Thursday, August 14, 2014

On Twins

So it appears I have not blogged for quite some time. The reason is that life has accelerated  up to warp speed. (Star Trek reference that quick? Yeah. Deal with it). I have been practicing law, raising my beautiful daughter who is now approaching 2 years old and oh yeah, we had twins boys. I can't describe to you the feeling when I first saw the circle on the sonogram stating, "Baby A, and Baby B." (Something between falling from an extreme height and a first kiss).

However, other people's reaction to the news that we have twins is both diverse and amusing. It ranges from veiled horror to pure elation. The horror seems to come from people trying to imagine trying to manage two infants at one time. Having one baby who isn't sleeping and spitting up on you and pooping on you is terrifying enough. One attorney that I see frequently on the elevator just laughs and shakes his head a lot at me. Sometimes he mutters, "poor bastard." To which I think, "If I wasn't so tired my IQ is literally 20 points lower I would reply with something clever... heh... It'd be so damn clever... YEAH, then you would think I was NOT a poor bastard." But alas I am in a sleep deprived haze and only stare back stupidly. "Kids hard... Two kids harder." These are my more profound moments.

But, double your pleasure double your fun I always say. (I've never said that). Plus as an added bonus my kids can now always fall back on cheesy entertainment gags involving twins for their future careers, which I think is just wonderful. OR they could take over the law firm and have all kinds court room antics involving twin-dome. I smell a reality hit! Double Justice - "Is Justice Blind or did that guy already enter his appearance before the court." OOHHH or they could follow in their grandpa's footsteps, and uncles, and two cousins and become medical doctors. "DOCTOR THEY ARE GOING TO DIE UNLESS YOU PERFORM DOUBLE SURGERY AND YOU CAN'T BE TWO PLACES AT ONCE!!!" Baby A, now a handsome 6'4'' man states cooly, "yes, I can. PAGE BABY B!" (FYI they do have names, Joshua and Caleb, but I prefer to still think of them as Baby A and Baby B).

At any rate those are the sorts of things that are going through my head. Imagining my kids yet unknown lives in double mint gum commercials or in improbable but lucrative TV gigs. (Hopefully, they can grow beards better than I can. That would seal the deal. Also I would hate them for it. Stupid beardless face.)

For now they sit, and gurgle and cry and eat and cry and sleep and cry and not sleep. Maddie (My daughter) run's around in circles yelling, "GO! GO! GO! GO!" And I sit dumbfounded at it all. I have never been happier. Seriously.

(Oh and here's a link to my firm's website, because... self promotion and stuff):  TOPEKA ATTORNEY

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lawn Mower Mundundities

First, I would like to address the title of my post, and only to the extent that "mundundities" is my own fecundity. I meant it as a derivative of  "mundane." What's the point of English if you can't make up words. (How ridiculous is it to say whats the point of English if you can't make up words?! I mean if we made up all of our words then there wouldn't actually be a point to English. So you know what? I apologize for making up the word Mundundities. But I don't apologize so much as to change it.)

Second, I would like to address the word fecundity. Hello, fecundity. (I shouldn't think that's funny, I know.)

Third, I would like to write a short story about my lawn mower struggles. It is as follows:

Liz and I have recently purchased a home. We purchased it in late October so there was no need to immediately buy a lawn mower because the grass had stopped growing. SO, this spring the grass started growing again, as is its way. But I was unprepared. I had no mower! (Cue music that is supposed to add suspense, indicating that the primary conflict has arisen.) (I told you it was mundane. Or at least it was implied in the title.)

I could have done what a normal person would do and go to a local hardware store to purchase a lawn mower, but I had gotten it my head that I could buy one second hand from a pawn shop. After many visits to local pawn shops, I had finally found one at a good price which would serve my purposes. The owner said he wanted to change out the air filter but if I would come back tomorrow I could buy it. So that's what I did. But the next day it had been sold.....

What a jerk who does that? (sigh) They told me to go down the street to another pawn shop. This was on my lunch break mind you, so I was in a nice suit. It is a navy suit which I had expertly paired with a sort of brownish lavender shirt with a white and navy tie. I don't mean to brag but I looked good. Court-ready even. I would blow away a jury with my suave demeanor. Yes, in a court room I would be at home, but as it happened I was very self-conscious of pawn shopping in a suit. (I was also self conscious of  the fashion forward shirt, if I'm honest). So unhappily I went to a second pawn shop. They had several mowers to choose from. A short gray haired man showed me out to the back in order to make an easy sale.

 We turned each of them on, one by one.

I pretended to inspect each carefully. Hoping to evoke a sense that I might know what to look for in a second-hand lawn mower so as to get a better deal. I made an offer 20 bucks below asking price. My brownish lavender shirt and navy suit betrayed me. The short gray haired man staired blankly for a moment and then repeated the asking price of $90. I capitulated grudgingly.

So there I was, in my nice suit in a parking lot in a somewhat shady part of town, the proud owner of a shiny second hand mower. (Well it was better described as rusty than shiny.)  Then there was the matter of transporting the mower back to my home.


 I drive a small 2008 Sentra. It's pretty sweet. I don't wanna brag but, yeah, it's a compact.


Well, not quite. It kind of hung out the back and I didn't have any bungie chords. SO after getting my suit quite dirty I managed to put it in my back seat. I think the pawn shop employees thought it was pretty funny, but they did not offer to help. Jerks.

Long story short. The mower crapped out half way through my lawn resulting in, but not limited to, the following itemized events:

1. Feeble attempts to fix it.

2. Embarrassing neighbor interactions in which they mowed my lawn in my absence.

3. Uncontrollable weeping.

4. A return to the pawn shop.

5. A brief argument as to whether they would give me my money back that I won (Lawyered).

6. And a new mower purchased from Wal-Mart. (sigh).


Thursday, February 2, 2012

On Losing Ones Youth; Or, On the realization I might be an enabler

My older brother has recently moved to North Dakota for work. Brrrrr. Sounds pretty bad, but not as bad as when you consider he has a pretty sweet beard and he loves hot coffee. He might have been made for the great white north, eh. (Is North Dakota the great white north? He said he was closer to Canada than Kansas. So I'm going to say, 'yeah it is' feel free to correct me in the comments section. Our little Dorothy (Joey) is not in Kansas anymore).

The reason I mention the "Joe Man" (as he is sometimes called in certain computer game situations, I can only assume this call sign comes from Top Gun, as some kind of play on Ice Man. This is only reinforced by his propensity to say, "You know why I don't like you?! Cause you're dangerous." And then he bites/clicks his teeth right in my face. True Story) (whew another long aside!) (One day I will just write an entire post in parenthesis. Cut out the middle man. Now back to my original sentence, which began way at the beginning of the paragraph....) is that he is integral to my story. 

Before he left, he and I took a trek to Manhattan Kansas, to visit the third brother (if we were the brothers' Karamotsov he would be Alyosha) (*Liturature Reference High Five*). (What's better is the analogy really does work for him if you've read the novel) The third brother is dating a girl that is a few years younger than himself. She is 20 and he is 24. Not totally ridiculous. But, lets call a spade a spade, one must ask, "I wonder if there is a maturity gap there?" But whether it's to Paige's credit or Matt's arrested development (wait is that a thing? or just a tv show?) I really don't think there is. They are good together. However, as Joe and I have recently discovered, the fast paced world of college 20 year olds is behind us. And what's sad is that we came to this realization when doing the most relaxing non-fast-paced of activities:  getting Coffee. 

Now realizing you are too old is traumatic, realizing you're too old while getting coffee... that is something I was just not prepared for. Anyway, Paige joined Alyosha, Joe Man and myself for coffee before we set out for the evening's activities. Great! Paige brought two of her sorority sisters. (At the risk of sounding creepy:) Great! Or so I thought....

 They spoke so fast....

 About so many different people...

AAARRGG! I couldn't keep up! It was like a twitter feed was coming out of their mouths and beating me about the face while periodically interrupting the beat down with bursts of laughter. Yeah. Horrifying. I tried to be entertaining, clever and funny. I don't think it worked. They just kept on with their conversations at break neck speeds.




That was about all I gathered. I looked over at Joey. His brain hole was experiencing the same kind of whip lash. But the Joe Man was not bested. No. He stood up with his coffee slowly. Walked back over to the barrista counter and ordered something else. He came back and listened quietly. Something was different. He sipped his cup with self satisfaction. He had the solution. I didn't know until later, but he had put a double shot of whiskey in his coffee. An inventive, simple response to the realization you are too old for your present company. But...let us be honest, maybe a little bit of an alcoholic's response as well. 

Now that my brothers and my younger brother's girlfriend won't be speaking to me as I have undoubtedly offended them with this post, maybe I should sit back and sip some Irish coffee. Maybe read a book, complain about some youngsters, while wearing slippers and a sweater vest, and toast to my aging ears and to silence.  

I thought about including below an Irish Drinking song written by Matt (Alyosha) that, I like to think, was written partly about the Joe Man and partly about Matt's truly alcoholic friends, whom I have great love an affection for, despite their tragic flaw. BUT Matt, through indifference or negligence, never sent it to me and, as I wrote this post for November, I thought it was time to post. I can always ad it later.

Monday, November 28, 2011

On Enui Oui (<- don't judge me for thinking that's funny)

I am often asked what the difference is between an attorney and a lawyer. My response is usually pretty simple: There is none. But to my internal embarrassment I was never really sure whether that was the case, except that both my parents are also Lawyer/Attorneys, so I do know that the words are often used interchangeably. So for this week's post I decided to not only publicly announce my ignorance but remedy it through researching the origins of these two words. This eases my conscience in two ways, first, of potentially misleading people and of the greater sin of acting like I knew something when I did not. (I'm sure none of you have ever done this and I apologize for my absurdly base behavior)  FYI, by "research" I mean google. And by "Google" I mean "Bing." (But whoever wants to say "I binged it" that is just crazy, grade A, jib-jab, nonsensical, foolishness! Yeah. All of those things.... ) (but I digress, I'm losing focus... and its not because of the exorbitant amount of NyQuil I have been taking to try and get over my cold...ok maybe it is related.... what was I writing about? My editor is gonna kill me)....

 (editor = sober Me)

("sober" meaning off  my NyQuil buzz)

(Yes, I do try to re-read and edit these before I post, and yes, I miss stuff. Thanks for pointing it out.)


 (Just kidding earlier, by the way, I don't drink (NyQuil) and blog.)

(Although, it worked for Hemingway and Absinthe, and I may be persuaded to believe that NyQuil is absinthe re-marketed.)

(Just sayin' the stuff messes with you.)

Ahem, the results of my bing/google search on attorney/lawyer etymology (*big word high five*) are as follows:

Webster believes them to be synonyms. *sigh of relief* (which I believe to be a most reputable source) says that while they are used similarly, in the past they had slightly different connotations, a lawyer is one who can give legal advice and has been trained in the law, while an attorney is one who is legally empowered to represent someone (ei power of attorney rather than power of lawyer...) straightdope also notes that the Brits also have different terms for lawyers. A solicitor for example is one who does mostly office work, like drafting documents and such, while a barrister is one who does trial work. (Silly Brits, making up weird words for stuff. Like they invented the language or something. Next they will be calling french fries chips and fish... er... fish...  the last one is, admittedly, not a great example.)

                       (They are clearly amused by my musings)

WikiAnswers says they are interchangeable terms. Boring. But it does give me a link to a DUI defense attorney. Spot on. Exactly what I needed internet-side-links-that-are-loosely-related-to-subject-matter-of-my-search. (Whoa that was way to many words strung together. I apologize. I'm out of breath just reading it to myself. Do yourself a favor and don't read that last strung together part out loud. You might die. Fair warning.) says the word "attorney" has French origins (eh oui oui Monsieur Ennui....  Ben Mooneyham knows what I'm talking about. ) and means an agent or person acting for another. Lawyer is, apparently, from Middle English....

Anyone know the Russian word for Lawyer? More on that later.

Blog post concluded.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On Muggles, Fear, and Rail Spikes

Last year before I became the (famous) lawyer I am today, I was a law clerk for the local district court. This is a tale from working at that Court. The names have been changed to protect the innocent (but mostly because I don't remember them). I write with the caveat that I had no special knowledge of this case nor did I ever work on it, I simply observed in the court room as we sometimes were allowed to do.

 One day, I was working especially hard on a most difficult case (see this post is already hilarious), when a Judge came down to the basement of the court house where we law clerks are unceremoniously stuffed. (We had no windows to prove it was still daylight outside. We called it the Justice Cave). He explained that his next case was probably going to be entertaining because the defendant had freaked out on a different judge in a different matter.

Apparently, the defendant, who we will call "Melvin" had used all kinds of colorful language to describe the previous judge and she was... less than pleased. I'm pretty sure he was held in contempt and, in all likelihood, he extended his sentence quite a bit. But, for us who had not seen the sun, this sounded like a fantastic break from our usual day of writing and reading, I mean who wouldn't want to see some crazy guy freak out in a court room? What we witnessed that day was more than I could have hoped for.

The defense attorney was the only one in the court room when four law clerks piled into the back to watch what was surely going to be a really bad day for this poor public defender. He knew what we were up to. He looked clearly defeated. He asked us, "Are you guys here for the show?" We explained we were law clerks and part of our job was that we had to opportunity to watch court every once and a while. He said, "Yeah, alright. Well since your here to learn, the theme for my argument today is 'why I should have gone to medical school.'" He was having a rough week. But little did he know his day was going to get a little better later on, but I'll get to that.

 The prosecutor came in and just started chuckling at the defense attorney, but not in a mean way, it was purely sympathetic chuckling. He asked the defense attorney what he had done when Melvin started on his tirade. The public defender replied, "I just kept my head down and pretended like I was taking notes. It was all I could do." The defendant was then brought into the court room. He was a short man. Clean shaven. Not at all what I was expecting from a man who was on trial for criminal threat, because he pointed a knife at someones throat. OH, yeah, "allegedly" pointed a knife. (whew! can't forget that one).

 The the Judge came in, and we all stood. Even Melvin.

 The Prosecution called his first witness, who was the victim. Again, not what I was expecting. The victim, who we will call Bud, was in his late 50's, had a completely gray mullet down half of his back, a creepy mustache, and was wearing a fine brown t-shirt that stated plainly his identity,


 (For those of you who aren't nerds that is a non-magical person from Harry Potter.)

 It came out during questioning that they were both homeless and lived outside this third mans home which occasionally would rent the back room to these gentlemen. The landowner had two daughters. (The source of the gentlemen's conflict. See this is almost Shakespearean). Bud had made an inappropriate comment about one of the daughters figure which he unceremoniously repeated, verbatim, to the courtroom. (which was funny in itself because he said, how do I put this delicately ... an then just blurted out the vulgarity).

Bud continued his harrowing story of how Melvin and he had gotten into an argument about the landlord's daughter. Only to pause every once and a while, stare at the Defendant and declare, "WELL THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED MELVIN! I'M SORRY IT COME TO THIS, BUT THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED."

Then we came to the climax of the story.

 Melvin had drawn his knife and stuck it to Bud's throat, in defense of the daughter's dignity!

The prosecutor asked the crucial question in a criminal threat case, "Now, when Melvin had the knife to your throat, were you scared he might stab you?" (this is important because one of the elements of the crime is that he was in fear or apprehension of bodily harm.) (Also, Objection! Leading! Anyone?)

 Bud sits and thinks. He thinks some more. Something about that phrase bothers him. "Was I scared?" he thinks silently to himself.

 He responds to the court room, saving, in his mind, his dignity, "Nah...I wasn't scared." (Insert Perry Mason Gasp) (Well...if Perry Mason defended the three stooges)

 "You weren't scared?"

 "no, ya see, I had a rail my back pocket. I knew that if Melvin tried to get me, I could, *motions stabbing to the court room* get 'em time." (SERIOUSLY HE MADE A STABBING MOTION IN THE COURT ROOM. Presumably to demonstrate his considerable nimbleness.)

 That's right Topeka, your harmless homeless neighborhood Bud, carries with him a rail-spike, but fear not, its only for defense against Melvin.

Well now that the prosecutions case was shot to hell, the Defense counsel looked down right chipper!

 On his cross examination we heard all about the rail spike and its defensive capabilities. And how it made Bud impervious to fear. Bud was practically a super hero defending the streets from evil with his rail spike by the end of the cross. (maybe that's just in my mind: Bud, who's secret identity is "spike-man"! The silver-mulleted man with a mustache, keeping our streets safe.)

 Now the prosecution called Melvin to the stand. ..whose meandering testimony featured, his favorite drink of choice, Earthquake. (12.5% alcohol per volume for only 2 bucks, they call it a "High Gravity Lager" I think they mean: "high tectonic stress lager" but I won't fault them for mixing metaphors, their target market is homeless people and college students. Markets that, by the way, overlap a lot...)

 Another major issue in the case became why Melvin cussed out the police when they arrested him. The answer was simple to Melvin: they made him put down his taco in order to handcuff him.


 I think this is only explained by the fact that the prosecutor was bored or depressed he was losing or something, but we heard more about that taco than I ever thought possible in a court of law. Made me hungry.

But alas, nothing in Melvin's testimony could save the prosecutions case, not even the taco. (Not to mention Melvin had awareness enough to realize things were going well for him and cussing out the judge was not presently necessary).

The assistant prosecutor ultimately had to motion for a change in the charges. I never learned what happened after that hearing. But I like to think that Bud and Melvin buried the hatchet, (or rail spike, as the case may be) and made amends over a taco and earthquake. Both do not sound too bad right now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On Why Mankind Will Not Survive the Coming Robot Apocalypse

I recently went to Wendy's for lunch.

("How mundane! How ordinary! Why is he telling this story!", the reader thinks to herself <--note how progressive I am for inserting the female pronoun.)

BUT something funny happened! There was a long line! Half of downtown eats at this particular Wendy's so of course, this is not unusual or funny, but be patient! What is interesting about this long line is that it was formed in front of the fountain drink machine as opposed to the cash register. "Why?" You ask yourself, as I did. "Why would there be a longer line in front of the pop machine than in line for ordering?!" The answer to this question is, ultimately, why human kind will lose its impending battle with the machines for dominance on the earth.

This new pop machine had: one dispenser for all drinks and ice, a touch screen to select the type of beverage desired, an additional touch screen for any added flavors and a sarcastic, smug attitude. This complex scheme of touch screens and single dispenser was too much for us, the lunch crowd at Wendy's. We were utterly befuddled.

Below is a word description of the process that was confounding the elite of my fair city. Lest anyone think I am condescending, I gather this sequence from my own personal experience. (E.I. I am dumb too)

"I... why... do I. Where do I get ice? Why is there a computer screen? Oh... ice button."

*pushes Ice Button with meat mitten (or hand in the vernacular)*

"But, uh, where do I get my tasty beverage?!"


"OK back out of ice screen."

"What do I want to drink?"

"Well I want coke, but my pants are tight. Go for diet. But that's embarrassing.... Maybe Coke zero? yes, no one will know I'm a fat ass! Perfect! Select."

I now have the coke zero display up... no... NO! MORE CHOICES... the Coke zero button is surounded by things like "coke zero with cherry, coke zero with Lemon" There are 12 additives for my beverage choice. That's 12 more decisions than I was expecting today. Clearly, way too much pressure. So I hit the center button got my drink and told the next person, "good luck." It was an old lady. That is just mean. She should have just gone for dehydration.

On the bright side, I'm pretty sure if Wendy's had wi-fi I could send an e-mail from the drink machine. (drum strikes for the one liner please)

The real problem is of course the machine designer. He had too much faith in us. We, who are accustomed to simply and lackadaisically presenting our paper cup to an outdated mechanical lever which serendipitously pours things what we wish to imbibe, were not ready for his version of the future. (<--note lack progressiveness with assuming the designer was a man). Instead his vision of a Utopia unlimited drink choices became a dis-topian line of confusion.

A dis-topia where we are bested regularly by machines and optimistic male drink engineers.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I moved into a new house, graduated, took and passed the bar and started a new career as an attorney. Not necessarily in that order. Ok pretty close to that order other than the house thing. Being a lawyer in Topeka Kansas has its upside. I don't get overworked. I am 15 minutes from my office. I can walk to the courthouse. But sometimes I think it would be fun to be a big city attorney.

Now that you, dear but in all likelihood fictional reader, are caught up. The real question is have I had any funny things happened to me recently. Nope. not really. There is nothing funny about the bar exam. Except the quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) desperation I felt in the weeks coming up to it. Hideous. Totally Hideous. Yeah that's not funny.

I think maybe I'll write something about halloween. I dressed as superman. (see awesome photo above.)