Saturday, April 24, 2010

What I'm Packin'.....

Or that’s what I might call this if I didn’t envision all of my many five readers rolling their eyes at yet another cheesy pun title. It has to be said though, I cannot help it. If I’m sitting on some word play-- awesome, cheesy, terrible or ingenious, it will make its way out. God help me if I’m ever in court and the urge to be witty ever strikes. Fortunately, it’s doubtful that will happen because I’m usually somewhere between boredom and nail biting please-don’t-let-me-say-anything-stupid terror, and that’s not really fertile ground for my flavor of humor. It’s not restless leg syndrome. It’s more like restless jaw syndrome. Quitlaughingatyourownjokes-itis.

I digress. My internship is at 201 Poplar. For those not from or familiar with Memphis, that’s the address and common name of the city jail and criminal courts. It’s only called the Criminal Justice Center when the perky news girl stands in front of it on the news to question the justice system and whether or not all lawyers should be hung and quartered. Fortunately, she still has that inquisitive look, so I’m guessing she hasn’t come to a conclusion yet. Fingers crossed for lawyers. Part of the quaint charm of 201, as the defendants call it, is that you have go through a metal detector. If you’re ever down for a real treat of a tale, ask me about the day the fire alarm went off and we all had to file back into the building one-by-one through security. I have never felt closer to death safer.

My life of crime began and ended on the same day when I accidently stole a pair of slippers from Wal-Mart as a kid. I was carrying them while we were checking out and my mom made me take them back once she realized what happened. I’ve never been much of a trouble maker, apart from my inability to tuck in my shirt, per the dress code in high school. Because of this, I’m not accustomed to being singled out at security or looked at with any suspicion. For pete’s sake, I’m 5’2’’ and look just a touch like a cabbage patch doll. A few weeks ago I went through security, though, and they made me stop while they went through my bag. With breath shortening, palms beginning to sweat, and flashes of a life spent without lip gloss in jail, I waited. I was sure that someone had planted several grams of something unlawful in my bag,when all of the sudden they pulled it out. My pencil sharpener. Wah wah wah. Not only was it a pencil sharpener, it was the one I’ve had since fifth grade with my ten year old cursive “Laura Britt” written across the side. You could see where I had misjudged the room to write so it was more like “LAURA BRitt” with the final “t” wrapping around the side. It really could only have been less cool if they pulled out my old retainer or some Immodium tablets or something.

Since then, I’ve been a little bit more careful about what I carry in my work bag. One thing I haven’t tackled yet, though, is the purses that I rotate through. I usually move to the next one once the one I’m carrying gets too cluttered. I’m terrible about cleaning them out. They end up looking like a miniature version of a crazy cat lady’s house.  I seem to collect shiny little objects like a bird does.  I randomly grabbed three bags out of the closet to demonstrate. 

Here we have some long forgotten hand lotion, some fossilized tissues, and a case for a camera that had 2 megapixels if that clues you in on how long ago it was used.

It appears as though an ibuprofen bottle was half emptied in this one.  This one also has a stack of pink post-its.  I'm kinda Hansel and Gretel-esque with my post-its.  There's usually a trail of them where ever I go.

Lastly, and I swear this was not altered to appear more insane, we have a bubble gum wrapper, some tape, a bobby pin, super glue, and a spool of ribbon.  Perhaps I could fashion another tiny purse to clutter out of these items. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

These are some sites/blogs that I read regularly and think are pretty fantastic.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Zoo Day

Eugene Walter, of Mobile thank you very much, is a sharp and charming writer.  He also lead a most colorful life as any blue blood, old south, hometown hero/homosexual, mardi gras king, self-professed recovering Catholic and some would say, alcoholic, would.  He claimed that all he needed to spice up a party was construction paper and dim lighting.  He also said, in a statement that rings more true to me than most things, that all people are either cats or monkeys when boiled down to their true essence.  My own self-diagnosis lands me squarely in the catagory of a cat.  On Friday we went to the zoo to visit, among the other beasts, the monkeys.  I like to see how the other half lives.  It was a perfect day to be outside.  We took our time and saw the whole park.  I wish I had more photos to post, but I'm still working out for myself whether or not it's okay to ask strangers to take your picture when you (a) live in the city you are out in, (b) have six billion pictures of you and the person you're with, and (c) when you yourself don't have a firm grasp on how to work your camera. I'm leaning towards not ok.

This was taken in the new Teton Trek exhibit. 

Clearly Craig lacks the stamina to be a female explorer.  Exploring this one chicken has him snoozing.

I, on the other hand, take conservation very seriously.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wringing Out

     I'm like a sponge.  I don't retain information like a whiz kid, as handy as that would've been handy for law school.  I'm not easily influenced by other people's personalities or opininions.  I'm a sponge in the sense that I soak up the highs and lows of other people's lives and end up water logged.  On my best day I hope it manifests as real compassion.  At my worst I can be nosy and controlling.  Everyone knows this situation.  You feel deeply for someone you love that's hurting.  You watch them stumble to get back on their feet.  Sometimes you watch them take the easy road that leads to nothing. Nothing--and it hurts you.  Sometimes you have the privilege of watching someone discover their own ability to survive and hopefully thrive.  Sometimes you watch like a game show audience as someone chooses what's behind curtain two, when you know that curtain one contains the highest prize. 
     It's hard on me.  It's hard to watch someone make a mistake, or what I believe to be a mistake.  It's hardest of all to let it go and just hope that it all works out.  Ultimately, it's my own problem.  I've thought that one of my best qualities as a friend is my ability to get down in the trenches with someone.  I think maybe I was wrong.  I'm gonna try, for now, to only go along for ups and not worry so much about other people's downs, at least beyond the point that I have any influence.  I'm going to let other people's problems be their own.  Maybe this supposed strength was really a weakness.  I'm going to try to stop wrining my hands worrying about other people and start wringing out the gunk I've soaked up that wasn't mine to begin with.
     This may be a terrible idea.  Hopefully no other sponge is out there soaking this up and realizing my mistake before I do.