Saturday, January 31, 2009

This is Not Going to Be A Funny Post. Unless You're an Asshole.




The cat picture is just for cuteness. It's not even that cute. Actually it's kinda gross. And I bet the cat fucking hates it.

This week was a big week for me. I've alluded many times to "that one thing" that's happening soon, but I couldn't talk about what it was. Well, now, it is over. And I can talk about it.

Here's how it was supposed to go down:

The trial of the cabdriver who sexually assaulted me would start.

I would testify. It would suck, but I would get through it, because after all the waiting, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The jury would find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

----------------------

Here's what went down:

The trial of the cabdriver who sexually assaulted me started.

I testified. On cross, the defense attorney (who is known throughout the legal community as a huge asshole, bully, and rapist-lover) accused me of being a liar, a slut, a drug addict, an alcoholic, and, get this: a thief. Naturally he didn't get away with saying all of this. You ostensibly, need a good faith basis for saying that kind of shit, which, he didn't have, so he was not allowed to continue. However, you can't really unring a bell. Especially in front of a jury.

The jury believed him, at least in part, and found him not guilty.

So he's free. Driving around in his cab again. Maybe you're his passenger. Lovely thought, huh? One thing is clear, my days of cab rides are over.

I remember two and a half years ago when this happened. I remember feeling life could never have gotten worse. I had no idea how I would ever survive it. Slowly, though, because eventually he would be put behind bars, it would be ok. Now, though. It's over. No do-overs. No appeals. No anything. Just the knowledge that bad things happen and they never get better.

Right now, I feel it would have been easier for the jury to say "We, the jury find the defendant not guilty, and now we shall proceed to the victim's home and shoot her in the temple."

Don't worry. I'm not suicidal. But I am definitely, definitely very lost. I have no light at the end of the tunnel. There's no silver lining. No other gaywad hopeful expression comes to mind. There is no hope. There's nothing to lift my spirits except the friendly doctors who are all too happy to over prescribe in times such as these. There's nothing. There is no hope.

I don't know what the next step is. I don't think there is.

I am so stupid for not preparing for the possibility that this could happen. Of COURSE it could happen. These cases are hard to prove. Obviously I should have considered the possibility that 12 strangers would think that after spending 15 SECONDS in a cab with a man, I clearly wanted to get it on with him. I should have been prepared. But no. I was prepared for this to be my New Year. Seriously. I didn't make New Year's resolutions because I knew this was just a few weeks away. I made cabdriver conviction Resolutions:

1. Write thank you notes more consistently
2. Return phone calls more promptly
3. Save more money.
4. Go out after work with Squid and Hippie less often and when we do, go to cheaper places.
5. Get out to Los Angeles and D.C. at least once a year.
6. Lose 10 pounds.
7. FINALLY OPEN MY BLINDS. This one is sort of specific to the cabdriver. Since it happened. I've kept my blinds shut. When he was convicted, I was going to open them. I told that to someone who was kind enough to come over and check on me the other day. She immediately opened them anyway. I shut them back as soon as she left.

There were others. But they don't matter now. There never ended up being a "New Year's." Nothing matters now. Yeah. Sorry. I told you this wasn't going to be a very funny post. But whatever. It's my blog. You can stop reading anytime you like, and you won't hurt my feelings.

Ok here's something nuts. I'm totally not kidding. The night before the trial started, I had this overwhelming urge to pray. Like really really pray. I know, that does not sound like me at all, but I am totally not kidding.

Ultimately, I made the conscious choice to not pray. To not to bring him/her/it into the whole thing, figuring that if I had been off of his/her/its radar this long, do I REALLY want to draw attention to myself? It would be like going to the DMV to ask for a copy of your Driver's License, and then all of a sudden they're like "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH did you know you have 34624656 unpaid parking tickets? You'll have to clear those up first before we will even hear what you need."

Maybe that was the wrong decision. Who knows? Maybe if I prayed, then 12 jurors wouldn't have looked at pictures of my half-naked and bruised up body and decided "Oh, yeah, she clearly wanted sex."

I am trying to find something- anything to gain from this. I need a lesson. But there is none. I am broken. I don't care how overdramatic that sounds.

I'm going to see the defense attorney around the courthouse. He's always around. He's super sleazy. I don't know what to do if I'm in a situation where I have to actually speak to him in a lawyer to lawyer sense. I think punching him in the nuts, while providing me the most satisfaction, would probably land me in the most trouble with the ARDC, however crumbling into a crying heap on the floor, while providing him some sort of giggle, is also not what I want to do.

I guess, I would just act dignified, even though I imagine he knows that his client robbed me of most of my dignity two and a half years ago, and he took everything that remained this past week.

His life is so different from mine. It's hard not to wish for this to happen to his own daughter. And have her attacker be represented by a man just like him. But ultimately, I wish no violence against women. I guess.

I don't even know what I'm saying. I feel broken. What's it called when you get in a car crash, and your car is beyond repair? Fuck.. I know the word. I just can't think of it.

Totaled. I feel totaled. I am totaled.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

RIP Beth


You weren't just another fish to me. You were special. Mostly because you lived longer than a day. I'll miss your sassy ways. I'm planning a very elaborate memorial for you. You'll just have to trust me on that.

You are totally in fish heaven, Little Lady. With your predecessors.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting Close to the Last Page of a Bad Chapter

So, for those of you who have read my blog for awhile, you know that there's "this thing" that I can't talk about. Actually, technically, I CAN talk about it. I can talk about whatever the hell I want. I guess I mean, I don't, or won't, talk about it. Yet, anyway. I might someday. Well, "this thing" was supposed to happen about 5 different times in the last year or so, but it hasn't. It keeps on getting delayed for one reason or another.

However, now, it seems like, once again, "this thing" might happen. And this time, it seems like it will be for real. In a way, I am happy. Well, not happy. Definitely the wrong word choice. Relieved. It's time to start moving forward. I've been stuck with "this thing" hanging over my head for a long time. Although I haven't ever really believed in the concept of closure, I do believe that I've earned the right to give the concept of closure some fresh consideration, after "closure appropriate" events have happened. Which, it seems, may happen very soon. Hopefully. Honestly, I am really scared, though.

So, how was that for vague? Sorry.

Anyway, right on the heels of "this thing" that doesn't get talked about, I have a very huge, and very cool work thing going on. Truly something that few attorneys get to do. I had a practice today for the cool work thing, and suffice it to say, I sounded like an illiterate assclown, and not an attorney. Lots of improvement is needed and not a lot of time to do it.

Also something I'll be able to discuss later.

I don't really know what the point of this post is.

I guess just... wish me luck or something. Throw some good energy my way. Leave a funny joke in the comment section.

If you know me personally, I am apologizing in advance for not returning your emails/phone calls/text messages. I know that some of you who know what the fuck I'm talking about will want to know the outcome. I'll do the best I can, but as you know, I suck as a communicator. Thanks in advance for forgiving me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why

Tonight in Chicago, it's -11 degrees. We've all known for a few days that Thursday was going to be the coldest day that Chicago has seen in over 8 years. I, personally, have been terrified of today. I don't handle the cold well. However, I have so much other shit going on in my life that I have tried to block out the truly terrifying. Mostly that consists of my student loans, and the weather.

Today, the Chicago Tribune ran an article, "Why we live in Chicago"

I read it, looking for hope, because lately, I've had no idea. I was hoping someone would say something that would remind me why exactly I live in this fucking place. Like the gorgeous summers, the fantastic street fests. The Goodman. Whatever. I needed SOMETHING.

I used to live in Los Angeles, for Godsake! It was gorgeous. I had friends. I had nice clothes. I had a body that didn't betray my love of cheese fries. Because L.A. doesn't have cheese fries. Except for this one place, Pinky's, which I was vaguely familiar with. My point is that I lived somewhere that NO ONE SHOULD EVER WANT TO LEAVE. Yet, I did.

Anyway, the article didn't have much in the way of inspiration. The answers pretty much ranged from "Because I'm an idiot." to "Because my wife made me." It may have been the least inpsiring thing I'd ever read.

I spent the rest of the day fighting back tears. I felt like every decision I'd made in the last 4 years was wrong. Being in Chicago was wrong. The worst things of my life have happened in Chicago. My closest friends don't live here. My future seems lonely. Yes, it's true that I have the best legal job in the world. The very best. But at what expense?

All day long, I felt anxious and awful. I left about 5 minutes early, so I could make sure I could get on a train without waiting outside. Well, that failed. One train came. Wrong train. 5, 10, 15 minutes went by. Another train came. Wrong train. Something was wrong... usually my trains come every six or seven minutes during rush hour. Whatever. Finally a Brown Line train comes along. It's packed. I squeeze on. After a couple of stops, it breaks.

I get on the next one. They decide that it's going to be an express train. So I have to get off again.

Finally I get on a train that takes me all the way to my stop. I get off the train, and begin the four block walk in the coldest weather I have ever experienced. After one block, I am scared, and I can't feel my fingers or toes. After two blocks, my skin hurts. Like, a LOT. And I am freaking out. After three blocks, I am wanting to give up. Just quit it all, and move and cry and hide.

Fortunately, there's a little liquor store on the corner. And I am pretty sure I would like a glass of wine when I get home, not to mention that I don't think I could survive that last block. So I go in. I smile at the owner. And I walk as far away from the front door and the cold as possible. I take off my gloves, and only then do I really realize how cold I am. And how sad I am. I look at the woman behind the counter and notice the heater she is standing next to. And I burst into tears. And I ask her if I can put my hands in front of it, for just a minute.

She immediately grabbed the portable heater and put it up on the counter for me. This little gesture of kindness just made the tears fall harder and faster. She held my hands in hers in front of that little heater on the counter, and we both warmed our hands in each others.

A woman, who I hadn't known was in the store, approached the counter with her bottle of wine. She looked at me, concerned and asked if I wanted a ride, telling me it was too cold to walk. Now, embarrased by my tears, I smiled and said no thanks, and that I only had a block to go. She asked if I was sure, and I said yes, but thanked her profusely.

A man walked up with a bottle of whiskey. The shop owner and I were still holding hands in front of the heater. He was young and funny and cute. He told me that the three of us should warm up by doing shots of the whiskey. We both laugh, and tell him, no thanks. Then, he takes a healthy swig off the bottle, and then does a 10, 9, 8 countdown before he leaves. He blows a kiss at us as he runs out the door.

Now, the shopowner and I are both laughing, I feel warm enough to grab my bottle of wine, pay, and face the worst weather I have ever been in, for one more block.

Why do I stay in Chicago? Because three random strangers helped me manage that one last block.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

RE: Stolen Lines

I am so glad that people are into it. I totally am thrilled. I want to take a moment and reiterate... there IS NO DEADLINE. I don't know where you got that idea! Write whenever you like! Just let me know if and when you post and I will let the Law With Grace readers know.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dear "Dude" on the Brown Line,

I didn't take your picture on the el, because, well... you weren't talking on your cell phone loudly, or talking to someone else on the train loudly, or masturbating, or crying, or muttering, or anything else that would actually warrant a picture.

But what you were doing was something that I, and perhaps I alone caught, and I was mortified on your behalf. Much like a trainwreck, I couldn't look away. You were going through the photos on your iphone. And wow, Buddy... those were some pictures!

Let's just talk about the ones where you were shirtless. Now I'm not sure if it's still called this, but that particular pattern of thick, swarthy chest hair used to be referred to as a "Treasure Trail" and dude, it hasn't been appropriate since the 70's. Oh!!! Strike that... I just talked to Mama Grace, and she told me that as far back as she can remember it's NEVER been acceptable, but she's going to call Grandma Grace just to be sure.

OK. Chest hair pattern aside, there are a lot more issues. Since there's no way I can cover all of your shirtless photo atrocities, let's just focus on the ones that I am certain will give me nightmares.

1. Kissing your bicep. I just don't understand. You kissed your own arm. In a photo. That someone else took. So, in front of at least one other person, you, with a straight face, allowed someone to photograph you kissing your own muscle.

2. Pinching your own nipple. Again, allowing someone to photograph you pinching your own nipple. And it should be noted that these weren't...boudoir photos. These weren't drunken, jokey frat boy photos, either of which I would be more fine with. Unfortunately, these were Hot Chicks With Douchebags photos, without the hot chicks.

3. Fake playing the guitar. Shirtless. Now, I can't be sure you were fake playing. But, if you were really playing, you certainly weren't playing to anyone, except the person who was photographing you. And you held that guitar, like... like... I would hold a hockey stick...or a golf club...or a placenta.

Dude. Please never do this again. And pretty, pretty please? Don't do it on the train at rush hour.

Thanks,

Grace

Friday, January 09, 2009

My Stolen Lines #1

I tried to think of the right answer. Unable to think of that, I spoke anyway.

"He wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's, right?"

"No, Dear. that was Truman Capote."

"Oh. Right. He's the In Cold Blood guy. Of course."

"No, Dear, that was also Capote."

"Oh. So then maybe I don't know."

"You might be thinking of the Executioner's Song. He wrote The Exectioner's Song."

"Oh. I guess I don't know..."

Norman Mailer's personal secretary smiled at me sympathetically. It's not my fault, her octogenarian eyes tell me. Things just aren't how they used to be.

The flight attendant approached. She asked if we wanted something to drink. I ordered wine, and pulled out my wallet.

The beverages are complimentary on international flights, I am informed.

I must have looked incredulously gleeful, because Norman Mailer's secretary asked me if this was my first intercontinental flight. I admit to her that yes, it was. She then asked if it was business or pleasure.

I tried to think of the right answer. Unable to think of that, I spoke anyway.

"I just ended a relationship."

I didn't elaborate. She was a grandmother. Not MY grandmother, but someone's grandmother, probably. And she was Norman Mailer's personal secretary for God's sake! I can't tell her the tawdry details of my life. She doesn't need to hear that, even if I couldn't tell the difference between Norman Mailer and Truman Capote. She smiled at me, like she absolutely knew the way I could mend my heart, but also knew that I was too young to believe her.

"So, what is it you're watching?" she asked me, referring to the tv that is above my tray table. I love Virgin Airlines. We each get our own TV.

"Oh....umm...it's just a movie...umm... it's called umm... Wild Things?"

"I've never heard of it," she said "What's the premise?"

I tried to think of the right answer. Unable to think of that, I spoke anyway.

"Well, that's Denise Richards... and that girl she's kissing, that's Neve Campbell. And that guy who's making out with both of them, that's Matt Dillon. I think they are trying to steal money from someone"

Oh. My. God. This movie is porn. It's, liike TOTALLY porn!! And I am watching it in front of a REALLY old lady! Who seems like a grandma. Who claims to be Norman Mailer's secretary! She's watching me watch it. Oh my god. The pool scene? Oh my god. I am humiliated. You should NOT be able to rent this on an airline called VIRGIN!!!! But I couldn't turn it off. That would be too obvious. Once you've started watching porn in front of a grandma, it's disrespectful to stop. It's like ageism, or something.

"Are you enjoying the movie?" she asked me.

I tried to think of the right answer. Unable to think of that, I spoke anyway.

"Well. It's... kinda hot. Right?"

--
The first 2 sentences and its repetitions are stolen from Night of the Avenging Blowfish by John Welter. It's part of Grace's Blog Experiment.

Update: Stolen Lines By:
Brand new blogger, Kristine
Brand new blogger, Patently Irrelevant
My Girl, Harmless Error
Daisy
Thinking Fool
Anonymous Hottie
Amanda
Five Tomatoes
Brita
Butterflyfish
EJ
Obsquatch
Legally (Ir)relevant
Fannie
Fianna
Artful Blogger
The Laundress
Kelli

To everyone who participated, thanks! It was really fun. We'll do it again.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Stolen Lines #1

"I tried to think of the right answer. Unable to think of that, I spoke anyway."

OK. So I've slightly altered the plan. Originally, I thought the title of the book should be the blog post title, but that might confuse people into thinking that what we write is actually an excerpt from the book. Which could piss off an author, if they were to ever notice. So let's just have it say "Stolen Lines #1."

At the end of the blog post, we should probably give credit to the guy who wrote it. So at the end of the post, I'm going to write "I stole the first two sentences from Night of the Avenging Blowfish, by John Welter."

I'm doing mine tonight or tomorrow morning. There's no deadline. And there are no rules. Write whatever you want as long as those are the first two sentences. Send me a comment when you're done, and I'll add your link to the list. Oh, and maybe somehow link back to me in the post, so your readers know where to find everyone else's posts. Or something. I don't know. It's all an experiment!!


Have fun.