Monday, March 31, 2008

Obama on future grandchildren

This is sick: "But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

Three points here: first, this statement shows that, in an "off the cuff" moment, Obama really thinks children are less of a blessing and more of a duty ("duty" = me being kind). Second, I know a number of women whose lives have been so blessed by an "accident" - be they married or unmarried. Children change lives - for good if we let God work. Our relationship with our children is the closest we get to having any understanding of how much our Father loves us. Finally, what is his alternative? Abortion? Hello?! How traumatic is that?! Even the women I've known who are "pro-choice" and who've had an abortion have grieved, while being told that nothing is the matter, why are they so unhappy? That's the real punishment, but God forbid Obama and his ilk ever admit it.

Sorry for a little incoherence; I've had my sleepy tea already and am ready to call it a day.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

I was going to write something on Easter, but this is too good - I can't write much after reading it:

That being said ...

We went to the sunrise service this AM: 6:30. The boys were sleepy, but they dressed, trooped downstairs, ate breakfast, and were ready on time. It was chilly, but in a good way, at least to what's left of the Northerner in me. We lit candles in the dark courtyard at Taft and sang, then walked in to almost-darkness and sat: prayers and readings - from Creation to Resurrection. Quiet music - Robbie played alone on guitar. Everything about it was filled with quiet joy. There was no pomp, no shouting, nothing loud and glorious. It makes a change from Easters past, where we had all that - Christ the Lord is Risen Today! - processing choirs and Bach on the organ. Instead, quiet joy. I felt more kinship to the very early Christians then I ever have before - gathered in a courtyard, small enough to be at a private home - then inside for fellowship. We took turns reading; no assigned list of participants, just those that wanted to came forward. There was no sermon - and really, if you need to be told by the preacher what to think on Easter, of all days, you need more help then there is on this Earth.

Happy Easter, and may your heart fill with joy when you think on what He has done for us.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Stations of the Cross

These are wonderful devotionals based on the meaning behind each of the 14 Stations of the Cross.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Washing Feet

Vignettes from last night's Maundy Thursday service:

Kneeling elders, people walking up slowly - then lining up eagerly, already barefoot

Paul washing Jen's feet - a husband's tender touch

Sitting barefoot, with the boys gathered around me, hushed

Feet clean

Boys holding me

Paintings - 3 Crosses (Two) and Easter Sunrise (One)


and finally, from a sleepy and slightly confused 5 year old: "Mommy, next year I think I want you to baptize my feet."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Street

This is who my street was named after:

"Glenn Herbert McCarthy (December 25, 1907 - December 26, 1988) was a wildcatter and a flamboyant oil tycoon. Within the oil industry and the media he was sometimes referred to as "Diamond Glenn" and "The King of the Wildcatters".[1] McCarthy was noted as an oil prospector and entrepreneur who owned many businesses in diverse fields. McCarthy founded the Shamrock Hotel in Houston, which gained him brief national fame and inspired the fictional character Jett Rink in Edna Ferber's 1952 novel Giant along with its 1956 film adaptation which starred James Dean in the role."

On the oldest blocks, there are old tile street curbs that spell the street name "Glenn", even though we've now reverted to "Glen".

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Isn't it nice to see what a few years and a little inflation can do for a girl?

"According to a Girls Gone Wild press release, Dupre visited Miami in 2003 to celebrate her 18th birthday. After fighting with a friend and getting thrown out of her hotel, Dupre found a nearby Girls Gone Wild bus, the company said. She signed legal papers and spent a full week on the bus, filming seven full-length tapes which included nudity and same-sex encounters, according to the company. 'I personally ended up buying her a Greyhound bus ticket back home to North Carolina,' Francis told the AP."

From the price of a bus ticket for a week's "work" to $1,000 an hour - that's quite a raise.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I want to write like this

I've always thought I wanted to write like James Lileks, but Philip Gulley would be just fine, too.

As the World Turns

I have a confession to make: I rotate things. Unloading the dishwasher and putting away clean clothes takes a long time for me, because I can't do it without this strange quirk taking over the process. Out come the shirts (or shorts, underwear, you name it) from the drawer, in go the clean ones on the bottom, and then back go the others on top. Plates, glasses, even silverware suffers. I take the silverware out of the drawer and stack it on the counter - rows of stacked forks, knives and spoons lined up on a cutting board (not the counter itself - it might be dirty). Then I put the clean pieces away, and pile the others neatly back where they belong.

I'm sick. I know this. But honestly, does anyone else have this strange compulsion?

More B+-edness

I wrote earlier about being a B+ person and how happy I am in my B+ state. B+-edness saved my from the Lawfirm, it allows me to end work in time to pick One and Two up from school every day, it makes life a lot easier, in other words.

B+-edness means, in short, that I lack ambition. My MIL once told me she never took a job at which she wasn't always looking to be promoted. I, on the other hand, have done this quite a lot. In fact, I went to the Lawfirm knowing full well I would never be partner. I was proven right beyond all hope when, a year after graduation, One was conceived. No, we didn't mean for that to happen, but it did, and it certainly made my decision to leave a lot easier. Then a lovely in-house position: work was blissful, Two came along, Husband created the grasswidow, and I was laid off. Once again, B+-edness to the rescue. This new turn of events didn't bother me; indeed, it saved me.

Life without too much ambition is good.

Heller and the 2nd Amendment

Great piece that clearly sets out the issues in Heller, the Supreme Court case challenging DC's complete ban on the possession of operable weapons. It also discusses how a ruling in Heller might/might not affect similar bans around the country.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sometimes I feel like a salad vegetable

Sometimes I feel like a tomato, split open with juice running out over the cutting board. It's a painful but good feeling; God opens my heart, tears spill out, and when it is over and He has knit me back together I feel more whole than before. It's the brokeness of spirit we hopefully all experience, and it brings us closer to Christ.

Right now, however, I am a peeled cucumber. Not cut open or broken apart, but raw, exposed to everything without any protection. Everything hurts, even physically - I grip my arms across my chest for protection, hands in balls, teeth clenched. Sounds ring discordantly in my ears, everyone seems to come into my space instead of just coming near me. I'm crowded, tense, and no help comes. There are no tears, there is no rescue, there is no relief.

When I am a cucumber, I pray for Christ to break me open - make me a tomato! - I want to cry out to Him.

As we walk towards Easter this week, I want my heart to split open. I want to feel broken, so I can then feel Christ's redemption for real.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Why I love being a lawyer

My firm has been given a chance to have some of its members write about "why I love being a lawyer" for one of the Bar journals. I'm cetainly not going to raise my hand and volunteer, but I was fascinated by the topic, so I'll write about it here instead.

I love being a lawyer for very selfish reasons. I wish I could say that I love it because I help the poor or bring justice to the oppressed. No, this is not standard Tari sarcasm. I believe God wants me to use my talents for His purposes, and I can't say that my law practice does that. I have a hard time with that part of things - it disappoints me. But I do like what I do; it suits me.

I like that every question is different from the last one. That facts change answers and every analysis is different. I like it when my clients are smart, as they frequently are, and that they teach me new things about their business that enable me to help them more. I like it that I can have at least a superficial conversation about a thousand different subjects, frequently just because I've reviewed or drafted documents relating to them. I've learned how developers create software code, the general layout of a power generating plant, that the US government funds IT development in Israel as a part of military aid, and that however much Americans complain about how much money US lawyers make, you've never been truly soaked until you've hired overseas outside counsel. These kinds of things make it easier to talk to all kinds of people. I have a hard time talking to people I don't know well, so all these bits and pieces mean more to me than just the work I performed or the project that someone else completed with my help.

I like that my practice allows me to work from anywhere. I can pick my boys up from school every day, take them to swimming and work from there. I love my firm for giving me this flexibility. I love that an equity partner in the office has much the same schedule; I love knowing that, if I ever get that far down the road in my career, that flexibility won't go away.

I love that the people in my office are smarter than me and have so much to teach me. I also love that sometimes we're holding hands in the dark together, learning about a new issue. Being surrounded by people who can say "I don't know" and accept that from you as well - at least as a starting point for going after the answer - is a true blessing. Egos aren't welcome in my office. I may like that reason better than all the others combined.

Random Musical Thought

There is a fundamental split in my generation, and it boils down to this: did you stop liking the Eagles in high school, or do you still like them as an adult? Ask that question, and you will know everything you need to about the person you're talking to.

There, I saved you a lot of time and effort. No thanks are necessary.

Being Happy being a B+ Person

My last year at Colgate, my most favorite professor, in a frustrated moment, told me I was "a B+ student." He went on to explain that he thought I was perfectly capable of better grades and deeper scholarship, but at the last minute something would distract me and - uck: the dreaded B+ would result. Personally, I was pretty pleased with the B+'s in my Colgate career, but he was right, and he unearthed a fundamental truth about me that I've seen many times since then.

Life distracts me. I enjoy distractions. I hate single-minded devotion that cuts out everything, stagnates relationships, drains people of the joy of life.

As I said, this has happened to me more than once. First year law school, I worked and worked and did pretty well. Until write-on for law journals came up. End of exams, Austin hot and sunny, and a reading packet 6" thick. Husband left for home and summer clerkships, with stern instructions that I was to get to work and write a stellar essay, one that would insure me a place on TROL, TILG or even, Heaven help me, The Law Review. I cracked open the packet, tried a page or two, and took a nap. I took the packet to the pool and tried to read while floating - nope, that didn't work either. Finally, 3 or 4 days into it, I gave up on the packet all together and sunbathed and slept my way through my last few days alone, before packing up and heading home for my (unpaid) internship at the Bankruptcy Court. I'd worked hard on exams, really hard. I'd outlined and studied and studied and outlined; eaten frozen pizza and gone back for more. But once it was over, it was over. I couldn't summon the desire to be on law review - if that's what it took the get "the" job then I didn't want or need "the" job. I'd figure something else out if it came to that, but I couldn't go beyond the B+.

I was glad then, and I'm glad now. I like B+. B+ to me means time for family, friends, church: life. I'm proud of my B+, and if someone insisted I'd wear it on my chest like Hester's "A".

Back to beginning of the story: Dear Dr. Aveni: thank you for telling me this about myself. The distraction in my life you suffered from was Husband, then just Boyfriend but still very important. If life had been different I'd have loved to have you write me a recommendation to get into Chicago, do post-graduate work, devote my life to Meso-American everything. But it wasn't different, and I didn't, and I thank God for my B+.

Note: I did love this professor, and still do. Please don't get the idea that he was mean about this. Just disappointed, which in its own way also made me feel very good.

Do you read Lileks?

You really should:

Especially if you're a parent. Or a writer. Or an Apple-head. Or an old-movie buff. Or just a person. That would be enough.

Mark Steyn on "Kristen"

"It's not often you get a case where there's someone in the room with a higher hourly rate than the lawyers."

I love it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Oscar's Testimony

This is Oscar. He's a nine year old boxer, and he rarely walks these days. Adopted from Lone Star Boxer Rescue, he's been in our family since he was two. Right now his latest challenge is the loss of most of the feeling in his back legs. We've been to the vet, we've been to the holistic vet. We've taken Rimadyl, we've taken Chinese medicine, we've even had acupuncture, and nope, he still can't find the ground underneath him, even if you tie a magnifying glass to his back legs.

The amazing thing about this dog is: it doesn't bother him. He gleefully drags himself across the hardwoods to get where he wants to go, he dives into his daily kibble as if it were filet mignon. He barks threateningly at squirrels and tries to fight the neighbor's dog through the fence. It's obvious that he is in no pain. It is equally obvious that Oscar doesn't want to give up living any time soon.

When he came to us seven years ago, he'd been beaten and starved; his spine and hips stuck out and he had a cigar burn on his side. Yet he threw himself into our arms, sat patiently while One (and then Two) crawled over every inch of him. They'd sleep on him, he'd sleep under them. He radiated joy over every meal, every pat on the head, every scratch, every trip outside.

Why am I belaboring Oscar and his joy? Because this dog has inspired me to faith more times that I can count. His peaceful acceptance of his condition, his joy over any small blessing - these things have schooled me in how I should act in the face of my God and what He puts on my plate every day.

I love this dog. I love him because he is a family member, but also because he reminds me to savor every blessing, to look beyond what cripples me, and to thank my Master at every turn.

Thank you Oscar. And when it is time, may God speed you to your well-deserved rest.


Okay, I've tried this before, and failed to keep it up. I've been motivated lately by friends who have started blogging (hi Meg!) and thought I'd try again. Here goes:

My favorite subject: me. I'm 37, going to be 38 soon. Attorney, mom and wife - 30 hours or so a week of each of them, give or take. Two boys, 8 and 5 - let's call them One and Two, to keep it simple (and to keep my husband from losing his mind). Lots more about them to come. Husband. Hmm, what to say? The inspiration for the title of this blog, he's gone at least once a week, traveling to the garden spots of Texas as a trial lawyer. It used to completely freak me out; now I miss him but enjoy the peace at the same time.

I love: my God, my boys (all 3), my church, this city, good food, good books, and my dogs. More on all of them later.

I hate: fear, cold weather, grey skies, reality TV, and Daylight Savings Time. Maybe more on fear, but I don't think we need to discuss any of the others.

I have a bunch of posts half-written in my head, so I'll keep this short and try to hash out one or two of them tonight. I also need to work on the layout - I worked for a software company for 5 years but it will still take me all night to do that! My mom's an accountant and I can't balance my checkbook - some things just happen that way.

Back soon.