Thursday, July 21, 2011

Who knew?

On Tuesday I was at dinner with a friend and mentioned my excitement about leaving my job. I told him that when I left the Ogden court after just 6 months, I cried, my co-workers cried, they took me to a goodbye lunch, and all that jazz. I referenced the difference in my current job. I said there are certainly people I’ll miss, but generally no one at the court knows who I am. This isn’t a self-pity moment; it’s just the way it is. It’s a big place with lots of employees and I’m anti-social. That all adds up to remaining anonymous.

Yesterday afternoon I was walking down the hall and one of the Criminal clerks stopped me and said, “Has Gwen talked to you?” I said, “No...” And she replied, “Do you have the list?” Huh? “What list?” “The list for tomorrow. We’re changing what we’re bringing and were told you had the list.” I was confused but trying to catch up. I pointed to my supervisor’s office (my supervisor is also named Wendy) and said, “Maybe try that Wendy.” “Isn’t the potluck for Wendy (Last name)’s birthday?” “I’m sorry; I really don’t know...” And she went on her way. Meanwhile I began to piece things together. Wendy’s birthday was in April. If we were throwing a party for that other Wendy, my boss, wouldn’t someone have told me and asked me to bring something? Could the birthday story have been a cover-up once the clerk realized her mistake?

When I got on the elevator to come into work this morning, everyone I said hi to had something in their hands–a Crock Pot, a bag of rolls, a bowl of watermelon. Now, I don’t like to assume, but I’m also not obtuse. Suspicions were confirmed when my supervisor came to my desk this morning and said, “So I guess you know about your party.”

With the knowledge that in 3 short hours I would be the guest of honor at a potluck came a wave of self-consciousness. I know how potlucks work around here. Someone sends an email stating the reason for the potluck. Mine would have said something like, “As some of you know, Wendy Brown is leaving us to attend law school. We will have a potluck to say goodbye next Thursday in the conference room. Please let so-and-so and so-and-so know if you would like to contribute.” I figured most people had thought, “Who’s that?” and deleted the email. I grew embarrassed that my team members had gone to the trouble of organizing a party to which theirs would be the only contributions. At 11:30 they came and got me from my cubicle and told me to act surprised. Well, I didn’t have to act.

Lots of delicious food. Way too much to even get a good sampling of what was offered.

My supervisor from my last team came up to me after and gave me a card from the front counter. I can’t wait to hang it up in my new apartment in Omaha. As she explained, it shows the course of my legal career: law student, graduation, working as an attorney, and, finally, a judgeship :) I can only hope that in 25 years I can look back and see that card as a form of premonition haha.

No, I’m not the most well-known clerk in the building. But the relationships I have formed are meaningful. And isn’t that what matters?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Small Town, Saturday Night"

I’m in a great mood. Want to know why?

Well, it all started with a very relaxing weekend. My family attended the Ute Stampede on Friday night. I’m not going to lie–if my weekend had ended there I’d be calling it a bust. I’m not one to call “Animal Cruelty” at the flick of every switch, and I’ve attended rodeos for as long as I can remember, but I don’t know that I’ll be going to one again in the near future. Seeing a 1,000 pound animal fall on its neck can change a person...

However, the weekend that followed was phenomenal. I typically despise dislike being in small towns. They bore me, they smell weird, everyone’s in everyone else’s business...but we spent Friday and Saturday night in Ephraim at my brother-in-law’s mom’s house. It was so relaxing. I didn’t realize it, but I think all of the moving/leaving plans have been stressing me out. The crawling slow way of life down there really allowed me to breathe. We went shooting, sat on a deck with a beautiful view, took naps, I wrote in my journal. More importantly, I didn’t check my email, I didn’t check Twitter, I didn’t play Words with Friends.

Whit and her grandma at a cute little candy store in Ephraim
I think it also helped to be away from Zipsie. Don’t get me wrong, I love her. But for 48 hours, I was free from all responsibility for anything but myself, and it was refreshing. Unfortunately, my being away seems to have had a negative effect on Zipsie. By that I mean, she’s crazy. Well, crazier. Apparently Sunday night she discovered that she can jump over the baby gate that has kept her calmly in the kitchen at night and while we’re at work for the last year. And now that she knows she can, she won’t stop jumping over it. And chairs. And bar stools. And suitcases. *Sigh*

This is the structure I put up last night that Zipsie still managed to jump over
Back to that good mood stuff...Anyone ever shopped at Tilly’s? I first visited on a Vegas trip with Jamie when I fell in love with these shoes:

Now I own them in 3 colors. Yesterday I got a delivery from Tilly’s that added to my love affair.

A beautiful purse, sassy sunglasses, two stunning nail polishes, a roomy wallet, and the decorative flip flops I set out to buy in the first place–shipped–for less than $50. Are you in love now, too?

And finally, today my friend Bonnie took me out to lunch. Some of you will remember that Bonnie and I worked together during my short 6 months at the Ogden courthouse. She trained me in front counter work and became one of my best friends. I miss her all the time. She encouraged me to get back to school and finish my degree. She encouraged me to retake the LSAT and actually apply to schools. She’s the reason that–in addition to any other type of law I practice–I want to do adoptions. She had a class on Domestic Cases in Salt Lake, so we met up afterward. Seeing her just makes my heart happy.
And that, my friend, is why I’m in a great mood!

Friday, July 15, 2011

UPDATED: Used Books for Sale

I'm moving halfway across  the country and can't fit all my books. Plus, I'm strapped for cash. The following are books that I'm sort of willing to sell. If you're interested, let me know how much you'll pay (I'm willing to accept just about anything. Just remember...starving student...) and I'll get you the books. If you live in Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, or Utah counties I'm very willing to drive the books to you. If not, we'll work something out. Title links to the Amazon page for the book, so you can see book description, cover (if you're a cliched-ly inappropriate judger like me), and how much you'd pay for a used book there. Pretty much all my books are in good condition.

Email me


Beer and Circus by Murray Sperber (How big-time college sports is crippling undergraduate education)
Confederate Emancipation by Bruce Levine (Southern plans to free and arm slaves during the Civil War)
The Confederate Nation: 1861-1865 by Emory M. Thomas
A Delusion of Satan by Frances Hill (The full story of the Salem witch trials)
The Gray and the Black by Robert F.  Durden (The Confederate debate on emancipation)
Lee's Miserables by J. Tracy Power (Life in the army of Northern Virginia...)
The Manly Art by Elliott J. Gorn (Bare-knuckle prize fighting in America)
The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould (The definitive refutation to the argument of The Bell Curve)
Uprooting Racism by Paul Kivel (How white people can work for racial justice)
War and Ruin by Anne J. Bailey (William T. Sherman and the Savannah Campaign)
Women and the Law of Property in Early America by Marylynn Salmon

The Cloudy Mirror by Stephen W. Durrant
To Destroy You is No Loss by JoAn D. Criddle (The Odyssey of a Cambodian Family)
The Golden Peaches of Samarkand by Edward H. Schafer (A study of T'ang exotics)
Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang (A memoir of the Cultural Revolution)
Revolutionary Russia, 1917 by John M. Thompson
Russia in the Twentieth Century by M. K. Dziewanowski (in used condition)
Silence by Shusaku Endo (a novel)

Charlemagne's Courtier edited by Paul Edward Dutton 
I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti
Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Charles D. Smith
The Roman Empire Divided: 400-700 by John Moorhead

Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson

Okay, this is taking a long time and I've only linked to the books in 2 of the 5 stacks on my table :) I'll update and repost periodically. I have several more Russian and American History books, and then I'll make a list of novels as well. Hope you find something you're interested in!