Sunday, November 29, 2009

hard-earned wisdom

Hello friends. I've been e-absent for some time but think of you often and fondly. Thanks to some generous in-laws, one day you might find yourself on a weeklong trip with a bunch of extended fam to the beautiful land of Hawaii, and if you do, and you happen to have a kid or two and be 33 weeks pregnant at the time, you'll thank me for what I'm about to share.

Some advice:
  • There is no need to be self-conscious because there will be many, many women who are way more pregnant than you are but they will be wearing significantly fewer items of clothing.
  • There is nothing in life that can't be improved with a few palm trees, an ocean breeze and some sunshine. Also, a ukelele. And caramacs.
  • Nothing will melt your heart more than watching your cute kiddo bond with her cousins in Utah (where you made a brief stop) and then MORE cousins on the island except maybe when she puts on sunglasses and a hat and bright pink sandals and runs for the door shouting "Beach! Daddy! Beach!"
  • If anyone sees you wearing a swimsuit cover-up and says "WOW! One size really DOES fit all!" just trust that they mean it nicely.
  • If the beehives in your ward are big into The Mysterious Benedict Society, go ahead and use this vacation time to climb on that train, as you'll likely find it delightful.
  • Most importantly, if you take the red-eye flight home, take an extra shirt for yourself on the off chance that the turbulence could cause your cute toddler to barf on you, thrice, when you still have 2 hours of the flight and a 2 hour layover and another 2 hour flight ahead of you. I hope you'll already have a change of clothes for the kid and a helpful spouse to crack up about it with, but if you don't pack yourself an extra shirt, you may find your very pregnant self in the airplane crapper, standing in your undies as you wring your clothing out and then put it back on. You'll eventually buy a horrible (though, fortunately, clean) t-shirt at the airport that says DENVER on it in enormous letters across your burgeoning belly and spend the rest of your journey realizing that you not only smell awful and look horrifying but your feet have swollen to a remarkable size that makes the term "cankle" seem quaint. But, you'll be grateful you won't see a soul you know. Which might remind you of when you bought a freaking jumper at Dollar General on your mission as a joke and the ONE day you ever wore it happened to be the day you ran into someone you knew from regular life. And if there's anything better than running into someone you know while wearing a jumper, it's probably running into someone you know while wearing a extra-large DENVER AIRPORT t-shirt over your generous belly and smelling of old toddler-vomit with tree trunks for ankles.
Anyway. Aloha!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009


Many of us had the privilege of knowing and learning from (and being publicly humiliated by) Professor Michael Goldsmith, who passed away yesterday. Everyone lucky enough to know him was affected in ways that are tough to explain (and not just because he's probably the first real, live Jew many J. Reub students ever met). Sharp, vibrant, sincere, witty, with a contagious zeal for life and the law. I can't adequately express how terrifying it was to sit in his classroom, how ashamed I felt if I even though about not reading for his class, and how much higher I held my head on the day I answered one of his questions sort-of-correctly. Under his tutelage, we all wanted to be the best, most diligent version of ourselves. Some quotes:
"When you get caught speeding, don't say 'I'm sorry.' Say, 'IF I was speeding, I am sorry.' ADMIT NOTHING."

"I'm not opposed to playing games. If you want to play solitaire, bring a deck of cards."

"For expert witnesses, there are 2 requirements: must have gray hair, and must have hemorrhoids to convey the proper level of concern."

"It was horrible! He covered everything but his 1990 colonoscopy. Good example of a bad speech. Everyone wants to go home, so unless you're awfully funny, keep it brief."

"This is my job. I'm just trying to do my job, and you're giving me a hard time. I don't give you a hard time with your job. I just order my burger and fries."

"The children of lawyers who don't read footnotes will STARVE."

"Let me give you a hypothetical. Jesus goes to law school, graduates, what does He do? Criminal prosecution or defense? That's right, he's defending these monsters. He's a defense attorney. That's my gospel insight for the day."

Brief story to give you a snapshot of this guy: one of my other favorite lawyers no longer with us told me that while he was attending the J. Reub as a non-LDS student, he and Goldsmith were surprised and startled to run into each other at a bar in Salt Lake. They were each holding a beer. Awkwardly, they each hid theirs under the table for a moment, made eye contact, shrugged, and then raised their glasses and said "Cheers!"

(Goldsmith would probably want it noted that, hypothetically, if I were trying to get this admitted, the story might be hearsay and since neither one of them is here to talk about it and it doesn't fall under any recognized exception, it's inadmissible. But, I wouldn't give up that easily, bc he taught me to be a "can-do" lawyer, so I'd still get it in under the residual exception, OR just argue that it's not hearsay because no one intended to assert anything and it's not a declarative statement offered to prove the truth of the matter's just a story.)

Thanks for everything, Prof. Goldsmith. If I weren't Mormon and pregnant, I'd drink a tribute beer right now. We'll miss you.