September 2008

Back in 1980, Carter semi-suspended his campaign due to the hostage crisis.  He then reversed course because it didn’t seem to help.  Odd that McCain would choose that example to emulate. 

Can’t comment further b/c I’m at work & I’ve taken enough time already finding this thing.

The actual article that spells it out is behind a wall, but here’s a link to the abstract.

hattip to H. Wasserman at prawfsblawg who asked the question that prompted me to search the archives.


This is more a general business/social tip of the day, then legal, but it came up in the context of a legal lunch I was at the other day, so I’m counting it.

Anywho, the other day I went to this luncheon with about a half dozen ladies – we are all part of a mentoring group put together by this lawyer’s group I’m in.   This was our first meeting as a group.  I knew about half the people there when I got there, including one person that I knew of (she’s a judge) but who I knew would not know who I was, so I put out my hand and offered my name and the judge offered hers, which of course I already knew, but I said polite things and moved down the table, saying hello to a person I knew, introducing myself to another.

Anyway, I got to the last person that was there and not knowing who she was, again offered my hand and name, to which she said “Oh we’ve met.”

To which I stared at her for a moment thinking, ‘nice way to (a) make me feel guilty that I don’t remember you and (b) deny me the opportunity to know who the fuck you are because you haven’t simply said “hi, I’m X, you may remember me from such and such,” to which I would have said, had she said that, “oh yes of course, blah, blah.”‘

No, instead she simply said, “Oh, we’ve met.”  So after giving her a moment to add something, i.e., her NAME, I said, “I’m so sorry, I’m terrible with names, could you tell me your name.”  Which she did, but since I was so irritated I promptly forgot it.

What made the whole situation even more amusing is that later the judge, who was running the lunch meeting, was running through the list of attendees to figure out who was/wasn’t there to see if we should wait before ordering lunch.  Well, each person was id’d on her list by first initial and last name, and the judge paused because she had forgotten this woman’s first name and she looked at me and I had to give her a “sorry” look because I couldn’t remember even though it had been given to me not ten minutes earlier.  Fortunately, the judge then suggested we all go round the table, introduce ourselves, talk about where we worked, etc.  So we both now know this young woman’s name.

The woman who left me hanging on the introduction is young, one year out of law school so maybe she hasn’t dealt with a lot of business-y situations where you are seeing people you haven’t seen in a while, but the tip of the day is, if someone offers their name to you, offer yours, because they may have just saved your ass because you’d forgotten theirs so do them the courtesy of the return.

Oh, and it turned out that the place we had met was at a big party the legal group had thrown nine months earlier – she was someone’s date and apparently we had briefly sat at the same table.  Is she effing kidding me?  I mean, I know I’m charismatic as hell when I’ve had a few drinks in me (hence her apparently vivid memory of me, hahaha) but did she honestly expect me to remember her from a 15 minute conversation at a party where I’d probably already had 3 glasses of wine.  Oy.

While typing this, I’m wondering if this is yet another example of the weird insularness of the locals in this area.  mr. jolt and I have noticed, and our fellow expats have too, that too many times to mention we’ve met someone and said, “hi I’m jolt” or “hi I’m mr. jolt” and the local person says “nice to meet you.”  And they stop speaking and don’t offer their name.  And this is when you have just seen them for the first time.   Seriously, it is the weirdest thing, like they are part of some untouched tribe who thinks that if they simply offer their name they’ve given you power over them or something.  So all the time, we have to ask, “I’m sorry, what’s your name,” which is silly enough when you’ve met them and forgotten their name, but REALLY stupid if you’ve never met them before and thus have no reason to know who the hell they are.  Which half makes me wonder if this chickadee had ever in fact told me her name in the first  place.

So I’m more than halfway through my writing class and I’m loving it.  I’m going to be sad when it ends –deadlines are useful!  Fortunately, each of the online ‘lectures’ contains various writing exercise suggestions in addition to the actual assignment so I’m planning on using them as my own private lesson plan for the rest of the fall.

Anyway, if any of my tiny group of readers is interested in improving their writing, I highly recommend Gotham Writer’s Workshop.  They have live classes in NYC, but they also have a whole ongoing series of online classes in a huge variety of areas.   Between the exercises, the comments of the professor on my own work and in ‘chat-lounge’ discussions I feel like I finally understand what I’m supposed to be doing, or at least developing a plan of what to do next.

Now, if only I could find someone to make the kids lunches, clean the kitchen, and pay the bills so I’d have time to write!*


*This is not to imply that mr. jolt doesn’t do his share, but he’s out 2 nights a week doing the PhD thing, then I’m often out one night a week, and, on top of it all, I’m lazy.  By the time the kids are in bed and the kitchen is clean all I want to do is veg with a good novel.

I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird – a book about the writing life which dozens of people had recommended to me, but I had never gotten around too.  It’s hilarious and very reassuring to newbie writers.

Anyway, in this little tangent on god, and  people she finds irritating, she quotes a priest friend of hers who says, “You know you’ve created God in your own image when he hates the same people you do.”

Perfect.  This perfectly describes the view of certain evangelical fundamentalists who ignore the ‘love thy neighbor’ teachings of their savior and use their view of god to spew hate and anti-compassion everywhere to anyone who doesn’t comply with their narrow view of the world.

And, I’m the furthest thing from an expert on the bible, but my recollection of the original biblical phrase that is purposely misphrased above is that it is we who are created in god’s image, not vice versa.  So a nice little play on words there.  Delicious!

If you want to be productive at work the next day, it is inadvisable, at the end of a weeknight cocktail reception, to grab the two leftover bottles of wine and sit on a bench with three friends passing the bottles around.

I can truthfully say that  it was the first time I’ve drunk wine straight from the bottle.  Maude willing, it will be my last.

According to my fellow bottle-passers I apparently did a wicked Sarah Palin impersonation.

Seen on the side of a building on the way to work:

“I am a human being – I have value”  written in spraypaint.

Melissa McEwan offers up an excellent donation suggestion here.  Palin has apparently had a mobilizing effect on Obama supporters who have increased donations following Palin’s speech the other night.  Melissa’s suggestion for those who, for whatever reason, don’t want to give to Obama — make a donation to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin’s name.  Love it. 

I think I’ll be making both types of donations.

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