She wants to share the toy with May, but I guess she just lacks the muscle memory to let go of it once she’s got it.
Hypothetical LEGO structures are much more fun for me now, as a grownup, than actual LEGOs. I learned this at LEGOLAND in San Diego a few years ago, as I stood impassively, or at least unimaginatively, in front of a quantity of LEGOs that, had I been 8-9 years old, might have inspired the early onset of puberty. (Don’t get me wrong: LEGOLAND was all kinds of awesome, but it just didn’t inspire youthful creativity in me the way it might have in the ’80s.)
LEGO technology has advanced considerably since the pinnacle of my LEGO constructions, which was around 1985-86. Back then, if you wanted a horse, you built a damn horse out of bricks. If you wanted a cave troll, you sure as shit didn’t have this:
Anyway, in the realm of hypothetical LEGO models, I can’t think of anything cooler than my own house, built entirely out of LEGO bricks.
Okay, that’s not true. A full-scale LEGO model of the Star Destroyer Executor would be much, much cooler than my house.
As it currently stands, though, I’m stuck with the hypothetical model of my house.
I don’t have access to 11,647,240 LEGO pieces, nor to the roughly $1,164,724 I’d need to procure that many pieces. I’m definitely never getting that Star Destroyer, alas.
I quit the active practice of law in 2011. While I still have a few cases I’m wrapping up, I last took on a client more than two years ago. This means that, although I still have an active law license, I do not want to help you with your legal matter.
I’m not trying to be rude. In fact, this is my hail Mary attempt at saying this as politely as possible: your lengthy recounting of your “simple” legal issue makes me want to break things on your head. That’s not really your fault. It probably has a lot to do with the way several years of family law broke my brain. The specific reasons why I left the active practice of law are mine alone, but suffice it to say that I do not want to give out legal advice in exchange for money, so I really don’t want to do it for free in a social setting.
Of course, I’m too polite to say any of this to your face, especially when you are pouring out the sordid details of your recent arrest/divorce/custody battle/business merger/naturalization petition. About the only caveat I’ve ever been able to make before the onslaught of personal details involves the fact that I have never practiced criminal defense, yet this never stops people from asking questions about how to handle their upcoming court appearance. Here’s a hint for anyone considering asking a lawyer they know for advice: the advice can always be summarized as “Hire a lawyer, then go to court when ordered to do so.”
It is possible that I will return to legal practice some day. Even then, of course, I will not want to answer your questions for free. So please leave your legal queries for actual law offices or hotlines. If you want to talk to me, the following non-exclusive list of topics will almost never fail to engage me in conversation:
- Game of Thrones (the books or the TV show);
- What the plots of the new Star Wars movies should be;
- Why “ancient alien” theories are idiotic;
- Obscure aspects of World War II;
- Why most M. Night Shyamalan movies don’t actually have plot twists;
- The world’s best key lime pie;
- Why Tom Waits’ music was better before Swordfishtrombones;
- How to be an advocate for animal welfare while still eating bacon; or
- What might have happened in the 10th season of Firefly, had it not been cancelled.
Thank you for your attention, and please piss off with your legal questions.
According to the Facebook page True Activist, “every time she goes to a country she gets it colored in.” While I think this is a pretty sweet idea, I have a few critical comments:
- She used the Mercator projection, which she didn’t need to do, considering that her back is a curved surface. The Mercator projection was a clumsy attempt to transfer the not-quite-spherical world map to a flat surface, making the Northern Hemisphere, and the Arctic region and Greenland in particular, seem much, much bigger than they actually are.
- She hasn’t updated her map to show the independence of South Sudan. Either this picture is at least two years old, or she is not attuned to the political upheavals of summer 2011. I can’t really tell, but it looks like she may have acknowledged East Timor. Let’s not even get started on Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh, or Transnistria, though. In fact, the Caucasus part of the map only has two countries, when there should be at least three. Continue reading
Depression is impossible to describe in words. Any attempt to convey the experience in words ends up sounded clichéd. I have had the opportunity to try to explain my experiences in images in “The Depression Chronicles,” but the best portrayals of life with depression that I have ever seen have come from Allie Brosh, who writes the webcomic Hyberbole and a Half.
In October 2011, she wrote a post called “Adventures in Depression,” in which she described how she fell into a deep period of depression, with the attendant immobility and self-loathing. Her post captured the way someone suffering from depression can recognize the purposelessness of it, while remaining powerless to do anything about it.
She goes on to describe how her depression “got so horrible that it actually broke through to the other side and became a sort of fear-proof exoskeleton.”
Then she basically disappeared from the internet for over a year.
I remember being endlessly entertained by the adventures of my toys. Some days they died repeated, violent deaths, other days they traveled to space or discussed my swim lessons and how I absolutely should be allowed in the deep end of the pool, especially since I was such a talented doggy-paddler.
I didn’t understand why it was fun for me, it just was.
But as I grew older, it became harder and harder to access that expansive imaginary space that made my toys fun. I remember looking at them and feeling sort of frustrated and confused that things weren’t the same.
I played out all the same story lines that had been fun before, but the meaning had disappeared. Horse’s Big Space Adventure transformed into holding a plastic horse in the air, hoping it would somehow be enjoyable for me. Prehistoric Crazy-Bus Death Ride was just smashing a toy bus full of dinosaurs into the wall while feeling sort of bored and unfulfilled. I could no longer connect to my toys in a way that allowed me to participate in the experience.
Depression feels almost exactly like that, except about everything.
[Emphasis added, and pictures omitted.] Seriously, go read the whole post. The pictures are the key, but I don’t want to copy too many of them here.
Depression has social stigma, to be sure, but the difficulty goes beyond that. Even if you don’t have a sore throat, or have never had a sore throat somehow, you can probably imagine the difficulties faced by someone with a bad case of strep throat. Everyone has bad moods, or gets in funks, but not everyone (most people, actually) have difficulty relating to a major depressive episode. I doubt that my experiences even remotely compare to those described in Brosh’s posts.
Clark, a blogger at Popehat, calls depression a color most people cannot see:
Depression is hard to talk about. I don’t mean “there’s a social stigma to it”, although that’s true. I don’t mean “modern society calls minor mood swings ‘depression’ and medicates them with lifestyle drugs, so the depths of true depression are hard to convey to someone”, although that’s also true.
I mean that depression is a color, and people who haven’t experienced it are color blind to its hue. There are no words to bridge the gap, to make it clear.
Much like Clark, I cannot add any words of real wisdom to what Allie Brosh has to say about her experiences. She faced the prospect of suicide and, for reasons that may not make sense to many, and that I wish did not make sense to me, is still here. I am very grateful for that.
If you need help, or know someone who does, help is out there: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
On January 28, 1986, I was in 5th grade, in Mrs. Lukens’ class. We were working on math when the principal came on the PA to tell us that the space shuttle exploded.
To this day, I get emotional about the memory. I think every generation has at least one “where were you” moment. My parents’ generation had the Kennedy assassination. We had the Space Shuttle Challenger. Then we had 9/11. I hope we’re done.
Photo credit: By Kennedy Space Center [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Today is a victory for many people, and a defeat for almost as many. The sun rose this morning and is still shining as I write these words, so clearly the more Biblical of the warnings we heard regarding this election have not come to pass.
Right now, we have no way of knowing what the broader lessons of the 2012 presidential election will be. I can certainly hope that the reelection of Barack Obama, as much as I may find fault with his presidency, is an affirmation of what I might call (in a secular sense) the better angels of our nature. Not everyone shares my beliefs and my views about what America is, what it can be, or what it should be, but I feel as though some of those views have been affirmed by the events of the past few weeks.
America, perhaps unlike any other nation in the world, is and always has been a work in progress. The American Revolution did not end with the Treaty of Paris in 1781, nor did the many conflicts within America end at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865. The American Revolution was not just a war fought with muskets. The United States of America is the revolution, and it continues to this day. Continue reading
This was taken on June 15, 2007, the day after I brought Zeta home for the very first time. Note the crummy apartment with a foot locker for a coffee table, as well as my early attempt to buy her love with a Kong.
I think she was still trying to decide if she liked me or not. She figured it out eventually.