The adventures (and non-adventures) of a marginally seasoned attorney.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Week in Review

Alright, m'dears, you've gotten a healthy dose of me babbling about myself and my thoughts and my feelings and blah blah blah the last month... and the last thing I want to do is come across as self-absorbed (even if it's true). Therefore, in the spirit of looking outward, we're gonna chat about current events today. Hope you're ready to learn!

North Korea wants to suck your blood
Alright, so Kim Jong-il, "supreme leader" of North Korea, bit the dust a couple of weeks ago. Some reported that the cause of death was exhaustion. Some reported that Kim died of a heart attack. My money is on diarrhea or a yeast infection gone bad, but given the tightly-controlled media situation in North Korea, we'll probably never know.

Anyway, the higher ups decided that Kim's funeral would be the perfect opportunity to enhance North Korea's image. They decided the best way to do this would be to parade an oversized poster of their leader while women who attended the Jim Carrey School of Overacting "wept" in the streets. This all got great attention from the western media, so you're not learning anything new by me telling you this.

What's not getting that much attention is the rockin' commentary to accompany the funeral telecast. Which is tragic, because North Korea got COUNT DRACULA HIMSELF to narrate the event. Fast forward to 1:03:

That's kind of a big deal, North Korea. You might want to play that up a bit more. Can't go wrong with the ringing endorsement of a blood sucker.

Baylor wins Alamo Bowl
So I hear that this was a great game, but I refused to watch. It's just awful what that guy did to those kids, and I can't support it.

Tony Alamo
Founder of the Alamo Bowl

I hear that Heisman winner Robert Griffin III put on quite the show, and that he's increased his stock for the 2012 draft. But this is certainly tainted by the fact that such a terrible man organized... wait, what? Oh. Wrong Alamo. My apologies to Davy Crockett.

Iowa running out of frontrunners
Ohhh, get ready, all y'all political junkies out there, it's almost time for the Iowa Caucuses, heck yes it is.  Iowa is being really fickle this year, according to polling data. There's been a new frontrunner every four days or so, and analysts think that this is because none of the candidates are really inspiring the voters. Or caucusizers. Or whatever they're called in Iowa.

Iowans prepare for the caucuses

Iowa is running out of frontrunners, and this is absolutely BAFFLING the television commentators, because they don't know who's going to win this thing. Let me give you my prediction, based on my expert analysis of every Republican Iowa Caucus in history: an old white guy will win. You can take that to the bank. Oh, and corn farmers will get some sweet moolah, too.

Sears and Kmart to close a heck of a lot of stores


Ty Pennington, spokesperson for Sears
Looks like Sears and Kmart are shuttin' down 79 stores and that this number may even go all the way up to 120 once all things are said and done. But DON'T WORRY, employees! Sears spokesperson Ty Pennington, who also hosts a show called Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, has got a heck of a deal for you.

You see, each week on his show, Ty Pennington and his buddies change the life of a family in need by building them a BRAND NEW HOME. And you, newly-fired Sears and Kmart employees, will be the perfect candidates for this show! So send in your applications, folks, YOU could be the next contestant on Extreme Makeover!

Each week, not only do contestants get a BRAND NEW HOME, they get the latest, fanciest gadgets in their house free of cost! Now, let's ask ourselves: WHO has been be so kind and generous to provide all of these gadgets FREE OF COST for all these years?

Sears. You know, the place that just fired you. So even if you don't get selected for the show, it's okay. Take comfort in the fact that even though Sears just crushed your dreams, they're making someone else's come true.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I'll never be a superhero

When I worked at the legal clinic at my law school, I seemed to be the student who was always getting the clients who cried. I'm not sure why it worked out that way, but it did. Some people were emotional because they had heartbreaking stories and had to overcome so much adversity. Some were simply tired and were releasing stress. Some... well, some I wasn't quite sure why they were crying, but that was always my cue to offer them a glass of water. Glasses of water were never the magic cure for stopping tears, but my trip to the kitchen to get the water gave my clients the opportunity to compose themselves outside of my presence.

I've graduated into a job where I encounter many of the same situations I was seeing in the clinic. I've become a champ at staying calm and composed, telling my clients step-by-step what we need to do to give them the best result, and assuring them that they don't need to feel embarrassed or ashamed about being upset. It's okay for them to be upset. But if they're upset to the point we can't continue the meeting... time for the glass of water. And then we move on.

I know darn good and well that I'll never be the one to stop a person's tears. I can fix the underlying legal problem, but the legal problem sometimes only scratches the surface of everything that needs to be fixed. My legal knowhow is not going to change a person's life or behavior. Each person has to live his or her own life as he or she sees fit.

And so I go to work every morning, hoping for the best but expecting nothing. Perhaps I will find out a client's life has changed for the better. Perhaps I will find out that a client has ignored my advice completely and is back at square one. Either scenario is likely. Neither scenario affects how I do my job. Like I said, I can't fix a person's life. However, if I can fix a small piece of it, it's a good day. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to deal with a verbal bully

I'm a professional woman who does professional things, and I try to act professionally when doing said professional things. However, not everyone in this world treats me with the same respect that I try to show them. Yep, even at the ripe ol' age of 26, people try to bully me. Unfortunately for me, I have to deal with this far more than I'd like. Fortunately for you, though, I've developed some tactics in dealing with verbal bullies that I'll share with you. So when a mean ol' so-and-so tries to verbally assault you, don't feel afraid, m'dears! Go show them how things are by using the following tactics:

  • Forget the last word - be sure to get in the first word: Here's the thing - bullies LOVE control. And as such, a verbal bully will likely start in with their abusive, demanding language right off the bat. But no, ma'am, I won't have any of that. The second someone tries to tear into me, I interrupt right then and there and let them know that's not how I roll. If someone is going to communicate with me, they sure as heck are gonna show some respect. And I let them know that in no uncertain terms.
  • Speak strongly: You've probably heard that in verbal confrontations, you should lower your voice, as the shouting party will typically follow suit. I tend to agree with that, with one other thing to keep in mind: just because you're speaking softly doesn't mean you can't speak with strength. This combination of lower volume but higher intensity comes in quite handy while negotiating in the courtroom before trial. 
  • Redirect: A bully has an agenda. She thinks that the point of the conversation is letting her agenda be known and making you, the bullied, follow suit. Nothing could be more wrong. The point of the conversation, after you've gotten in the first word, is to let the bully know that you're not going to listen to what she has to say if she's going to be abusive about it. Bully will try to push her agenda again. Don't let it happen. If you let her push her agenda, then you're just giving her all the control. And you're too good for that, darlin', heck yes you are!
  • Lay it on thick: Okay, if the previous tactics work, then you can move on with the conversation. There's has to be a transition from the bullying to normal speak, though. I usually start out by saying something along the lines of "I understand you're upset, and I know you're just trying to work this out." No, I don't like to be nice to bullies, either, but there's no need to let ego get in the way of a peaceful resolution. 
  • Walk away: Sometimes, none of these tactics will work. And that's okay. Don't feel the need to stick around and fight it out. There are *plenty* of times when I've said, "I don't care what you have to say," and walked away. Ohhhh that makes verbal bullies SO MAD. Fortunately for me, I usually do this A) over the phone or B) in the courtroom where I can subsequently hide behind a bailiff.
And if all else fails, you can kick the person in the groin. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Court Marathon Injury

So when I woke up Monday morning and my foot was in excruciating pain, the first thought in my mind was "Man, I must have some badass injury from all this badass sprinting and badass heavy weightlifting I'm doing in my badass CrossFit class." And that would have made sense; even though I try to keep pretty good form, I push myself as hard as I can when I work out, and this was a pretty painful injury. It was painful enough that I had to take sick leave on Monday, which I don't like to do, but I'm sure my coworkers appreciated the fact that I left so I could whine to the doctor instead of to them.

Anyway, even though I was whining, I hobbled into the doctors office feeling all hardcore and stuff. It's been YEARS since I've had a sports-related injury, and though injury sucks, it'd be kind of awesome if the injury was a battle wound. The doctor came into the patient room, and I chatted about about all of the intense stuff I was doing. SO HARDCORE! Oh, and then I mentioned the fact that I had participated in a "Court Marathon" the previous week.

Now what is a "Court Marathon," you ask? I referred to last week as the "Court Marathon" because I had four days in court in four different cities.  I've got to get all spiffy looking whenever I make a court appearance, and this includes wearing high heels. I'm not sure *why* women are supposed to wear heels to court. I guess that it helps me out in that instead of looking like a 16-year-old in a suit, I look like a taller 16-year-old in a suit. But that's not the point.

The point is that humans were not designed to be walking tiptoed all the livelong day, so instead of some hardcore sports-related injury, it turns out that I've got a dainty little injury from all of my high-heel wearing. Well, I say "dainty." Actually, I'm all medicined up now and I'm not allowed to do intense workouts or wear heels for a while. And when I walk, I look like a little old lady shuffling through Walmart while pushing a shopping cart. It's pretty glamorous, let me tell ya.

I guess the moral of the story is that you should never name something a "Marathon" unless you want to open yourself up to injury. I'll name my next big week in court something nicer. Like "Court is Awesome, Now Go Eat Some Cupcakes" Week.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Aggravation in the Workplace

Okay, we all get a little aggravated at work.  We can't always express these feelings of aggravation the way we want to, and leaving them bottled up inside can create all kinds of problems, such as, say, getting fired once the bottle is uncorked. Now, I suppose that if you get fired, then you won't be dealing with those workplace frustrations anymore. But then you're dealing with a whole other mess of problems, like not being able to sleep at night because you're forced to move into your parents' basement that scared the crap out of you when you were a kid because there were weird noises coming from it and it also smelled.

But OH THANK GOODNESS, none of this has to happen to you, my friend! Today, I'm going to share with you some of my favorite ways to tackle workplace aggravation in a positive manner. Believe me, they work. As a practicing lawyer, I've had *plenty* of opportunity to test these out.

  • Find your inner Care Bear - Remember the Care Bears? Those cute, cuddly little bears that had their own TV series? Yeah, they were pretty awesome. What is also awesome that there are about 67 different Care Bear characters now. And not every Care Bear is a frickin' ray of sunshine, personality-wise. When I am aggravated, I post a picture of one of those mean little Care Bears - usually Grumpy Bear - to my office-wide chat profile. At first glance, everyone thinks "Oh, what a cute bear!" but it's my way of passive aggressively yelling "AAAH GRUMPY GRUMPY GRUMPY GRUMPY!" to the entire office.
  • Ship frivolous stuff to your workplace - I absolutely love buying random, nonsensical stuff on the internet, and it's *so* much fun having it arrive at the office. Seriously, how can you have a bad day when a box filled with bandaids that look like bacon is sitting on your desk? It's impossible.
  • Lift heavy stuff - Every day when I leave work, I go straight to my local CrossFit box and lift heavy stuff. Now, I could lie to you and say that I CrossFit for the purpose of releasing aggression in a positive way, but really, I do it because I want to have abs and be a badass. HOWEVER, the release of workplace frustration is an added bonus. Come to think of it, CrossFit helps me throughout the work day, even when I'm not lifting; when I have a bad day at work, I can think to myself "Hey, at least I have sweet muscles now," and then I feel better.
  • When all else fails, eat ice cream - Look, I can try to be as positive as I want to be, but sometimes, a gal's gotta eat ice cream. I keep about three tubs of ice cream in the office freezer at any given time. Guess it's a good thing I'm going to CrossFit right after work.
Every now and then, none of these will work. And that's why God invented vacation days. I recommend using this time to go someplace with a beach, preferably one where someone will bring you umbrella drinks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Adventures of Princess Crankypants

Dear person who thought it would be a good idea to call me at 3:00 A.M. on the dot:

Thank you for your phone call that I did not answer but that opened up my baby blues niiiice and early. I'm sure it was a super duper important call, even though you didn't leave a voicemail. I, too, love calling a person early in the morning when said person has court in the morning and needs to rest up and OMG I AM SO TIRED AND I CANNOT GET BACK TO SLEEP NOW RAWWRRRRRRRR!

You did motivate me to bake some 4 A.M. brownies, though. So thanks for that.

Princess Crankypants
a.k.a [Glutton for Punishment]

Sunday, October 9, 2011


As you may know, I am a big fan of makeup. So imagine my *delight* when I saw this coupon pop up on LivingSocial:


Thirty bucks worth of makeup, all for the low price of FIFTEEN DOLLARS.  E.l.f. cosmetics are SUPER cheap in the first place, so with $30 bucks of product, I could probably fill up the trunk of my car (assuming I cleaned it out first). In the spirit of bargainhood, I purchased my coupon and strolled on over to the e.l.f. website to fill my virtual shopping cart with all kinds of goodies.

I entered my coupon code, proceeded to check out, and...

Whaaaa?! Twenty dollars does not equal thirty dollars!! I WANT MY FULL THIRTY DOLLARS, RAWRRRR! I want this fixed, and I want it fixed NOW! So I logged into gmail and sent a friendly message to our friends at LivingSocial that went a little somethin' like this:

Dear LivingSocial:

I paid a lot of money for an e.l.f. cosmetics coupon, but those no-good, dirty you-know-whats have decided not to give me the full value of the coupon so now I AM MAD. Fix this this and fix this NOW. Pretty please :-)


That was paraphrased, of course. Anyway, LivingSocial promptly sent an email back saying:

We're sorry that you're having trouble redeeming this deal! As stated in the Fine Print [emphasis added], the entire value must be used in a single transaction, so you must purchase at least $30 of products within one transaction. 

You want me to read the fine print, LivingSocial? Do ya? I'm a friggin' attorney, I LIVE for fine print. You think I didn't take the time to read it? Because I DID.

LivingSocial clearly was not going to help me, so I decided to go straight to the man himself - e.l.f. cosmetics. I copy and pasted the email I sent to LivingSocial, sent it to e.l.f., and was prepared for BATTLE. DON'T YOU DARE TELL ME TO READ THE FINE PRINT, YOU JERKS, I know that...

Wait a minute.

Apparently, in my quest to read the fine print, I forgot to read the really big print. Remember this picture?

Notice how it says "Mineral or Studio Makeup"? Um, yeah. I'd filled part of my shopping cart up with non-Mineral and non-Studio makeup. Hence, zero discount on those products. So yeah.

I've finally calmed down from battle mode, I've fixed my shopping cart to be coupon-compliant, and I've sent a very friendly thank-you email to e.l.f.  In the future, I will try not to let my vanity get in the way of my reading comprehension skills.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Postseason Promotions

I like to be taken out to the ballgame. I like to be taken out with the crowd. I'm not the biggest fan of peanuts and Cracker Jack, but there are plenty of suitable replacements, such as nachos and the Royal'Rita. And when I can't go out to the ballgame, I'm perfectly content with watching it on TV, although heckling isn't nearly as fun when you're shouting at a screen.

Anyway, it's MLB postseason, which is my favorite time of year, despite the fact that my beloved Royals haven't made an appearance there in a while. Like any great sporting event, however, there are always ways to improve on the game experience and throw in a little more over-the-topness. So, in the spirit of improving on what is already awesome, why not adopt the following promotions in the MLB postseason?

  • Kraft Foods Sponsors Doubles - Ballparks everywhere have promotions associated with home runs. For example, you might win fried chicken or a Sonic drink if your team hits a home run in the 6th inning. And that's all well and good, but I want a prize when a double is hit, darn it. And I think this prize should be a nice, hot bowl of macaroni and cheese. Most delicious promotion EVER.
  • Fogerty Follies - MLB *loves* to show highlights, but it's seriously lacking in good ol' fashioned gag reels. Let's fix this by broadcasting bloopers on the Jumbotron. John Fogerty's "Centerfield" will be accompanying this reel, natch.
  • Bud Selig Dunking Booth - The name says it all. I'd be the first one in line. Sponsored by Miller Light.
  • Heckle the Sports Analyst - The only thing that ticks off a fan more than a bad call by an ump is a broadcaster or writer who gives a really lame analysis of the game or is *clearly* biased toward the other team. At the end of the 5th, let's just let everyone get their frustrations out. Send the analysts out to the pitchers mound, and just let everyone scream at them for a couple of minutes. See, now doesn't that feel better? Maybe if the fans can get that out of their systems at the game, they'll spend less time whining about it online.
I think these would be solid promotions. Hopefully, MLB will implement this next year, just in time for the Royals to make it back into the postseason.

Friday, September 16, 2011


One weekend when I was in first grade or so, I had a big girl weekend away from home. Mom helped me pack my little pink suitcase - okay, she packed the entire suitcase - and I was on my way to visit my childhood babysitter and her family in an itty bitty town a few hours east of where I lived. I stayed with them several times throughout my childhood, but the thing that made this particular trip memorable was my visit to church Sunday morning.

Church started with Sunday School, and because I was younger than everyone else I was staying with, I was in a different class than them. Fine by me. I wasn't a shy child. I may have been the "visitor," but I engaged in the conversation and had very important things to say. Like when the teachers asked us what we would do if we were at school and our parents forgot to pick us up? I boldly told them that this would not happen to me because my parents worked at school. And when they pressed me to answer the question anyway, I again boldly told them that this would never happen. I don't think they were happy about this, but I was an honest child, and that was the most honest answer I could think of.

Anyway, after that heated discussion, we did a craft. I'm not exactly sure why we were doing a craft. I have no other memory of ever doing a craft in every other Sunday School class I ever went to in my life. And I don't remember what this had to do with Jesus. But crafting it was, and I was enthusiastic about it.

It was a simple craft. We had to paste something red - maybe a construction paper apple? - on a sheet of black construction paper. I'm not exactly sure what it was supposed to be. But this was the super cool part - each person got to write her own name on the black piece of paper *in white crayon*.

...Except for me.

The Sunday School teachers, instead of letting me write my own name on the construction paper, wrote it down for me. I'm not sure why this was. I was *awesome* at writing. No backwards letters or anything. But the teachers handed me a sheet of black construction paper with a name already written on it, and they didn't hand me a white crayon. I was confused.

That wasn't the bad part, though; turns out the teachers didn't even write my name correctly. I don't have a difficult name, but they got it wrong. I was confused. And the name they wrote?


Yep, I was "Visitor." I was very frustrated by this. I was a special, unique girl, and I don't know why I wouldn't get to write my real name on my craft. What was even more frustrating is they put the craft on the wall next to everyone else's, which made it even more obvious that I was the only one who didn't get to write my name in white crayon. I was perplexed.

Twenty years have passed, and I am obviously still perplexed by this. But that's okay, there's a nifty thing on my wall now with my real name on it - my diploma. Granted, I didn't get to write my name on there myself. But I think the fact that they wrote "Juris Doctor" after my name makes up for it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What I saw on Friday

The following is what I observed on Friday, August 19 - the day that the three criminal defendants more commonly known as the West Memphis 3 entered a plea agreement and were released from prison. I will not make any statements as to whether I think they are guilty or innocent. This is simply what I saw that day.

Because of the attention the media have given the West Memphis 3 case and the large following the accused have online, I assumed the Craighead County courthouse would be absolute madness the morning of August 19th - the morning that the WM3 would enter a plea agreement that would set them free from prison. I strolled by the courthouse about 9 A.M., and it was pretty lifeless outside. There was a parking lot full of media trucks, and police officers were walking all about the courthouse campus, but there was nothing lively or spirited going on. By that point, though, there was already a line inside the courthouse to get into the courtroom, so the most interested parties were no longer milling around outside.

About an hour later, the closed-to-public hearing was either happening or had already happened, and the activity outside had stirred up. The cameras, microphones, and crowd were gathered around one man. The father of one of the victims had opinions he wanted to share, and angry, ranting Arkansans rarely meet a camera that they don't like. John Mark Byers was appalled by the plea agreement; he thought the WM3 should not have to claim any guilt in the matter.

My interest, though, was not in the anger being spewed from the front of the courthouse. My interest was in two black, massive Mercedes vans parked outside the back of the old jail, right next to the courthouse.  The area surrounding the vans was marked off by police tape. Two men in white shirts and black vests who appeared to be drivers were walking around inside the taped-off area, and some police officers were milling around as well. I assumed that these were the vehicles that would be whisking the defendants away from their prison lives, so I waited patiently while most of the action was still going on out front.

While I was waiting, I figured out what had happened inside the courtroom by checking twitter on my phone. The defendants had entered Alford pleas, and their sentence term would be the time served plus a suspended sentence. They would be walking out of the courtroom as free men.

As the news of the deal broke, the crowd that had been at the front of the courthouse was moving to where I was standing - they too were watching the Mercedes vans, waiting to see what would happen. A short man with a hoarse voice and a brand new Razorback shirt stood beside me and leaned against the wall. He told me he had to lean against the wall because his back was hurting so badly.

More and more police officers gathered around the vans. Seems every law enforcement officer in the county was there - even an officer with a D.A.R.E. shirt was standing around. A thin-looking young man with skinny jeans and a green blazer pushed his way up to the front of the tape next to me. He did not appear to be from this neck of the woods. He was talking on his cell phone. "Willy! Hey Willy! Turn around, I'm right here!" One of the drivers turned around, smiled and waved, and this young man and his entourage ducked under the police tape and made their way to the Mercedes vans. I hear the man will be playing Damien Echols, the man who was on death row, in a movie.

There was a lot of waiting after that. At one point, one of the drivers had to pop the hood of one of the vans, but whatever was malfunctioning apparently got fixed. The crowd started getting anxious and restless. The police officers told the crowd that they knew about as much as we did at that point; they were waiting, just like us.

Two of the police officers approached the man in the Razorback shirt who was leaning against the wall. "They've been looking for you," a sheriff's deputy told the man. "They want you out front." The man left. I still don't know who he was.

And then out came the celebrity supporters.

Eddie Vedder is a small man. He probably is as tall as me, doesn't weigh any more than me. He has an air about him, though - a confidence if you will. Perhaps the confidence that day was the result of millions of record sales and millions of dollars in the bank (and I wouldn't blame him for that). He came across, though, as man who'd taken care of business that day; he had a plan, he executed the plan, and he got the result he wanted.

Natalie Maines does not look like a country singer these days; she is tattooed and has hair about a half-inch long. She was smiling, but she came across bashful. "Thank you, Natalie!" a few supporters yelled to her, and she shyly but happily smiled and waved.

I looked for Johnny Depp. He was not there. I am still upset about that.

After the odd red-carpet-esque moment, there was more waiting. We watched as the police officers threw large bags into an SUV sandwiched between the two vans. An officer carrying a rifle joined the other officers and stood between the vans and the crowd.

And then crowd started roaring with cheers. Two of the WM3 were making their way to the vans. I did not see the third one; he apparently went out another door and left with his father.

I watched as the defendants walked out. Jason Baldwin looked relieved. And very, very happy. And exhausted. There was no emotion on Damien Echols's face, though. Echols lifted his hand and acknowledged the crowd. But there was no apparent happiness.

Everyone piled into the vans as the supporters in the crowd shouted "Freedom!" A police car escorted each vehicle away from the courthouse as the crowed waved and cheered.

I was silent, though, as the vans rolled away. All I could do was wonder - wonder what would be next for these men who had been behind bars for so long. I have no idea what awaits them, but I can only pray that they surround themselves with love and find peace.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spark Week: A Hammer

Sharks are very useless. Hammers are very useful. Therefore, hammers are better than sharks. Let's make some comparisons.

Need to hang up a painting?
Hammer: Drives a nail into the wall so the painting can have something to hang on.
Shark: Will bite the painting, then it will bite the wall, then it will bite your arm off. So there was really no point in paying to have the painting framed.

Need to remove a nail?
Hammer: Removes nails.
Shark: Swims by the nail and ignores it. Snob.

Need to fit something into a portable tool box?
Hammer: Fits in the tool box.
Shark: Eats the tool box. Perhaps a baby shark could fit in the box, but then you're just stuck with a fish inside of a tool box.

Okay, I have an answer to this one. In terms of usefulness to me, a hammer actually wins out. If my ship is sinking, and I'm stranded in the middle of an ocean and need help swimming to safety, the likelihood that I can hop on a swimming shark and swim back to land is slim. However, I can use the hammer to repair my ship, and then the ship can swim me safely back to land, thanks to the hammer.

So HA, shark fans! I got you SO GOOD! SPARK WEEK 4EVER!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Spark Week: DINOSAURS!


Forget sharks. Dinosaurs were the original badass. The masses may be oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over some fish flopping around in the water this week, but we all know that our buddy Jaws ain't got nothin' on the reptilian legends. Back in the day, dinosaurs would destroy you 20 different ways and then destroy you ALL OVER AGAIN.  And then they would go "RAWWWR!" because they were awesome.

For those of you Shark Week cultists who are saying, "But [Glutton]! Sharks are soooo much better because dinosaurs aren't even alive anymore and sharks are still here and they're evolutionarily superior and clearly you are wrong and SHARK WEEK OMG OMG OMG," I hear what you're saying, but you're so, so wrong. I mean, sharks got to be all cozy in their magic "Under the Sea" land while dinos were braving the harsh, harsh elements. Hardly a fair comparison.

But if you're going to disagree with me, let's just go ahead and put them head to head for comparison. Let's just say a shark and a dinosaur happen to meet up in a dark alley one day. Who are you going to put your money on to win the fight? The fish? Or are you going to put your money on the running, spitting, clawing, biting, whip-your-butt-and-then-whip-someone-else's-butt-just-because-it-can reptile? Yeah, that's what I thought.

If you're still disagreeing with me, then clearly there is nothing I can do to help you...yet. Just wait until Jurassic Park becomes a real life thing in a few years. And then we can actually put a shark and a dinosaur in a dark alley and see what happens.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Spark Week: Howdy Doody Looking Nimrod

I'm sorry, why would anyone spend time watching Shark Week when jewels like this exist on the internet?

Man, I miss Rep. Berry.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spark Week: Wax Museums

Ohhh Discovery Channel, you thought you'd make Shark Week all fancy this year by getting Andy Samberg involved as "Chief Shark Officer," didn't you?  Well guess what. We here at Incidental Justice are going to one up Shark Week with even more star power than Andy Samberg and even more terror than a shark can create.

Welcome to Spark Week 2011, where we're kicking off things with just about the most horrifying thing we can think of: Wax Museums.

The Wax Museum revolution was born sometime around 1777, when France-native Marie Tussaud up and decided one day that she was going to create a wax statue of Voltaire. She was very pleased at the result, as she managed to make something that looked not quite alive, not quite dead, and spooky as all getout. After realizing that little kids and adults alike were creeped the heck out by this figure, our good ol' buddy Marie thought to herself "Well shoot, why stop there?" and embarked on a mission to make people pee their pants out of fright for generations to come.

Marie continued building wax statues, and in 1802, she turned her wax statue collection into a museum in London. And then a bunch of stuff happened after that, but to make a long story short, we're stuck with crappy wax museums in places like Branson, Missouri and Hot Springs, Arkansas these days. This is because most of us are suckers and think it's a good idea to pay 10 bucks to go see art that's not only spooky but also really, really bad.

Now, because most of us are suckers, we get the privilege of seeing absolute gems at wax museums such as our 39th President:

Jimmy Carter, Axe Murderer

And the 12 Disciples:


You never know what celebrity you might see at a wax museum. And you never know if one of them is going to be looking at you kind of funny even though you *swear* it was looking in the other direction just a few minutes ago and OH SWEET GOODNESS MAKE THE SHIRLEY TEMPLE STATUE GO AWAY I THINK SHE'S COMING AFTER ME.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that wax museums are campy. And kind of macabre. And you're probably wasting your time and money by visiting one of these museums.

However, never forget: An afternoon wasted at a wax museum is ALWAYS better than an entire week wasted on sharks.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Be it ever so humble.

I haven't been to my hometown in about eight years. I don't really feel bad about it. I didn't graduate from high school there; I went to a residential high school hours away. My parents haven't lived there since my freshman year of college. I have a few friends there, but I usually meet up with them elsewhere. I guess I just don't have much of an emotional attachment to my hometown, and it's not a big deal to me.

The one thing I've always missed about my hometown, however, is my house. My parents worked years and years to turn the house into a "home" - my Mom always had wonderful ideas for each room, and she and Dad turned those ideas into a beautiful, unique combination of rooms. The dining room was my favorite - the walls were painted with a stencil pattern that Mom created. My parents planted trees throughout the yard, which made it look like a little park, and every year we picked pears from one of the trees. It was a lovely home, full of love and laughter, and I have nothing but happy memories there.

My best friend lived down the street from me back in the day. God bless her - she's such a wonderful, fun person, and she's probably the reason I was able to make it through those awkward junior high years with minimal emotional scarring. Anyway, we're still friends, and she texted me a picture the other day with the caption "Sad."

She wasn't kidding.

The picture was of my childhood home with a "FOR SALE" sign in front. The garage doors were boarded up. The tree my parents had planted in the front yard was chopped down. The flower beds my mom had worked so hard on were gone. The grass was dead. When I saw that picture, it was the first time I'd gotten emotional about my hometown since moving away. I'm angry that anyone would ruin the house my parents worked so diligently on to turn into a home. And I'm sad.

However, though I am sad, I am very thankful. My parents did such a wonderful job of giving me a happy childhood, and the reason I am so attached to that beautiful home is the memories. Dad played the banjo in the living room while I danced. Mom and I whipped up some fabulous chocolatey desserts in the kitchen. And one time, Mom and Dad let me have a drink in the dining room that I specially requested - a combination of milk, orange juice, and water. Actually, I remember that tasting pretty nasty, but it seemed like a good idea at the time, and Mom and Dad were nice enough to play along.

Anyway, I just want to say thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you for turning that house into a home that I will always love and remember. I'll always have happy memories there because of your love.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

$5 Fun, Y'all!

A day is only as boring as you let it be. The other day, instead of falling into the wretched abyss of boredom, my friend Megan and I decided to borrow an idea from Ross Mathews - the "$5 Fun" game! There are several ways you can play this wholesome, fun-for-the-whole-family event, but rules of our $5 Fun game were as follows:

1. You must make a gift for the other person
2. The materials to make the gift must be purchased at Hobby Lobby during a 30-minute window
3. You must spend less than $5 on the materials 
4. Everything you buy and create must be an ABSOLUTE SECRET until the gift swap

And so began our afternoon. 

Megan is really creative and good at artsy type stuff, and I knew that whatever she made would be fabulous. And sure enough, it was - in an evil kind of way. For her lovely $5 gift, she created...


Megan and I are not the biggest fans of Houston, but I am a BIG BIG fan of this representation of him. At first I was going to call him "Sparkle Nutt," but then I went with a more G-rated "Houston Pigg." He is now sitting in my office at work.

Of course, I had to create something dazzling for Megan, too. She's getting married very soon, and the best way to show how happy I am for her - and more importantly, show her what a good friend I am - is to make something fantastic that she can use in her wedding. So I take a few small items, add a little bit o' sparkle, and we get....


I fully expect that I will see this on top of the cake at the wedding reception.

For the record, I only spent $3.19 on the cake topper, as there was a 50% discount on the smoochin' birds that I didn't know about before checkout. If I had known I had some extra dough, I'd have probably made the cake topper glow in the dark. My friends deserve only the *classiest* presents, after all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Facebook suggested a nifty little website to one of my coworkers. It's called "Kick 'em out quick," and it claims to be an attorney network that will help you kick out your tenants and take their money. This is what the logo looks like:

Based on the logo, this is what I can gather: After you contact this vast attorney network, one of the attorneys will contact a giant. But he's not just any giant - he's a special ninja giant who can kick really high. The special ninja giant will come to the home where the naughty tenants live and KICK THE ROOF OFF THE HOUSE, which will make the tenants want to leave. And then, since the roof is no longer there, the special ninja giant can look down into the house, grab the money he sees, and hand the money over to you. You can then use that money to put the roof back on your house.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. I don't understand why I can't contact the ninja giant directly, but I'm not going to question it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How to pass the bar exam without even trying

Okay, the title of this post is complete crap. There is no way you can pass the Arkansas bar exam without trying.* I just wanted to get your attention, mainly because I like attention. And also because I have something important to say.

This post is for everyone taking the bar exam this month. You have been studying for weeks. You are tired of studying. You are tired of the law. You are tired of people - BarBri lecturers, bar examiners, friends. You are just plain tired. And every outsider is saying "Oh, you're smart, you'll pass!" and that doesn't make you feel better, it makes you feel worse, because you *don't* know if you're going to pass and AHHH STOP TELLING ME I'M GOING TO PASS YOU'RE STRESSING ME OUT I NEED ANOTHER CUPCAKE!!!

To you, my dear friends, I tell you this: This all sucks. It sucks real bad. And I'm not going to tell you that you're going to do a great job, because I don't know that. In fact, you might get the lowest score in the history of the bar exam for all I know. However...

No matter how miserable or worried you are right now, don't let me or anyone else tell you what you need to be doing these last two weeks leading up to the exam.  People will want to give you last minute advice - and be gracious, because they really are trying to help. Don't feel the need to take that advice, though. You may not know the law, but by gosh, you know you. You've been doing what you're doing for two months, so go ahead and do what works for you. If you're confident in nothing else, be confident that you've prepared to the best of your abilities. And if you do feel the need to freak out, go get some chocolate. It makes everything better.

Okay, that's all I've got. Go knock the heck out of that wretched, wretched exam, m'dears.

*Notice how I said you can't pass the *Arkansas* bar exam without trying. Missouri had a ridiculous pass rate last year of like 90%. I'm not saying you can pass that exam without trying. But I'm not saying that you can't, either.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Big day! HUGE day!

Today is a monumental day in my legal career. Not because I won a hard-fought case. No, m'dears. Today, I moved into a corner office, heck yes I did.

Now, it's not like this corner office gives me a fantastic view, but I'm pretty dang excited. For the entirety of my attorney career, I've had the very first office next to the firm's front entrance. And while that would make it easier to sneak in if I were running a few minutes late - which, of course, I would never do, especially because I keep chocolate in my office and none at home so that gives me extra motivation to get to work because sometimes you just need chocolate - it had its downside.

You see, when you're the first attorney people see when they walk in, those people expect you to give them the direction they need. And by that I mean they want directions to the restroom.

"Oh my, this isn't the bathroom," I'd hear at least twice a week as someone wandered into my office. No, ma'am, this is not the bathroom, but please enjoy all of Razorback memorabilia now surrounding you. And sometimes I would direct them to the door right after mine, which I quit doing because that door actually led to an attorney's office, too, and not a restroom (whoops).

So yes, in my 10th month of practicing law, I have taken a huge step forward in my career by moving away from the front door. That's not to say I don't love visitors - if you ever swing by my firm, please feel free to stop in my office and say hello. I'll even offer you chocolate. You're on your own if you want to find the restroom, though.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dear Hot Springs:

If you want show off the fact that a former president grew up in your darling city, you might want to make sure he doesn't wind up looking like a washed-out meth head:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A few thoughts

Don't get me wrong - I work hard at my job. However, I am not one of those attorneys who can spend 18-hour days in the office, rotting in some basement doing research for a partner in a tall-building firm whilst dreaming of the day when I will be allowed to come up for air. No ma'am, I want to have a life rich with fun and amazing experiences, and I can't do that if I'm a BigLaw slave. I want to have a fantastic life, so I make time to do things that are full of love, happiness, and sometimes cupcakes, too.

In my quest to have a rich life, I am also trying to make it a priority to show others love and kindness in all things that I do. I'm not always good at that. If you've ever interacted with me early in the morning and I haven't consumed a beverage chock full o' caffeine, you REALLY know that I'm not always the best at being kind. I usually try not to say anything to anyone in the morning just because God only knows what cranky nonsense will come from my mouth. But that's not the point.

The point is this: Just as Christ showed his love to the world, I want to show love to each and every one of you. You are an important, fantastic person, worthy of love. And I love you a whole lot.

So if you're having a bad day - heck, if you're having a good day - know that you are so, so loved. You are loved unconditionally. And you are loved abundantly.

Even when you're ornery or difficult, I still love you. And I'll still try to show you love. I'll be showing you *tough* love, of course. But I think that counts.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stress Relief

Being a lawyer is stressful. I usually try to remedy stress by sitting on the couch for hours, watching reality TV shows that aren't quite as bad as Jersey Shore but that are still really, really bad, and lying around in a pile of chocolate wrappers and empty ice cream bowls. And sometimes when I'm *really really* stressed, I'm surrounded by empty containers of Ben and Jerry's because transferring ice cream from its original container to a bowl takes too much time because OMG I NEED THE ICE CREAM RIGHT NOW DANG IT I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR SOCIAL CONVENTIONS PASS ME THE CHUNKY MONKEY.

But none of that this time, no ma'am. I am going to release my stress in a nice, healthy way, because I am a strong, independent woman who doesn't need trashy TV or empty calories to be happy. So instead of taking the usual route, I have decided that I will take out my frustrations with good ol' fashioned exercise, because a healthy body makes a healthy mind. Plus, sometimes during workouts, you get to punch things. And that's nice, too.

So I decided to start out my exercise plan on Friday morning with a nice little trip to my local CrossFit box. If you are not familiar with the CrossFit training plan, I like to describe it like this: You lift weights til you want to pass out, you run til you want to pass out, you do chin ups until you want to pass out, but you stop before you actually pass out. Except this one time, I actually did pass out, and I was sprawled out on the floor and all I could say to the trainer was "I promise I'm not being overdramatic" and then I was out cold. But other than that, it's really great. You only have to do about 20 minutes of exercise a day and that's kind of fabulous.

On Saturday, though, I was out of town, so my friend Megan suggested I go to Jazzercise with her. And after a day of CrossFit, I figured this would be a fun little way to break a sweat without going through the Pass Out Factor of Crossfit. So I rocked some toe taps. I rocked some grapevines. I rocked that whole Jazzercise workout, heck yes I did.

Unfortunately, because I mixed workouts, I'm a nice little knot of sore muscles and limited mobility now. As a result, I have been lying on the couch for hours, surrounded by food wrappers. It's *almost* like my typical stress relief routine. However, I am not watching reality TV. But that's only because I'm too sore to reach the remote control.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June is Awareness Month

Every month we are told we need to be "aware" of something - cancer, psoriasis, termites with rheumatoid arthritis, you name it. Though these Awareness Months are supposed to be monthlong celebrations, the only way I think they are celebrated is through pamphlet distribution. Perhaps the occasional 5K race, too.

Well dang it, I for one think there needs to be a little bit more party in these Awareness Months. I've listed what we need to be aware of in June - not making these up, these are totally legit Awareness Months - and how I plan to celebrate. Oh heck yes.

  • Potty Training - Give myself an M&M treat every time I have to go to the ladies' room.
  • Dengue Fever - Throw a backyard barbecue with citronella Tiki torches. Lots of them.
  • Scleroderma - You know who promotes scleroderma awareness? BOB. FRIGGIN'. SAGET. That's who. Hellooooo Full House marathon.
  • Children - I didn't realize that some people weren't aware of children.  Guess I'll throw a party at Chuck E. Cheese and call it a day.
  • Goat Trauma - ???
  • Cancer From the Sun - Shoot, I don't want cancer from the sun! I'll spend all the time I would've spent outside in tanning beds instead.
  • Home Safety - Light a bunch of stuff on fire in my apartment to see if the smoke alarms are working.
  • False Allegations - I've got a way to celebrate False Allegation Awareness. It's called "going to court."
Party on, y'all!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Glutton F. Punishment, Esq.

Lawyers love their middle initials, and they love signing those initials on every single court document or letter they've ever sent. I've never used mine during my career. However, from now on, I'm going to say my middle initial is a drawing of a cupcake. Whereas most lawyers have signatures that look like this:

Mine will look like this:

If I have time to write it out extra pretty, it will look like this:

If I'm running low on time, I'll just write this:

And if I'm hungry, I will write this:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Things that don't belong on Facebook

Okay, my local news station *loves loves loves* to run stories about the DANGERS of Facebook and how our lives are going to be ruined because Facebook is going to infect our computers and minds with filthy thoughts and cause us all to have affairs.  Stories like these are dramatic and unnecessary. If you're going to run a news story about Facebook, please make it about something useful and tell people to stop posting the following:
  • Pictures of your baby's 4D ultrasound - Pictures of babies are cute. Pictures of your baby's 4D ultrasound are creepy. My typical response to anything creepy-outy is to shut my eyes and curl up in fetal position, but anything "fetal" makes me think of the horrifying ultrasound pictures again. If you're going to post an ultrasound picture on Facebook, make sure it's the old-fashioned kind. I've never been able to see the babies in those.
  • Your LSAT score - If you post your score online, your classmates will find it, and they will make fun of you for it, no matter how high or low your score was. I don't make the rules. I just follow them. *shrug*
  • The amount of alcohol you consumed last night - Actually, I shouldn't say that you should never post that. If someone posted "I had a half glass of wine lass night and did not feel and any adverse side effects related to the consumption of alcohol," I'd probably give it a thumbs up.
  • The amount of alcohol your friend consumed last night - He's probably hungover and cranky as is, but if you post "Wow u were so wasted last nite!" to his wall and ruin his chances of getting that job, he'll still be hungover, but his crankiness will be directed at *you*. Ohhh watch out, y'all. 
  • How you feel about your boyfriend any given moment - Today I'm not sure if your boyfriend is a "jerkface lying scumbag poophead" or an "OMG HONEY i luv u sweetie xoxo," so I'm just going to assume that yesterday's "no longer listed in a relationship" post will change in about a week, when you will be back "in a relationship with jerkface lying scumbag poophead."
Any other suggestions?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dine Like a Lawyer

I'm not saying I'm the world's greatest chef or anything, but I do know how to make a meal or two. Because I love cooking so much, I'm going to share some of my favorite recipes with you today. After all, everyone should be able to dine like a lawyer!

Mac 'n' Cheese with a KICK!
1 box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
4 tbsp. Chipotle Tabasco
Follow the instructions on the box. Then add the tabasco to the macaroni. Remember - if you do anything to your meal that isn't specifically spelled out on the box, you can totally count it as your own special and unique recipe. Except this recipe, of course, because it's mine.
Serves 4

Glutton's BBQ Chicken Delight
1 chicken breast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. barbecue sauce
Sprinkle the salt and garlic powder on the chicken breast. Grill the chicken breast, either in a nonstick cooking pan or - my favorite - a George Foreman grill. Grill chicken thoroughly. Let chicken cool. Taste chicken. Realize that the salt and garlic powder had the flavor equivalent of soft water. Dump barbecue sauce on chicken to make up for lack of flavor. Wish that you had gone with KC Masterpiece instead of the generic brand. Quietly suffer through dinner.
Serves 1

Super Mega Terrific Sandwich
Two slices of sandwich bread
Whatever is lying around in your refrigerator that hasn't expired
Put one slice of bread on a plate. Pile your non-expired food on top of the slice of bread. Place the other slice of bread on top of that. Toast sandwich in the toaster oven for two minutes. Slice in half to serve. Note: Depending on how long it's been since I've gotten a paycheck, sometimes my Super Mega Terrific Sandwich consists only of two slices of bread and a kosher pickle.
Serves 1

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
1 c. Oatmeal (The non-instant kind. Longterm oatmeal, if you will.)
2 c. Water
Put the oatmeal and water in a pot. Put the pot on the stove. Turn up the heat on the stove. Let the water/oatmeal mixture bubble for a while. Watch Good Morning America in the living room while it's cooking. Don't worry about keeping up with the time while it's cooking. Smell the scent of charred oatmeal wafting through the house. Yell "OH CRAP IT'S BURNING AGAIN" while running back into the kitchen. Remove the pot from the heat. Scoop out the non-crispy oatmeal and enjoy!
Serves 1-2, depending on how long you were watching GMA

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Case of the Mondays

Soooo a fight broke out in the courtroom Monday morning. I didn't actually *see* the fight. I was in an adjacent, closet-sized witness room meeting with my client.  I could hear most of what happened though. It started out with angry, belligerent shouts from a man inside the courtroom. This was followed by several loud thuds on the floor, like bodies were hitting the ground.  After this was a pained scream from the belligerent man. All of this I heard while crouched on the ground under a table beside my client because we didn't know what was going on. We just sure as heck knew we didn't want any part of it.

The noises continued into the hallway. I heard several pairs of shoes shuffling in the hallway, along with the belligerent man yelling "YOU CAN CALL MY MOM! YOU CAN CALL MY DAD!" This continued for several minutes. After the sounds died down, I unlocked and opened the door and peeked my head out.

I finally walked into the courtroom, and it was as if nothing had happened. So, of course, I had to ask what had happened. Based on eye-witness reports, this is what I can gather:

A defendant got mad at a bailiff who asked the defendant to take his hat off. The defendant was not pleased. The defendant did not take off his hat. The bailiff told him to take it off again. The defendant then decided he wanted to punch the bailiff.

The other bailiff tried to intervene, but the defendant knocked both bailiffs on the ground. One of the attorneys in the courtroom decided to help the bailiffs in case the defendant lunged for a gun. However, defendant decided he was just going to mosey on out of the courtroom. Enter taser. Or stun gun. I'm not exactly sure. All I know is that the dude wound up on the ground.

This moved into the hallway, and bailiffs from all 'round the courthouse came to help the cause. Belligerent man wasn't having any of that. He yelled a lot. I haven't quite figured out why he wanted everyone to call his parents. But he wanted everyone to call them, darn it.

I told a few of my friends about what happened. One asked me if the guy was held in contempt. I think contempt will wind up being the least of his problems.

And that was my morning in family court.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Baby, it's cold inside

Is there a universal rule out there that says that all law offices have to be kept at low enough temperature to keep raw meat from spoiling? Holy crap it's cold. This is the third law office I've worked in, and this is also the third office where I've had to bring in extra reinforcements (electric blanket, space heater, etc) to make sure I don't turn into a lawyercicle. Or barristercicle. Whatever.

These days, I keep two Snuggies (sleeved blankets) in my office that I use on an almost constant basis. It's a bit awkward when a client walks in unannounced and I look like I'm celebrating a snow day at home instead being a lawyerly lawyer who does lawyerly things. But a cold lawyer is a cranky lawyer, and *nobody* likes a cranky lawyer. Heck, most people don't even like the uncranky ones, so I don't need that working against me.

Fortunately, seeing that the seasons are changing, maybe the office temperature will change as well.  I'm willing to bet that the office will still be kept at a temperature that is more igloo-esque than I prefer. But maybe I'll be able to cut my Snuggie usage down to one.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Gap Period

It's the worst time of year. It starts in early January. It ends in mid-February. It sucks. I like to call this time "The Gap Period." You will never find me as miserable as I am during The Gap Period. I complain. I whine. I curl up in fetal position and secretly wish that time would just roll forward.

During The Gap Period, I don't know how I will occupy my time. Everything I've cared about for the rest of the year is gone. Sure, there is plenty of hype about life post-Gap, but I think the hype makes things worse. It just taunts me. It reminds me of the way I want things to be, but those things cannot be. Not yet.

You see, in the beginning of January, college football season ends. Mid-February, college baseball begins. And during that in-between time, there is no sporting event taking place that I actually care about. And that's a very, very unhappy place for me to be. The Gap Period wouldn't have to exist, but unless the Hogs play some exciting basketball again, it will still remain. So for now, I endure. And eagerly await opening day at Baum Stadium.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Panic Shopping

It's that time of year, folks. If you haven't bought milk, eggs, shotguns or toilet paper today, let's hope that you're not needing any in the near future, because it's snowstorm time in the South. And snowstorm time in the South means that you need to PANIC PANIC PANIC and buy enough supplies to last you seven months, because you never know how long the wintry weather advisory is going to last. Not that I'm not making fun of people who panic shop. I used make fun of them, but I stopped doing that after I failed to prepare for the Great Ice Storm of '09 and was forced to eat a can of frosting for dinner.

Anyway, I did all my panic shopping this morning, and I'm sure I bought enough to payroll a Walmart employee for a week. Unfortunately, my town has missed the blizzard so far. So while I'm thrilled for my friends across the South who are texting me with "OMG SNOW THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER NEXT TO SHARK WEEK YAY THIS IS SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME" type messages, I'm constantly peering out the window to see if a flake of snow will hit the ground.  

I have a feeling that I will be looking out the window all night long, only to find out that I will not get the snow day I want. This means I will have to drive to work a miserable woman tomorrow, aggravated that I did all this preparation for nothing, and then I'll be cranky the rest of the day. And that's just all kinds of bad. So please, snowstorm, hurry up and get here. I don't want my cabinet full of canned tuna to be for naught.