Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Thank you very much...you can now carry on with your day/evening.
Note: For those who don't know, NETFLIX allows anyone with a credit (or debit) card and access to the internet to rent ANY MOVIE KNOWN TO MAN/WOMAN*! The DVD is delivered to your mailbox, and you can keep them as long as you want, no fuss no muss!
In the interest of hopefully getting some input on the movies I've chosen, and mostly because I'm not quite happy with the recommendations given to me by my Netflix advisor, I'm putting up the next 10 movies on my Netflix Queue in the hopes that some of you have seen any one of them and can tell me yay or nay (si or no). Ok...here it is.
1. The Man Who Wasn't There
2. The Salton Sea
3. The Yes Men
4. Teddy Bears' Picnic
5. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Please gawd let this be enjoyable.
6. The Office Special
7. Waiting for Guffman
7 1/2. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie - This movie doesn't count. I do enjoy a good spongebob episode though. Mostly when the stress at work is a little much. Good times.
8. Where's Marlowe?
9. Sacrificio: Who Betrayed Che Guevara? - I've always been fascinated by Che and his life. When I say his life, I'm talking about his life after The Motorcycle Diaries.
10. The Sopranos: Seasons 4 & 5 - Yes I realize this is probably a total of 8 DVD's but it's all Soprano's related. I stopped watching The Sopranos when I decided HBO was not in my monthly budget...now that they're on DVD...GIDDYUP!
*Well, almost any movie...I don't think they do porn...yet.
Let's see, it's about 10:11pm, and I neglected to work out today so I feel like a bit of a slob...not so much that I can't kick back with my friends and watch Shaun of The Dead. Good night all.
As I was walking past the Sheriff's Donut Station (they supposedly have a code word for it called, a break room), I over heard one of the deputies telling another:
Deputy 1: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah...sure, maybe. I'll think about it, but I'm going off duty.
Deputy 2: I'm on (duty) till 2200.
Sure, maybe it's the fact that I can be about as juvenile as any 30ish year-old male but I could not stop giggling. Now, it's sounds a little weird to say that I was giggling, but I could describe it as nothing else, and I couldn't stop.
All I could hear was this cop saying, "I'm going off doodie." Like he's addicted to doodie and he has to get off of it no MATTER the price!
You had to be there I guess.
Damn that Woman of The Law...damn her.
Monday, June 27, 2005
I wish I had titled this something different but I just go with the flow...it's just that sometimes the flow is not so good. What can I say?
I don't know who caught Presumed Guilty when it premiered on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) a couple of years ago, but it is a FANTASTIC documentary on life at the San Francisco Public Defenders Office. It's a must have (or at least see) for anyone even remotely interested in working at a public defender's office. There is a great cross-dressing witness that gets a lot of screen time...it's classic.
I would like to point out that Nigel Phillips (AKA: Nigel Twist), ex-rocker of a little band from the 80's some of you may know as The Alarm, is the featured Public Defender Investigator.
I know I have a copy floating around somewhere but I'm also looking to buy it on DVD. If I find the copy I'd be willing to share it.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
I don't know what this Friday Spies thing is that Blonde Justice does every week but it is fascinating! I find myself reading well, not on Fridays but whenever she posts them. I was most intrigued by #5 - Ten Must Own Items For Single Men And Single Women AND I want to talk about it, just not now....right now I need some coffee and a bagel.
I did a little Foul/Crude Language Warning in my post last night and I just wanted to explain why I did it. There is a woman who reads my post that emailed me friday night. She wanted to find out how my sister was doing. She also said she enjoys my blog, but there were a couple of things I could do to improve it:
1) Be more consistent
2) Don't overdo it with the Foul language.
The consistency part is obvious, I was looking back at previous posts and realized I used the word "Fuck" word an awful lot. As of today, I vow to be more consistent with investigation related posts, and use foul language less!
Ok, that was the last one, I just had to get it out of my system.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Ok. I have been on a poker kick this entire last week. Texas Hold'em to be exact. I guess you would consider me an average player, I've won a couple of online tournaments and I do okay in the casinos...well, ok. I've only played in one casino...it was in South Lake Tahoe. (If you ever find yourself there, I ate at what I would consider the BEST buffet in Tahoe, Harrah's Casino, with an incredible view of the lake and surrounding mountains).
I always seem to find myself in the rooms with all the trash talking poker geeks. I hardly ever interact with "them" but sometimes, curiosity gets the best of me. I'll give you an example of one exchange I had with another player today (spelling errors and all):
Givenrod: What up sanch?
Givenrod: You think im gonna let you steel the blinds?
Sanchovillas: Ummm no?
Sanchovillas: what r you talking bout?
Givenrod: ur mamas pussy
Sanchovillas: Dude my moms dead fuck head
Sanchovillas: Naaaa just fuckin with you asswipe
Was it a little much..probably. I went on to take him out of the tourney then I was wiped out later by some little old man (at least he was using the picture of a little old man).
I'm thinking of just retiring my lucky poker shirt and going back to what I'm really good at...Checkers.
Well, as soon as I go through the last 6 dollars in my online poker account.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Hey! I hope you still have this email address, I guess I'll find out. How are you these days? Last time I talked to you you were living in Los Angeles, sounded like things were good.
We are just great, I'm eight months pregnant!! We're very excited to say the least... Write with the latest...
I broke up with her in an International House of Pancakes...I still remember hearing the waitress say, "That asshole just broke up with his girlfriend!" This was before we even got our food...I played it safe and took a pass on the grub.
She left a message that went something like this (my sister is usually very cheery but this message was very somber):
At this point I knew something was very wrong and a million things were going through my head, something bad has happened, and now I'm just waiting for her to tell me who the bad thing happened to.
...I was in an accident today. I'm Ok...I think...It happened about an hour ago and I'm on my way to the hospital...
Fuck....Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck....Fuck.
...Can you call me?
Ok. Now, I'm about 550 miles away from my sister and there is not a fucking thing I can do, EXCEPT call her...sure, I guess I can find time in my busy day to call my sister who was just in a car accident.
I get her on the phone (still on the way to the hospital) and she tells me that she was driving on the freeway, traffic started to slow down and the brakes locked up on her..the front end started pulling every way she hits a guard rail and the fucking car flips over and as it's flipping decides to take out the car in the lane next to her.
OK. Now my sis has a newer model Nissan Pathfinder sitting in the driveway of her house and my brother-in-law (BIL) also drives a nice car.
Does my sister decide to drive anything built in the last 20 years though? No.... she does not. They also have (had) a classic (if there is such a thing) 1977 4X4 Ford Bronco that is somewhat tricked out, raised, whatever...it is altered and my sister loves this thing. She said she has alway wanted one and my BIL just bought it for her birthday this year. It's strange, I don't understand it but whatever....
Anyway. She flipped the Bronco. She was wearing her seatbelt and she is ok. The Fire Department took the guy in the car she hit to the hospital to make sure he was ok (it was his rear-end that got all bashed in but they took him in to get him checked out for good measure), and it turns out he was released and is doing fine.
I asked her if she had been drinking or anything and she said, "No (thank gawd), of course not!" Like I was some maniac for even asking and "who" in their right mind would be drunk in the middle of the day anyway? Not me of course! But...I can imagine how if it's a weekend and you start on the margaritas and Corona's a little early at your buddies barbecue in the LATE morning (almost 12:00pm really), you might find yourself drunk by noon...I mean not me...but I'm sure it's happened to somebody!
My sister is all scratched up, bruised from hanging upside in her ride but she is alive and well...Can anyone guess what her big concern was after she found out the guy in the car she hit was ok?
"My poor little Bronco is totalled. I'm so bummed out! Do you think I'll get a ticket for having a raised vehicle?"
You should be glad that your are FRICKIN (I'm calm now and don't need to use "Fuck") ALIVE! Who gives a rat's ass about ANYTHING you were driving...You are lucky to be alive and glad that nobody got badly injured.
Gawd damnit. I love my sister more than anything but jeezus...sometimes I just wanna...Actually, I wish I could give her big hug right now. I'm just glad she's alive.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Ok, I'm not gonna lie. Baseball, as much as I love it. Is not my sport.
Actually, Fantasy Baseball is not my sport. Why? Because I suck at it. That's why.
When I joined Blondie's fantasy baseball league (The aforementioned Blawger's Baseball) I was unable to make any roster changes because I was in the middle of moving and starting at a new office. Once I was finally able to move team members around and update my roster daily what happened?
I haven't had a chance to really get into it but it look's like I'll be cuddling up in bed tonight with my glass of wine, the report, and box of condoms....you know....since I'm always prepared?
If you haven't been following along I'm not gonna explain it to ya.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
The Belleville News Democrat reports that the Montana State Legislature, "...approved a public defender law that is designed to bring sweeping change and is being hailed as a national model for providing defense lawyers for the poor."
Why is this happening now, in the year 2005, you ask? Well, let's take a closer look, shall we?:
The National Legal Aid & Defender Association conducted a study of several counties in Montana and found the following (Excerpts from the Belleville News Democrat) :
-One defendant waited 23 months to get to a court on a charge that carried a maximum sentence of 13 months.
-Not a single indigent defendant in the misdemeanor courts had a defense lawyer.
-A public defender was assigned a rape case where the defendant faced a life prison sentence even though the lawyer had never handled such a case before.
-A former public defender said conducting a defense investigation of the charges before trial was an "aspirational" activity.
I just started reading her blog a few weeks ago after clicking on a link to her blog from either the Blonde in Pink or Skelly at A&C...can't remember which. If you haven't heard of her, you should check her blog out. I sent her link to a few law students I'm still in contact with at my old PD's office and they love it.
Anyhoot, gotta get back to work. One of my attorney's left me voicemail last night asking me to issue and serve a subpoena on a witness for one of his cases. The trial date and time you ask?
Today at 1:30pm.
I know, I know...don't get me started!
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
No, this post has nothing to do with PD investigations, the law, or really anything groundbreaking (not that you'll EVER find anything groundbreaking here! I might kick around some dust on the floor, but that's it). I just wanted to throw in my dos centavos on a subject brought up by Woman of The Law...Women with Condoms.
It never occurred to me that it would be a strange thing for women to carry their own condoms, until I read WOTL today. I asked a couple of the investigators in our office and one attorney (he's married so maybe it doesn't count?) what they thought about it and all of them said that if a woman pulled out her own box of condoms, they might sleep with her once but never again because she probably "get's around."
I guess it just doesn't make sense to me. I think any person walking around with a penis or vagina that has even the slightest possibility of having sex within the next 3 years, should be REQUIRED to carry condoms.
It's got nothing to do with morals and everything to do with common sense! Guys should really be turned off by women that DON'T carry them. Not carrying a condom says to me, "Me...I just don't care enough about me to protect myself and any innocent schmo I happen to shag."
If anyone is lost by what I just wrote...you're not alone. Just stick with me. The point is, anyone who does not want anything to do with THIS should carry THESE.
Bottom line is this: Who wants to ruin the chances of getting laid because of nobody having any condoms? Not me brotha, not me.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Ok...I was almost ready to turn the computer off, then I came across this little fun filled story over at the Washington Times website. Not groundbreaking stuff but it gave me a good chuckle. Do the taxpayer's of D.C. care that their Chief was taking his family to church in his unmarked work vehicle?
I was driving my county issued car into the courthouse parking lot late last week in the early A.M. and as I was driving past the front entrance, I noticed a tall, pudgy, pasty individual, in a wrinkled golf shirt and jeans do a triple take on me as I drove past. I didn't think too much of it at the time. I thought it could have been someone that recognized me from some case I had worked on in the past or maybe I had a booger in my nose...Ok...just checking to see if you are actually reading this.
Anyway, I find a spot at the furthest end of the lot (parking can be a real bear), get out of my car, and start to walk into my office. As I begin my hike up the stairs (yes, sometimes I bypass the elevator in favor of a little calorie burning...well, it's only a few floors but it all adds up!), I hear a smoker's voice behind me say, "Nice car."
I stop, turn around and it's Pudgy Dude standing right behind me. Pudgy says, "That used to be my car...I could tell from the dent on the hood." He asked me if I knew where the dent came from and I said, no. Pudgy went on to tell me that the dent came from a 3 year-old girls head and the dent almost cost him his life.
Turns out, MY car is Pudgy's old county vehicle (yes...the Public Defender get's all the old county hand me downs). Pudgy is a detective for the County Sheriff's department and a few years ago, as he was driving through a residential neighborhood, a three year-old girl ran out in front of his car from behind a truck and he hit her. He said, "She flew about...oh...I'd say 22 feet."
He tells me that he stops the car, get's out to check on the girl and hears the mother screaming at the top of her lungs. He adds a few inappropriate remarks about the woman and a large group of African American men who have crowded around the accident scene. The woman realizes he is a cop (she sees his gun and badge) and says, "Kill the white pig!"
A small riot ensues.
Pudgy got his ass kicked with a few broken bones in his face and ribs. After lots of reconstructive surgery he is back on the force...He is still a cop and the first thing he did was give up the county car...which is why I now drive it.
I probably should have stopped to get coffee before getting to court and I would have been able to avoid the whole conversation altogether. I must say, I don't feel so bad about almost hitting a cluster of pigeons this afternoon.
I felt bad that Pudgy could have been killed but my feelings were tempered by the way he described the little girl and her family....then after telling me the story, he decided to go on about his impressions of some of our clients...most inappropriate.
Oh...the little girl lived...she was out of the hospital in a day...it took Pudgy weeks to get out of the hospital.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
What do the three items in the pictures above have in common? Nothing...Well that is unless you read this little gem of a story on the Public Defender's in Kootenai County in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. Thanks to Skelly over at Arbitrary and Capricious for bringing this to my attention. It's interesting partly because my PD friend "Downey" went to law school in Idaho and has friends that started working there and with their Federal Defenders (I think).
I've been in a much better mood about our teenage client that died over the weekend. Just for the record the drinking and talking about it did not help at all. Yeah, well for the smartasses that are saying, "no shit!" I just had to figure it out for myself.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Well. Then I get into my office.
As I read through the online version of our local paper, I came across the front page story on one of our clients. She was killed in a car accident this weekend. I'm not going to put her name up or anything but I will say that she was young and had a very nice family. She had just graduated from school and was just starting to get her life straightened out. We had her on some weak ass misdemeanor case that was probably going to go away before trial.
I never met her but I knew a lot about her through witnesses on our case and contact with her family. I think shit like this is totally random. I don't believe in the whole, "God decided it was time for her to go" thing. I think it's shitty that it happened to her and I hope her family gets through this okay. I know it's corny but wherever she is, I hope she's at peace.
As soon as I'm off, I think tonight is a good night to have a few beers.
Life can be a real drag sometimes.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Betcha never thought you'd see the words "Assistant Public Defender" and "Ropes a calf for branding" in the same sentence did ya!?! I've decided to start posting up interesting links to Public Defender Web Pages that I come across or people send me. Here is the first entry from the Wyoming State Public Defender. Bizarre but true.
Ok, so everyone is talking about it and I probably can't add anything new to the mix but everyone is going crazy about the Michael Jackson Verdict. My dos centavos? I'm not going to lie...I am a big fan of MJ (well, the MJ of old) and I was ecstatic that justice prevailed with the not guilty verdicts on ALL counts. I know the guy is freaky to some folks but it seems to me the jury put aside their feelings about the guy and looked only at the jury instructions they were given. I'm looking for the $ figure that the gung ho DA spent on prosecuting Michael...anyone out there run across the number?
I think this book should have been titled..."The Vampire Public
Defender." Yes, it's not just you...this was very random.
Does anyone know anything about this book?
Here two links that I came across last week that have come in handy for definitions of street slang...one is from the Texas Police and the other is Urban Dictionary. Both have their positives and negatives. Urban Dictionary (popular with the "young people") came in handy when I recieved a recording of two witnesses on a case last week that was really difficult to understand and was filled with an Assload of slang terminology.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Department of Public Advocacy
1100 South Main Street
2nd Floor, Suite 22
Madisonville, KY 42240
If you want to contact them at their office the telephone number is (270) 889-6527.
I just wanted to alert members to an article in the latest issue of Scientific American Mind magazine. On page 25, titled True Crimes, False Confessions, by Saul M. Kassin and Gisli H. Gudjonsson, it outlines the best research on false confessions and makes recomendations on how to address fixing this problem. It includes a fairly damning analysis of the Reid technique of interogation. (Interestingly, the article immediately preceding this one in the magazine is called "Natural Born Liars". Hmm. You can also check their web site for this issue at http://www.sciammind.com/.
By Vilayanur S. Ramachandran and Diane Rogers-Ramachandran, which can be found in the same issue. You can either go to the store and buy the June 2005 issue or you can buy the complete magazine online and download it for $5.00. Don't be a cheapskate and shell out a few bucks for this stuff!
Gina The Clerk Update:
Yup, yup, yup. She invited me over to her house for a Dave Chappelle DVD Marathon. The catch? She wanted to know if it's cool that her boyfriend hangs out with us. Someone smack me in the head with my keyboard...
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
I was in Safeway today to go pick up a little lunch. Bread, Swiss cheese, avocado, Sprouts and a bottle of hot mustard. Exciting? Not so much. But it's healthy and tasty. Anyway, I'm in line waiting to pay for my groceries and this clerk from one of our courtrooms is in line right behind me. This clerk (we'll call her Gina) is really cute AND super smart. She graduated from Stanford and was like a double major in....something...she told me but I wasn't paying full attention. The point is I get a little intimidated around her.
Ok, now, I'm not exactly a ladies man, buuuut at the same time I'm not hurting in the dating department....well...you know what? I'm just not a ladies man...Let's leave it at that.
I'm standing in line, I start chatting it up with Gina, she's laughing, we're talking about our weekend, we're talking about funny stories at the office, we're talking about getting together to watch Season 2 of the Dave Chappelle Show DVD which she ordered on her Netflix and then... IT ALL GOES VERY VERY WRONG!
The cashier is ringing my groceries up as usual...then she asks me if I want to donate a $1.00 to Prostate Cancer.
This caught me totally off guard. I mean, one minute I'm sliding my Safeway and Atm card through the card reader then the next minute she's asking me if I want to help save someone's prostate!
I told her, "no, that's ok." Sheepishly, I turned around, looked at Gina and she had this look that was something like...I just smeared hot mustard in her eye! The look she gave me clearly said, "How can you NOT want to save someone's prostate you insensitive asshole!" WHY DO GROCERY STORES DO THIS TO PEOPLE!
I paid for my groceries waited for her to pay for hers (yes...she donated a dollar AND she got a little blue rubber band to wear around her wrist that says something like, "I saved a friggin prostate today...what did you do?"), and we walked outside together. Let's just say when I asked her if she wanted to do a movie night this weekend, she said she'd check her calendar and get back to me.
Dumb prostate cancer. Shoulda given them a frickin dollar.
Jen, first off, thanks for the link to the Taser Story in Lawrenceville, GA. Is that anywhere near Hotlanta...it's not ok to say that if I'm not from Georgia is it? Ok...FINE! Thanks to Jen for the link to the Taser Story in Lawrenceville, GA...possibly near Atlanta? In a little update to the story in the recent Taser death in Sacramento, they are still in the process of investigating the suspects death...great, how big of them. Let's hope the SCLC has a little bit a luck at least embarrassing the DA into acknowledging that they are fucking up royally by letting that cop go without even a slap on the wrist!
You know what else? Downey is still hot and cold about feeling good about working as a PD. Some days are better than others and I think she is just now beginning to accept the fact that it's not all roses all the time. That worry, that you might suffer (taking the work too personally and feeling responsible for where your client's have ended up) the same as my friend Downey is a completely natural feeling and concern. We all find our own ways of dealing with it. Mine is writing about injustices that happen to our clients (well...today was about a $1.00 prostate donation but I can't be ON all the time...damnit it people!).
Ok, forgive my usual inarticulate writings...I'm tired and I have to get up early for a hearing on a new case I was assigned. More later...
Monday, June 06, 2005
Here is small snippet from the story, which takes a little bit of work to read…only because you have to do a quick registration to read Bee stories. Just take a minute and do it…it’s worth it.:
A 33-year-old Sacramento man died late Saturday after a struggle with police officers on a downtown street, becoming the fourth area man within the last two years to die after being shot by a stun gun.
Officers shocked the man twice with a 50,000-volt Taser stun gun after he resisted two officers' attempt to detain him and then tried to run away, officials said.
I don’t know if I have an answer on how to stop these unnecessary deaths except to STOP USING TASER and STUN GUNS until we understand WHY some people are dying when it’s used on them!
Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I have to say that I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, I didn't even feel like posting anything until today. I’m not sure how to put it into words but I’ll try to be brief.
My good friend Downey, who I’ve written just a little bit about in the past, told me something last week that shocked and bummed me out.
She said that she wants to quit Criminal Defense.
Downey has been a CD attorney for about 8 years now and a good friend of mine for about 3 of those years. We got to know each other through work and we’ve spent many a long night talking about cases (our own and those belonging to others we know). I now know her family very well, and have even spent holidays with them! We’ve become extremely close friends and we have our careers to thank for it.
Now, her reasons for getting out of criminal work vary. She suffered a couple of recent losses in court, which I think she took too personally and she feels responsible for where her client’s have ended up.
She said she will always believe in this type of work (indigent defense) but she wants to be happy and this work isn’t doing it for her anymore. She seems lost and I want to help her…even though there is nothing I can really do or say and that would help and that’s what really bothers me. I’m not even sure if she wants to practice law anymore.
She's talked about getting out of criminal work in the past but it was usually when she was frustrated about some dumbass baby DA. I never thought that she was really considering it. She said she hasn't ruled out relocating to another part of the state or even out of state. I guess I'm wondering how our relationship is going to change. Is it selfish to think that?
She told me that she feels lost. I'm feeling kind of lost right about now too.