Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Examination Room is Ready

Last night Mr. Trizzle and Short Artichoke came over to my place to practice examination techniques.  I wasn’t really involved in this whole deal, but my place is pretty much half-way between the two of them and they’re both my friends, so it seemed an ideal place to meet.

Short Artichoke wanted some help with her cross and direct examination skills.  Mr. Trizzle’s done nearly a dozen trials himself already and Short Artichoke, well, like most attorneys, Short Artichoke has done zero.  It makes good sense that Mr. Trizzle would help her out with some pointers.

Being the good little friend that I am (and very silly), I decided I would help Mr. Trizzle and Short Artichoke by setting up a court room for them.

I pulled out the long plastic folding table Mr. Trizzle’s currently letting me borrow and set it up as counsel’s table with a nice chair behind it.  On the other side of the room, off from center a bit, I put a stall stool to be the witness stand.  Even put a Bible on it.  The Bible’s in Greek, but that hardly matters.

In the center of the front of the room sat the judge.  A very proud and regal judge, dressed in a black robe, sitting high atop his bench.  Ok, it was Daddy Bunny wearing a black bag and sitting on a table, but it looked very judicial.  And on the side of the room opposite the witness stand sat the jury.  It was a very diverse jury, complete with alternate jurors.

Turned out, they didn’t need the court room.  Short Artichoke is doing an agency hearing.  Oh well.



While the two attorneys worked in the kitchen, I sat curled up in my comfy large chair, hemming the pants on Mr. Trizzle’s newest suit and listening to their banter.  I learned a lot just by sitting in the next room.  I also laughed a lot.

When Mr. Trizzle went into Attorney Trizzle mode and started role-playing the cross-examining attorney to Short Artichoke’s witness, I couldn’t help but giggle.  He sounded just like he does when we get into an argument: short, yes or no, leading questions that give you no chance to explain and twist everything around to sound bad.

“You bought a pair of black shoes today?”  “Yes.”  “Isn’t it true you already have 50 pairs of shoes?”  “Yes, but…”  “Isn’t it true you already have several pairs of black shoes?”  “Yes, but…”  “Aren’t you not supposed to be spending money?”  “Yes, but…”  “And don’t shoes cost money?”  “Yes, but…”  And by the time he’s done, you feel like you’ve done the worst thing in the world when all you’ve really done is bought a pair of black stilettos to replace the pair that broke yesterday and you couldn’t even explain that it doesn’t matter if you have another pair of black shoes if they aren’t dress shoes and that although it costs money to buy shoes, you need them to get a job and wear to work and besides, they were on sale anyway.  whew…

When they switched roles so Short Artichoke could play attorney and Mr. Trizzle was the witness, I really cracked up.  Poor Mr. Trizzle has spent too much time in Richmond.  The minute he went into witness mode, he became so ghetto: ebonics accent, short and casual answers - “You’re the head of this company?” “Yup.”  Poor Short Artichoke!  She kept shaking her head and saying, but my witness isn’t going to answer like that.

The best part was when Short Artichoke asked a question, “Did you do x?” And Mr. Trizzle says “Yup.”  And Short Artichoke vigorously  shakes her head no at him, and he vigorously shakes his head yes back at her.  And she explains, the real answer based on the facts is “no.”  He looks at her, cocks his head and says “Impeach me.”

court room angle cropped

The court room, Honorable Judge D.B. presiding.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Old are You, Again?

When I was younger, everybody always thought I was older.  Now that I’m older, people always think I’m younger.  I’m starting to wonder if I’ve been 25 my whole life.

When I was younger…

Drinking in the nsakas of the nearby pub was a common activity at the close of a long day of Peace Corps training.  Most of my fellow volunteers had their beer of choice: Mosi, Castle or Rhino.  A few had a softie: Fanta or Coke.  And I usually had a box of long life milk or a plastic carton of Super Maheau.

One afternoon, near the end of training, two of us sat together in the nsaka, waiting for the others to arrive.  Myself and the person I felt I had grown closest to during our 2 months in training.  “How old are you going to be?” My friend asked, referring to my upcoming birthday.  “23.”  “You mean you’re only 22 now?!  I thought you were older.”  She went on to explain that she didn’t mean it in a bad way, that I didn’t look old, but that I acted older, more mature.

Now that I’m older…

My roommate, The Legend, is a bit younger than me.  Just a few months older than Alfred.  He constantly forgets how old I am.  But he doesn’t just forget how old I am, he forgets how old I am in relation to him.  He always thinks I’m younger than him and that Alfred is the oldest in my family.

On more than one occasion, we’ve had conversations that go something like this:  “Alfred’s your older sister, right?”  “No, Alfred’s younger than me; she’s your age; I’m the oldest.”  Puzzled look from The Legend.  “Wait, how old are you again.”  I tell him, his face screws up into some sort of distorted I’m-thinking-but-I’m-still-confused-did-a-bird-just-poop-on-my-head look.  He spends the next 10 minutes or so trying to figure out why he can’t remember that I’m older than him and all his friends.

Always 25…

In some ways, being mistaken for younger makes more sense.  I’m such a kid at heart,  I love to play and pretend and have fun.  Mommy has referred to me as the biggest 5-year old she knows.  To which Munchkinhead quickly chimes in that I need to be at least 7, otherwise she isn’t born yet.

At the same time though, I’m slightly offended by The Legend’s inability to grasp that I am older than him.  Perhaps this is partly because I feel so much more mature than him.  And perhaps partly because I have always been the big sister, “the oldest”.

Throughout my life, I have always looked to my superiors around me for role models and examples.  For most of my life this meant adults, people older than me.  These have been the people I turn to with questions, the people I watch, the people I try to emulate.

Recently, I realized that more and more often, the role models I look to for guidance are no longer older than me.  They’re my age or younger.

This doesn’t really bother me.  I look for people with experience and knowledge, and I generally don’t take age into consideration.  But I have to wonder, is part of the reason people think I’m younger?


Maybe it’s a bad thing to be thought of as younger.  But maybe I’m content to be perpetually 25.  Half grown-up, half kid, all me.

Nigerian jumper with Barbies cropped

Christmas on the Counter

A sweet smell, familiar but unusual, it smacked me in the face as soon as I opened the door.  “What is that scent?” I wondered to myself as I stepped into the living room.  “Ah! It’s cinnamon!”  “Wait a minute, why does my apartment smell like cinnamon?”

And then it all came flooding back.  I had gone into the kitchen to check on the amount of defrosted bacon and instead found a counter covered in sticky red goo.  The Aftershock!

The bottle was still inside the previously-white reusable shopping bag.  The salt and pepper shaker sat like little islands in a red lake.  The sugar bowl was nearby waiting to drop anchor at Shaker Bay.  If it weren’t for the cloth of the shopping bag and the now-soggy hot pad that had been left on the counter, the floor might have shared in the counter’s unseasonal holiday celebration.

I had brought the bottle home the night before from Short Artichoke’s birthday celebration.  Someone had put it in her freezer at some other party she had and she figured she was never going to drink it.  It had never been opened.

I didn’t expect to drink it myself but figured it’d be good for when my sisters’ come to visit me.  Munchkinhead loves that stuff, calls it “Christmas in a glass.”  Luckily, I was able to salvage a bit for when one of them visits.

The bottle cracked on the bottom near the giant crystal that’s inside.  This prevented the liquid from leaking out as quickly or as fully as it otherwise might have.  From the looks of the bottle, the temperature change from being frozen to room temperature caused the bottle to crack and break open.    Lesson learned: folks, don’t put Aftershock in the freezer.

Actually, I don’t mind that the bottle broke and the liquor leaked all over.  I’d much rather smell spilt cinnamon in the kitchen than the trash!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Smiling from Ear to Ear

Long time readers may remember a post from over a year ago featuring a silly picture of me … hold on, I know that doesn’t narrow it down, let me finish …  of me in a pirate hat and a princess dress. 

That day I announced my new Fellowship at Creative Commons.   And on that post I said, “It couldn't get more perfect.  Yet, somehow, I think it'll still only go up from here.”  I had no idea how right I would be.

For the past bunch of months, since my first day, I’ve been working pretty steadily with CC in various forms and incarnations.  First as a Google Policy Fellow, then as an intern supported by Vanderbilt’s Public Interest Stipend – then I disappeared to take the Bar – then back as a volunteer intern.  It’s been fabulous.  I absolutely love what I’ve been doing there:  spending my days working with people in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and even Zambia!  Never thought I’d get to sign a work email “Ndalumba,”!

Well, this week, all this fabulousness got even more fabulous.  I signed on as an independent contract, part time, until after Bar results come out.  Not only do I get to keep doing the work I enjoy so I much, I get paid!

Every day, there’s a new adventure and new excitement.  My dreams are coming true and things are coming full circle.  But maybe I’ll write about that another time….

For now, Yippie!!!!!!!!!  (and I hope this good luck sticks around until results come out.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Eggs, Friends and a New Dress; What Else Does a Girl Need?

It’s only Saturday night, Mr. Trizzle isn’t even here yet, and I’ve already had one of the most amazing weekends ever!

But that’s not what I want to tell you about today.  Today, I want to tell you about Easter.  Easter is my favorite holiday, absolute favorite.  Everything about it is my favorite.  My favorite season, my favorite church hymns, my favorite Bible stories, my favorite candies, my favorite dresses, my favorite shoes, everything.

Easter morning started out perfectly.  Mr. Trizzle and I got dressed up and went to church together.  The service was beautiful, well I thought the service was beautiful.  Mr. Trizzle referred to it as “boring white people church” or something like that.  Although, he did agree the bell choir was amazing.  Those Methodists, they can really play their bells!

easter morning I shouldn’t complain.  Mr. Trizzle comes to church with me on Easter because he knows how important it is to me.  This is the fourth Easter since Mr. Trizzle and I met.  Of those four Easters, there was only one where we didn’t go to church together.  Last year, he was living out here and I was in Nashville.  I spent Easter at home with Mommy & Daddy and Daddy Bunny in Milwaukee.

After church, we had a big brunch, hung out with Mr. Trizzle’s mom and The Legend and looked for our Easter baskets.  Mr. Trizzle, his mom and The Legend took a little while to find their baskets, but eventually did.  Looking for mine wasn’t that fun.  Somehow, I seemed to know exactly where it was.  Maybe I have a telepathic connection with the Easter Bunny.

Our baskets were filled with goodies: our favorite candies, plastic eggs, hardboiled eggs colored all pretty, chapstick and Pez dispensers.  Well, most of us got Pez dispensers.  Not The Legend.  He got a set of 10 forks.  Now maybe I’ll be able to find more than 1 fork in the kitchen at any given time.

After brunch and basket hunting, Mr. Trizzle, his mom and I hung out and played dominos.  (The Legend had gone off to the City with his own mother.)  It was a lot of fun.

Ok, ok, now for the most important part (second-most, after the whole resurrection thing): the dress.

Easter 2010 (1) cropped (Full-length picture with the requisite Mr.Trizzle looking-as-though-he-is-only-in-the-picture-for-compliance-reasons look, which is true.)

This year’s Easter dress was a Regency gown.  Mr. Trizzle’s my Mr. Darcy, so it’s only fitting I look like Elizabeth, right? ;)  I had basically made the dress a number of months ago, but it wasn’t quite finished.  Just before Palm Sunday, I added the button-holes and laces on the back of the dress.  And on Easter, like years of Easter dresses before it, it made it’s debut.

I’d had the fabric for a long time but never knew what to make with it.  Light beige, almost ivory, with little shoes all over it.  By sheer coincidence, Mr. Trizzle had chosen a similar colored tie with shoes on it.  We matched!

Easter 2010 (2) cropped

The dress has removable sleeves, just like an original.  I decided to forgo the sleeves when one came unbuttoned and I couldn’t reattach it with the dress on.  To stay warm, I opted for my short sweater, styled very similar to Regency gown jackets.  No new Easter shoes this year.  I wore my high-heeled Timberland boots that I absolutely love.  Figured they were period-appropriate.  I like the dress a lot and hope to wear it again as soon as I get around to doing the laundry.