Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Car 54, Where Are You?

Today was one long blur of hearings.  Pretrials, which are done in a jury room rather than the courtroom, went on for an interminable period of time.  I thought I would lose my mind.  For all I know, I'm still sitting there.  Of course, I'm lucky I was sitting in one of the chairs.  There are only six chairs around the table, although there is ample room for more.  One is for the judge, one is for the clerk who is handling the schedule and all of the orders. Then there were 5 attorneys from DCF Legal, 2 lawyers from the Guardian ad Litem Program, 2 more from Regional Conflict Counsel's office, at least 5 contract defense attorneys, and the judicial assistant.  You do the math. 

Not that there aren't other chairs in other rooms right down the hall.  But our deputies, who are really nice guys and gals (I love the hats; I wish they wore them in court) got flogged by "someone" for allowing us to bring additional chairs into our jury room 2 weeks ago, even though they were all returned, nice and neat.  We know that "someone" is not the judge.  We don't know who "someone" is, but we have our suspicions.  "Someone" seems to think it is appropriate for a dozen attorneys to have to sit on the floor while dressed for court in suits or skirts, or in the alternative, stand for two hours, holding a legal pad, a calendar, a stack of files and an iPhone.  "Someone" seems to think that he or she is higher up the food chain than the judge, who supports the moving of chairs.

I see now," said Winnie the Pooh."I have been Foolish and Deluded," said he, "and I am a Bear of No Brain at All." - A.A. Milne

If I'm not careful, this will turn into a rant about micromanagement by Petty People of No Brain at All.  Micromanagement is not limited to that "someone" in court administration who enjoys flexing his or her mini-muscles.  As we all know, or have personally experienced, micromanagement rears it's ugly head in all sorts of work places and situations.  I could tell you stories ... but I won't.  Not yet.  Just a reminder that no adult likes to be treated like a naughty child. 

I had to return to court after lunch.  Well, it wasn't really lunch.  It was ... let me show you a picture:

I nibbled, I worked.  As I said, not really lunch.

Like President Clinton, I am punctuality-challenged.  I have really been trying to overcome my tendency to arrive late, but the fact that I don't do mornings has made it difficult to achieve.  It has been my New Year's Resolution every year since 1966, and I think I have finally made some progress.  For example, today I left the office a few minutes early, and all went well until I tried to make the penultimate turn from John Young Parkway onto Emmett Street.  Two lights later, I'm still waiting.  The traffic heading north looked like it was backed up to Cuba.  And cars coming off Emmett and trying to turn onto John Young were getting stuck in the intersection.

Gridlock in Kissimmee? Has the world gone mad?  Was I going to be late despite my primo parking spot and my early departure?  Was I having flashbacks to New York?  Would the palm trees along John Young Parkway disappear from my field of vision to be replaced by scrub oak along the Long Island Expressway?  Car 54, where are you?

There's a hold up in the Bronx,
Brooklyn's broken out in fights.
There's a traffic jam in Harlem
That's backed up to Jackson Heights.
There's a scout troop short a child,
Khruschev's due at Idlewild
Car 54, where are you?

Yes, I am showing my age.  Which is exactly how I got a seat around the pretrial table.  The supervising attorney for the GAL program and I decided that first dibs on the chairs went to those of us over fifty.  Rank may have it's privileges, but age works pretty well.  Anyway, I made it to court with 2 minutes to spare and an annoying earworm.  Car 54, where are you?

First sign of spring is the Cadbury egg (not the crocus, despite what my second grade teacher told me) and for St. Patrick's Day we have the green Hostess Sno-Balls

St. Patrick's Day is this Thursday, and I feel the need to bake cupcakes. Vivid green cupcakes. Bright, emerald, I'm-looking-over-a-four-leaf-clover green cupcakes.  With cream cheese frosting.  I stopped to pick up the ingredients and I'll bake tomorrow evening, God willing and the crick don't rise. 

St. Patrick's Day
Green velvet cupcakes.  Tomorrow.  Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Cook like there's nobody watching, and eat like it's heaven on earth.

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