“Then you have given up hope?”
“Hope of what, Sir?” she asked mildly.
Simon felt foolish, as if he had committed a breach of etiquette. “Well–hope of being set free.”
“Now why would they want to do that, Sir?” she said. “A murderess is not an everyday thing. As for my hopes, I save that for smaller matters. I live in hopes of having a better breakfast tomorrow morning than I had today.” She smiled a little. “They said at the time that they were making an example of me. That’s why it was the death sentence, and then the life sentence.”
But what does an example do, afterwards? thought Simon. Her story is over. The main story, that is; the thing that defined her. How is she supposed to fill the rest of the time?
–Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
It’s beyond the point, but I like to picture the main character as Gina Torres, though she’s a white Irish lady. It’s ok.
I have a little news so I will make a little post. ETA: Whoops, I am incapable of being terse.
THING THE FIRST: I have been a victim of FRAUD, FRAUD I TELLS YOU. I knew it was coming, due to my predilection to shop on dodgy sites at 2 a.m. and buy things like Drain Snake What Someone Has Glued Google Eye Onto (J/K, I always use the most trustworthy sites ever and this is not an ADMISSION OF ANYTHING, Giant Corporate Bank). I was looking over my account and there it was…Two pay-as-you-go phones, Match.com recurring monthly debit and then a cancellation (did you know that OKStraightPeople is $36 a month!!!???), and a pizza place in California.
It did not really bother me too much, since these things are so impersonal. I called, cancelled the card, etc. It did make me think of an old friend of mine who had her bank card number lifted right as she was traveling in to the U.S. and then went bonkers about how evil Americans crimed her, when it turned out that all the fraud was frauded in her own country. I still laugh when I think of that–not at the misfortune of being robbed, but how certain situations can bring out our deep and not-so-secret prejudices.
THING THE SECOND: I don’t know if this deserves its own Legal Beat update, but this is just to say that star of stolidness and screeds, Seattle Federline, is being VERY amusing as of late. Seriously. As you may recall a guardian at litem was appointed (by court order) to our case in December in the event that we did not just immediately settle.
We mediated in late January or early February and I don’t think I wrote about it because man was it a big bag of suck. That was when I was kind of running out of gas and jollytimes and working at shitty contract and this was just one more thing on the shit pile. It was shuttle mediation, where you sit in one room and the other party sits in the other room, at his insistence, which is unfortunate because I really wanted a chance to wear my new snake wig out somewheres.
The mediator was all Hard Bargain Harriet and I think she was trying basic bitch mind tricks or something, because I had canceled mediation the previous summer and I quote myself here (you’re welcome future biographer*):
For my mediation appointment with SeaFed we were required by the mediator to submit a statement saying why we wanted to mediate. I’m grateful to her for this since it clarified everything for me like bang. I would not allow myself to reply “I don’t want to mediate” so I made myself put “to appear cooperative,” which is a pretty shitty reason to do anything you’ll spend a lot of money on and get nothing out of (forced parenting class during my divorce comes to mind as well). He replied, well past the courtesy deadline the mediator asked for, naturally: “My purpose in mediating is to nullify the temporary living arrangement we’ve been adhering to and return to the original parenting plan.”
Well, that tore it. What a colossal waste of time this expensive discussion would be. I was also lulzing at the fact that when SeaFed is put into some kind of grown-up communication situation, he never uses one word when three officious ones would do, much like I imagine a twelfth-grade honors English essay reads. With a great sense of relief, I cancelled the appointment, saying that I didn’t think it was the right venue in which to make a change like this…because…it’s NOT.
COUGH anyway once I got in front of her she said, “I thought YOU were the difficult one since you canceled mediation. I never would have advised a client to say that they merely wanted to ‘appear cooperative.” Okay, a. not my most brilliant move ever and b. way to play hardball, lady. I am shaking in my negged boots over here. She also told me that I didn’t have a snowball’s chance of getting what I wanted, in spite of the fact that what I wanted was what we’ve been doing, because she has Seen Things in Many a Courtroom.
This struck a false note with me, and I was done. We drew up something tentative, which SeaFed refused to sign, having been wanged by signing the Memorandum of Understanding in mediation in 2007. I took this as a clue that he was not buying her bullpucky either. I could not ask him, of course, since he was elsewhere. As I was leaving she said, “The next time we meet we push forward. We are not changing anything written down on this paper.”
“Mmmhmmm,” I replied, which is SJ for “I am done with you but have learned not to command people to fuck off and die willy-nilly.”
So nothing happened, and nothing happened, and we did not discuss mediation, and then in May(?) SeaFed sent a proposed parenting plan that looked very like the weirdy stuff from mediation. I made notes on it to the point where it became a different plan and sent it to my lawyer, asking her advice. Recently we had to furnish a witness list to court and get the ball rolling on the guardian ad litem and that is where SeaFed has decided to throw the brakes on. The GAL intake form was 107 questions (and there was a bonus “short” form about a quarter of that size). The retainer is $1450. I can’t imagine this had anything to do with the series of panicked emails he sent after the GAL contacted him recently. I reminded him we were on deadlines and that mediation had failed, due to the fact that we didn’t agree on anything and did not have a signed parenting plan.
“Mediation was successful!” he declared to me, the GAL, and my lawyer via email. “Expressions of complete and total surprise!” he narded on. I was ready to have my first appointment with the GAL and she called an canceled on me morning of. “Mr. SeaFed seems surprised and confused by all of this, so I will wait to hear back from him again…I know this is a court order but we should wait a bit if we can save you both some money.”
“Okay,” I said.
Later SeaFed sent out an email politely declining the GAL’s services. I had the exquisite joy of watching my exhusband politely decline a court order. Schadenlulz turned to schadenweeing my pants. I emailed my lawyer: “Can he politely decline a court order?” Her: “Um, no.”
I think the time is finally right to send on my proposed parenting plan–it’s ready now.
THING THE THIRD: Did you know that Modern Clue (aka Cluedo) has taken away the honoraries of the guests? I was thinking about how the men always had Professor or Colonel, but the ladies were all Miss or Mrs. This is very freeing, actually, since I remember the old names, but now Mrs. White is Dr. White when we play. Take that, patriarchy. And now Miss Scarlet is bringing Fierce Drag Queen realness.
I am almost always Colonel Mustard, since I have always identified with and admired pompous asses. His flavor text is still pompous: “Did I ever tell you about my glorious football years?” I approve. When I was a kid and I would stare at all the pieces in the Clue board that my mother and her siblings abandoned along with the rest of her childhood at my grandmother’s trailer, I liked to imagine the Colonel had elephant-foot umbrella stands and oryx heads on his walls.
Strudel cheats. “No, I have never seen a Mrs. Peacock card in my hand in my life.” Later: “Whoops!” You know if she is marking clues down mid-game and it is not her turn, then good fucking luck at the pool house. Usually everyone dies. I declare it Cluethulu.
* Working title: Cuntligula and the Art of Mastodon Maintenance