Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Good Week

Well, it's been a while since I've posted, but I didn't really have that much to say before. Now I do! Wednesday, I finished my second knitting project! It's a bag to hold my knitting. (Yes, those are knitting needles at the top.)

I should have probably done that before, because it was getting annoying to carry around my sweater in a big gym bag. But that's done and I can now move on to something more exciting. I finished the bag in about a week, mainly because I was in a hurry to move on to something else. It was incredibly boring rectangles. And this Cousins woman cannot even manage to measure rectangles accurately. (7 1/2 + 7 1/2 + 11 does not equal 32). In any case, I am going to the knitting store today to get yarn to start something more fun. Something with cables, probably, and a pattern by someone besides Suss Cousins!

In other exciting news, I won my trial on Thursday! It may not seem exciting, since it was just a drug possession, but as it's been since September 11 that I've won a trial, it was exciting to me. I felt kind of out of practice, to tell the truth. That was the first trial I'd had since mid-December, and that trial was quite boring. My guy's defense in that case was he wasn't that drunk (never mind the .22 breath score). My Thursday trial was the strangest drug trial I've ever seen. To begin with, the State didn't have their drugs. The drugs were at the independent laboratory where we had sent them for re-testing, and the judge inexplicably wouldn't continue the trial. It was the prosecutor's first ever drug trial, so she had a hard time laying the foundation for the drug test results without the actual drugs. In other words, she kept forgetting that you have to show that the things the lab tested were the same things the cops had seized from my client's car. She had to re-call both cops to the stand after she had already excused them. Additionally, the cops' testimony was quite confusing, as they had searched numerous bags and boxes in my client's car, pursuant to a search warrant, and couldn't keep straight exactly what items came out of what containers. They mixed up what they had taken from where when they were packaging their evidence initially. This turned out to be important, as my client testified on the stand that three of the bags (it turns out the three bags containing paraphernalia and the stuff that tested positive for meth) were a friend's. My client was keeping the friend's stuff in her car because the friend was moving out of her boyfriend's place and didn't have anywhere to keep her stuff. All in all, a very good result, but a very convoluted trial!
And now, I will celebrate my happy week by buying more knitting supplies!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My Accomplishment

Well, I am all stitched and weaved-in, and lo and behold! My sweater looks more or less as it should!

As compared with:

There seem to be a few bobbles here and there, but it is able to be worn in public! Not bad for a first effort, if I do say so myself. Well, a first effort in 23 years or so. It's so much fun to start something and actually be able to finish it! And since I have two skeins of yarn left, I think I may do a matching scarf or something. I realize it's a little backward to do a sweater as a first project and then a scarf after, but that's just sort of what happened. Yay, me!

Yay, Team!

Sometimes, it is true, I become frustrated about how things are done at my office. However, yesterday I realized exactly how lucky I am to be in the office I'm in and to have the boss and co-workers I have. One of our magistrates had been looking for a reason to hold one of us in contempt for quite some time, now. She has been threatening to do this for ages. Primarily because she believes that we should be representing everyone who doesn't hire an attorney, regardless whether they have applied for a public defender, qualified for a public defender, or even want a public defender. Let's just say that the issue came to a head yesterday. The upshot was that my boss went to jail so that my co-worker wouldn't have to. Now, that's a good boss! He has always backed us up when we needed him to, whether it was in front of judges, DAs, or the state big-wigs. We know that we can stand our ground and do our jobs to the best of our ability, without worrying about being hung out to dry. And I hope he knows that any one of us would do the same for him. It's really great to be part of an office like this.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This Job is Hard

I never realized how hard it would be to plead a client out to second degree murder. Losing big trials is hard, watching your clients get sent to prison for long periods of time is hard. It never occurred to me how hard it would be to have your client take a plea like this. Should I have pushed him harder to go to trial? What if I really could have gotten a jury down to manslaughter? What if I could have gotten him acquitted altogether? What if? What if? What if? I will never know whether I really helped him or really screwed him over. He thinks I helped him, and thanks me every time I see him. I am not so sure...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Has Sprung!

Or, at least it is in the process of springing. Yesterday got up to 70 and was bright and sunny, so we had lunch outside and I got my first sunburn of the year. It would have been the perfect day to watch for baby prairie-dogs in the field behind the office, but there may be a delay with that. You see there were workmen last week digging a trench through the prairie-dog town with a backhoe, and yesterday they were laying some kind of line. Like a phone line or T1 or something. It was hard to tell what exactly. But the good news is that I didn't see any sign that any prairie dogs were hurt or killed. They probably just moved to the part of their town in the field across the fence when they heard the noise. (They had expanded their town considerably last summer, and there were lots of holes quite a distance from where the workmen were digging.) Nonetheless, I do miss watching the little fuzzy heads popping up from the holes. And it's just the right weather to watch for babies, too. But there are baby sheep and goats in a field on my way to work, and I think in another couple weeks they'll put horses and cows back in the field by the office. With any luck, there will be baby ones to observe frolicking about. Today's not as pretty as yesterday. Clouds are gathering and it feels like it may rain. Yet another sign of spring! Although I'm not a big fan of rain. I can't wait until summer! Endless sunny and warm days where I can leave my windows open all day! Until then, I think I'll work more on my sweater so I can wear it at least once this season. All my parts are dry, so I can finish stitching the sleeves together and figure out the neck part.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Moment of Truth... near!

Ok, so this is not going to be an exciting post about a hotly-contested, long jury trial and a verdict that takes forever. What it is about is that I finished knitting all my sweater-parts! A back, and a front, and 2 sleeves.

Sleeve #1:

Sleeve #2: (The picture is at a weird angle, but the sleeve looks just like the other one...)

Front and back:
I am currently engaged in the excruciating process of waiting for the various parts to dry after blocking them. Only then will I be able to sew the sleeves to the front and back and see if they fit together properly. Only then will I know for sure whether I will come out with an actual article of clothing able to be worn in public or a fuzzy, oddly-shaped, small type of blanket. I did do all the stuff I'm supposed to: I measured lots, looked at the schematics (which included fewer than optimal details), patted, prodded, matched things up, and more. So I am fairly confident that it will come out right, in spite of the poor directions. In addition to some simple printing errors where measurements are concerned, the schematics were not very detailed and left out some important dimensions. Such as, it says how wide the front and back are supposed to be at the bottom, but not how wide at the widest point. Nevertheless, I, the eternal optimist, am looking forward to having the collar well along this weekend, and I may even get to wear it a couple times before the weather changes to actual spring. In the meantime, I shall patiently (or not so patiently) wait for my parts to dry, and imagine it all fitting together perfectly! Supplemented, of course, by frequent visits to test whether they are any dryer than they were 5 minutes ago.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Latest

Well, I haven't been posting about work lately. I guess partly because I've been distracted by non-work related things, and partly because the interesting things that are happening at work I can't really post about. Here's what I can post about:

Nearly everyone in the office is sick. We've been passing this cold around all winter. Everyone gets it about once every 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately, now it's mutating into pneumonia and bronchitis. (At least 2 of my co-workers have those lovely illnesses.) Those of us who are not deathly ill have been rushing around covering for the ones who are. I guess it promotes teamwork, or something, but I'd much prefer everyone being healthy.

We got our performance reviews Friday, and (yay!) my boss is apparently not going to fire me.

I've caught up on nearly all my random paperwork, and am now spending my non-court time actually writing substantive legal motions. This is much more fun (and fulfilling) than sorting random papers into their appropriate files and filing motions for furloughs. (All I want for Christmas is a real secretary who can do this for me!)

One interesting case I have that's going to trial (most likely) is kind of on hold while we attempt to hire an investigator. Our prior investigator (who was great) quit a couple weeks ago, and I'm holding out for his replacement so someone who knows what they are doing can get into this. The case involves title loans, and I don't know much about that kind of thing.

The jail actually transported my client to my office on Friday, as the judge ordered, so he was able to watch a video-tape pertinent to his case. We had tried to arrange this a month ago, but the jail either lost the judge's order or never received it, so it didn't happen. It's amazing how co-operative the jail can be when they receive an order to show cause why they didn't obey the judge's previous transport order! Anyway, my guy has now decided what he wants to do. The whole situation's really sad, and with what he's decided, he's probably going to prison for a long time. He's such a sweet guy, too, now that he's been on his meds for a while. I really wish I could do more for him. It almost made me feel worse when he thanked me...

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I'm home sick today, and so I thought I would use some of my down time trying to figure out where I went wrong with my knitting. I picked this particular sweater to try because it looks relatively fool-proof, and like I could finish it before the turn of the century. Of course, this only works if the instructions are correct! Not so much... This Suss Cousins person may be hot stuff in Hollywood, but if she spent a little less time name-dropping and a little more time measuring her patterns, this would all be much easier! Granted, I'm pretty new at this, but it stands to reason that if your gauge is correct (4 stitches to an inch, exactly!), then the measurements for the entire thing should be correct. Again, not so much. I just hope it comes out in the wash, as my mother says... Stay tuned!