Another Journal Entry From Back in the Day!

Me in my law office, before the neurological shit hit the fan.

Picking up from where we last left off, here’s more of my old law office writing journal. From the previous century! 🙂

Monday, April 1, 1996

It’s April Fool’s Day—hurray!

I didn’t think it was possible, but my feet seem to be growing even longer. Before you know it, I will be wearing size 11 gunboats. It’s my big toe. It seems to have been designed for a foot much larger than the rest of mine.

I smell trouble on the horizon with the X case. Now Ms. W’s saying that if we don’t get our comments to her by Wednesday, she will file a motion to enforce our agreement. The agreement in the letter of intent. She didn’t specify exactly what she wanted to enforce. The whole thing is stupid. I wrote a letter that was super-conciliatory in tone, hoping that she will cool her jets. If not, it’s a waste of time and her client’s money, but what’s new? As far as alimony goes, the amount is not an issue, if that’s what she wants. Any argument on her part that the letter of intent is in fact all of the agreement is ludicrous. There is no merger clause, there’s none of the standard language—it’s incomplete. No one would assume from what’s in the letter that this is all of the Agreement. So why waste time and money going to court to enforce it? I don’t know. The case has been so strange, it’s not hard to imagine. Unfortunately.

It was Opening Day at the Yard, but it rained, so the game will be tomorrow. And time can begin again.

I’m looking forward to baseball. The O’s should be good. And they’ve got Davey Johnson, which should be interesting.

Tuesday, April 2, 1996

I’m writing about the lunar eclipse. Another celestial event.

I wonder what Wednesday will bring. Or Thursday or Friday. With Ms. W, that is. Did my letter have an effect? Is she blowing smoke? Will Mr. X have reviewed the stupid agreement? Will this stupid case ever end? Is this all really necessary?

Who will stop the madness?

I went to the CBM breakfast this morning. I met someone who knew someone with the Fort Meade JAG who’s thinking of opening her own office. She asked if it was okay for her to call me—I said sure, why not. I’m always happy to inflict my thoughts on others.

She did call this afternoon. I hope I didn’t sound too burnt out, but I wanted to give her the whole lowdown. While I had her on the line, I asked about where to apply for a job with the JAG. She said she’d get back to me with some phone numbers.

I saw Carol P, of course, at the breakfast. She was pretty excited by the idea of my starting a freelance writing career, and I promised to keep in touch.

Wednesday, April 3, 1996

There’s never enough time. The days are flying by.

I got a lengthy application in the mail from the Attorney Grievance Commission. It’ll take some time to complete.

I met with Mr. X today to review the changes to the separation agreement. He’s going to try to talk to his wife about various issues tonight.

I don’t know when I’m going to send our comments. It’ll depend on when he talks to his wife, I guess. As for Ms. W, who knows what she’ll do.

We had a total eclipse of the moon tonight. It was eclipsed as it rose, barely visible at twilight. Its color was rusty orange-brown.

Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown is apparently dead, the victim (one of several) of a plane crash in Bosnia.

I have an early meeting tomorrow with Judge L to talk Mock Trial.

I have a couple who want wills. The husband is the brother of another former client.

I need a new computer. I have to figure out what to do with the old one. Now I just have to convince Rick that I need it.

Saturday, April 6, 1996

We (Connie and I) had a meeting with Judge L on Thursday morning. Whatever else you could say about her, she’s very enthusiastic about the mock trial program and seems to want to contribute in whatever way possible. She was involved with the program in Prince George’s County, and she told us about how the program was structured there.

Mr. X spoke to his wife about the suggested changes. She liked them, she really liked them. She said she’d talk to Ms. W about it. Ms. W will probably fuck everything up. I went ahead and sent the “response” as I keep calling it. Changes are what they are. Amendments. A virtual rewrite, at times. I never said my changes would not be extensive. I also can’t help it if Ms. W can’t write.

Friday was good. Good Friday. I sent the comments to Ms. W and pretty much called it a day after that. Bill R called me and we talked for about an hour or so. He told me a bunch of jokes from off the Internet. He told me the latest about his family. He said that the Library of Congress has cracked down on stack access. In fact, the doors to the stacks are now locked, and access is allowed only to authorized persons. This upsets him, because he liked to wander the stacks to do his genealogical research. I remember when I used to wander the stacks doing research. Or just hanging out. Those were the days.

Today, I went to see Sam [a masseuse and Sam McRae’s namesake]. It was time and money (Rick’s—I used my gift certificate) well spent.

We had dinner in Bethesda. The Armadillo Grill. It was good and, yes, it was overpriced. But we had a coupon, and the whole point of having these coupons is to try new and (sometimes) more expensive places. Our waiter was obliging to the point of being obsequious. Maybe that goes along with waiting on people who live in or around Bethesda—you have to treat them as if they’re God’s gift. Then, we came home and watched all our shows.

I didn’t write, and I feel too tired to do it now. [Blogger’s Note: I now realize how ironic that statement was. 🙂 ]

Monday, April 8, 1996

I spoke to Sandra B today. Apparently, work is drying up at Matthew Bender, but she encouraged me to call and bug them. She said I should try different editors and see what comes up. I told her about my plan to close the office, and she’s very supportive.

Then, I went to the Maryland Penitentiary in Baltimore to see Mr. A. It’s very interesting. You come through a sliding glass and metal bar door. You check in with the guards in “the cage,” then you wait. The waiting room has four or five long benches and a bank of lockers in front of the benches. You put your stuff in the locker. A lot of people were there, because I came at the start of visiting hours. It was also Easter Monday, which may have explained the numbers of children, some of them dressed up.

We sat on the benches and watched (sort of) some soap opera on a crummy TV set on top of the lockers. The place was hopping—visitors arriving, guards coming in and out. It was like a cross between Grand Central Station and the waiting room at the unemployment office. I remember waiting there once, too. Now and then, the guard would announce the name of the prisoner to be visited, and the visitors get past the second sliding metal-barred gate. I must have waited about 40 minutes, counting time in line. Then they called me and I went through the second gate. Through a metal detector (which did not detect the metal in my locker key), then to the guard, who checked the paperwork and put a plastic wristband, like they give you in hospitals, around my wrist. Then, they opened the third sliding door, into the visiting room. It was big with long tables, like a cafeteria. I walked through to the staircase, and descended to the fourth door. No window in this one, but there’s a window on the side. They opened the door for me. I walked in and waited for the guard to attend to me. I happen to see a white male sitting on the bench, but didn’t recognize him until we walked back to the room. I told him I didn’t recognize him without his cap. I couldn’t resist.

They take you back to a small room with a table and two chairs. I suppose I could’ve closed the door, but I didn’t. In any case, we talked for about 20 to 30 minutes. I have to admit, I felt bad about his circumstances. I get laryngitis, he ends up in jail on another charge, and he can’t even serve concurrent sentences. What are ya gonna do? I felt like I did what I could. Maybe—maybe—I can talk the prosecutor into no jail time. We’ll see.

The outside of the prison looks like a medieval castle. That, along with the razor-wire, makes it somewhat intimidating.

At some point, I will probably have dreams about it. There was something about those stairs going down. And the heavy metal orange door at the bottom. I think that was the eeriest part.

I got a message from Jim C that our tickets are ready. I got a message from Ms. W that my changes are unacceptable (big surprise) and, unless I accept everything as she wants it, my client will be forced to file taxes separately and she will seek to enforce our letter of intent in court. Good luck, baby, and kiss my ass. Mrs. X can also kiss the tax refund goodbye.

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My Delightfully Hopeful Look Back!

Me in my law office, before the neurological shit hit the fan.

It’s been a while since I last posted entries from my old writing journal. The last one was here, if you’d like to read it.

Here’s the next entry:

Saturday, March 23, 1996

We had our Writers’ Bloc party tonight. Hank and his wife, Lee (?), Rob and his wife, Lynn (?) (?) (I’m terrible with names), and Dana, and her husband, Ed (I know that from reviewing their wills) were there. Connie and Jim were there, of course—it was at Connie’s house. Rob brought the movies—we watched one of the Thin Man flicks. Actually, one and the third, maybe. We had to leave early.

Everyone brought something to eat. Hank brought chili, Dana brought salad and bread, I brought brownies, and Connie made lasagna. I think Rob must’ve brought the sausage balls. I keep feeling guilty about Lynn—we did tell her didn’t we? Will anybody mention this at our next meeting?

After we left, Rick and I spent some time watching Comet Hyakutake. We could see it with the naked eye, more as a cloud than anything. Then, we looked at it through the binoculars, and then through the telescope, using different lenses. We could see the tail tonight. It was pretty neat.

I’m staying up too late watching Roman Holiday, just like I said I wouldn’t, so I can cry all over again at the end.

Friday, March 29, 1996

It’s been a while. Today was Rick’s birthday. He turned 39. In few months, I’ll be 40. I try not to think about it.

It’s been a long time, but not so long. Amazing, how 40 years has gone by so slowly, yet so quickly. But half of it was childhood, and it took 20 more years just to get my head screwed on straight. So that’s why it seems so short. And that’s why life begins at 40. Now I’m ready to really live.

I’m anxious to get out of the business of practicing law. I got a call yesterday from someone who needs a lawyer for three traffic citations—driving with a revoked license, driving an unregistered car, and driving in a car with the wrong tags. He claims he borrowed the car from a friend. He also claims his license was revoked due to nonpayment of fines for speeding tickets. An interesting story—it might even be true. He was supposed to request a continuance today in his court case and call me next week. I told him I’d handle it for $600. But then again maybe I won’t. He had a conviction in the early 80s for armed robbery and one in the early 90s for A&B [assault and battery]. Do I want to hang with this guy? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll refer him to someone else. Maybe I’m just not going to deal with this anymore.

I left a message with the secretary at Ms. W’s office that I couldn’t get the separation agreement to her today, but I’d try for early next week. The secretary said she’d give her the message. She sounded a little too chipper. Could something be afoot? Will she request a hearing again, without bothering to tell me? I’ll be so glad when this case is over, and I don’t have to deal with her slimy ass again.

I told Carol P about my plans. I’ve also told Chris S, Craig T, and Peggy R. The more I talk about it, the better I feel. The realer it becomes. It’s time to take steps. One foot in front of the other—that’s all it takes. I’d like to try writing a marketing plan—a vision of how this is supposed to work. Identify markets and what I need to do to reach them.

PS: The AG turned me down for the job with the Department of Licensing and Regulations unit. Who needs ‘em anyway?


PS (again): Yeah, I’m ready to live. Still.

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Best Wishes for a Great New Year/Decade!

Isn’t this nice? We have a shiny new year/decade to complete fuck up play with now.

I have to agree with Dave Barry’s assessment of 2019. I particularly liked his observation that it “was a year so eventful that every time another asteroid whizzed past the Earth, barely avoiding a collision that would have destroyed human civilization, we were not 100 percent certain it was good news.”

I couldn’t help but notice that Barry’s write up this year limited its comments on Amazon to the rainforest and the size of the rats in Queens, New York. Unlike a previous year I can recall, where mentions were carefully excised from one source in particular.

And … You. Won’t. Believe. What. Happened. Next.

Finally, I made a video! 🙂

PS: This has to be the strangest, but most awesome article I’ve ever read! 🙂

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Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us!

Did you know that Festivus was a real thing? It even has a Wikipedia listing.

And according to Wikipedia, Festivus was invented in 1966 and is celebrated annually on December 23. The holiday (if you want to call it that) was created by a writer named Daniel O’Keefe. Of course, this particular ritual didn’t become widely-known until 1997 when O’Keefe’s son, Dan, co-wrote the Seinfeld episode that made it a household name.

O’Keefe developed Festivus in the mold of an anti-consumer, secular way to celebrate any and all holidays of the month.

I have to say, I love the philosophy behind this occasion. The fact that it’s secular suits me. Anti-consumer? Count me in. Sounds cheap, and these days, I’m so tight I squeak I need to pinch pennies save my dough dosh money.

I was going to list a bunch of grievances, in honor of the day. But then I realized … I really didn’t care about any of it.

Allow me to be perfectly blunt. I. Don’t. Care.

So, on that note, I’ll say have a carefree Festivus. May we all have much better luck with everything enjoy a great new year!

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Impeachment? That Sounds Tasty!


Oh, wait! Those are peaches, not impeachment. Sorry! 🙂

So, anyone else following what’s going on with this impeachment process here in the US of A?

Well, it is quite a bizarre an interesting situation. The House, aka, the Democrats, have drafted two articles of impeachment (to quote the Washington Post email I received on 12/10/19):

Abuse of power: “Trump used the power of the presidency for his own benefit. Specifically, it alleges that he leveraged the State Department, the White House budget office, his unique ability to conduct high-level diplomacy and taxpayer dollars to pressure Ukraine to announce political investigations that would benefit his reelection campaign.”

Obstruction of Congress: “Trump blocked the congressional investigation into his alleged wrongdoing. A few weeks into the impeachment inquiry, the White House said it wouldn’t cooperate with the inquiry. It banned key players from testifying — most notably acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton.”

And it appears that obstruction of Congress is very different than obstruction of justice. According to one constitutional law expert at the Rochester Institute of Technology, “It seems like a big assertion of congressional power and specifically the power of Congress to investigate the executive.”

Query: I wonder whose job it would be. And does the Rochester Institute of Technology even have a law school?

What were they thinking?

According to the email, there were all sorts of things they could have included in the articles of impeachment, including the results of a two-year investigation by that guy named Mueller and all the sticks Trump and his gang tried to stick in the spokes of that proceeding.

But they didn’t, so why spend a lot of time weeping about it?

What’s really interesting are the comments the Post’s coverage has generated. Or, at least, the ones they’re willing to distribute by email.

Here are a few that seemed … interesting, which I’ve quoted in italics. (I’m leaving names out of this, for all our sakes.)

I believe he is guilty, but I also believe there is no chance of conviction, so Congress is just wasting a lot of time and money when they might be getting real work done. (Bold emphasis mine.)

I take it then that keeping the President of the United States honest is completely unimportant not real work unreal work?

I don’t see Trump’s offenses as sufficient to warrant removal from office. He won the election and a significant percentage of our friends and neighbors still support him.

Um …

The impeachment is only one-sided, Dem-sided, and this is what’s wrong.

Well, you know, when House = Democrats and Senate = Republicans, this is what happens! Where’s Henry Clay when you need him?

Oh, and here’s an opinion from the American Bar Association about this little thing called “separation of powers”!

PS: Not only is impeachment back in the news, but now we have an updated version of the Pentagon papers!

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Adventures in Comic Stripping

Image by prettysleepy1 from Pixabay

I never seriously pursued my interest in sketching until recently. To be honest, I’m not sure I’m all that serious about it. Nonetheless, I recently got this book as a gift, and I’d like to put it to good use.

So, yeah. There it is. In my lap.

First step, drawing the human figure.

So … body height = head height x 7. Or 1 body = 8 heads. I think I’ve got the math(s) right. Maybe.

And, according to this, the hero is supposed to be w-a-a-a-y taller than the sidekick.

So … here’s my rather crappy rough stab at cartooning! 🙂

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I’m Thankful

I’m thankful I can breathe.

I’m thankful I can walk.

I’m thankful I can write.

I’m thankful I can talk.

I’m glad I have at least one hand that works right.

I’m glad I took journalism.

I’m glad I went to law school.

I’m glad I got a library science degree.

I’m glad I held all my various jobs.

I’m glad I quit all those jobs.

I’m glad I decided to write my first novel, then my second, then more of them.

I’m glad I decided to write screenplays.

I’m glad I have a podcast.

I’m glad I make YouTube videos.

I’m glad I’m not dead alive! In fact, I never once this year fell headlong down an “up” escalator or nearly break my neck in a bathtub, an incident I may or may not blog about in the future.

And I’m so glad I found this weird random video online! 🙂

I’m so glad! I’m so glad! Damn you, Eric Clapton! 🙂 Now, I have an earworm!

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