Friday, October 24, 2008

yesterday i learned...

...what "prima facie" means. i have basically had a working definition of it for years now. in my world it means when a DHS client doesn't show up for a trial-either to establish their child as a ward of the court, or to terminate their parental rights-and the state goes ahead and presents evidence anyway and an order is made without the client having a chance to argue his/her side. but i had to do one of those yesterday and it always makes me feel weird, like the state is playing God or at least Big Brother, so i actually looked it up on wikipedia. this is what it said:

"In most legal proceedings, one of the parties has the burden of proof, which requires that party to present prima facie evidence of all facts essential to its case. If that party fails to present prima facie evidence on any required element of its case, its claim may be dismissed without any response by the opposing party. A prima facie case may be insufficient to enable a party to prevail if the opposing party introduces contradictory evidence or asserts an affirmative defense. Sometimes the introduction of prima facie evidence is informally called making a case or building a case.
For example, in a criminal prosecution, the prosecution has the burden of presenting prima facie evidence of each element of the crime charged. In a murder case, this would include evidence that the defendant's act caused the victim's death, and evidence that the defendant acted with malice aforethought. If the prosecution were to fail to introduce such evidence, then its case would fail on grounds of "failure to make out a prima facie case," even without rebuttal by the defendant. This evidence need not be conclusive or irrefutable, and evidence rebutting the case may not be considered."

there was more, like other uses of the phrase. you can find it all here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

you learn something new every day.

and today i learned that those gel heel protectors--you know, the ones you stick to the heel of your shoe to help them fit more snugly and not cause blisters--don't work. a) they are nearly impossible to peel from their backing, and b) they just roll up and make your heels sticky and finally end up in a little silicone wad.

i also learned that if you have shoes that you really love but are half a size too big, you can shove rolled up latex gloves in the toe. they don't get sticky, and they don't make your toes sweat. and they keep your heels from coming out of your shoes when you walk.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

two unrelated pumpkins and an also unrelated dorky dog

i am a little buzzy on my favorite trader joe's red wine (washington hills shiraz, in case anyone wants to know). i have been going through some rough times lately, so i haven't been blogging. but i'm starting to feel better and starting to miss writing to my friends and whatever random internet surfers are reading this blog. i don't have anything profound or even coherent to say this time, but oh well. you'll surf away from this page if it sucks too bad.

1. on the worst of the suckiest days of the recent sucky days, matt and i went to a new place here in eugene called agate alley, hoping a new and interesting place might cheer us up or at least distract us. it worked, because i discovered my absolute favorite martini ever. if you know me, you know i do say things LIKE that lightly, but let me assure you, i never say exactly that lightly. i have been loyal to my previous "absolute favorite martini ever" since 2002, when i discovered the "ad lib", a cilantro martini served at 820 in north portland. i almost feel like i'm cheating on the ad lib by writing this. but this martini is incredible. it is pumpkin pie in a glass. it is the "pumpkin martini," made with vanilla stoli, pumpkin (real pumpkin!), cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg, with a sugar and graham cracker rim. if you live in eugene or plan to be anywhere near here sometime this fall, i HIGHLY suggest you get yourself to agate alley (and bring me with you!) to try this martini. here it is:

2. matt, troy, ashley, myself, and some other ninkasi folks went up to corvallis on saturday for the "septembeerfest" at the fairgrounds. we brought our ipa and a fresh hop beer that was specially brewed for this fall's beer festivals. (brewing "secret": it has MILLET in it! yum!) it will be on tap in the ninkasi parking lot at the fresh hop fest on the 25th. but that's not the story. the story is that next door to our booth was a booth where instead of kegs, the beer was being served from GIANT PUMPKINS! look at this...

3. the other day when i was at work feeling a little sad, matt took this picture of otis and sent it to me on my phone:

look how cute and dorky he is with his tongue hanging out! :) matt is wonderful that way. he knows i'm a sucker for the dog, especially when he's sleeping. and he knows getting picture messages makes me happy. if i didn't have him to go through all this crap with, i don't know what i'd do (but it would probably involve a lot more pleasurable yet self-destructive behavior, and a lot more feeling sorry for myself). but you know what? even with the shit i'm going through lately, i really do have it pretty good.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

weird polo shirt guy

i rode my bike up to petco ("where the pets go!") tonight to get some stuff for otis. when i came out, there was this tallish, medium build, average-looking guy with glasses standing by the bike racks. he had on khaki dockers and a red polo shirt--like he worked at target, but there was no target anywhere near by. he was smoking, and kind of staring at me. i acted like i didn't notice him. he said "mumble mumble mumble mumble, huh?"
i looked up.
he said "getting some shopping done, huh?"
"yeah," i said.
a longer-than-usual-conversational-pause later, he said "is that for a cat or something?"
"oh." (another longish pause) "it's just that single gals usually have cats."
"huh," i stated non-committally, and reached up to unlock my bike, positioning my left hand so that it was in plain view.
"so...last year greenhill did this thing where pets and their single owners could go listen to music and drink wine."
"yeah?" as i put my helmet on with exaggerated left-hand posturing.
"i have a dog," he started in,"what dog park do you go to? actually i don't really have a dog, i borrow one from my neighbor. she lets me borrow it because dogs are good for attracting women. but it likes the dog park..."
borrowing a line from miranda on sex and the city in the episode where she has a bad date in central park with this guy who refuses to go anywhere other than manhattan, i got on my bike and said "i have to go feed my cat."

Friday, August 1, 2008

frikkin frustrating stupid computer stuff

can anyone please help me? i'm trying to make my blog prettier. i don't really like any of the templates blogspot gives me to choose from (which is why i keep changing my template. i mean, i LOVE my myspace template, and i've never changed it once!). i have wasted too much work time this morning cutting and pasting html from free template download sites, and it has not worked yet.

Monday, July 21, 2008


pokey is this cute little virtual yellow lab puppy you can adopt on facebook. he looks just like a real puppy. he has all the mannerisms and facial expressions. he bounces around and wags his tail when you are about to feed him. he rolls over and exudes puppy happiness when you scratch his belly. he bounds after a virtual frisbee (much more enthusiastically than my real dog!) and comes running back so proud of himself when he catches it. he lays down and looks sad but patient when you're about to "leave" him. when you haven't "fed" him for a few days he looks tired and dehydrated when you click open the program. and his eyes have that combination of sadness, hope, and pure puppy gratefulness that you haven't actually abandoned him. whoever created this program is twisted! all it does is create guilt! when i play with him too much, i feel guilty for goofing off at work. when i don't play with him enough, i feel like a bad mama! as if it were really otis giving me that "why-haven't-you-fed-me-in-15-days-but-thank-god-you're-back-i-love-you" look. it's terrible! and worse still, you get roped in to taking care of other people's virtual dogs. if a dog has been neglected for however many days, they go on a list. you can feed them with your own dog's virtual dog food, which will earn you bones (the currency to buy more dog food and toys and stuff) and make you feel like somehow you have done something good. but you really haven't!! it's not a real dog!!! someone must be tracking this somewhere, like some psychological experiment on the capacity of a simple computer program to manipulate human emotions. i almost want to delete pokey, but then i will feel as if i've put my dog to sleep! this is sick.

Friday, April 4, 2008

grandma jean

as some of you know, my grandma jean passed away last month. she had a stroke in january, but she came out of it mostly ok and went home (where she has had caregivers staying with her for the last several years). my dad went down to southern california (where she lived) immediately. the family made sure that all of us cousins/grandkids were in town for her 94th birthday weekend in march. i was not sure if i could go or not--because we were moving and busy and i didn't think i could afford it--but my wise husband told me that it might be the last time i'd get to see her and he didn't want me to miss that opportunity. i ended up going, and i'm very grateful that i did, because a week and a half later, she passed away. she went peacefully, and my uncle tim was there when it happened. matt came down with me that weekend for the funeral, and he was wonderful (unlike a certain nameless "dude" who ran and hid last time someone close to me passed away!).

my grandma jean was an amazing lady. i don't want to go on and on here in the blog, but i'll just say that she has been an inspiration to me. she was the kind of person who made you feel good about yourself (even when correcting your grammar, or telling you to comb your hair and not to eat too many rolls at dinner), and who made you feel good about everyone else, too. she LOVED life, and lived it fully. she always saw the positive side of a situation, and she found joy easily. she had incredible style and and endless supply of love to give. she was always surrounded by family and friends who loved her.

Jean Angier MacDonald, 1914-2008