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

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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:

OMG WHY IS HIS NECK IS DETACHED
FROM THE REST OF HIS BODY?!

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...

A SPARKLING HOUSTON NUTT PIG:



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....

A LOVELY WEDDING CAKE TOPPER:


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

KICK 'EM OUT!

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.