the most useful gift

I received a package of Tattoo Markers from a Secret Santa this year. The package informs me that they are "BODY ART FOR THE COOL AT HEART" (emphasis in original) and that they are "SPECIALLY FORMULATED FOR DRAWING ON THE SKIN" (ditto). There's black, of course, but the rest of the colors are neon.

I am going to start carrying them around so that I can write "IDIOT" on appropriate foreheads in the course of my average day. I view this as a public service.

Thank you, Gina!


christmas cookie liability and indemnification agreement

Okay, so the organization that created this agreement is a blatant front for the restaurant, tobacco, and alcohol industries. It's still awfully funny. Here it is without any improvements.

Santa Claus, AKA Kris Kringle, AKA Jolly Old St. Nick (hereinafter referred to as "Santa") acknowledges receipt of Christmas cookies from ______________________ (hereinafter referred to as "Baker").

Santa acknowledges and understands that no warranty, either expressed or implied, is made by Baker as to the nutritional content of cookies. This document is offered to duly warn Santa that dangerous conditions, risks, and hazards may result from over-consumption of cookies. Santa is hereby informed that cookies may contain any of the following: calories, carbohydrates, sodium (salt), fat, saturated fat, trans fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, nuts, sugar, caffeine, and good cheer. Santa acknowledges that eating way too many cookies may incur risks including, but not limited to, satiation, indigestion, heart burn, dizziness, laziness, heart disease, holiday spirit, "food coma," and "that bloated feeling."

As consideration for accepting Baker's cookies, Santa indemnifies Baker from all liability for injury or other harm (including obesity) which may be caused, in whole or in part, by said "too many" cookies. Santa agrees that neither he, nor his heirs or personal representatives will sue Baker for any injury suffered, in whole or in part, as a consequence of binging on cookies. Santa assumes full responsibility and will indemnify Baker for any damages in the event that he transfers cookies to any third party (including, but not limited to, potential claimants Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph, Mrs. Claus, and various elves).

This indemnification includes an agreement not to haul Baker into court on the basis of:

Failure to provide nutrition information and a list of ingredients (the "Grandma's secret recipe" clause);
Failure to caution of the potential for overeating because cookies taste too good and are provided at no cost;
Failure to advise that walking, biking, and jogging will shed pounds, but riding around on a sleigh will not;
Failure to warn that Christmas lights, lawn ornaments (plastic reindeer, snowmen, etc.) and other holiday decorations may constitute manipulative marketing to lure Santa into over-consumption.
Failure to offer "healthier" cookie alternatives (e.g., tofu bars);
Failure to counsel that cookies may be habit-forming and/or irresistible; and
Failure to notify that eating way too many cookies may lead to even greater levels of obesity for St. Nick (the "Sanity Clause").


SANTA: ___________________________ DATE:__________________


i need a screw

No, no, no, it's not what you're thinking. My sex life is fine.

I wore out (!) the right side of my Kinesis Evolution chair-mount keyboard. It took a while for me to convince the stupid tech guy that it really was, well, broken. Only after I demonstrated that half the keys did not work did he conclude, "gee, there must be some physical damage, because I had you do a hard reboot and the keys still don't work." Hm.

The new half came yesterday and it has to be inserted into the plastic sort of flattened clamshell that mounts on the right chair arm. Which means I have to open up the clamshell with the pink-handled office Phillips screwdriver (what can I say, the kit was on sale).

I just dropped one of the screws and it vanished into the Land of Missing Dryer Socks.

I need a screw.

Update: not just a screw, a knife.

The wires that I needed to swap out were tied into the keyboard with little plastic ties that had to be sliced off. But the reassembled keyboard works just fine.


i'm going to Hell

There are a number of reasons I say this, but here's the most recent:

I was updating our Christmas card label template (okay, that's reason number two I am going to Hell) and realized I was missing an address for two of my friends (married to each other).

My friends have unusual names, live in Seattle, and own a house. So I thought to myself, oh, I'll just get their address off the deed to their house at the King County Recorder's Office. Easier than the phone book, I think their number's unlisted.

It only took a second.

It didn't even occur to me until afterward how intrusive that was. That this didn't even occur to me as I was looking up their address is the number one reason I am going to Hell.


at the juerga

This has nothing to do with technology, it's just really cool.

I went to a juerga Sunday night at the invitation of my flamenco teacher, who dragged me up in front of all the aficionadi to dance all four couplas of sevillanas with her. (Note to the cognoscenti: yes, I know that sevillanas is not flamenco puro). By an amazing coincidence, I happened to be wearing my dance shoes at the time.

Found out at class last night that the organizer of juerga, a performer herself, asked my teacher afterwards if I was a professional or one of her students.




I ran what I thought was routine maintenance for a routine glitch in Time Matters yesterday, and blew out all my timesheets--billed work, work in progress, you name it, along with a lot of lesser stuff.

I'm stunned.

Of course I have a backup. In fact, I am carrying it on my keychain right now in a Jump Drive Sport.

But I'm almost scared to try the restore function, which although I've tested in a lackluster fashion I've never really put to the test, if you know what I mean.

Ick ick ick.


year-in-review meme

Here is the first sentence of my first blog post for each month of 2005 (concept courtesy of waterowl).

January: Look, guys. The press is running amok about Judge Paul Bastine's decision to deny poor beautiful Shawnna (hereafter, "PBS") of Spokane County a dissolution until her pregnancy is over.
February: Well, heck. The judge I clerked for, upon quick research, proves to have died about six months ago.
March: After three tries, here is a clear (if not elegant) depiction of the ambiguous signage infra.
April: I figure that if someone is in my office, it's because their life is basically in the crapper.
May: Post-Its (r) changed my life! Well, no, not really.
June: computer programmer or serial killer? You decide.
July: I've never felt the need for vanity plates on a vehicle before, but I'm thinking of them now for the vehicle I'm about to purchase.
August: The Court of Appeals just affirmed the trial court's decision in the case of Poor Beautiful Shawna on ground that you can't enter a default decree which grants relief other than that sought in the petition.
September: I noticed this morning that I was carrying a copy of Lovingkindness and a copy of The Book of Five Rings cheek-by-jowl, as it were.
October: I noticed today that I share an elevator bank in my Very Tall Building with a law firm named (in part) "Grimm Payne."
November: I have noticed, since Blogger has been acquired by the ubiquitous google (no hotlink required), that Blogger's software has been growing more and more sophisticated.
December: According to the goth name generator, my real name translates into Morbid Princess.

And that's the way it is.

electronic paper

I will admit to a morbid fascination for electronic to-do lists, whether on my PDAs over the years (uniformly lousy: the screen is too small, and the scrolling disheartening) or my desktop units. I speculate that it would be both depressing and ultimately freeing to see everything I have to do in one place. I've never been successful in compiling anything that seems like a complete list.

The combined to-do list for my Wonder Paralegal and me on Time Matters certainly has its utility, but I don't necessarily want to create a whole bunch of personal Matters to provide a "container" for the to-dos. Random: have picture of self taken with live python. Post to blog.

With Internet access turning up everywhere but the fillings in my back teeth these days, I've been looking at Web-based services. I started a Ta-Da List but felt it was pretty lame, although simple. Occam's Razor cut a little too close to the bone on this app for me, although I hadn't thought of putting it into an RSS feed and subscribing to it until just now (when I read it on the developer's excellent site).

Enter Backpack. Holy cow. I've yet to actually use this, but I think I could actually use the vestigal web browser on the Treo for to-dos without the entries carrying back to TM when I synchronize it with the Mothership.

A related thought prompted above by my identifying the contrast between the PDA and the hulking mothership on my desk (kind of like Baby Bear and Papa Bear). Although a laptop would be a logical place for a master electronic to-do list, I've never been a laptop girl. Either I want to carry it in my purse, or it needs to be the most powerful machine available to civilians at the time (and then I watch its power seemingly decay pursuant to Moore's Law over the next seven years because that's how long I use most machines).

Feh. I am doing more and accomplishing less.


mi vida loca

The above photograph has nothing to do with the following. I just happen to like the boots I have on today. I stand firm in court when I wear them.


Since the Norse God (a/k/a my spouse) is out of town this week, I found myself at my eleven-year-old's school, with both him and the eight-year-old in tow, having a parent-teacher conference at six o'clock in the morning.

As I was waiting after the conference for the grocery store down the street to open so that I could get a cup of coffee, I picked up my trusty Treo to start emailing clients and OC before my hearing this morning...and realized that I was falling squarely into the 24/7 availability/work acceleration trap that I saw first with the fax machine (rare when I started practicing law), then with the cell phone, and now with email enabled on the cell phone.

I recoiled. I'm tired of multitasking. I want to do one thing at a time, preferably not including scheduling any more parent-teacher conferences that early.


another sign that the apocalypse is near

Thomas Kinkade Inspired Lighting.

I am not making this up.

In fact, it is even worse than I had feared. Not only are there the light bulbs, "designed to provide warmer-colored light than standard household light bulbs," and a "series of unique [sic]" accent lamps, Westinghouse has unleashed upon the world--Heaven help us!--a choice among twenty framed night lights containing "miniature reproductions of Thomas Kinkade’s inspirational paintings." But wait! There's more! "Each night light also contains a Westinghouse color-enhancing light bulb so the colors and hues in each work of art are intensified."

These sound so dreadful I may actually have to buy one.


i <3 chapter 13

I did a Big Trial in 2003 and ended up with a Really Big Receivable when the case dragged on and on. A couple of months ago I got a notice from the bankruptcy court that my Really Big Receivable was in a "best efforts" Chapter 13 plan in which it was proposed that I receive, yes, zero cents on the dollar (memo to client: try harder).

I was quite cross for several days.

Yesterday morning a check from the Chapter 13 Trustee, payable to me, for over seven grand mysteriously appeared in my office.

I heart Chapter 13.


the disappointment of my goth name

According to the goth name generator, my real name translates into Morbid Princess.

Lame-o. I think the dark goddess of replevin is much more goth a name, and I came up with it on my own. I'm sticking with that.

A side note: it has come to my attention that there is an actual human being now with the name of Violet Affleck, which my eye insists on reading as Violent Affect, a much better goth name than Morbid Princess.