Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I love going to court.  Not personally, of course, since I haven't had to go to court for personal reasons since that night back in '93 (and to be fair, that old lady was asking for it...).  But professional reasons.  Even when I disliked solo practice, I enjoyed getting to go to court.  There's something that requires your mind to be focused and sharp- you are constantly preparing for the next question and the next answer, thinking two steps ahead of where you are, noticing the small details, ready for anything.  And being a DHS Child Support attorney is just like that but like 100x more.  Before, in court, I had one, maybe two cases, with a few or more issues per case.  I was focused and ready for those two cases.  I knew those cases like the back of my hand (presumably!).  But now that I handle child support cases, its a whole different ballgame.  I have dozens and dozens of cases each court date.  I might know a lot about those cases, and I might know everything about a few of those cases, but there are always a few that I know nothing about.  Its all playing it by ear, looking confident, acting like you know what you are doing.  Bluffing, in a sense.  People ask questions, I answer as best I can- but since I'm the attorney, I'm expected to know the answer.  And most of the time, I totally do.   I know child support law pretty good now! 

And I love going to court-- I love it.  I'm the only attorney, and in the morning, its just me.  The Family Master comes in after lunch to hear some cases but for the most part, I'm on my own, totally in charge.  Love it! 

Recently, I've started filling in for other attorneys in different counties-- first Washington County some, now Bolivar County.  So, its even more of a challenge because I'm not familiar with these cases or these court procedures or how the specific judge handles things.  Its a bit nerve-wracking at first, but now I'm getting my sea legs and really enjoying it. 

Today, however, was an unusual court date.  In Coahoma County, like I mentioned, I'm in charge.  I'm sitting at the desk alone and I deal with the clients and the non-custodial parents entirely on my own.  So, if I'm not doing something, something is wrong.  I'm constantly seeing people, filling out their judgments, explaining their court papers to them, talking to them, organizing my docket, etc.  Its non-stop till the last case is heard.  Now that I write about it, its kinda exhausting!!! 

But today I was in Bolivar County for the first time, and Bolivar has a different judge and a different family master than Coahoma.  And they take the time to review the case, ask thoughtful questions, look over documents, etc.  Which is great.  But what it means for me is--- a lot of extra time with nothing to do.  So my mind wanders.  A lot.  Here are some of the things I thought about today. 

Arrerage is a strange word.  What is the plural of "arrearage"?  Should I have just said "the arrearage is" or "the arrerages are"? Does it really matter?  Did anyone even hear what I just said?  Amya is a strange name?  Am ya having fun?  Sounds like bad grammar.  Is that word Fergusson?  Plessy v. Ferguson.  What court case is that?  Is that the Ferguson factors for family law?  No, Ferguson is "separate but equal"?  I think?  I should really know that.  Oh wait, that word is not "Ferguson", its "forgiven".  Wow, big difference.  Wonder where that girl got her necklace?  I want to go back to Charming Charlie's soon.  I need to call my aunt and tell her I want to go to the beach soon so give me a weekend when the condo is free.  I forgot to call Betsy back this morning.  Ok I will do it later.  Why didn't I print out the FSUM screen?  Man, I did a terrible job on court prep this week.  Oh well.   

Seriously, this is a small portion of what I thought during the long pauses.  It was a smorgasbord of entirely useless stuff.  And it all was linked together in a way that made perfect sense in my mind.  Luckily for me (and readers of that boring, random paragraph above), the pauses didn't last too long and I was able to handle court fairly well today.  Its always a bit stressful for me to go into a new court for the first time, and this one was particularly stressful, but I think I did just fine!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The proof is in the trifle...

Musta been pretty good cause it's all gone!!!

Trifle, Truffle, Potatoe, Po-ta-toe

Today's one of my Monday's off (love working for the State) and I'm putting it to good use.  I spent all weekend laying around, reading and "sorta" cleaning up, so its nice for a change to get things done!  I went to Wal-Mart, spent entirely too much money on food, and then came home and cooked two casseroles for friends who've recently had babies.  I went to lunch with my new friend Brett and saw some other friends while we were there.  We spent a while of our lunch debating the world trifle v. truffle.  She suggested what I was making was a "trifle" as a "truffle" is like a Lindor truffle.  Also, my friend Laura Beth reminded me that on Friends, Rachel made a "Trifle" and messed up the recipe and added meat and potatoes and vegetables.  I'm pretty sure mine will be better than that!

And now I'm back at home making a Chocolate Peanut Butter Trifle for a NCAA Football Championship get-together tonight at one of my friends.  Its my trivia friends that are getting together tonight and we are eating chili and I'm bringing a dessert.  Now, at first glance, my trivia group seems pretty normal.  But these are the people who came to my house for a Christmas party and didn't leave till after 1 a.m.-- and the karoke machine make an appearance.  So, honestly, there's no telling about tonight!!! 

I got on Pinterest and found a yummy looking dessert.  I watched Barefoot Contessa while I was making this and I am pretty darn proud of myself. 

First you make fudge brownies like normal.  Two points here:

1.  The recipe calls for peanut butter chips to be added to the batter, but after reading some of the reviews, I decided not to, as a lot of the reviewers said it was a bit too much peanut butter.  Also, this recipe is quite expensive so that saved me like $3.00. 

2.  Yes, there IS a fingerprint in the middle of the brownies.  Some people use fancy cooking tools like toothpicks or forks to check the done-ness of their brownies.  Pshaw, I say-- hands are your best cooking tools. 

Two large vanilla pudding mixes.  Add 4 cups cold milk, stir.  Let it sit for a few minutes and add 4 tsps vanilla extract (I didn't have that much so I used what I had!), and 1 cup peanut butter.  Mix with 1 and a half things of cool whip.  Actually, now that I'm typing this up, I'm realizing I didn't use near that much whip cream.  Oh well.

Cut up two bags of small Reese's Pieces.  

Cut brownies up in small squares.  Add layer to the bottom of a large bowl.  Next a layer of peanut butter cups.  Then layer the peanut butter pudding mix.  And so on and so on.  The recipe suggested that I would be able to do three layers but I only did 2 and a half.  Doesn't really matter-- its going to be so good that following a recipe is unnecessary!!! 

 And what did Parker do?  First she stood underneath me and ate all crumbs that I dropped.  All of that being underfoot made her tired and she decided to nap the rest of the time.  I'm still waiting on her to clean the kitchen up like I asked. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I hate you, Siri,,,

A few weeks ago, my old Blackberry phone finally died.  Luckily for me, CellSouth (I refuse to call it CSpire which is a terribly stupid name and sounds like ceasefire) had just started carrying iPhones!  A few weeks before, my Blackberry had started messing up a whole lot, and I called my brother (the Carr family resident apple-head) to see when the iPhone would be available to CellSouth customers and I hoped my old phone would last that long.  It did and so, one Friday afternoon, I headed to CellSouth in Laurel to buy me a new phone.  I spent two long hours in there, getting the phone, setting up the phone, paying for the phone and then attempting to transfer my contacts and pictures from the old phone.  I have had fits with that Blackberry, but it got the last laugh when it took over an hour to transfer all of my contacts-- 999 to be exact.  Yeah, I'm not quite that popular.  When the sales rep told me that, I figured she was wrong, but I quickly learned that my blackberry had multiplied a couple of my contacts hundreds of times.  So I spent that entire evening deleting those "extra" contacts on my fancy new black iphone! 

Now that I have an iphone, I'm finally feeling like a cool kid.  I can play words with friends.  I can act interested when someone says "there's an app for that" because I might actually want that app.  I can sweep my finger across the screen like someone living in the future.  I'm super cool now. 

One thing that's not super cool?  Siri.  Seriously, Siri stinks.  I'm afraid to ask my brother, but I'm pretty sure that the extra money I spent to get the 4gs (or whatever the number/letter combination is) was only to get Siri on my phone.  I'd rather not know, if that's the case. 

If you haven't heard of Siri (and to be honest, I'd not really  heard of it before I got this phone), let me introduce you.  According to the apple website, Siri "lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more.  Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk.  Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it."


According to Nicholas, you can ask Siri all types of stuff and it will look it up for you.  So, I'm all excited and start trying to ask Siri to get information for me.  And, well, it didn't work out quite as I'd hoped.  I've tried many times, over the last couple weeks to ask Siri questions and to get answers.  And I've only once gotten an actual, correct answer, and that was when Nicholas told me what to say.  Talk to it like a child, he says.  Whatever, Siri simply hates me.  Its the only explanation.  "Surely, you jest" I hear you all saying.  First off, don't call me Shirley.  Secondly, its true.  Siri never gives me the correct information, never understands my questions, never ceases to insult me whenever it has a chance. 

To prove my point, I'm going to ask Siri some questions right now, and type the answers on here, so you will all know.  The things I do for this blog. 

Me:  Call Mom. 

Siri:  Call.  Who would you like to call? 

Me:  Mom. 

Siri:  Aren't.  I don't see Aren't in your address book. 

Me:  Set an appointment for March 24 (Blogger's sidenote:  You all should be setting an appointment reminder for that day.)

Siri:  Set an appointment for March 24.  What time would you like that appointment?

Me:  9 am

Siri:  Marianne.  I don't understand what you mean by Marianne.  What time would you like your appointment? 

Me:  Walmart, Cleveland, Mississippi

Siri:  I don't understand.  Walled, Claiborne, Mississippi

Me:  Walmart, Cleveland, Mississippi

Siri:  Sorry I can only look for businesses, map and traffic in the United States and when you're using U.S. English.  Sorry about that.

Me:  Hobby Lobby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Siri: Haridya, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Sorry I can only look for businesses, map and traffic in the United States and when you're using U.S. English.  Sorry about that.

Yeah, people you get the picture.  Siri hates me.  Siri laughs at me, mocking me to use U.S. English.

Me:  I hate you Siri.

Siri:  I hate theory.  I'm sorry. 

At least it had the manners to apologize. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

So proud of myself

Yesterday I mentioned New Year's Resolutions and today I've got some great news I'm just bursting to share. I didn't really make formal resolutions or anything but I've decided to make being healthier a higher priority in my life and I want to... Lose some weight. Now I don't normally discuss weight and weight- related matters. At least not in mixed company and never on this blog before. But it's a part of my life and I'm going to let you people share in this journey.

Which, by the way, is going so much better than I ever imagined. Yesterday I went to Wal-Mart and bought myself a scale. Then I weight yesterday afternoon and I weighed even more than I realized, but hey, that's why I'm doing this. Last night I did some meal planning ("failing to plan is planning to fail!) and researched good food an recipe ideas. I also worked some on my new notebook which will house all my recipes, quotes, stats, etc.

And readers, today I have some great news to share with you. This morning when I woke up, I weighed myself again. I lost 18 pounds.

I mean, wow. I'm so freaking proud of myself, it's not even funny. And all that hard work I've put in these last few hours really paid off. I just can't believe how good I've done. I've still got a log way to go, but at this rate I will be to my goal by like next Tuesday!

So for everyone who is out there, struggling with their resolutions, I'm sorry you can be as awesome as me and lose 18 pounds in one day, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep trying.

Below- picture of the apparently faulty scale although today my numbers have been more in line with the second number. Who knows about tomorrow!

Monday, January 2, 2012


So I'm back.  Its been a while since I've blogged and my last few months have been full of all sorts of great and not-so-great things, and honestly, I just ran out of excitement about blogging.  It also didn't help that my family constantly nagged me about why I hadn't blogged and therefore, I was forced to simply quit blogging for a while just to make them even madder. 

But I miss blogging and I miss all you many, many, readers, so I've decided to get back into the blogging swing of things.  I won't be promising to blog everyday, or even every week (that's HARD to do, folks!! but I do promise to blog as often as I want to! 

I would have started blogging yesterday, just to get the new year started off in a good way, but that's really so very cliche.  I do have a few New Year's Resolutions that I'd like to share with you all!

1.  Stop forgetting which day is trash day.

2.  Subscribe to a local newspaper. 

3.  Get to work on-time.  Occasionally. 

4.  Snuggle more with Parker.

5.  Learn how to block all tv channels I don't get so I won't get my hopes up. 

Parker has a couple resolutions as well. 

1.  Wear her hair in a ponytail more often. 

2.  Snuggle more with Jessica. 

What are your resolutions, dear readers?