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Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
It was such a gorgeous and unseasonably warm day yesterday, I took Ebony for walkies when I got home. About halfway round, we came to an unusual sight: this gal, just standing in a driveway:

Eventually, we saw why: she had a gimpy leg.  She also looked rail-thin.  And as you can see from the Highly Professional Video Wot I Took, Ebony paid her no attention whatsoever (as opposed to pee on a tree, which she beelines for every time):

I filled the birdfeeder last night in hopes she'd hop her way over here. No sign of that by morning (although the birds and squirrels were quite pleased). We hope she's okay.


Also on the walk, Eleanor passed us as she was coming home from work.  She looked at me funny and said, "What the hell happened to your shirt?"

I hadn't noticed.  But clearly the answer was: Ebony happened to it. It was a workout shirt earned by doing a stupid number of workouts in a single week a few months ago, and while she didn't eat the HELL WEEK logo, she basically chewed off a good corner of the front collar below the right shoulder. (Not while I was wearing it, but still.)

This has been becoming more of a Thing for both of us.  I'm working longer hours- I figured out yesterday that I have fifteen active bankruptcy cases awaiting filing to various extents, plus plenty of work to do in at least a half dozen other already-filed ones- and we've been going out more to everything from movies to lectures to Eleanor's chanting activities.  So I think the grrl is just lonely.

I've done a decent job of keeping her out of the dirty laundry, but she's taken to devouring the not-quite-ready-to-wash items that get laid around on backs of furniture.  Twice in recent weeks, she's taken big chunks out of one corner panel of my bathrobe, and she's shown quite a fondness for belt-like things, including one recently retired one and a couple of heart monitor straps (fortunately not the one I use regularly).

So when I saw the latest damage, I decided enough was enough: it was time for an old piece of furniture to come out of the closet.

Years ago, we rearranged our bedroom furniture, with this office becoming my go-to spot for all of my clothes.  There's a three-drawer highboy-ish dresser that had been my father's (with a foldout desktop below the top drawer) that holds most of my foldable clothes; a matching lower one, which was Mom's, got moved to inside my closet, and held office supplies when I worked mostly from home, ancient electronics and wires and such, with one drawer for actual clothes.  All my back business records from this decade resided on top. Unfortunately, there wasn't room in either for all of my ever-accumulating t-shirt collection, culled from various races, concerts and other events.  I'd taken to just leaving them on top of pieces of furniture, which made them easy pickings for the dog.

No mas. I cleared a space in the bedroom where it used to be, removed all of the office supplies, hauled it back and filled the now-empty top drawer with all of Ebony's impromptu snacks.  Then I rescued an old bookcase which had been sitting empty in the cellar, and all the boxes of business records now reside in and on it.  I also cleaned a butt-ton of crap from around, behind and next to the dresser, and reorganized the small portion of it remaining on the floor next to the bookcase that's now in there.  The dog, of course, immediately marched in to check out the new hidey-hole, and was instantly evicted from it.

We don't clear out stuff nearly as often as we should- but when we do, it's a great feeling of satisfaction seeing the cleaned-up result.  As for Ebony's loneliness, we'll try to pay her more attention when we're home.  Or maybe we can adopt a wounded deer...
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When I stay with the kids, I get into the Rochester office at a typically early hour. Yesterday was no exception: I was up and running at my desk well before 8 a.m. My only early company was this guy, outside my window:

Not to be outdone, Eleanor sent me a picture from back home of her wildlife encounter:

Fine. He was on sale at Wegmans. Still pretty impressive.


Yesterday was mostly waiting for a document to show up, which finally did around noon. Once the client signed it, I was able to get home- to discover that the dog had chewed a significant panel out of my bathrobe. Awww, she misses Daddy.

Today, then, was reserved for delivering that original in exchange for obtaining the settlement payment connected with the document that showed up yesterday. Over an hour after its expected arrival in downtown Buffalo, we finally learned that it had been misdirected to an office back near Rochester- so off I went, again, to pick it up, obtain the client's signature on it (the other side having required that despite an agreement to the contrary) and get it deposited so I can remit to the client either tomorrow or Monday.

I knew there was an upcoming wedding involving one of the client's kids. I'd met the bride-to-be once or twice on business, and she seemed like a kind and decent soul. So when I got blowback about not releasing the settlement check before it cleared, I asked if it would be weird or creepy if I got the happy couple a wedding gift off their registry.

No, it's okay.  As evidenced by the tears from the client, who's a pain in the ass but deep down is also a kind and decent soul.


The rest of the afternoon was waiting for other clients to get me paperwork for various filings, and making sure that other clients hadn't caused unnecessary trouble in various ways.  I headed home a bit before 4, finishing the podcast of the story of a Rochester attorney and state assemblyman who embezzled at least a million dollars from clients before taking his own life the day before he was scheduled to turn himself in on federal fraud charges.  A week after his death, he won the Republican primary for re-election to his Assembly seat.  One of the cases involved in his mystery and intrigue was one I almost got involved in, four or five years ago; the attorney who tried involving me in it wound up handling it himself, getting a substantial payment for his client, but is now facing new claims that might require the return of the money that was collected.

So when my client today asked for a one-day advance on uncleared funds out of my escrow account, I used the Dead Guy as the cautionary tale for why I couldn't and wouldn't do it.


Tomorrow I was supposed to go out of town but won't; hopefully no emergencies will come up to keep me away from work and an early return home.
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I wound up working about half of the Not This President's Day holiday yesterday- the second and fourth quarters, essentially.  After everything we did Sunday, neither of us had to be in early, and I got in around 11, working for a couple of hours, going home for lunch and returning after everyone had left for a final hour or so.  It was blessedly quiet and relatively productive, but I'd made a 4 p.m. appointment that kept me close to 5.

Today, likewise. I was up and out relatively early, but that was for a workout, and I got into my office in Buffalo only briefly after working from home for the rest of the morning.  A neighbor behind us is having his roof replaced, which in turn is making the Idiot's dog crazy, so I finally bailed and finished the stuff I needed to do from my desk.  Then it was off to Rochester for an appointment and a filing before getting into that office pretty much after everybody left.

I'm now at the kids'- where they're having carpet installed in the apartment hallways and, thus, more bangbang noise, but no crazy dog. Emily and I tried the first episode of The OA, which was pitched as "better than Stranger Things" but really isn't. It's stranger, I'd say, but it lacks the sweetness brought by ST's younger cast and the pop culture homages that kept it from getting too serious.  I may try some more- at least finishing the pilot where it left off- but it's not one for binge-watching.  Then we finished with a Brooklyn Nine Nine, a show Emily's been trying to get me into.  It's okay, but I was spoiled by the likes of Barney Miller which did the cophouse schtick with less mugging for the camera.

Their semi-feral male cat has been coming out to check me out the past few times I've been here. It's weird seeing this black shadow just rub up against the edge of where you're sleeping.  Maybe he'll even let me pet him someday.

I'm here tomorrow mainly to get one piece of paper signed which I've yet to be furnished, then back to Buffalo to deliver it and get some other questions answered.  It's been abnormally warm since the weekend, which makes the driving and shlepping much more tolerable.  After I get home, Eleanor will be taking delivery on her first new computer in three years, so there will be much rejoicing. Also, setting up and transferring and learning Windows 10. But yeah, rejoicing.
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Okay, we never made it to the final stop on our itinerary. But we could have.

Before I get to what-all we did do today, a bizarre coincidental moment from the previous day's social media-tion.

The liturgy of Eleanor's Buddhist group, known as the Gongyo, consists of two parts: a chanting, at beginning and end and part of middle, of the practice's six-syllable mantra; and what are, essentially, two Readings of the Epistles, if you will, of excerpts from the Lotus Sutra writings.  They are chanted in Japanese and run about ten minutes unless you're speeding through them, as I've heard adherents do.

I respect them. I occasionally join in them. But I have my own influences, and, unfortunately, earworms, and when Eleanor starts on the Lotus Sutra portions of the liturgy, their speed and linguistic variation bring, unfortunately, one thing to mind.

Remember "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel?  It's at that kind of tempo, and has about that range of pitch in it. But it's what is generically known as a "patter song." Perhaps the most famous of those is Gilbert and Sullivan's "I am the very model of a modern Major-General" (and any number of parodies of it I've either heard or, yes, written over the years), but there's a worse one.

Much worse.

It's from the early 1970s, when my musical taste had been broken by the breakup of the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel and had yet to discover anything good to replace them.  When I listened religiously to top-40 radio and could recite lyrics to songs I would be embarrassed to admit even having heard. Still can, many of them. One of the worst of them was a patter song which just rattled off the names of artists, singles and other pop culture references. It was called "Life is a Rock" by an apparently nonexistent one-hit-wonder band named Reunion. Would you like to hear it?

Really?!?Collapse )

So this thing gets back into my frontal lobe at least twice a week when I hear my beloved chanting. To distract from that, I had to come up with a therapeutic filk of it. I haven't managed the full patter song yet, but I did manage to write a chorus to remind me of the good old, bad old days when the worst thing the Republicans did was old-fashioned war-profiteering:

♫Life is Iraq, but the WMDs fooled me,
Gotta turn up those profits, Haliburton told me
::whoa whoa whoa-whhoaaa::
Life is Iraq but the WMDs fooled me,
At the end of the rainbow
There's Rumsfeld and Cheney!♫

I duly posted that on the Face Thing, and it got a few positive comments- and an absolute knockout of a surprise.

I've mentioned here my one remaining connection to my high school's faculty.  He was an inspiration to me while in those grades, for both teaching physics and advising our science magazine, and I later found how much he'd inspired other classmates of mine even more.

He saw my post.  He liked it. And he also told me something I still have trouble believing: his wife's brother is the guy who recorded the original version of the song.

Somewhere over the years, I'd heard of him. That his name is Joey Levine, and that he was one of the dozens of unheralded session musicians in the LA of the 60s and 70s who lent their voices and instruments, usually anonymously, to so many of the hits we remember from then and still know today. Others have gotten their fame in hindsight- in documentaries like The Wrecking Crew! and Twenty Feet from Stardom. I knew Joey Levine had made such contributions to 60s bubblegum bands (with song titles so infectious that the CDC bars me from even naming them) and, yes, that he was the vocalist on "Life Is a Rock."

I just had no clue that he was Pistol Pete's brother-in-law.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with this information. Maybe book a concert for him. I'm getting good at that, as you know.


Anyway, that was the news I awoke to. Perhaps because it was so strange, I made all my tight connections of a full, rich Sunday.

The dog park was much warmer and busy than last week's freezing rain-o-rama.  We met some new furry friends and enjoyed the clearer views.  I then dropped Ebony at home (Eleanor had gone off to chant) and got to my 10 a.m. workout on time- only to find out they were running a little behind in the schedule and that I wouldn't be able to sneak out early.  Now and again, they schedule a "partner workout," where you're randomly assigned another class member to alternate between (usually) rowing and (usually) some other kind of exercise for a specified interval at the end of the hour.  So I sucked it up and got to My Old Church a good 15 minutes late....

but just in time to the point in the service when I could announce the interfaith prayer service that Eleanor's group was participating in this afternoon. It was great to see our old minister, hear a talented young violinist, and hold out a little hope for this bunch.

That got me home just long enough to slog down a lunch and drive Eleanor over to see Allegiance, the in-cinema broadcast of the George Takei-inspired musical about the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II.  It was awesome. The two timeliest musical numbers: "Gaman" (Japanese for Carry On), and, of course, "Resist."  Most musicals, by the time I finally see them, I know their soundtrack by heart already. This one, I didn't, and thus the goosebumps.

I kept an eye on my phone clock to be sure we'd have time to get to the prayer service, but Eleanor preferred to finish the performance, and after its intensity we needed to just get home and process. Which we have. Hopefully I inspired one or two others to be there.

Tonight will likely be an early evening, and we both work tomorrow, but neither especially early.  Maybe I'll hear about even stranger in-laws that you have before we go in.
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Not just in our nation's capital and from the tentacles emanating from it. The past two days have been blurs for me, and even this coming Sunday promises to be another one.

Yesterday, I was downtown all day speaking at a seminar. Good thing: I have already hit my continuing ed quota for 2016-17 with ten months left in the reporting period, and I've gotten/will get vouchers for two more free all-day seminars that I can use to get a head start on 2018-19.  Still, it's an exhausting experience; I appreciate far more how tiring Eleanor's workdays are, on her feet for most of 6-8 hours at a time; I was only speaking for three hours yesterday and my legs are hurting more than after any recent workout.

Last night, we had tickets to see Eric Holder, Obama's long-time attorney general, speaking at UB.  Eleanor had had an equally long/stressful day herself, so I went on my own, finding a taker for her ticket in the cheap seats and staying for most of it myself:

His speech, as such, was short compared to the Kelly astronauts and John Cleese who we'd seen earlier in the series, but he answered many questions from audience, pre-submissions and even texts. Mine wasn't read but was answered:

"Do you believe your successor has an ethical obligation to recuse himself from any decisions concerning the Russian interference with the 2016 election?"

Answer: hellz to the yeah.

His short speech consisted largely of this one quote: you likely know the first sentence, but the whole of it, from Thomas Paine in turbulent 1776 America, is especially timely:

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.


Then, even longer today.

We were both up stupid early, and I was on the road soon after 7 to be in Rochester for a 9 a.m. bankruptcy hearing. The examinee was not my client (although he was there, as one of the guy's creditors), and the trustee is a law school classmate of mine who I've gotten along well with for most of my days.  It was short but very early in the day, and we got out the needed information that was damaging to the bad guy but doesn't really help my guy all that much.

Then, down the street and up an elevator to the local office of largest law firm upstate, for a mediation. Soon after that client got there, the trustee from the 9:00 hearing, who works there, came back to his office. My client was practically drooling over him, Facebooking during breaks to see if he was married.  I threatened to pour all their little eight ounce Poland Spring water bottles into a pitcher and throw it on her to cool her down.  Ultimately, we settled (and that's all I can say about that), but there was one other weird aspect. We were put in the Thurston Howell III (not his real name) Room on the 20th floor of Your Bank Name Here Plaza.  Behind me, but facing my client the whole time, was a portrait of TH III  on the wall that was freaking her out:

She wondered who he was. I googled him. He died suddenly a  few years ago at the age of 66.  She also said she thought he looked like me: okayyy,  I think I even have that tie; not one like it, probably the exact one that he left in a thrift shop or something.  So yeah: my 57-law school classmate gives her the hots, but at the same age I remind her of a dead guy.  Thanks, Obama!


One final appointment followed that, and I made it home by 6, with an early collapse for both of us. I haven't been to a gym in three days, so I have an unusual Saturday class scheduled for tomorrow. But Sunday will be especially busy: Dog Park at 8, my usual Sunday workout at 10, my old church at 11 (mainly to publicize two things- Jen Chapin's concert in March and an interfaith prayer service that afternoon that Eleanor's Buddhist group is participating in), the live-to-cinema performance of Allegiance at 1, and then the aforementioned prayer service at 3.

Fortunately, Monday is a holiday for me. I'll still be going into the office, but there will be no alarm clock involved.
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I have a few stories from today which I've shared in my office and with Eleanor, but not here. Various reasons.

So I'll end the day with a literal moment from Monday. Just a literal stop along the way.  I had Bankruptcy Court at 10, and around 9:50 finished my run down the expressway into downtown and came to a red light on the first of the surface streets.

Next to me was a lawyer I recognized.  He might have been heading to the same place, or to his office, which I know to be a block or two further down the road from the court.  (The latter, it turned out.)  He was in his fast white sports car; I was in my pokey little Smart car.  He was clearly on his phone and talking agitatedly about something. I had music on (from the playlist and the time, my best guess was "Not The End of the World" by Chris Trapper, whose music for Great Big Sea I mentioned in a post that very night after hearing some of it earlier that evening).

Don't get me wrong; I don't posit this as Me Against Him or Us Against Them. I've known him for over 30 years, mostly from Bankruptcy Court. We're social media friends; we share a number of mutual friends, perhaps even more mutual interests and a very touching personal story about one of his kids who's about the same age as our kid.  But in that moment, I had to compare the cars, and the apparent ambiences.

That's the thing about things like Smart cars.  When it comes to things like happiness, often things are bigger than they look on the inside.

I hope he had a good day, despite the appearance of stress. I know I did.

And with that, good night:)
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I went with the usual Four Basic Valentines Groups on my way home: flowers (field mix, roses are a racket), chocolate, wine, and a cute card.  Five, if you count me bringing home Arrival from the Redbox.  So far, very intelligent and suspenseful.  It did occur to me that the sequel is already planned out: to be called Departure, the aliens land again, only this time the Cheeto sends Sean Spicer to talk to them and they immediately annihilate the planet after sucking up all the oil and boogieing the hell out.

Most of my day was in Rochester. It was supposed to have ended there in the late afternoon with court, but that got postponed. I had two other appointments scheduled ahead of it, a new client trying to schedule with me who I wound up missing, and a very satisfying lunch.... more satisfying, even, for the venue than for me.


I discovered a local specialty wing joint called Country Sweet soon after I first moved to Rochester, even before I met Eleanor.  They were on Monroe Avenue at the time. Their specialty is a breaded chicken wing in a sweet sauce. Eventually they expanded to three locations in the southeast, south and north sectors of the city, but two of them closed years ago and the one nearest the U of R is the one that carried on.  Eventually, they were sold to someone from Buffalo, who's made their wing sauce more of a regional product (available at your local Wegmans, who also occasionally put some not-quite-perfect knockoffs of the store's signature product on their Wing Bar.) A few times a year, I'd detour over there for my old-timey fix, but a few months ago, a fire in a Chinese restaurant several doors down took out the entire south end of their plaza, with them at the end and knocking them out of commission. The good news for them was that, being furthest from the fire, they suffered the least damage. I happened to hear on the radio that they'd just reopened, and since I was arriving there around 1 p.m., I thought, I should stop. They just reopened and could use the business.


The line was practically out the door.  The remodeling was modest, maybe adding a few extra seats but otherwise the same layout as ever, and despite a doubled counter staff and a LOT of people in the back, both the counter and the tip jar were full the whole time I waited.  Word of mouth and social media are good things.


The drive home was less satisfying. After filing some stuff downtown (no, state and county offices don't get Valentines Day off:P), I headed west for the eventual Wegmans stop that would provide the Five Things I Needed to Bring. At some point just before the 90, I put JARVIS into cruise mode, but he said, I'm Afraid I Can't Do That, Ray.  Repeatedly.  I just chilled, watched my speed manually, and once I left the Wegmans lot the control worked again- but I do worry that it might be an early sign of Smart Car Alzheimers.  Ever since I've had the car, the Bluetooth has lost its way at least once every couple of days, forcing me to tell the phone to "Forget Device" and then re-search for it.  He's due for his first service in a few weeks, and we will be inquiring into his neurology.  I just hope it doesn't have a hangover from listening to Sean Spicer news conferences, which would explain everything.
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Not the best day in the US of A. How many of them are, these days?

I got a decent amount of work done once back at the office, but that's partly because I couldn't get something filed in state court after a 10 a.m Bankruptcy Court appearance. Our state's court offices still shut down for Lincoln's Birthday- something the private sector and even the federal government folded into next Monday's "President's Day" observance.  One wonders how these stovepipe-hatted snowflakes spend their day off: Do the staties hold log-splitting contests? Re-enact the famed debates with the Cheeto arguing against Frederick Douglass? Or do they just dress up as Rex Hamilton and shoot back at John Wilkes Booth?

Oh well. I at least got a state court case filed electronically, because their computers don't get the day off- yet.  And even though work and the news from Murca weren't the best, there's always Canada nearby.


Eleanor asked for some Great Big Sea music tonight. It was a fitting choice, since our nearest neighbour's leader made his first state visit to the Orange House today.  Unlike several who went before, Justin wasn't fooled by the Cheeto's bully move:

Esteemed president Donald J. Trump met for the first time with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday. At the meeting, Trump, video shows, tried to pull his trademark unsettling handshake on Trudeau, but ultimately failed in the “endeavour.” Here’s hoping their negotiations go better.

Trump has deployed his strange handshake—which involves him yanking the other person’s arm and shaking it for a several beats longer than expected—in public meetings with Vice President Mike Pence, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and, most recently, on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Which is to say Trudeau was warned.

In video of their meeting, you can see Trump attempt the move on Trudeau and Trudeau resist the pull by pulling back until their handshake is stabilized.

Between pwning his host and the Not Impressed look on his face, the Internet did what it does on this:

    Canada really doesn't rock with Trump.
    — Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry)

It was, of course, just a candid moment before an enthusiastic handshake. But, people are seeing Trudeau’s momentarily unimpressed face as a metaphor for how the rest of the world is dealing with the presidency.

    How the rest of the world views Trump in one image.
    — Dan Speerin (@danspeerin)

Like, remember that time the literal president of the United States talked about grabbing pussy?

    Trump: C'mon, touch it. Trudeau: No. Trump: Why? Trudeau: I know where it's been, and I know it wasn't consentin… https://t.co/YJh7hjXSkl
    — Fiona Adorno (@FionaAdorno)

Or a certain unverified document?

    Justin Trudeau is looking at Trump's hand like he just read the Russian Dossier
    — Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry)

It’s also just ~teeming~ with hand-size joke possibilities.

    "As you can see they are NORMAL SIZED HANDS."
    — Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue)


    Trump: Look at the size of that. Just look! Trudeau: I'm seeing it. Trump: Are you seeing this? Trudeau: I am in fa… https://t.co/NHKJtZI24Y
    — Henry Tudor (@KngHnryVIII)

Truly, this photo is a blessing.

    *record scratch* *freeze frame* TRUDEAU: yup, that's me, you'e pro- TRUMP: personally I dont feel they're that s… https://t.co/gohlLROYeN
    — Andy Cole (@AndyCole84)

Thank you, Justin. We needed this.


We also needed Alan, Sean and Bob and the rest of the boys.

It's been a couple of years since the band turned XX and then called it quits.  They left an awesome catalog, and for me (and Emily and Cameron and quite a few of you) memories of the four times I got to see them here and in Rochester through four different tours.  Tonight we watched (I think for the first time) the DVD that accompanied their Courage Patience and Grit live album.  Split, as most of their shows were, between folk-Celtic songs and their harder rockers, I think my favorite is still the acoustic version of "Sea of No Cares," which I now know better from the side of its author, Boston-based Chris Trapper.  Alan explains that this is the way he first heard Chris sing the song to the band, and it's largely become the way I hear it in my head:

(Btw, Melissa- did you ever notice a family resemblance between you and Bob Hallett? Something about the hair and outfit maybe?)

Maybe Trudeau can invite the Cheeto and GBS to start building a wall on the northern border- and maybe, just like Charlie the Horse and the Mare of Tickle Cove Pond, he can trick him into falling through the ice.  With those hands, he'd never get out:)

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I think the Matrix is starting to fall apart.

Not surprising, given the strain it's been under the past three weeks.  So far, it's just little cracks in the reality.

We are both losing shit (as opposed to losing our shit, which we've come close to with all this horrible news- but not quite).  At least twice a week, I wake up with my mouth guard missing. Not just fell-out-next-to-the-pillow missing, but spat for distance like in a Jumping Frog of Calaveras County contest.  This morning, it finally showed up on the floor under about the exact center of the mattress.  That thing must've had some English on it to get that far once it fell out. 

Two mornings ago, I could not find my phone. I knew it was in the house before I left for work; I'd cued my radio station and was listening to it right before I got dressed.  Called it without success; looked in car and gym bag and briefcase.  Finally, though, the "right before I got dressed" thing registered:

At least two files went missing. One of them may never have even existed (it was a referral from a co-worker and it may be in her file for the guy or one of my other files for her); the other FINALLY turned up last night, stuck six inches back in the file drawer it was in, and should have been in, all along. 

I sailed out of Wegmans last night with one fewer grocery bags than I'd bought and paid for. Fortunately, it was waiting for me at the service desk this morning.

Nor am I alone in this. For weeks, I saw a nice new pad on the kitchen island table that had all of Eleanor's various passwords written down.  It's been missing for days.  There are only so many places it could hide, but it's not in any of them. Yet.

I'm not sure if we need Keanu Reeves or Keanu the cat to fix all this.


Bankruptcy's getting busy. I was up at 5 and out the door just after 6 for one hearing in Rochester yesterday, then got papers signed for my first Chapter 11 in years, and by the end of the day I'd picked up intake documents for three others I have to work on in the coming days. 

Then, last night, after Eleanor was reminded of it at work by its signature song "Walk Like a Man" playing at the store, we watched a pre-Marvel Robert Downey film Heart and Souls. In which he plays an uptight banker who works with companies in Bankruptcy Court.  Fortunately, there was plenty of better and more fun stuff in it to distract from that.


Also this coming week: court on Monday, Tuesday and Friday (two); and an all-day seminar I'm speaking at on Thursday. We also have tickets for Thursday night to see Eric Holder speak at UB. Remember back when attorneys general weren't unabashed racists named for Confederate war heroes?  Me too, vaguely.

Then, that Sunday afternoon we're seeing Allegiance in its in-cinema broadcast from Broadway- on the anniversary of the Japanese internment camp order.  At the rate we're going, it's going to win a Tony for "best horrific revival."

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It's been alternate days this week. Not "alternative"- that's for "facts."  But today and Monday, I got to accomplish a lot by staying at my (sublandord's) very lovely desk all damn day, leaving only when the work got done.

Yesterday,  not so much. I somehow wound up with my first Rochester appointment at 3:30, and was pretty exhausted by the time I got back from it close to 6:30, following the appointment and a grocery run and getting gas for JARVIS.

Today's work accomplishments were unremarkable, compared to the non-work one:  I essentially booked my first-ever Buffalo concert.

The "how" of this was pretty unremarkable. Over last summer, I'd reached out to Jen Chapin- daughter of Harry, who put on the first-ever concert I  saw in college- after tracking down the obituary-ish article I wrote 35 summers previous about her dad's sadly premature passing. A few weeks ago, I discovered that a local folk group was looking for someone to fill either the March or April opening on their schedule. The ad-hoc booker for such things was Ellen, a law school classmate of mine who I'd lost touch with until this January, when a mutual friend reconnected us through the local Bark Park.  A week or so ago, both Ellen and Jen contacted me to say they'd been in touch; and today, the Buffalo Friends of Folk Music made it official:

As Chris Carter used to say at the end of X-Files episodes: "I MADE THIS!"

I have competing fears: One, that the house won't be full enough to make it worth Jen's while; the other, that it will sell out so fast that we won't even get to see it ourselves.  The latter, I file under "good problem to have," and I suspect she'd hire Eleanor and me as roadies, considering.

I've also been asked to help promote, which I've done through channels that mostly point east and south of here.  Plus, you know, this post.  If your March 11th evening is free, it's a lovely venue and an even lovelier story.

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No, not THAT. Didn't give a soup about the Shitter Bowl.  Look- I wrote two baseball novels for NaNo, and neither ever saw the light of day because beta readers deemed their plots too improbable.  Last night's scripted ending, from what I can make of it, was far more improbable than anything I ever cooked up.  At least the damn season is over and pitchers and catchers report next week. Then we can get back to shortstops running for President and suspicious figures burning down Fenway Park.

Instead, we had company last night to join us in not watching the thing.  Our friend Ann was the guest of honor-

- but she brought the cutest plus-one you can imagine:

That's Ursula, one of Ebony's besties from Dog Church, making herself at home in the dining room after we ate. We had a few miscommunications- both two and four legged- but everything worked out in the end and even the cats seemed okay with the extra company.  I'm glad she came-with, because Ann sometimes needs to go out of town for running events and since we live so close by, we now know everybody will get along if she stays with us.

Yes kitties, more or less get along.


We tried to keep the political talk to a minimum, but no hour could go by without multiple references to Melissa McCarthy's perfect takedown of Sean "Baghdad Bob" Spicer on the previous night's SNL.  So far, the usual complainers haven't dared criticize it, and even Spicer himself has (yes, kitties) more or less admitted that it was a dead-on portrayal.

Kate remains my favorite Ghost-Buster, but Melissa's definitely added some runner-up cred.


Got a lot done at work today, with no commitments away from the office all day. Tomorrow may wind up the same, or I may have to spend the whole morning organizing a massive pile of crap to deliver to Rochester before taking in a new massive pile of Not Crap to take its place.  Either way, Ursula's welcome to join me:)

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Our friend Ann said that to me in some coffee-deprived context at the Dog Park this morning.  By this afternoon, though, the dumbness had come home to roost.

Early in the afternoon, Eleanor got a text from our cell provider, warning that she'd used 90 percent of her data for the billing month- the month that only began a week ago.  This came as quite the shock, since almost all of her phone usage is here at home and at the store, and both have always-connected wifi.  About the only time she would connect to the cellular network for anything other than unlimited texts and effectively unlimited phone calls? Using Siri in her car for directions, as she did yesterday (but which at most accounted for about 10 of the 300 MBs); and, we just learned from the kid, when she'd attach photos to text messages. (The texts are unlimited; the associated pictures, though, are not and count against your data limit.) But no one of those would have blown a month's worth of data.

So we put on our deerstalker hats and solved the mystery- through printing out the usage report from their website and checking the settings on the phone. The report tells you when and how much the cell data was used, but not which app or function accessed it when. The phone, in turn, keeps limited records of how much cell data has been used by different functions, but not when they accessed it. (There are apps for that. We will be finding one.)

Eleanor only got a smartphone just over five months ago.  She's not as much of a user as I am for work, for connecting via Bluetooth to her car, or, yes, for farting around on Facebook; but she's picked up several apps for things she used to watch or use on her (rapidly deteriorating) laptop. These include Cheezburger, coupon sites, and, perhaps to the point of the message this morning, the SNL app.  Many of these, when installed, came with a default setting of "use cellular data." That might explain why many of the larger data drops (750K here, a meg and a half there) were showing up  Also, we found, the App Store had used a large portion of the cell data, probably happily updating away in the middle of the night because it preferred it to the wifi.

Turns out, all these settings are reversible- and they now have been.  Only the bare essentials have been set to "cell data," and she now knows to check any new app that she installs to make sure it doesn't do that. Just to be sure, I headed over to the AT&T joint, showed the manager the report and the phone, and he confirmed that I'd done it right. (I also wrote down his name and job title on the report I printed, to save until the next bill comes out.) He also showed me a Stupid Phone Trick on how to call a star number from her phone and immediately get a text back with how much data you've used; it's *DATA# if you're keeping score at home. 

I also picked up more wine for dinner (we're having Ann over tonight for a Not Watching The Super Bowl event), and restocked my dress and gym socks with a Kohl's coupon from today. The problem with buying socks in packs of 4-6 at a time is they all wear out at the same time (well, except the ones the dog eats sooner). She of course has a different way of telling us when her dirty-clothing quota is all used up; it either comes out one end, or it comes out the other.
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Still not The Political Post- but with political overtones.

The theme, rather, is selflessness.  Not looking out for Number One (formerly Numero Uno, before we started planning the Wall).  Seeing fellow human beings as human beings rather than as stereotypes.

When you ban the entry of every immigrant from seven countries, while hundreds if not thousands of them are in transit or have valid visas or green cards to enter, you are viewing them as Achmed The Dead Terrorist and not as Muhammad, and Alia, and the actual names of the actual people who you are discriminating against. A few years ago, I worked with a seminary student who is now an ordained United Methodist pastor; she spent part of her time here working with Muhammads and Alias and others who are real people. Here is what she recently said about them:

In the 2 years I worked with and served refugees in Buffalo, I learned a refugee's greatest desire is to live peacefully in their home country. Because that's not possible their second wish is to heal from the atrocities they've lived through and peacefully start new lives in a safe place.

Many, if not most, of those refugees came to Buffalo from Somalia, one of the seven on the Cheeto's ban list.  Those refugees have done more to revitalize a long-dead section of Buffalo than any federal, state or city grant program ever did.  They are real. They are scared. They are not here to blow us up.  You are shooting at a flea with an elephant gun.

This principle was upheld by a federal judge- appointed by George W. Bush with the support of all but one of the Republican senator at the time- who is now being threatened with Chweetos from the President* and possibly worse.

They are strangers in a strange land. Jesus said we should welcome them.  That, apparently, has been lost in the translation of the Fundie Bible.


The message resonated with me at the end of my one day (and not a good day at that) in Rochester earlier this week.

Mike Dellaria is a Rochester artist who creates thought-provoking images on local highways (in dissolvable paint). A few months ago, he put one on 490 of Mr. Rogers holding a "love your neighbor" sign. Well, it's back this week- and likely to attract gun-toting Trumpernutters now:


I tried today putting my money where my blog is on such sentiment.

Eleanor asked if I would join her for chanting tonight for a Japanese-born member of her Buddhist group; she's in final stages of cancer and is leaving early tomorrow to return home, probably for the last time.  The timing of the session gave me a few hours to "work" before we left, and I spent most of them getting Emily and Cameron their tax refunds.  It was tricky: security concerns now require you to input each taxpayer's drivers license information, and not just the "license number" and expiration date but a "document number" which is allegedly printed in the lower right corner of post-2014 NYDMV licenses.

Except it wasn't. On either of theirs. Neither return would transmit until we factory sealed them for their protection. Fortunately, we have a smart kid; she figured out that there was a code with the correct number of alphanumeric characters, on each of their license reverses, which weren't in the place the DMV said they were but seemed to be what the IRS wanted. I sent them off, and they were accepted.  Benefit to me: zero. Benefit to them: awesome.

We then headed downtown for the chanting for Keiko.  It was at a member's home, short on seating, that required me to sit Indian-style for most of the hour-long chant when my hamstrings were still protesting a workout from the day before. Numerous members offered me mini-benches; I turned them down, knowing the angle of hamstringery required by such "support" that would REALLY kill me. I got through it, and once we got home, we finished our evening with homemade pizzas and the third One Day at a Time remake episode- at least the third before they become subject to a renewed Cuban ban.

Other than recording my time for the last half of the past week, I did very little for me today. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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On the day after the debut of NBC's new (un)reality show "The Associate Justice"- where a young, idealistically questionable but undeniably brilliant jurist nominated by the Cheeto stands in place of an older, less idealistically questionable but undeniably brilliant jurist nominated by the black guy- I got tastes of just how important these decisions are.  Most of the judges I encounter are elected, but generally either through back-room deals "cross-endorsing" slates representing both major parties, or through "contested" elections that are either shoo-ins for the Democrats (in cities) or the Republicans (in upstate judicial districts).  There's a fair amount of "pay to play" that goes into who gets nominated, and some shenanigans with gubernatorial appointments of judges to courts of limited jurisdiction who- boom!- get assigned as "acting" judges in the general parts of the civil courts.

As I think I mentioned recently, I had two hearings scheduled this week, where my opponents had been sent my papers literally more than three months before.  (The minimum  time you have to give your opponent by law, depending on how you serve and whether you demand answering papers a week ahead, is between eight and twenty-one days).  Both chose to drop their answering papers on me on either the last hour of the last day or the first hour of the following day.  That resulted in me losing much sleep over this weekend as I cogitated on the respective replies; one got finalized and sent out yesterday, the other, today. Since "reply" papers by law must be served a mere one day ahead of the hearing date, in both cases my responses were legally on time.

Or not.

The first of the two hearings, both in Rochester, was today at 2.  I left for it around 1:30 from our office there, after the Post Office finally delivered the original of tomorrow's papers from the NYC-based client.  Literally within minutes after getting on the road, I got this message concerning the second of the two:


Given the tardiness of the papers received during the last week in this matter and the Court’s need to review the materials submitted just today, it has unfortunately become necessary to adjourn this matter from tomorrow’s special term to March 16, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.

So, yeah. Because my opponent waited three months to serve HIS papers at the last minute, and I took four days to respond in kind, we're off for another month and a half.  I emailed an objection; it was overruled.

Needless to say, I was grumpy by the time I got to the hearing on the first case. And there, too, the grumpiness increased, because the judge (one of those gubernatorial appointments of judges to courts of limited jurisdiction who- boom!- got assigned as an "acting" judge in the general parts of the civil courts) couldn't do simple math calculations from my opponent's own papers which confirmed that they did not pay what they needed to pay when they needed to pay it.  So we're off to a touchy-feely mediation hearing, and the client is risking exposure not only to my fees but my opponent's because the judge raised a bunch of issues not in either of our sets of papers.

So, other than that, Mrs. Gorsuch, how was your day after your kid got nominated?

Not all that bad, actually. On my drive home and around town after getting home, I filled the early part of my day tomorrow with two new appointments- one from the referral source I mentioned yesterday, the other a longlost client from months ago.  I also have plenty of catch-up work to fill the rest of the day with. And before getting That Call and going to That Hearing this morning, my day began quite nicely with file research north of here for a new client- one who I picked up simply because his previous attorney (a guy I know, like and respect) won't return his phone calls.

At least I do that- or will. Tomorrow.

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Oh, believe me, I've got one.  It's been festering like a gangrenous wound for days now.  But let's stick to the rest of life for right now.

I picked up a referral-source client in July of last year.  The first six months of it were slow but steady: a few wills, a couple of bankruptcies, the occasional traffic ticket, and two real estate transactions that ate my brain. (Both of those, blessedly, finally got closed out in the past couple of weeks.) Then, right around the start of the year, it blew up.  Since the last week of 2016, when people started finding out that they had this benefit with their jobs for the coming year, I've been called by at least a dozen potential new clients, almost all of them needing fairly straightforward stuff that I can do. And no real estate among it:)

Court also has come back with a vengeance.  After the holiday shutdown that then kept things quiet through the week of the 3rd, I had four scheduled court appearances each of the next two weeks. Last week there were only two, but lots of client appointments and, finally, the last of the evil real estate closings. Last week also brought responding papers on hearings scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday, for which my opponents each waited until the last minute to respond to papers I sent them in October. I had to spend much of the past two days doing replies to their papers- plus getting another case settled that would otherwise have eaten my day yesterday, plus other appointments each day, and more on the way.

So, yeah. Not a lot of time to post here.

I'm caught up on Sense8, mostly finished the Hamilton bio, and Eleanor and I have started the reboot of One Day at a Time, which is rather sweetly done so far.  DEATH has taken a few unfortunate swings in the dying days of January, including Mary Tyler Moore and John Hurt. And speaking of Doctors, I awoke this morning to the news that Peter Capaldi will be calling it quits after this series, becoming the latest in the franchise to make it through three years.

Hmmmm.... maybe by the time this year of craziness is up, we can find him something else to do for the next three:

I know, Scottish, but....a psychic-paper long-form birth certificate can fix that;)
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Haven't posted in a few days.

They've been busy. They've been depressing.

I count us as fortunate that I've only lived in a totalitarian regime for one week of my life. We have friends who have endured much longer and lived to tell the tale.

Good will always prevail.  We must not forget that.

Back to a more sentient posting schedule soon.
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We finally got to the film Sunday afternoon. Hidden Figures tells a story, much needed at this very moment, of how oppressed people can overcome if they believe in their cause and put in the brainpower and work to accomplish their goals.  It was sobering and saddening to see elements of this tale- set almost entirely in 1961, as in within my lifetime- which demeaned these brilliant women on account of their gender and, even more, on account of their race.  Fortunately, they worked at a secure government facility where the efforts to empower them didn't raise eyebrows or draw parades of armed men in white hoods.

Toward the end of the film, which focuses on the efforts to get John Glenn as the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, his character becomes much more involved with, and supportive of, the efforts of the female lead character to calculate his way there and back.  I wondered if the real John Glenn had gotten a chance to see the film before his passing late last year, and sadly, the director tried but couldn't arrange it.

Also makes you wonder how that man never got elected President. The only orange thing about him was his space suit:


Monday brought back-to-work and mostly frustration. Everything I did seemed to take three tries to get the right people to process the right stuff (see what I did there?;), and the phone was a day full of tag and missed connections.  I needed a diversion at the end of the day and got one. 

Tyler Westcott is a local folk music performer who we met last year opening for Antje Duvekot in Williamsville. He announced his first CD late last year, and I'd been hoping to grab a copy. He's touring from here to Syracuse and mostly back this week with some performer friends of his, and first stop was last night at Sportsmens- a quiet, friendly watering hole with walls of album covers and head shots of the famous performers who came before, an EVERYBODY ZYDECO sign behind the bar, and plenty of good craft beers available on it.

I was Tyler's only social media "event" friend to respond, and when I got there, the three performers and bartenders about outnumbered the rest of the crowd.  He saw my check-in and appreciated the attendance, and I worried a little if this would wind up being a washout.  Nah- by the time I headed out due to a Stupid Early Tuesday, the crowd had swollen quite a bit, and by the evening's end, he'd sold out of the CDs he brought with him:)

Of course I got one- along with the tour's signature shirt-

- and here are the Men at Work, Tyler backing on the banjo on this particular set-


Stupid Early Tuesday is now winding down- mainly because an afternoon Rochester appointment, set in anticipation of Stupid Never Closing, got postponed. Said SNC, finally restored to good standing with FHA yesterday, has STILL not been scheduled. I've now got at least three other appointments tomorrow I need to sandwich it in between, if it even gets cleared to close at all by then.

Oh well. Tyler's in Rochester Thursday night if I want to see the rest of the set.
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I am honored to know close to a dozen women who traveled to DC from near and not-so-near yesterday to be a part of the Women's March.  I know dozens more who participated in their own cities.  Their stories have been told, and will continue to be.

So I'm here to tell one from the perspective of a woman who was in my life about as long as any, who I lost but then regained touch with, only to have it taken away mere months later.

Janice's younger son Ethan posted about his experience at the Women's March in DC yesterday. I repeat it in its entirety:

Today I came to DC to participate in the Women's March on Washington. I was elated to be there, but I knew coming down there'd be some melancholy for me. One of the last major memories I have with my mother before she got sick at the end of 2009 was attending the inauguration of Barack Obama. We shared cookies with the people around us, we took selfies, and we shared in the hope of true democracy. I felt the hope of true democracy again today, and I think there's a very bright fire burning in the world that bodes well for 2017. Simply put though, I wish you were here. You deserved to be a part of that history. You still are, we were here 8 years ago and the spirit was much the same. In all the brave bold kind and loving women around me I saw a bit of you.

I miss you Mom, now maybe more than I ever have before. You too dad. You both deserved to be there.

We always want to find silver livings and put positive spins of affirmation on things, but sometimes it's proper just to feel and be with your mourning. That I'll do for myself. For everyone else though I'll say what anyone who knew them already knew: they were absolutely and vibrantly alive in all the people marching around the country today, they were there in all the friends and family, especially the students, who were told maybe for the first time that they were the future and would change the lives of everyone they met.

I just wish I could've had them walk by my side today--and for all the universal love joy and solidarity around today,for myself--I was heartbroken. Wish you were here.

She was, Ethan. You take her everywhere you go- as, to a much lesser extent, so do I.

It was later in that first year of Hope, brought  by Obama's first inauguration, that I reconnected with my literally oldest friend in the world. She, not quite a month older, brought to the same Sunday School nursery and she and I eventually becoming partners in Christian crime for the first 18 years of our lives.  Our paths diverged- she coming to Buffalo before me and leaving before I got there- but in 2009, through the miracles of social media, I got back in touch- and when she told me she was speaking at a conference at a SUNY campus an hour south of here, we had our chance: I met her at the Buffalo airport, drove her down the 90, and joined her for a drink and dinner and many memories of things we'd shared and missed since high school.

And just like that, she was gone.  February of 2010 brought the end to a short but incredibly painful fight against one of the meanest nastiest forms of cancer ever devised by our DNA.  I drove into the aftermath of a raging snowstorm (for once hitting Long Island rather than us) to be with our old friends and her family for the memorial service to her.  Many of us have kept in touch in small ways since, but Ethan's post from yesterday was the biggest and best tangible reminder of what Janice believed in and how important it is for it still to be believed.

Her email address had the word "empathy" in it. Every time I start an email to our daughter Emily, as soon as I type the second letter of her name, "empathyjanice" still comes up as an autosuggest. I am never going to remove it- or her from my consciousness, or from the person I am who I would not be if we had not been friends for so long.


One of our usual Bark Park congregants was absent this morning because he was at the March in DC yesterday. Another is recovering from surgery; a third had other plans for the day. So Ebony and I were largely on our own in a park that, fittingly, was quite in a fog on this morning of mixed emotions:

We never made it to Hidden Figures last night; Regal was kind about letting us switch out the ticket for this afternoon, even refunding the $2.50 difference between the night and matinee prices.  We're also starting to claim our entitlements to senior tickets, so take that, ya whippersnapers:P
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It was a rough day yesterday, as you can imagine.  In addition to the national-news shit which I tried to insulate myself from, I started my day getting cut off in traffic and then flipped off; missed an appointment with a guy by literally ten seconds and got to watch him leave; got partially locked out of the online timekeeping program I use for one office because a security prompt asked me for my name and I put in "Raymond" instead of "Ray," thereby disabling every authorized "Ray" program access; after speaking with a co-worker about the dangers of making any mistakes at all in her client trust account, immediately found (and fortunately corrected) at least three small errors in my own; and had to end my day at Petsomething on the way home because Zoey is picking at a wound above her tuchus and she needs a Cone of Shame. She's so pleased:

Fortunately, there is a liquor store on the way to the pet shop.

At least I didn't have to go to Olean yesterday as I was scheduled to.  Here's the first business you come to after the 400 Expressway turns into Back Road 16, this taken less than two weeks before the election:

That theme continues pretty much the whole way down there. They must have been firing semiautomatics into the air in celebration yesterday.  Me, I got me a photoshop and a paper, and I made me my own little sign:

It's a blatant ripoff from a full line of redneck "FUBO" merch that popped up in 2009. They never publicly admitted what it stood for, so when I'm asked, I'm going to say I'm merely showing the new guy the same respect as his predecessor got.


In comparison to the crickets and C-list performers that heralded the incoming Commandant yesterday, streets of and leading to DC, and all around even the world today, are packing with (mostly) women in (many) pink-knitted "pussy hats" to remind our leaders who, exactly, they should be leading.  I hope it goes well, and peacefully, but I'm a bit troubled by the general inability of progressives to cope with having power on the rare occasions they are able to obtain it.

Just look what Congress bent over and farted out for Drumpf in the past two weeks before he even put his hand on the book. If Democrats in 2009 had stood together, with their then filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a commanding lead in the House, and passed stimulus and carbon tax and public-option health care like these guys are ramming shit through, there'd be much more of a legacy to pass on. But no- "blue dogs" held out for compromises and pet projects and little happened as it was intended to in the first even two years.

Same thing happened in New York a year later. Democrats finally took over the State Senate- and members of the new majority quickly made it their first order of business to enrich themselves with power and titles and pots of money to pass out.  Within weeks, Republicans had aligned with a small sliver of them to hand the gavel back to the GOP, where it has never left.

Even this march has been the subject of the usual complaints and oversensitivities. Originally to be called the "Million Women March," that offended a group of African-American women who'd done one by that name 20 years ago. So they changed it to the "Women's March on Washington," which was instantly derided as being a cultural appropriation of the MLK original from the 60s.  So the womensmarchonwashington dot com website turns out to be a litany about how the white women took over the show.  It's Judean Peoples Front versus Peoples Front of Judea claptrap- and while they're all fighting among themselves, the bad guys (who did all THEIR fighting months ago and got over it) are taking over, taking charge and taking us to the cleaners.

I know- Dennis would say I have no business telling the collective how to govern themselves.  I will watch some, work some, and later today we're going to go see Hidden Figures- a story of women who got shit done under even more adverse circumstances than we've now got.

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The past two days of work have been utterly unproductive.  Before 10:30 yesterday morning, I managed to:

- get caught in a rainstorm between parking the car and getting into court, realizing only then that I'd left my umbrella in the other car we gave to Emily;

- get strip-searched going into court, realizing only at the security checkpoint that I'd left my attorney ID back in the car we didn't give to the kid;

- almost get stuck in an elevator on the way to the 8th and eventually 9th floors of the Ugly City Court Building downtown here.

The hearings in both of those courts did not produce stuckiness, but didn't produce much of anything productive, either.  Fortunately, I managed to get some stuff done in the afternoon, among them finally confirming a Closing From Hell in Rochester for 11 this morning.

Yeah, well.

Closings are now governed by TRID- which is either the current government guideline for real estate matters or a really bad joke about sugary cereals.  The guideline is intended to give buyer/borrowers useful information about their closings in order to make informed decisions about the products and prices- so of course they typically result in delays preventing such people from knowing the costs until days, if not hours, before their closings.

So it was today.  Clients FINALLY got cleared to close last week, and we confirmed today as the day then, and 11 a.m. as the time yesterday. But no TRID- or any other form of confirmation of their figures.  Eventually, the closing got pushed back to 3:00 this afternoon, which was fine if it happened, but still, no figures.  I finally left Buffalo to leave enough time to meet the clients and review the mythical documents before 3. Literally as I was pulling off the 90 onto the interstate into Rachacha, the call came: today's 3 p.m. was canceled. The email confirming it said why:

One of the last steps to clearing an FHA file for  closing is to log on to the FHA connection and clear the appraisal for closing in the FHA system as well.  When she logged on the FHA connection she found the FHA case number is expired and needs to be reinstated.  She did request FHA reinstate the case number and was told by FHA this could take up to 72 hours.  It may be back sooner but we just have no guarantee when it will be completed..The minute they get it back they will be clearing the loan to close and close as soon as possible depending on your schedules.

Well, whoopie shit for that.  I'd driven, by then, close to 50 one-way miles for no ultimate purpose and I still don't know when it will happen.  Fortunately, I was able to meet with a different client, quite unexpectedly, on the other end of the journey which could make the drive worthwhile.  But still- what a mess.


At least I was headed home, rather than in a closing room, late this afternoon.  We were both home each of the past two nights, which is nice- I finished season one of Sense8 and began the Netflix documentary about the history of the Eagles. If my days are going to be difficult, I prefer to Take It Easy in my evenings;)
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