned to watching the race.

Knowing at some level something was just not right with this picture, I quietly resolved to get the hell out of Dodge when I turned 18.

However, the education has come in handy. I don't get surprised. Of course I understand that when the crack ran out, you had to drive a borrowed car without a license and go steal some things because you needed more, and of course when the car was wrecked, you had to just leave it there, since getting caught would mean getting that old warrant served. Well, duh, what else would you do? Of course when the bitch showed up with your baby daddy and started talking shit, you naturally busted a beer bottle and went after her. Bitch has to learn a lesson, right? Girl got her pride. I think it makes me a better lawyer. At any rate, it gets me through the day and when the clients find me in a sea of stuffy white guys, they know that someone, somewhere, outside the trailer park does, in fact, understand.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vote for me

I used to want to have an exciting life. I've changed my mind about this. Lately I've been privy to dyke drama including, in no particular order: amateur porn, public servants, a butcher knife, a broken beer bottle, an anonymous letter, drunk texting, and a slanderous internet questionarre. I don't particularly know most of these people, I just learn a lot by being in the right place at the wrong time. I've decided turning into a pumpkin at 10:30 and having girlfriend bandit get on me to eat more vegetables is really a fine little life. And it isn't even like "bitch, eat some damn carrots or I'm gonna cut you!" or like "Gimme those potato chips before I kick your ass!" or anything like that. It's just run of the mill encouragement to pack a lunch instead of having a velveeta cheeseburger, though I really do like the velveeta cheesburger, especially with a chocolate shake and a nap in my office. Sigh. Today I had mashed potatoes and turnip greens. And I'm not even fat.

What is it about lesbians that draws such drama? We can leap tall boundaries with a single bound; fall in love at boob-thundering speed; grow an emotional briar patch in like 9 minutes flat. Here's what I propose - we use our powers for good! All the lesbians of the world should unite their emotional powers and change the world over night. We could have the israelis and palestinians singing along to poorly arranged guitar ballads, have everyone in the world adopt a kitten/puppy/weird bird and through their love of that pet, embrace environmentalism and stop climate change; glue together the polar ice cap; help North Korea realize all they really need is love and feed the hungry with good, homegrown vegetables from co-op gardens. And if we can do these things half as fast as we can meet a new girl and practically move in with her, the world's biggest problems would be solved by next Tuesday - Wednesday tops.

Therefore, I am officially throwing my hat into the ring as mayor of the world. I will immediately order less clothing for hot chicks and that all hairy men wax their backs, then get on to the rapid business of reforming the earth by redirecting lesbians away from butcher knives and toward falling in love with the world. We would all be living together harmoniously with 175 billion kittens in no time. Vote for me! Our time has come! Just make sure the election results are in by 10:30 or so, because I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Inside the U-Haul

I have a couple friends in new relationships, (read: moved in but don't know each other's middle names) and girlfriend bandit has an old friend getting married to some girl she's known like five minutes. Lesbians. What is it about us that makes us get involved at the speed of flying pool balls? "Hi! What's your name? I love you! Hey, Anne, this is my new girlfriend! It's different this time. Can you help us move?" I suspect that double estrogen works like some potent drug. I know boobies aren't magic because guys don't act like this. They are really good about slowing things the fuck down; a butt scratch, noting that she's cool enough to sleep with again,then remembering the game is on with a mental note to call by like Tuesday or something.

There may be an advantage, though, of not knowing someone - you don't have expectations that get let down when people change, because people do change, and sometimes drastically. Hiking boots gather dust. The bookworm starts watching basketball. The hippie discovers a competitive edge. The gardener stops saying "I want to live off the grid" and gets interested in luxury vacations. Drunks sober up and introverts start wanting to go party. A few years in, you might hardly recognize your girl as the one you took home, played folk music on your futon for and moved in over your cat's objection.

I think this is where it matters whether love is a verb or a noun. Hear me out here. Love as a noun is very subjective. We feel love, we are in love, we glow and gush to our friends, and all that is great, but is a booby-soft pink cloud of love that just doesn't cut it to get you through everyday life for long. Then there is the verb, to love. To give something that matters of yourself. To show up when you don't want to, listen though you're tired, give her a chance to work her issues out though you really don't understand them, and maybe just to stop and ask if you're being respectful, supportive and kind. I think as lesbians we get really caught up in what we want to feel, which is necessary and great, but sometimes forget to pay attention to the love we do.

I'm not saying stick together when she's changed so much she doesn't hit all 5 of your top five requirements for a mate. Hey, if you really need someone who will play with your monkeys and she develops a deep dislike of all poop-throwing primates, though I've no idea why that would happen, by all means move on! I'm just saying that it is what you do that matters. My dad got in a car wreck a couple years ago and girlfriend bandit drove out to sit with him in the hospital for weeks in a row - without being asked. That was when she truly won me over; what she did showed me dedication, loyalty and a willingness to go out of her way for me and for my family, who are really important to me, though you'd never know it by how bad I suck at calling. It's that kind of stuff that gets you through the times when the pink cloud is black and shitting sleet on you and you have to scrape and scrape to get the ice off your car and realize you have a crappy scraper and then that it is Saturday and you didn't have to go to work after all and put on a suit and went out in the sleet for nothing. You know, those days.

And that is my valentine's day message: if you're going to rescue some kittens together, make sure to do some stuff that gets you through the dirty litterbox days. Years later, you'll be glad.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

And the winner is: Soul!

We won! The four black chicks with the lesbian coach are the freakin' national champions. I sat in the back, stomach in knots, heart thumping, as round after round, my girls stood up and laid it the fuck down. Their final closing argument was a spine tingling work of art. People told me they wanted to cheer.

After the competition, I needed to walk back because I just couldn't sit any longer. They walked, in heels and the drizzling rain, because they said if I was walking, they were walking. It was so wonderful to see them beaming with joy and reeling with their success. It was on the walk back that they told me they had wanted to win for me, and came out there determined not to let me down. "We couldn't have done this without you," they said. There in the craptacular neon light of Las Vegas, my heart broke. I thought I just gave them a good crash course in trial practice. Maybe I gave them something much more valuable.

In thinking about this over the past couple of days, I think I'm beginning to see why sports fans are so interested in the coach. It's the players, on game day, who matter. But before game day, it's the coach's job to bring out the best in those players. When organizers and a couple coaches were talking to me about how great my team was, I told them a little about my methods, which focused not just on the case, but on teaching them to believe in, speak for and understand themselves. I wanted them to be who they needed to be within the case. They grew. It was wonderful to watch, win or lose.

Maybe here it even went a little farther. They were all calling their parents (I envy how close black families are. I love my mom and dad and still haven't called them) and I heard one telling her mom that they were the only black people there. It might have taken a little extra to help them have the kind of courage and self assurance they showed in a white male profession against schools whose names people knew. "Oh, Rutgers. . . " they said, looking deflated. "Shit, they tried to recruit me and I didn't even write them back," I told them. "We run the courtrooms in North Carolina for a reason, and don't you forget it." While that's true, it is also true that our school is the state underdog. It's the old black college with the ghetto nearby. We let people in with lower scores and tougher backgrounds to give them a chance. So, "take that, white boy!" I say out loud. "This was right, and beautiful", I say to myself. I let them hold my St. Thomas More medal for the final round and asked that he guide them. I guess he did. And I'm learning that so did I.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Soul in Las Vegas

I'm a Southern chick and haven't spent much time here in Nevada. So far as I can see, it consists of dust, rock, hoover dam, Las Vegas and people who smoke. Oh, and white people. I saw one black dude yesterday touring the Hoover Dam. We offered to take his and his boyfriend's picture together and they freaked out. Like they weren't as obviously gay as Cher's club music and size 19 heels. Sigh.

Specifically, I'm in Las Vegas, the craptacular center of the universe. I'm here as a trial team coach from my old law school, a historically black university that trust me, does more with less. We get shit for grants, no post-school loan support, an administration I don't even want to talk about and the local whitey schools stick their noses up at us. Know what? We virtually staff the state's courtrooms and have turned out some of the state's finest defense attorneys and prosecutors. So there, whitey 85 hour a week drink too much never see your fancy house fucked up kids lousy marriage potbelly corporate law spent 3 years in a corner writing memos monkey. Roll your high cholesterol ass up in the courtroom and try to make a hearsay objection. I dare you.

I figured since this was a national competition, we'd see the nation represented. Nope. We went to registration last night and stuck out like muffins in a toolbox. Every coach and student in the room was white and straight. My team is four black chicks with a gay white coach. Know what? I think we got it. My team rolled in all suited up and ready to impress. We were behind two guys that looked like they just rolled in from a drunk. If you don't have the sense to shower and put on a clean shirt before you meet the opposing team, how much are you really thinking?

I see who we are as a strength, though. We're people with the strength to break the molds and be who we wanted to be, not who society told us we should be. However, it took a while to convince my students. Law is a potbellied white male profession and sitting around reading case law does not help one find one's true voice. It helps one find a lot of dust and question the existence of a soul.

We only had a month to practice but after two weeks I suddenly realized these girls were trying to cram themselves into molds that don't fit and losing everything that makes them special. Black women, at least southern black women,have this incredible ability to put you and your silly ass who I KNOW didn't just say that up in my house in your place in two seconds flat. And black oratory is a fine, soul rocking, inspirational thing. Ever seen a sweating black dude stomping around a stage telling you about Jesus while the audience says "amen!"? I don't know if there was a heaven before black preachers, but their sermons have probably built one.

My students had lost that. Finally, I told them to put their notes up and tell me why I should let this sorry ass piece of crap defendant live, or, on the other side, how I could sleep at night after letting the state kill this idiot who never had a chance. It was like watching Neo wake up from the pod in the Matrix. The goop started wearing off as they talked about how they really felt. "Now that is a closing argument." I told them and beat their notes out of their hands.

Regardless of how we do, I'm proud. I've seen four women start to find themselves. They stand a little straighter, speak a little stronger, smile a littler wider. Maybe we win the competition and maybe we don't. But I feel pretty sure we have stood up against the stuffy old establishment and struck a blow for the soul.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I got nominated?

So I'm pretty pleased that my list of rants here, otherwise known as a blog, has been nominated for a lezzy award at thelesbianlifestyle.com. Get your lazy ass there and throw in a nomination. Maybe I win something. I'm not sure what one would win, though. A dildo shaped pen? A signed picture of Cat Cora? Some wrenches? Tickets to a women's basketball game? Mmmmm, Cat Cora.

Apparently, I've been nominated in the best feminism and political blog category. This confused me a little since I would have expected it to be in the humor category, but I suspect, deep down, that I'm not nearly as funny as I think.

I suppose it now behooves me to talk about the lesbian lifestyle or something political or feminist now. Um, OK. More dykes should run for office. That's political, right?

Um, the lifestyle part is going to be more problematic. I'm not really sure what the lesbian lifestyle is. I'm pretty sure it involves a lot of pets and comfortable shoes. I have a girlfriend and a few lesbian friends. Our houses, incomes and bras look nothing like the "L Word." Neither do any of us. I don't really follow sports but did watch the superbowl. That guy with the ball ran really far! That other guy with the ball did pretty good too. I wore a turtleneck with my suit the other day. It looked soooooo gay. At least that's what neighbor dyke bandit said. Is that a lifestyle?

Truth be known, I'm not so sure I even have a life. Saturday night I played video games while girlfriend bandit painted shelves. Then we ate some broccoli and mashed potatoes. Neither of us drink or go to the bar. We are usually in bed with books at 10:30. I listen to loud hip hop on the way to work but can't rap. I know how to play guitar but don't. Is this a life? Does it have style? Do I have style? Probably not. I'm a lesbian. We like comfortable shoes.

I am happy and flattered, though. Now go fucking vote, you freeloading reader. Earn your political feminism lesbian blog reading keep.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What chair to choose

I am never surprised at work. This doesn't mean it's boring. It means that, overall, I make my living off of people who just don't get it. Here are a few common characteristics. I'd suggest you check to see if these apply to you, but if they do, you probably won't recognize yourself, because you're too fucking thick headed.

1. You're too fucking thick headed.
2. If you don't like a rule, you think it does not apply to you. Guess what? People in uniforms will have a problem with you. Get with the program. That's the point of rules -to get your dumb ass in line.
3. When other people tell you that you are being a dumb ass, you justify your behavior until they get tired of arguing with you, then convince yourself you convinced them and should move ahead with your retarded ass plan. For the record, you probably should not.
4. Nothing is more important than defending your pride, even your record, employability, or freedom from strip searches. Guess what? That idiot talking shit to you will not give you a job, sign your paycheck or bail you out. Let him talk.
5. You regularly break more than one law at a time, or break two in the same day. Today I read about a public employee caught with some weed at his house. Later the same day he gets a DWI in the company truck. He tells the cops he wasn't impaired because he only smoked a roach. Dude. First, you were at work. Second, you already got busted once today. Did you really have to ensure you spent the night in jail and lost your job? Third, you don't argue with the cops about how little pot you smoked. It's all illegal and you just blew your defense. Go home and flush the weed. You are not using drugs successfully.
6. Distorted self image with respect to the rest of the world. If you look in the mirror and see a cool outlaw, an entreprenuer who just thinks outside the box, a risk taker, a gangsta, if you often say 'people don't understand', 'I had to' or 'it will be ok, and if it's not, I'll deal with it then', chances are that you are, on some level, an idiot who is begging for an ass kicking. Haven't gotten one yet? Ask yourself if luck, like hope, springs eternal. No, wait - ask some homeless guy or somebody in an orange jumpsuit with 'inmate' stamped on the back. That won't happen to you? Refer back to #2. Back yet? You are a dumb ass. Now refer back to #3.

These are my people, and I love them, and appreciate that they pay my mortgage. Well, them and my girlfriend, who makes a lot more money than me. And because I know them, they do not surprise me. However, I am acutely aware of how little space there is between our chairs at the defense table. You have to be ballsy, innovative, flexible and headstrong to be a decent defense attorney. But being able to draw those fine lines put me in a suit on the left instead of handcuffs on the right.

The moral of the story is - It is, in fact, the the subtle differences that make a life.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

OMG, Prince Harry is single!

I'm not much for tabloid news. There, I said it. I don't feel smarter, or richer, or better informed when I know where Brittany is in rehab or who some some skinny chick in a designer dress is blowing this month. I don't care who Jennifer Aniston marries. If she shows up at my house with a fruit tray and propositions, that's another matter, but frankly, I'm not holding my breath. I am holding my breath for Sandra Bullock, however, just for the record.

Of course, I'm not a teenager. Not anymore, anyway. On most days. Teenagers love that shit because they have such inflated senses of self-importance. Debbie and Tyrone breaking up is the end of the world! OMG, oceans are going to rush over the beaches and take out entire communities in their grief. Teenagers like to gossip loudly in malls or other unfortunate public gathering places, hoping to be overheard, because surely the adults passing by will be impressed that the blonde one got invited to Tony's party, and secretly wish themselves they could go, but they are so old and boring, but everyone wants to go to Tony's - whoever the fuck Tony is and whyever they should care that he's convinced some morally challenged 30 year old to buy him shitty beer while his parents are in Idaho for the weekend. It's Tony! Teenagers, all listen closely: Tony is not a real celebrity. His breakup with Jami'ka is not nearly so interesting as Prince Harry's breakup with Chelsy Davy, the law student who he's been seeing for 5 years, probably because Harry is in the army and she's in law school and that has got to be hard, but dude, what guy is going to want to follow up that act? She's been doing the potential next king of England for the last 5 years. Talk about performance anxiety! He's so cute though and doesn't at all seem like a total dick like his father was, OMG poor Diana, right?

That was just an example. Ahem. And now, the NY Times, so I can get depressed over the state of the world and have my ego deflated over a crossword puzzle I can't finish until girlfriend bandit starts asking about breakfast - the Sunday of an adult who is very, very not famous. Well, at least Tony and Qu'a'liitay won't be gossiping about what I wear to the grocery store this afternoon, and I might just go looking like shit just because I can.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sing, Sing a song about flying cars

I read today they finally came up with a flying car. Yay! Now we can have air traffic jams like in the Jetsons. Fortunately, it's about $200,000, so not too many speeding, tailgating idiots will be buying one, because the problem with a flying car is that when another flying car cuts you off, the wreck means you stop flying. Talk about whiplash from a fender bender! The bottom of the car will be jammed right up your ass and actually into your neck. Takes a hell of a chiropractor to fix that shit.

Of course, I want one. And of course, that isn't going to happen. I can't even afford to fix the cracked windshield on my 10 year old Nissan. Oh, wait, it isn't my Nissan, it's my girlfriend's old car. And that's with my student loans on deferment. My friend at the public defender's office makes more money than me. Now that shit is sad; NC has the lowest paid court officials in the country. And she gets benefits and all holidays off and can pay her student loans and bills at the same time. This gives rise to quite a few questions. Will this job translate into raises that allow me to pay the bills and eventually buy a used Honda, will I regret taking a job based on hope, will I snap one day when another atrocious and unnecessary hiring decision is dumped into the front office over ignored objections, will I make coffee, burn the toast, remember toast gives me gas, run out of gas, go running, run away, or sing, sing a song? Tune in next week: same broke-ass time, same broke-ass channel. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm not giving up my Yoyo, even for king messiah supercool.

Is it time to get real already? The reflecting pool was frozen, and Obama really could have walked on water. *Sniff.* He also let me down saying it was time to put away childish things. I got a new Batman yoyo for Christmas and I really like it. I'm not putting it away, either, so there!

I love this guy. I really do. I couldn't help but notice, though, that his speech gave a shout out to practically every conceivable group except gay people. OK, he didn't mention one-legged auctioneers, agoraphophic dentists, or blind cake decorators. But still, man! If the coolest guy to ever take office ignores us, who is going do speak for us? What, am I the fucking Lorax tree? I know I'm asking a lot; he's still a politician and has to work with a bunch of right wing not jobs. But come on, dude - you included atheists and ignored us? When we got our marriage rights stripped in California the day you got elected? Oh, shit, I forgot - it's all gay people wear their invisibility cloaks day.

And, the reality is, (mind you, I still have the yoyo) that he doesn't walk on water. And the truth is that it's a good thing that today, millions of us believed the message that 'we can'; can change, can grow, can save ourselves. But tomorrow someone will buy a Hummer, and someone will close an American plant to open one in China, and Karl Rove will accept his re-election in Hell, and some homeless family will freeze to death because there wasn't room in the shelter, and some one will learn to play the banjo, and someone smoke their first rock of crack because they can't get away from the guy with the banjo.

Maybe the lesson is patience. Black people had a long, hard road from slavery to this day, and the country still has a long way to go on that front. Homelessness, poverty, SUVs, bagpipes, and all of society's other ills are going to take some time to fix, and treating gays and lesbians like second class citizens isn't going to go away overnight either, even if Barak is president king messiah supercool. So, tomorrow, it's back to work. Today, it's snowing, and beautiful, and the messiah let me down, but maybe an imperfect world needs an imperfect leader, and I still believe in him.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Long live the king!

So I'm really looking forward to Obama's coronation. I mean inauguration. People say it's more like a coronation and it's true, but fuck it, maybe we need someone kingly right now. We've just suffered eight years of having a drunk frat boy drive the country into a ditch like his dad's mercedes. Things suck. We need someone to put on a pedestal to prove the pedestal hasn't been reposessed.

We also need someone with common sense enough to not be a bully. I've been thinking and have come to the conclusion that the same rules apply to dealing with friends, coworkers, customer service representatives and smelly international diplomats who eat weird stuff. I'm particularly sensitive to being bullied, probably for some deep seated psychological reason I won't be paying a shrink to unearth because after all that money I'll still want to throw things/rebel/quit/bite when I feel that way, but still, I suspect that in any arena, being a bully is at best a short term solution that causes long term problems. Look at Bush - he bullied the UN, Iraq and pretty much everyone else. And for a while, he got what he wanted. But long term, he got the lowest approval ratings in history, a shitcan economy, lots of dead people, roadside bombs, more terrorists than ever, and the whole world thinking we're a bunch of arrogant assholes. I met a girl at a party who trains horses and explained how she works with them, not on them, and how animals who run in herds or packs never follow the bully; they follow the one who has shown good decision making abilities. Of course, Americans aren't too bright and reelected our dumbass in cheif, but we caught on eventually.

So, I think the same thing applies in personal relationships.I don't know whether we as Americans are particularly susceptible to this, but I do see a lot of people who confuse wearing people down with getting them to agree. It's not the same thing. Anyway, maybe the other guy had to be worn down because your idea sucked - like going to war in Iraq with no plan or evidence we needed to be there, for instance. So, here's a thought - if someone gives in because they're sick of telling you you're an idiot and your idea is not good/stupid/dangerous/inappropriate/makes them want to stab you/is going to get you sued/ etc. it doesn't make the idea a good one. Getting one's way by bullying also comes at the expense of creating resentments, damaging relationships and making people just feel run over - which does not make the herd want to follow you.

But Obama makes people want to follow him. 2 million people are trekking to D.C. in the fuck-me-oh-hell-what-is-this cold to watch him get sworn in for a reason. He makes people believe we're not a bunch of bullies; that we can listen; that we have the common sense to respect and build good relationships with people we need; that we're not just arrogant pigs, but people who are capable of growth and change for a greater good.

So, I say give Obama a fucking crown and some purple robes, I don't care. I'm so glad to trade in this illiterate schoolyard bully for a grown up with some self discipline and tact I don't care if he gets carried in on the shoulders of 6 men in turbans and fed grapes by local virgins, only the virgins should, of course, not miss school, since they're probably only in 5th grade. Anoit his head with oil. Whatever. If he can save some kid from a roadside bomb and make us look a little less like international date rapists, I say long live the king.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sometimes it is their fault

We've been repainting the interior of the house and rearranging. You may also call this an exorcism, since we're getting rid of all leftover furniture from my crazy ex and the ridiculous colors she picked out we've been living with for the past 4 years. It went like this: I woke up about 2 days after I took the bar, looked around and said "what the fuck is this and why do we have a bright green living room?" It took us a few months, but things look better and are beginning to feel a lot less haunted by something insane.

The last piece of furniture to go was a brown armchair that was worn out when crazy ex and I got it. We put it on craig's list for free, which excused not explaining it might be haunted. The city rescue mission called and talked to girlfriend bandit.

"Still have the chair?"
"We can come get it today or tomorrow."
"Great. Come today."
"We can come tomorrow."
"Uh, Ok. when?"
"About 1."

So at 1:30 she calls and they say:

"Oh, yeah, we'll be there tomorrow."
"You said today."
"Really? OK, we'll be there at 4:00."
"Um, OK."

4 p.m. comes and goes. Apparently, about 6:30 they roll around and leave a note saying they had come for the chair.

And this is why they are unemployed and homeless.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New year, monkeys and here's to no bar

Well, I got a new calendar. Otherwise, what did I tell you? Things are pretty much the same. The hoopla over a 'new year' is really just an excuse to get drunk and a money maker for defense attorneys, who profit from all the stupid shit people do when they are drunk: drive, break windows with firecrackers, punch people, pee in the street, drive trucks into houses, fight their baby's daddy's new baby's mama, break windshields, buy crack from an undercover officer any sober idiot could tell was a cop, yell in the street with an open bottle of shitty whiskey, stuff like that.

If I buy into the idea of a new year, at least I don't have to take the bar this year, which is really a measuring stick. House burn down? Bird flu? Monkey infestation? Hey, it's not the bar. Further, I'm on my way to having associates of my own to abuse and, if I'm lucky, enough money to buy a new car someday. It will probably be after I pay off my student loans, which I'm on track to do when I'm 73, at which time they will take my driver's license, but I won't care, because I'll have that new fucking car and will drive it, fuck them. Oh, that new car smell! A windsheild with no crack in it! A stereo with speakers I haven't blown yet! Dreams I cherish like a child, except I don't beat them. Sigh.

Until next time, glad you got to read me. Happy new year and may you visit bars, not take them.