Monday, December 29, 2008

What Not To Do As A Defense Attorney

"[A]t defense counsel's request, the trial judge appointed Dr. Gerow to conduct a psychiatric evaluation of Sechrest. Using Dr. Gerow's evaluation, defense counsel sought to determine whether Sechrest was fit to stand trial, and to investigate the possibility of an insanity defense.

Dr. Gerow interviewed and evaluated Sechrest. He then submitted a report addressed to defense counsel marked 'Confidential.' The report contained information about Sechrest's criminal history and past drug use. In the report, Dr. Gerow stated that Sechrest had a 'polymorphous perversion. After reviewing the report and speaking with Dr. Gerow, defense counsel decided not to call Dr. Gerow as a witness at the penalty phase and not to pursue an insanity defense.

The prosecutor then asked defense counsel to permit the use of Dr. Gerow's report and to permit the prosecutor to call Dr. Gerow as a prosecution witness during the penalty phase. Defense counsel, who last communicated with Dr. Gerow about two months before trial, stipulated to the prosecution's request and did not object when Dr. Gerow took the stand. Dr. Gerow testified that he had evaluated Sechrest at defense counsel's request. He further testified that Sechrest was an 'incurable sociopath' with an extensive criminal record and a history of drug use."


Luckily, the Ninth Circuit stuck it to the defense attorney, calling his actions "inexplicab[e]" and "indefensible."

Maybe I'VE Got It Wrong

Number of people who have wished me "Happy Birthday" yesterday and today:

4

Number of days until my birthday:

1

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dear Author


Dear Ms. Ferrarella and eHarlequin.com,

I like to read romances for the grown-up stuff, if you get my drift, not because I want to know about some little kid who needs to see a psychologist due to some sob story. Please take note of that before you offer up another Lifetime Movie Network-esque story as a free eBook. Call me a cold-hearted bitch, but single moms with f'ed up kids ain't exactly my cup of escapism tea. I can go to WalMart for that.

Thanks,
Litigious Mind

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads...


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Annoying

Today I was looking at a wedding website for guy I've known casually for a while. I am quite cynical when it comes to weddings and marriages, especially those of couples who go from meeting to married in less than a year. But despite those inclinations I found myself feeling happy for them. I know he is a genuinely nice guy, and his fiancee seems like a good catch.

But then I got to the wedding party page.

Because I've known the groom for a while, I know that he is one of four brothers and I'm pretty sure he is the first to get married. All his brothers are in the wedding party. And apparently all but one of the bridesmaids are married, because after the name of the only single girl they wrote, "And yes, she's single."

There was no similar mention for the three single groomsmen.

I wonder if they asked this girl's permission before they added that. If not, I think that's kind of a (wedding) party foul. If my friend had done that to me at her wedding I would have been pretty pissed. People will discover on their own who is single and who isn't at a wedding. Is it really necessary to call such attention to it and practically advertise this girl's status? And why no similar treatment of the single men? (Hmm, maybe they're dating someone. But still. Party foul on calling out her status like that.)

I think this just annoys me because at the last wedding I was at I felt more single than I've ever felt in my entire life, and I have a feeling the single groomsmen didn't feel that way. I don't know what it is about our upbringings or society that make single women feel like we're more of a noteworthy phenomenon than single men, but I think it's bullshit. It's even more bullshit that I buy into it despite myself.

(Maybe I'm reading too much into this. The single girl was pretty attractive... more so than the single men. Were her friends just guessing that more people would be interested in her relationship status? Hmm...)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If You Want To Feel Old...

...Try sitting next to a woman at a concert who says, "My parents have been fans of Sheryl Crow since I was born!"

If you DON'T want to feel old, try not to clearly remember when you bought "Tuesday Night Music Club" shortly after it was released. *sob* God, I'm old! (Hopefully she was just overestimating how long Sheryl Crow has been around.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Go West, Young Ad Execs

Have you seen the commercial for the new BlackBerry where the narrator types in "Reno Nevada" and says "Reno Ne-vaw-da"?

It annoys the hell out of me. Especially because the whole point of the commercial is that the BlackBerry will enter the right word or something, even if you type it wrong. The narrator makes some smarmy comment about it getting "Reno Nevada" instead of "Pinot Fritata." I find it ironic considering that the narrator himself can't pronounce the state right.

I think it annoys me so much because I can't understand why people back east don't seem to know anything about the west. They say "Or-eh-gone" and "Ne-vah-da." And they don't even know where the damn states are. I went to a conference last month and met someone who seriously didn't know where my state was geographically. And he was a lawyer! (Even worse, he just started working in a state that's in the same federal circuit as my state. WTF, idiot?)

Western states are big! And there aren't even very many of them! I've never been to the northeast but I still know where all those little, numerous states are! Grr!

Next time the big-shot NYC ad agencies should do a little research and learn how to pronounce a state if they're going to use it in their commercial. Because they're just pissing us Westerns off.

An Observation

Have you ever noticed that the people who always talk about working out or going to the gym on their Facebook status are the people who look like they don't work out?

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm Not As Dumb As My Spelling Indicates

Just to clarify again, typing on an iPhone is hard. I leave out letters or put the wrong one in often. The iPhone tries to help by guessing and automatically changing some misspelled words. (It also refuses to recognize very common words such as shit, hell, and fuck, which get changed to shut, he'll, and duck. Seriously. What's with the curse-lock?)

But I must also say that I don't correct these mistakes because when I go into Blogger to edit a post, all the apostrophes and quotation marks turn into weird things like "quot3&" or whatever the heck the HTML thing is. It is such a pain in the ass to change each one back that I just don't edit posts. I see the errors, I know they're there. I'm just too lazy to proofread and edit.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sorry

I owe an apology to my liver, for making it work all day Saturday.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Murder and the Media

Something has been bothering me lately. I watch the "Today Show" every morning, and there are two murder cases that they routinely report on. The first involves Amanda Knox, the American exchange student charged with killing her British roommate in Italy. The second is Casey Anthony, the mother of the missing girl in Florida.

These two cases have been treated very differently, which I find interesting. The media coverage of the Knox case has primarily been aimed at criticism of the Italian system, pointing out each and every weakness and painting Knox as an all-American girl. A number of defense attorneys have appeared as commentators. The "Today Show" even did a segment on what to do if your child gets charged overseas.

Anthony, on the other hand has been villainized. The media talks as if she's already been convicted and constantly points out everything bad she's ever done. This week "Today" did a segment airing video and audio of her jailhouse conversations with her family, and they kept talking about her shows of emotion like it was totally uncharacterisric. And I've seen primarily former prosecutors be interviewed as commentators.

Here's what gets me: while neither woman has been convicted, from an objective standpoint, the evidence against Knox is much more damning than the evidence against Anthony. Knox was in the house when the murder occurred, and she was high and/or drunk that night. In contrast, there's no body in Anthony's case! Sure, the circumstantial evidence is bad, but there's little to no direct evidence that her daughter is even dead.

So why has the media taken such opposite approaches to these cases? Both should be presumed innocent, but that seems to only apply to Knox, who was high on coke during what appeared to be a sex orgy, which ended in a grusome murder. I'm not saying she's guilty, but I am saying that Anthony should get the same treatment in her case. There's just a part of me that feels like we've all convicted Anthony already because she might not have been a good mother. And we're ignoring the bad-girl behavior of Knox, mostly because of our patronizing attitudes towards a foreign criminal justice system. Guess what? Our system ain't perfect either. Anthony isn't guilty just because she was indicted in the good ol' U. S. of A.

Woman Crush

As longtime readers now, I have a girl crush on Rihanna (because she is wonderful). But as I'm watching Season 2 of "Alias" I'm discovering that I also have a woman crush on Lena Olin. She is fantastic! I hear she blows your socks off in "The Reader" so I might have to go see that. (Also because I heart Ralph Fiennes, no matter how poorly he's aged.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

GRAMMY Time!

GRAMMY nominations are out! And if there is a God in heaven Lee Ann Womack's "Last Call" will beat out Carrie Underwood's screechfest "Last Name" (Seriously, WTF? Look, I get by now that Carrie will get an obligatory nod each year, I'm resigned to that. But "Last Name"? Was "So Small" not eligible?)

I'm also rooting for Sugarland's "Stay" to sweep. I like Sugarland; they don't make my ears bleed like all the nominees for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Male Artist do. ("In Color" is truly horrendous.) And Patty Loveless is up for Best Country Album? I haven't heard her new one but I freakin'; love her!

In non-country categories, I'm pulling for Alison Krauss & Robert Plant, Leona Lewis, AND RIHANNA!!! That's right, bitches! My girl-crush's "Disturbia"; is up for best dance song! Hells yeah! (Her "If I Never See Your Face Again" collaboration with Maroon 5 also got nominated.) My vote also goes to Stephen Colbert (spoken word), Kathy Griffin (comedy), and "Walk Hard" from The Dewey Cox Story (song written for a movie).

More WTF: The Jonas Brothers?!?! And yahoo.com calling no nominations for Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus a "shocker"? Have they heard Miley sing? Newsflash---she's not good! And Taylor is nowhere NEAR on par with Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Leann Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, and yes, even Carrie Underwood. Her lack of a nomination is not surprising considering who did get one.

UPDATE: LeAnn Rimes also sounds great on her nominated song "What I Cannot Change." I think she or Lee Ann Womack should win, but we all know Carrie Underwood will get it. Urgh!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nostalgia

I've been feeling very nostalgic lately. Today I traveled back to high school by listening to Sarah McLachlan's "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy." Man, those were good times.

And since Sunday I've entertained myself by watching Season One of "Alias." Oh my God, did I love me some "Alias" in college. I remember watching it every week with my sister my freshman year. Watching these DVDs has only reminded me how much that show kicked ass. I've got the complete first and second seasons, but now I'm wanting the whole thing!

But if I don't get them, I have the next best thing. In the (altered) words of Westly/Farm Boy/Dread Pirate Roberts, "There's a shortage of perfect [things] in this world. [Erin's "Alias" recaps on Television Without] pity [is one of them]."

Seriously, they are f'ing amazing. Delightful incarnate. And I discovered they are still online. Hooray!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

He Can Nog My Egg Anyday

More Of The Same

I know, I know, I bitch way too much about blonde female country singers, but I can't help myself. Here I go again.

Taylor Swift has some holiday songs on iTunes. I took a listen to some of them today and, in my opinion, they are not so good. Some are better than others. I think she pulls of "Last Christmas" pretty well. But she absolutely does not pull off "Santa Baby."

First, I really don't think she's that great of a singer. I think she is a talented songwriter, despite the fact that I don't like any of her songs. (But hey, she's only eighteen, and I imagine her writing will improve once she has something to write about other than teenage boys). But being a good songwriter doesn't necessary make someone a good singer. From what I've heard of her new album (which is solely of "Love Story") either her vocal quality or her vocal-altering technology has improved, but that still can't cure the fact that she is only eighteen and she still sounds like a kid. And "Santa Baby" is not a song you want to hear a kid sing. There's just no believability in it for me, sorry Taylor. If you want to hear a credible cover of the song, check out Kelly Willis's version. She's simple and still sexy in her take on it. Taylor's cute, but she's still got a way to go before she reaches sexy. That is, assuming she ever will in her singing.