Friday, August 29, 2008

I Am the Best Attorney EVER*

If you are currently being represented by counsel, or have been represented by counsel in the past, please consider this. Would your attorney walk up 30 flights of stairs to get to her office to appear at a telephonic hearing on your behalf because the elevators were broken in her office building?


Well, I did. In three inch heels. Granted, it was more motivated out of fear of being held in contempt for failing to appear at the hearing, but still . . . I did it.

And it took me less than 10 minutes and I wasn’t sore afterwards, which is pretty damn good in my book.

*Disclaimer for the ethics police: The title of my post is not intended to assert or claim that I am, in fact, the best attorney ever. I am not the best attorney ever and neither are you. The title was intended to be eye-catching and humorous. Because I know you were born without the humor gene, I am explaining this to you so I don’t have to face a complaint based on what is just a funny little blog post. Besides, if athletic ability and fortitude were a prerequisite to being a good attorney, 75% of the attorneys in Illinois would fail miserably.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Updated Blogroll

Seeing that I have not updated my blogroll since I started this blog in May of 2007, I thought it was about time. I deleted some dead links and some blogs I never read anymore. Most importantly, I added many people whom I should have added months ago. My apologies for not adding you sooner. I've been busy. (I mean, I was too busy to vaccinate my cat for two years, what made you think I would be able to perform secretarial blog work in a timely manner?)

I'm sure I have forgotten someone and, as a result, someone is going to get their undies in a bunch. Rest assured, if you are not on my blogroll, there are two possible explanations: (1) I simply forgot because I am an overworked, overtired, professional single mom who would rather write a blog than maintain it, and things slip through the cracks sometimes; or (2) I don't like you.

If you think you fall under the first category, feel free to email me at and I will add you to the roll . . . sometime in the next 18 months or so.

If you think you fall under the second category, you can also email me to discuss the matter, if you really feel it necessary. But beware . . . I've been told I'm mean.

OH - and anyone who posts a picture of my knee taken on Saturday, August 23, 2008, might risk being banned from my blogroll. Yeah, that's how I roll. I know who you are! But I will take cash payments for the use of my knee's likeness on your blog.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is It the Thought that Counts If No Thought was Had?

As I mentioned in a previous post, my brother and sister-in-law suck at birthdays. My daughter's birthday was last Friday and my birthday is this coming Saturday. I sent my brother and sister-in-law an evite for my daughter's birthday party, hoping to make them remember that, "Oh, she has a birthday . . . perhaps we should send her something . . . like a card . . . or a present?" Not that I think my kid needs more stuff, she has cleaned up pretty well for her birthday thus far. It is the principle of the whole thing. When you only have one aunt and uncle, it would be nice if they remembered your birthday.

Yesterday, I came home and saw that there were two cards in the mail from my brother. The first one was addressed to me and I figured, hey . . . I bet that's my birthday card!! And it's early too!

Not so much. The front of the card had a saxophone on it, which is weird because I played the violin and we really don't have any connections to saxophones that I can think of. I opened it and realized it was a thank you card for my nephew's birthday present. That still doesn't explain the saxophone, but whatever. My brother's handwriting is atrocious, but I could make out ". . . loved . . . airplane . . . remember . . . you . . ." Well, that's nice, I thought.

Then I turned to the next card, which also had my brother's return address on it. Then I read the mailing address. It was in my brother's handwriting, but it was addressed to my sister-in-law. Sure, the address was mine, but the name was hers. Interesting, I thought. Then I figured that it must be my daughter's birthday card and my brother was distracted and knew he was supposed to send the card to someone at my address but not me and just wrote his wife's name.

As I was opening the card, my daughter says, "Is it for me? Is it for me? For my birthday?" Before I read the card, I told her it was for her birthday.

Not so much. It was a birthday card for me that had a small dog playing a metallic red electric guitar. On the inside it said, "No matter how old you get, you still rock!" I was glad they remembered my birthday, but a little sad they forgot hers, so I gave her the card and told her it was her birthday card. Thank god she can't read yet.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Crime

I’ve been having a craptacular week. Just one thing after another after another. Mostly work related, but there has been some personal crap too. On Tuesday, I came home to find a yellow piece of paper stuck in my front door. It was from an animal control officer. It said, "Please contact our office no later than 8-21-08 at 5:00 regarding the following item(s). Failure to do so will result in legal action."

My crime? "Rabies vaccination and/or registration of cat. Ticket will be issued." Great.

I’ll readily admit I haven’t always gotten my cat vaccinated for rabies in a timely manner. He is an indoor only cat. He never goes outside, except for the few times he tricks a new person into leaving the front door open too long. Then he runs out and flops on the nearest driveway. And stays there until I go pick him up and carry him back to the house. The only rabid animal he is in danger of being bitten by is my dog and she always gets her yearly rabies vaccination.

It is not that I care more for my dog than I care for my cat. They irritate me equally. However, it is much easier to get the dog to the vet than it is to get the cat to the vet. The dog hops in the back seat and is happy on a leash. The cat never goes outside and would probably maim me if I put him on a leash. And, for some reason, I no longer have a cat carrier, so transporting the cat to the vet is an issue. But, I guess the rabies vaccination police don’t consider all those factors when issuing tickets.

I decided that it was probably time to get him vaccinated anyway, just to avoid any legal unpleasantness. (I mean, you never know what they'll take away your law license for these days.) I called my vet and checked to make sure I was actually late on the vaccination - just checking if the animal control people were yanking my chain. She said, "Well . . . it has been awhile. The last one he got was in October of 2005. I’m surprised they haven’t gotten you before!" OK, so I missed two vaccinations (2006 and 2007), which sounds a whole lot better than saying it has been three years since he was vaccinated.

I said, "I don’t really know how to get him there - I don’t have a carrier anymore." She replied, "Oh, just put him in a pillowcase . . . just don’t tie a knot in it."

Oh yeah, because that will make him even happier to go to the vet. I swear, I would not want to be the one taking him out of the pillowcase.

Anyway, I borrowed a cat carrier, made the appointment for this morning, went on my merry way, still having a shitty week. Then I got the ticket in the mail last night. I was assuming that, since the rabies tag fee is $12 for neutered cats, that the ticket might be two or three times that amount - like between $25 and $35. That’s not too painful, I thought. I’ll just be better about remembering next time.

The ticket was $100.


Holy crap. I almost fell off my chair. And that’s only if I: (1) admit my guilt and (2) pay the fine before my court date. Otherwise, I can go to court, plead guilty, and pay $115. Or, I can proceed to a bench trial and probably get fined three times that amount for wasting the court’s time. No wonder they are going after these horrible rabies vaccination offenders. Cold hard cash.

Of course, that doesn’t count the money I have to pay to actually get him the rabies shot. There is a $12 fee to the County, a $40 fee for the well-cat exam, a $10 fee for the rabies vaccine, and $20 for the distemper vaccine. So that’s $82 in addition to the ticket. My cat cost me $182 today. I’m seriously considering taken him off Iams and switching to Meow Mix.

Then again, let’s do the math. If I was keeping up on the vaccinations, he would have cost me $82 in 2006, $82 in 2007, and $82 in 2008. That equals $246, which is obviously more than $182. So, by breaking the law, I actually saved $64. I’m not sure how much deterrence there is in this sentence. Don't tell animal control . . . .

Furthermore, almost everyone I have talked to says one or all of their animals is not up on their rabies vaccinations. My parents said they didn’t think their recently deceased cat had ever had a rabies vaccination after she came home from the shelter. My dad said he was worried that they would make him get her a rabies shot before they agreed to put her to sleep. (They didn't, but doesn't that just seem like something the government would do? Make you protect your cat from disease before having it killed?)

I'm not planning on doing the "layaway" version of feline rabies vaccinations again in the future, however. Apparently, the fine goes up upon your second offense. I bet there is even a three strikes law. For the third offense, you go to jail for life. This is a serious crime, people. You better watch yourselves.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Am Not A Crook!

One of the best parts of having young children is to make them say things that are hilarious coming from a two year old's mouth. Sometimes things are just funnier when they come from kids.

Not surprisingly, a lot of our funnier moments come in the bathroom. I have two very small bathrooms in my house and, more often than not, I am joined in the bathroom by two kids, a large dog, and a cat. Many funny things happen in the bathroom and this weekend was no exception.

I was in one of the bathrooms fixing my hair and both kids were in the bathroom with me. They were playing with the various headbands and hair elastic bands I have looped around the door knobs in the bathroom. My son managed to get one headband around his head, across his forehead - hippie style, with curls sticking out the sides. My daughter joined suit and said, "Look it, Mama!!"

I looked down and said, "Well, if you are going to be hippies, you have to learn how to say Peace." and I showed them the two-fingered peace symbol. My daughter was confused because the two finger gesture is also how you count two and since she is two-almost-three, she has been obsessed with showing me two fingers and three fingers.

Me: (showing two fingers) say, "Peace!"

Son: Eace! (he has problems with beginning consonants)

Daughter: That's two!

Me: It is also "Peace!" Say "Peace!"

Daughter: (holding up two fingers on each hand) Peace!

Me: Well, if you are going to do it that way . . . you have to say this (doing my best Richard Nixon imitation and holding out two fingers on each hand), "I'm not a crook!"

Silence and blank stares.

Me: See, if you have out two hands doing Peace, you have to say, "I'm not a crook!" So, say it. "I'm not a crook!"

More silence and blank stares.

Me: "I'm not a crook!"

Daughter: Yes you are.

Oh, if she only knew how funny that really is.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's the Thought that Counts

My nephew's birthday is at the end of June. This year, he turned three years old and he is an airplane fanatic. So, I got him a toy airplane and some pajamas with airplanes on them. He lives in Wisconsin, so I mailed the package to him. Admittedly, I mailed the package late - not until July 7th. To compensate for my lateness, I spent the money and overnight mailed it. Obviously, he should have received it on July 8th.

Well, imagine my surprise when my parents told me they were at his house on August 8th and there, sitting in the front hall, was the birthday present box . . . unopened. Now, granted, the box itself does not scream I AM A BIRTHDAY PRESENT because it is just a plain brown box. However, in big all capital letters, it is addressed to my nephew from me. I even used my full name, just in case my brother and sister-in-law were confused. There it was, a month later, still in the hallway.

Now there are several things that strike me as odd about this situation. First, what kind of three year old leaves a package alone for four weeks? The minute my three year old spies a package, she is like a cadaver dog in a morgue. She points at the box until I open it and show her the contents, even if the contents are just for me. Of course, most often, the contents are for her or my son, so she is justified. She was really pissed when I wouldn't open the box from American Girl, even though it was a plain brown box with no markings and she had no idea it contained her birthday presents.

Second, what kind of parents deny their three year old a birthday present? They had to know it was in there - it's not like I send them packages every day. And it was addressed to their son, for crying outside. What else could it have been?

Third, how the hell did they deal with a big box in their front hallway for a month? They have a small apartment-style condo which is just over 900 square feet. In this small space live two adults, two children, and three cats who each weigh over 20 pounds. The box was big enough to take up a good portion of the front hallway, which is really just part of their living room. How did they manage to step around or over it for a month without just opening it?

Fourth, why would they leave it out when they know my parents are coming? There are very few secrets in our immediate family and, they had to know my parents (in particular, my dad) would tell me about it the first time he had the chance. They had to know it would piss me off because they know shit like that pisses me off.

As long as I am on that rant, let's talk about birthday gifts for a little bit. I may be a little late giving birthday gifts, but I always give them and I am a damn good gift giver. Once my nephew got to open the box and see his airplane, he loved it and carried it around for the rest of the weekend. I give gifts because I like to pick out gifts for people and give them, particularly for children. And I don't necessarily expect to receive gifts in return, but it would be nice if my brother and sister-in-law would remember just one of my kids' birthdays.

That's right . . . I have a daughter who is almost three and a son who will be two in November. And not once have they received birthday presents from their only aunt and uncle. Not even a card. As I have mentioned before, they suck at giving gifts. But what is stopping them from calling and asking what my children would like? That shit just pisses me off.

Monday, August 11, 2008

You Say That?

I make a concerted effort not to swear around my children. Well, actually I have made a concerted effort not to swear around my children since they were old enough to repeat what I say. It’s been difficult, however, to curtail when there is a fair amount of swearing done in my office and sometimes swear words are just the perfect expression you need in a situation.

I often slip when I am tired or distracted. My daughter excels at catching my slips and whenever she does, I explain, "I know . . . Mama said a not nice word. Sometimes mamas need to say those words. But those words are not for you to say, okay?" She agrees and, so far, I haven’t heard her say any of my not nice words. Now, when she catches me, she says, "You say that?" meaning, "You can say that and I can’t, Mama?" Pretty soon, however, she is going to forget that I have told her not to say certain words and say something really inappropriate in front of someone. So, I have been trying extra hard not to swear.

Well, last night didn’t help things much. At 2:30 this morning, she started screaming, "MAMA! MAMA!!" The scream was so sudden and high pitched that I thought she had lost a limb or was bleeding from the head or something. When I arrived in her room, she was in her bed, apparently fine and all in one piece . . . still screaming. I said, not so nicely, "WHAT?!? What is your problem?" (I’m not the most nurturing person at 2:30 in the morning.)

"I got boogers."

"Jesus Christ! Can’t you wipe them on your sheets like every other normal child?"

She responded with, "No . . . you say that?"

I groaned and went and got her a box of Kleenex. I tucked her in and kissed her good night again. Then I went to my room and went back to sleep. I was exhausted. I hadn’t gone to sleep until past midnight and I thought I would be able to get at least another four hours of sleep.


At 6 am, I become barely conscious of a thumping noise and a weight on the end of the bed. Glancing at the clock, I assumed it is the dog wagging her tail while sleeping on my bed. I whispered, "Knock it off, dog," and closed my eyes. After a short silence, the thumping started again. I mean-whispered, "STOP it, dog." Another silence and then . . . thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. In my regular mean-mommy voice, I said "STOP. IT. RIGHT. NOW."

A longer silence followed, which allowed me to close my eyes and almost get back to sleep. But then it started again . . . thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. Before I turned over and sat up in bed, I said:


Then I turned over and sat up. There, sitting on the end of my bed was my daughter. Predictably, she said, "You say that?" Groan. My head hit the pillow again and I asked her, "What are you doing?"

"Patting my baby and reading my book."

I looked up at her again and saw she had her baby doll face down on the bed and covered with a blanket. She was patting that baby’s back within an inch of its life. On her lap, she was holding a book open with her other hand. I noticed she did not have a picture book, rather she was holding a medium sized adult paperback. "What are you reading?" I asked her.

"This book," she said, holding it up.

She was "reading" A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf.

It’s really hard to be mad at her for that.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Certain Kind of Envy

It seems that many profound conversations with one's children happen in the car, while the parent is driving and the child is in the back seat. Who knows, maybe children pick this time to bring up the big issues because they know their parents are captive. Maybe they know this is a good time because the parent is preoccupied. For whatever reason, this is the conversation we had last night coming home from work:

Daughter: How come boys stand up?

Me: Stand up where?

Daughter: Stand up to go potty. How come boys stand up?

I paused for a moment, wondering how far this conversation was going to go. We were approaching the drive through pharmacy window and I really didn't want to have the conversation while the pharmacists listened.

Daughter: How come, Mama?

Me: Because boys have penises.

Daughter: Penis? Girls not have penis?

Me: No, only boys.

She was silent for a few minutes, obviously thinking this over. Then she said this:

Daughter: When I get big, I gonna have a penis.

Me: Really?

Daughter: Yep . . . when I get big.

I resisted the urge to ask her where she was going to get this new penis (after she got big, of course.) Then I started wondering where they get the penises for women who have sex change operations to become men. The penis doesn't exactly seem to be an organ that could be donated on your donor card, does it? I'm kinda scared to google it because (1) who knows what kind of "list" I would be on if I googled something like that and (2) if I did google it, there might be pictures and that would make me throw up.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Rixblix tagged me to disclose six random things about myself. Here it is, Rix!

Tag Rules:
(1) Link to the person who tagged you.
(2) Post the rules on the blog.
(3) Write six random things about yourself.
(4) Tag six people at the end of your post.
(5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
(6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

My six random things:

(1) I have been to every state in the United States except Florida, Alaska, and Hawaii.

(2) I took a year off between high school and college and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

(3) When I was a freshman in high school, I wanted to be an architect. My school counselor suggested I take a mechanical drafting class, so I signed up for it. The first day of class, I walked in and I was the only girl in the class. The teacher pulled me aside and said, "We have never had a girl take this class. Wouldn't you be happier if you took art?" I was 14 years old and I was totally intimidated so I dropped the class and took art. I'd love to go back and smack that teacher in the head.

(4) On my mother's side, I am the first generation born in the United States.

(5) When I was 9, my grandfather built for me (at my request) a set of bunk beds just like the one Arnold and Willis shared on Diff'rent Strokes, except mine had white posts instead of brown posts. (I would totally link to an episode that shows the bed, except for the fact that I can't figure out how to do it and am getting really frustrated and pissed off. If you really want to see it, go to YouTube and search for Diff'rent Strokes Movin' In Part 2.) That bed is still in my parents' basement.

(6) In 1987, my brother and I both appeared on the front page of our small town newspaper. He had won an art contest and I had been selected for the All-State Orchestra.

I'm tagging Eyebrows, Peoria Illinoisan, Reno (because he bitched on Rix's blog), Mistress of the Post, Morton Malaise, and East Bluff Barbie (because she needs a reason to post - please?).