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Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
3:54 pm - Why lawyers keep drinking

Me: your honor, the current law says that the grandparent is entitled to file for custody in this situation.

Judge: that law is new since I was last on the family bench. I haven't bothered to study it yet, but I don't like it and I don't think it's right, so I'm throwing this out.

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Friday, December 14th, 2012
2:54 pm - Photos from Diane Paulus "Pippin"


Photos from Pippin at ART

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Monday, July 16th, 2012
11:33 am - And the money - er, REVIEWS -

Kept rolling in. (Yes, darlings, I know it's a tenor number, many thanks. )


Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
8:52 pm - Abe Lincoln, Ninja Dude

Have now seen "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter".

How does Honest Abe learn all those slick Asian martial arts moves in the mid-1800s in Illinois? And where did the non-Asian vamps get them?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
8:38 am - The House series finale

Okay, now that's what I call an ending, and even I didn't see it actually coming. I was I'm fury going "you can't end it like this" and then they didn't.

Although I confess I did think of BBC Sherlock, both of A Study In Pink and The Reichenbach Fall, at one key moment near the end.

With all they had done to the story line in the past few years, I was forced to ask myself, "Self, can House and Wilson ever ride off into the sunset now?". Um, yes, and Exec Producer Hugh Laurie is apparently the most literal of interpreters.

If this does not inspire fan fiction for years to come, nothing can. Damn, now I see a plot line for a novel...

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Saturday, May 19th, 2012
8:06 am - Ave et Vale

Rest in peace, Paula.

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Thursday, May 17th, 2012
6:16 pm - Dying sucks

I repeat, dying sucks. Especially when it's your friend. Especially when it's ovarian cancer. Especially when you're hours away.

Paula Behanna, aka Mama Beast, is dying out near Pittsburgh. She doesn't have long, and I hope I can get to see her in the hospice on Saturday before she goes.

We were fans together. We didn't share a fandom but we shared fandom itself and that was enough. She helped me with some of my political stuff and she was great.

We didn't see each other much, mostly a couple of times a year at cons, but our conversations always picked up where they'd left off. She was closer to me than many friends I have near me - fandom is like that.

She's on morphine drip now, and refusing food and medication. She doesn't have long. Her partner, Pam, and I were discussing the problem of homes for the cats, because Pam doesn't feel up to staying at their place afterwards.

I have a zine coming out in August. It's one that Paula listened to me whine about for a couple of cons in a row during a case of writer's block. Paula, I'm dedicating it to you. Pam, yes, a copy for you, as I promised yesterday.

And everyone, ovarian cancer is a bitch. It kills. And it's often barely symptomatic until it's too freaking late. I wrote a Boston Legal novella in which a lovely young woman died because of undiagnosed ovarian cancer. Now another lovely woman is dying from it in real life. Learn about it, everyone. Know the symptoms. Fight for a cure - it doesn't get the PR that breast cancer does. And above all, if you've ever known her, remember Paula.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
11:32 am - Looking for a beta
Okay, all. Back in the great days of Dresden Files TV fandom I was in the midst of an epic work called "Feasting With Panthers". I quit posting it at skull_boy_love because it was getting posted faster than I could write it, and I had epic proportions that hadn't been reached yet.

Anyway, I got a major lifting of writer's block on it, and I have a zine publisher who is a major DF TV-verse fan like me, who wants it badly by early July.

Got a general beta for it, but (and yes, I've reached out to the DF communities too, though some of the great DF writers are gone now, alas) I need someone also who likes DF, slash, Victoriana, and Lovecraft. 'Cause the second half or so is hella lotta Arkham, Innsmouth, Randolph Carter, Miskatonic University students and faculty, and unspeakable rites of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. Moved back in time by about 20 - 30 years to 1897 or so. I'm at 170 pages or thereabouts and this could make it another 50 without blinking.

current mood: creative

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Thursday, March 8th, 2012
5:56 pm - Why Lawyers Drink, No Joke

Never have a client have a heart attack during a hearing.

Just hand me the damn bottle already.

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Monday, January 16th, 2012
5:26 pm - Those Who Do NOT Watch BBC Sherlock
and who do not do so for any reason other than an inability to get hold of it, have no excuse. Especially slashers. And people who actually like decent TV. That is all.

current mood: pleased

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4:37 pm - An Open Letter to BBC Sherlock Fanfic Writers
Dear Writers of Sherlock Fanfic:

Thank you very much for all the pleasure you give me (especially you Sherlock/John and Lestrade/Mycroft writers in BBC Sherlock).

Perhaps you could do me and your other readers just two small (tiny really) favors?

1) In your disclaimers, could you NOT state that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owns the rights to Sherlock Holmes? First off, he's been dead for pretty close to a century. If anyone owned the rights, it would be his estate. Second, his estate DID own the rights... UNTIL THE COPYRIGHT EXPIRED. See all those new SH movies and TV shows? And new books by various authors? It's BECAUSE THE COPYRIGHT EXPIRED. BBC owns the rights to its own show. Holmes, Watson, and company are themselves free individuals these days. Really.

2) DEDUCT versus DEDUCE. It is all well and good that Sherlock is an expert in the art of DEDUCTION. This word, as used, means "the drawing of conclusions". However, to engage in deduction is to DEDUCE. To DEDUCT is to subtract. For example, Holmes DEDUCES that Watson served in Afghanistan. He DEDUCTS his expenses to balance his bank statement. Please no longer make Sherlock deduct that the killer was a left-handed Australian midget. He is only capable of deducing it.

This has been a public service message. Thank you.

current mood: irritated

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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
1:01 am - Democracy in action

Yep, it's official. The PA Republican Party has filed to get all of the statewide third party candidates off the ballot. Well, except for the Green Senate candidate - the Democrats filed to throw their boy off. Yeah, free and equal elections as described in the state constitution...

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
1:19 am - And once again, why we drink.

Client: "he told me he was a Division I college football player."

Alleged victim to judge, under oath: "I told him I'm a junior in high school."

Client (whispers to me); "See, this is why I thought he had to be at least 18."

Me: (chokes)

Client: "So I think I have a pretty good defense here, huh? I want you to take this to trial."

Me: (gets drink as soon as shakes client)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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1:11 am - I did it

Just made it on PA ballot for governor. Been trying since 2006. Now just waiting to see if anyone tries to sue to het me off ballpt as there's a limited challenge period.

On the other hand I am not measuring the governirs mansion for the drapes yet.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
6:32 pm - Why lawyers drink, redux
Time for another exciting installment of Why Lawyers Drink!!! The post that's fun for the whole family! And family it is today, or family law anyway...

My client and her spouse/wife are legally married in Connecticut. Only they now live HERE, and because there's a "Defense of Marriage" (YEAH RIGHT, how the hell does it hurt YOUR marriage, buddy?) Act on the books here, guess who's married but also isn't married?

Okay, got it? Well, they wanted a baby so they had a fertility doctor use sperm from an anonymous sperm bank donor. Easy enough. Now, in Connecticut, the child born of a married couple, regardless of the parents' gender, is the legal child of both parents. In DOMA states, this is only true of het couples. So my client's spouse has to file for stepparent-type adoption.

It gets better. In my county, when you have an anonymous sperm donor and an adoption is needed, you have to FILE A TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS ACTION against the anonymous sperm bank donor who waived rights when he donated! DUH??? LOGIC??? And how do you do it? But it's ok because since he's anonymous I don't have to send notice that he's having his rights terminated!

And if I didn't have to do this ridiculous thing, I wouldn't have to fill out a termination petition that makes me answer the question "Was the child born out of wedlock?" Now, this couple was both legally married and not legally married at the time their baby was born, so the child was born both in and out of wedlock. Five attorneys (me, plus four others) and a judge took three days to find a satisfactory answer to this question. Because saying the child was born out of wedlock (technically true) ignores the fact that there is a valid marriage license I'm looking at right now. If the child had been born in a Connecticut hospital, the answer would have been an easy "born in wedlock."

I am now leaving my office and having a nice, tall, cold adult beverage. Or two. I'd have more, but I'm driving.

current mood: confused

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Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
3:13 pm - a public service announcement re "Lost"
I am going to attempt the recaps at Television Without Pity. If this does not explain this season to me (I am LOST myself with the fricking time travel and flash forwards/flashbacks now), I am dropping the show from my "even occasional viewing" list.

I recommend watching Top Chef instead. It will not make your head hurt.

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12:59 pm - Sometimes things just work out that way
Why I did it today I don't know. Sometimes things just work out that way.

Two friends of mine are dead. Oh, don't console me in my grief -- I knew the one was, and I suspected the other was. Two of those very great friends you have at one point or another in your life, and they disappear from you or you disappear from them, then it's Christmas cards, then... whatever happened to good ol' whatsisname? Every few months I would think about tracking down family members and getting some closure and I never did.

For some reason, this was the day I called.

I found out Aldo died last year, when I decided to google him after a couple of years of no-hear, no-see. But today I finally got the nerve up to dig up a phone number for his brother and call him to find out what had happened. Started losing track of Aldo back in the 90's when I quit being in NY as much as I had previously. Barely knew his brother, but he remembered me when I described how and where I'd known Aldo. Good call, and his brother filled me in on a few other people I knew and what they were up to -- and asked me to email him so he could forward my email to all of them. Aldo basically relapsed, sigh. I'd heard stories of his "good old days", but had no idea he'd re-found them when his mother died and he started having marital problems. Damn, damn, damn.

I probably should have left it at that, but no, I had to find out about Steven. I hadn't heard that he'd died, but I knew he had -- I knew him back in the early days of AIDS, and he was one of my first friends who had it. I remember him not wanting to claim any of his treatments on insurance, because his father back in Texas was the insurance broker who handled his policy, and he didn't want his father to find out. Finally tracked his family down back in Texas -- his father's gone now, and his brother has the insurance company; a sister I remember him mentioning has also died. His brother, whom I'd never met, was amazing, and asked me to look the family and their town up if I'm passing through Texas some time (it's happened for me a couple of times).

I wish I'd called some other day, because all the details on Steven were just too much after hearing everything about Aldo. I suppose toughing out the first call before lunch had given me way too much courage to track down Steven's relatives after lunch (which took work -- never met any of Steven's relatives and wasn't sure about first names, so I had to rely on a couple of tricks a PI friend of mine uses).

Wanted closure, though, and I got it. I shouldn't have gotten it all in one day, however. I'm not going to be any good at work for the rest of the day.

Both of them died before my big middle-aged epiphany when my mother died in December 06 and then my friend Nancy died a few months later, about not losing track of your good friends. Steven and Aldo, in their own ways at different times, really helped me have life-changing experiences of the sort I've never forgotten. I'm sorry I didn't have more of them with these guys. Thought of both of them constantly, never did enough about it.

Right now, I'm just wallowing in the self-pity of it having been bad enough knowing they'd gone, but being even more sorry for myself that this was the day the universe lured me into going for closure on both of them. I've wondered before if humans don't demand closure more than we should, and right now I'm pretty damned sure we do.

Must not take up drinking in my office before 5 pm...

current mood: morose

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Friday, February 6th, 2009
2:05 pm - My theme song
I've always liked Sondheim's wildly neglected "Anyone Can Whistle". Bakula fans, there's a GMHC fundraiser he did with, I think, Bernadette Peters, doing it as a concert, and there's a wonderful CD of it. Harry Guardino played Hapgood in the original, and his recording of its best song is great, but Streisand and Cleo Laine arguably have the definitive versions of "Everybody Says Don't." I have finally realized it's my theme song. I recommend it for a replacement to the National Anthem. (It's either this or the theme from "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" which I have suggested before, elsewhere...)

Everybody says don't,
Everybody says don't,
Everybody says don't-
It isn't right,
Don't-it isn't nice!
Everybody says don't,
Everybody says don't,
Everybody says don't walk on the grass,
Don't disturb the peace,
Don't skate on the ice.
Well, I say do,
I say,
Walk on the grass, it was meant to feel!
I say sail!
Tilt at the windmill,
And if you fail, you fail.

Everybody says don't,
Everybody says don't,
Everybody says don't get out of line.
When they say that, then
Lady that's a sign:
Nine times out of ten,
Lady, you are doing just fine!

Make just a ripple.
Come on be brave.
This time a ripple,
Next time a wave
Sometimes you have to start small,
Climbing the tiniest wall,
Maybe you're going to fall-
But it is better than not starting at all!

Everybody says no,
Everybody says stop.
Everybody says mustn't rock the boat,
Mustn't touch a thing!
Everybody says don't,
Everybody says wait,
Everybody says can't fight city hall,
Can't upset the cart,
Can't laugh at the king!
Well, I say try!
I say
Laugh at the kings or they'll make you cry.
Lose your poise!
Fall if you have to,
But lady, make a noise!

Everybody says don't,
Everybody says can't,
Everybody says wait around for miracles,
That's the way the world is made!
I insist on
Miracles, if you do them,
Miracles - nothing to them!
I say don't,
Don't be afraid!

current mood: pleased

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Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
8:54 pm - I'm lost...
...trying to watch Lost.

Why am I more confused with this series than ever now that we've got the Oceanic Six home? I am only slightly less confused than I was when I took my bar exam...

current mood: frustrated

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Friday, September 19th, 2008
1:00 pm - Life is cheap, it's being dead that'll cost you...
For all my non-Jewish friends, which is the bulk of you, we have an obscure (to non-Jews) practice of reciting a prayer called Kaddish as a memorial observance once a year on the date of our relatives' (particularly parents') deaths, at which time we light memorial candles, and we also recite it as part of a public memorial service at four of the main holy days. The annual private recitation, the yahrzeit, is the most important of these.

Now, sometimes (especially if you have no one to recite kaddish for you because you don't have younger Jewish relatives -- a point relevant to me), you can find organizations that will say Kaddish on a specific person's yahrzeit, either for you when they're notified of your demise, or for someone else (like your parents) that you want a perpetual yahrzeit observance for.

There are "Hebrew Free Burial Societies" out there to make sure poor Jews have proper Jewish burials. There are charity groups for almost anything observant Jews think they need, from matzah at the holidays to Hebrew school scholarships for children. But there seems to be a special extortion racket in reciting yahrzeit -- the cheapest is some Chasidic groups at $180.00 for perpetual yahrzeits at their Chabad groups, and I've found it all the way up to $1000.00 for Hadassah to guarantee that kaddish is recited for you or your loved one annually under Marc Chagall's stained glass windows in the chapel at Hadassah Hospital in Israel.

Most of these groups are aimed at traditional Jews, among whom a woman (say an only daughter who's none too young) cannot say kaddish, so she'd feel compelled to have a nice group of observant men doing this for mom and dad for ever and ever. But it's also for making you feel secure you'll be prayed for, or for making sure it's done for someone if you're afraid you won't be able to do it. Because if you're at all Jewish, "who's saying kaddish?" can be a big, huge, emotional deal.

You'd think that this kind of service would have charities going after it, so everyone could afford minyans of scholars in Israel saying kaddish at the Temple Mount for ever and a day, or by Lubavicher talmud scholars in New York until the day the bagels disappear -- but no, of course not, it's a profit business. We'll help everyone learn their Hebrew and their Talmud, get them matzah or other kosher food, even bury them -- but pray for you after? Show us the money. Something just seems totally wrong about this.

current mood: frustrated

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