caminante haciendo camino
distracting thoughts
2004-03-07 | 11:25 p.m.

The weekend is over and Iím faced with two weeks of absolute work hell. I probably wouldnít be feeling so panicky if Iíd actually managed to get some work done this weekend. But, despite the fact that I actually dragged my ass in to the office both yesterday and today, I got precious little accomplished.

Part of the reason that I didnít get any work done is plain laziness. I slept in late both days, and then didnít manage to get out of the house until well after noon. With half the day gone, I found it too easy to make excuses for chucking what remained of the day.

But another reason that I didnít get much done is that Iíve just been distracted. There are a couple of things that have been swimming around in my head, making it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. I probably shouldnít have gone days without writing in this journal. If I would have put those thoughts on paper sooner, I might have been able to sufficiently purge them in order for me to be able to get some work done.

Distracting Thought #1: Rich dropped by Saturday morning and delivered some disturbing news. He and Anna have been friends with a couple, R and K, for several years. Rich met R at work, and, through a series of job changes, Anna now works with K. We always thought that R and K juggled their large blended family very well. R has three daughters that he has partial custody of, K has two sons and one daughter from previous relationships, and, together they have a son. They went to church every Sunday; they had bar-b-ques; they took the boys to baseball. All in all they seemed like a normal, happy family.

Recently, R and K have been having marital problems; theyíre separated, and have been moving toward divorce. Thatís not the disturbing part.

R was arrested on Friday for molesting Kís 12 year old daughter. Heís been molesting her since she was 5. In a taped telephone conversation with K, he confessed to everything that the girl said had occurred.

The family is broken. The girl Ė I canít begin to imagine what sheís been through. But, at least, she seems relieved that sheís not carrying this secret around with her anymore. K is devastated. The boys Ė theyíre confused and scared. I donít know how you begin to reconcile this revelation with the father that youíve always known and loved.

My brother was obviously shaken when he told us. Heís angry. Heís angry at R, but heís angry at himself, too. Heís questioning his own judgment.

Hell, so am I. How is it that we all completely misread this man? Where in the hell were those intuitive red flags that are supposed to go up when you come across someone so completely devoid of morality? If we can all miss a pedophile in our mists, how is it that weíre supposed to trust our judgment with anyone or anything? How do we teach the kids to be aware of such people when they so obviously get past the adults?

Gods, this man was my brotherís friend. He held my niece in his arms. He would have continued to be a part of her life as she grew up. If the girl hadnít come forward, he would have continued molesting her and who knows who else. Rianna could have been his next victim. It makes me want to vomit. Or cry. I donít know which. It definitely makes me want to take a very sharp knife to this manís testicles. Slowly.

Gods, I hope he bears the full brunt of the justice system. And when heís behind bars and the prison population finds out why heís there, I hope they impose their own special brand of justice.

I know. As an officer of the court I shouldnít encourage that type of vigilante justice. But, damn, this one landed too close to home.

Distracting Thought #2: Grandmotherís upcoming wedding. I know I promised to tell this tale soon. I just havenít had the time. Let me just say that my 78 year old grandmother is driving us all batshit with her histrionics. The way she is acting, youíd think we were planning a wedding of a 17 year old virgin. And now, expecting the family to arrange all the wedding details, she hi-tails it off to California. She canít even settle on a damn date. And weíre supposed to throw together a dream wedding Ė and do it within the next 6 weeks or so Ė when we canít even get her to pick a date. Sheís impossible to deal with. Thankfully, soon she will be Armandoís to deal with. Sucker Ė he has no idea what heís gotten himself into.

Distracting Thought #3: I need a job. Well, not immediately. But I need to settle my post-clerkship employment plans soon. This black, jobless cloud hanging over my head is a constant worry. I updated my resume tonight. And this week Iíll be meeting with one of the judges who has offered to help me in the job search. So, I guess Iím making some progress. But Iíd feel much better if I knew exactly what Iíll be doing come October.

Distracting Thought #4: I need to make some time during the hellishness that will be the next two weeks in order to draw up the custody papers for Yesenia to file. Damn it. I need an extra 4 or 5 hours squeezed into each day. Any idea how I manage this?

Distracting Thought #5: A couple of conversations that I had with MM have been bothering me. The first was about college degrees. She seems to think that a college degree is an infallible sign of intelligence. Now, I fully admit to being an intellectual snob. But, I donít equate intelligence with a degree or a certain kind of degree or a particular number of degrees. Iíve met plenty of dumb ass individuals who had their walls papered with assorted degrees. Iíve also met some very intelligent people who did not have college degrees or did not have graduate degrees. MM apparently puts more stock in those pieces of paper than I do.

The second conversation had to do with school snobbery. Unfortunately, our peers are known for their school snobbery. When you first meet a fellow law clerk, they are generally more interested in knowing what school you graduated than in knowing your first name. If you didnít graduate from a good enough school, youíre name is irrelevant.

MM and I both went to state schools. As such, even though youíd expect a healthy degree of school rivalry, you wouldnít expect the same degree of school snobbery that you find with graduates of Harvard or Yale, for example. MM is not only a degree snob, sheís also a school snob. Her various snobberies get annoying sometimes.

Iím a firm believer that your education is what you make of it. Iím pleased with the legal education I obtained and I donít feel as if I lost out in any substantial way by forgoing the big-named schools. And, especially after clerking for two well-respected federal judges, I donít think that going to a state school is going to negatively impact my career in any way. MM not only has a chip on her shoulder with respect to the big-named schools, she also has a misguided sense of superiority with regard to her state school as compared to other state schools. I knew this about her, but for some reason it peeved me more than usual this time.

Well, there you go. A whole laundry list of distracting thoughts. Hopefully, now that Iíve put them all here, Iíll be able to concentrate on my work tomorrow morning.



Listening To: late night t.v.
Reading: nothing
Feeling: not as distracted

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