Friday, September 12, 2014

Let's Try This Again

Last night I was at a bar association Young Lawyers event when a friend & colleague told me that he recently shared my blog with a friend and then realized that I hadn't posted anything here in well over a year (he also told me that as he transitions from Judicial Clerk to private practice in the coming weeks, he plans to use what he learned on my blog to mess with young female attorneys, so that's good).  His comment got me thinking about this old page and how fun it is to share stories and recipes every once in a while, so I think I'll give it another go.  I can't promise how long it will last (heck, this might be the only new post for another year), but I can certainly give it a try.  

So, what's new in my life?  Turns out, quite a bit.  In the time since my last post, I performed in the Bar Show, ended a relationship, started a relationship, got engaged, planned a wedding, attended my 10-year high school reunion, found a lump on my neck, had two surgeries, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, had some treatment, bought a new car, baked my own cupcakes for my wedding (with the help of my lovely mother!!!), got married, went to Ireland (where, among other things, a bird pooped on me...more about that later), changed my name, put an offer on a house, cancelled the contract on the house, attended a week long trial skills workshop, beat cancer, had my 4 year anniversary at the Firm, won a couple of cases on summary judgment, started the Jillian Michaels' Body Revolution, and generally did a lot of stuff.

In this first after-crazy-hiatus post, I'll fill you in on what I know you're most interested in:  baking my own wedding cupcakes!

Just kidding! Cancer it is! 

Ok, so last fall I was at work, minding my own business, when I went to the restroom and, while washing my hands, looked in the mirror and noticed that there appeared to be a lump on the side of my neck.  Not like a growth, but like my glands were really swollen and not in the place where your glands swell.  So, I did what any sane person would do and snapped a picture of my weird neck bump and texted it to Trent (the now hubby).  

See the left side of this picture and how it looks swollen and weird
Immediately after texting the picture, I went to my trusty friend Google and googled "weird lump on my neck."  I did some reading, hit up WebMd and had this conversation with myself:  "You have cancer."  "No, don't be a hypochondriac, this isn't cancer."  "No, this is totally cancer.  Call the Dr."  "I will call the Dr., but it's not cancer."  And then I called the Dr. 

Apparently when you call the Dr. and say, "I found a weird lump on [insert random body part here]" they can get you in rather quickly.  I went to see my general practitioner the next day and he assured me that it while my lump was in an area close to my thyroid, it probably wasn't cancer...but just in case we should probably do an ultrasound.  I had an ultrasound the day after that and learned why ultrasound technicians are not actually supposed to tell you what they see.  My technician talked the whole time and it went something like this, "Oh no...this is definitely in your thyroid...yeah...this isn't know sometimes these things are benign...but this is probably cancer...I've never seen a lump in the thyroid gland this big!"  And thank you for that.

And then I was referred to a surgeon.  I have the knack for always choosing teaching hospitals/clinics/doctors, so of course my surgeon had two or three different students in his office.  I go in, surgeon feels my neck and pushes on my lump and then invites all of the students to take turns feeling my neck and pushing on my lump.  It was a good time.  

I had the option of an in-office needle biopsy that would likely come back negative even if there were cancer cells in there, or I could opt to have my lump surgically removed and biopsied at the time of the surgery.  Even if it wasn't cancerous, I wasn't planning to live the rest of my life with a neck lump, so I opted for surgery.

I had my surgery on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  The plan was to go in and remove the right lobe of my thyroid and do some tests to see if it was cancerous right there in the room.  The options from there were cancer = removal of the full thyroid, no cancer = close me up and send me home hoping I'm one of those people who only needs half of their thyroid to have normal energy/metabolism rates, or maybe cancer can't quite tell = close me up and send it for further testing.

What result do you think I had?  If you guessed option number 3, you're a winner!

I was in the "maybe cancer" group, so I went back to my room and stayed hopped up on pain meds for 12-18 hours while my lump was tested.  I found out on Wednesday morning that it was indeed cancer and I'd be having another surgery to remove the rest of my thyroid.  

I was released from the hospital on Thanksgiving day.  What I'm thankful for:  Trent, who took time off of work at a new job just to sleep on a hospital room floor and otherwise take care of me; mom, who took off an absurd amount of time to be with me during the surgeries and recovery; my sister, who was there for my surgeries and the earlier stages of recovery; and my step-dad, who drove 7 hours to help take care of me (and mom :)).  

And that's enough sap.  

If I could give you any advice, it is do not let them release you from the hospital on a holiday an hour before you're due for your next pain pill.  They won't give you one for the road and the pharmacies are not open.  My experience was extra special because the hospital failed to put some sticker on my release paperwork, so when we finally found a pharmacy that was open I learned that they couldn't fill my prescription because my paperwork was inadequate.  Back to the hospital I went.  They still wouldn't give me a pain pill for the road (sadly).  At that point, I went home and someone else went to get my drugs.  

This is me post surgeries:  

Why yes that is a drainage tube going out of the incision in the middle of my neck

It turns out that while the pathologists knew that I had cancer, they couldn't identify it so they had to send my thyroid tissue on to the Mayo Clinic.  The pathologist there thanked my doctor for sending him "such an interesting case."  Yay?

What we learned from Mayo is that of the four types of thyroid cancer, I had the least severe in my left thyroid gland and the second to least severe in my right thyroid gland.  But my tumor was the size of a golf ball.  It's all very treatable and rarely spreads and is almost never deadly.  Some people go their whole lives with thyroid cancer and just never know it. 

Despite all of this, if you see my mom please don't tell her, "Well if you're going to get cancer, this is the type to get!"  It's true.  She still doesn't want to hear it, thanks.  

In January I had radiation therapy, which involves taking a very high dose of radioactive iodine.  I'll write about that some other day.  Most important point:  I was literally radioactive for a while and wasn't allowed to come within three feet of other people.  So that was fun.  

In July I had a follow-up body scan and now I'm cancer free. Yay go me!  I take a daily medication to replace the hormones your thyroid is supposed to make and I have a lovely scar in the middle of my neck.  My plan is that when people ask about the scar, I'll tell them that someone once tried to slit my throat.  Sadly, my surgeon was too good (or people just aren't rude enough these days) and no one ever asks.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Awkwardness & Chivalry

Today I had a hearing at the courthouse on a rather large case.  It was a hearing on a motion to dismiss.  The case is actually three different cases revolving around a single incident and essentially the same parties.  There were six attorneys present for the hearing.  My client didn't really have a dog in this fight, which I why I was at the courthouse instead of the partner on the case.
So there are six attorneys.  I'm the youngest/least experienced by approximately 20 years.  I'm also the only female.  This doesn't bother me (except for when they tell mildly inappropriate stories and then feel the need to apologize for hurting my womanly sensibilities...but whatever). 
There is one problem...
You see, while chivalry in general might be dead (this is what I hear, at least), it is alive and kicking in Kansas.
No matter where we were going, the other attorneys always made sure to hold the door open for me and then everyone follows me.  This means that I got on the elevator first and then also needed to get off first (awkward, but doable).  it means that I went into the judges chambers first.  I went into the courtroom first.  I left the courtroom first as we left to sit down and workout some deadlines.  I'm always first.  Again, I don't mind the whole door holding thing...
What I mind is this--generally speaking, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING!  I'm still learning the ropes around the courthouse and I'm trying to watch the other attorneys to figure out where to go, etc.  It is hard to follow their lead when I'M ALWAYS FIRST.  This lead to a lot of awkward moments where I walked into or out of a room and then just stood off to the side until someone else came out who I could follow...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My First Deposition

Last week I had the pleasure of taking the deposition of a 16-year-old boy.  It was a kind of "training"for one of our newer associates, Paige.  Paige started at the Firm in August of last year.  She is on one of our litigation teams and does the same type of work as me.  She has had the pleasure of watching one of partners depose numerous plaintiffs and other witnesses...but the partner  has a rather serious and dry personality and Paige is a bubbly, happy young woman.  Apparently the powers that be felt that Paige was unlikely to adopt the partner's style, and sent her with me to see something different.

And different it was.  Different as in...not a lot of questions got answered and the deposition was wildly unhelpful.  I've never heard someone say, "I don't remember," "I don't recall," or "I wasn't paying attention" so many times in a single hour.  Anyway, I'm not sure Paige learned anything except that sometimes witnesses are over-prepared by their attorneys and it's annoying.

During our drive home from the worst deposition ever, Paige mentioned the first deposition I ever took...which happened to coincide with her final day at the Firm as a summer associate.  

I've wanted to blog about my first deposition ever since I took it, but I'm a procrastinator by I haven't yet.  Whoops!  I guess now is as good a time as any, right? first deposition...

The first person I ever deposed on my own was the plaintiff in a car accident case.  He was, like most of the people I have deposed, a single man in his mid-thirties.  He was also a felon represented by the epitome of a sleazy plaintiffs' attorney--flashy car and clothes, unbuttoned shirt showing off tufts of grey chest hair, big gold chains around his neck and diamond rings on his fingers...and clearly visible plastic surgery scars.

So...prior to the accident the plaintiff worked breaking horses.  I was questioning him about his experience breaking horses and trying to get him to tell me what "breaking" a horse entails, and I mentioned that I have very little experience with horses (hoping that he would explain everything in a simple and complete way) which he responded that I should come out and go riding with him that was awkward. 

I politely declined his invitation, and moved on with the deposition.  Eventually we got to the injury he sustained in the accident.  He claimed to have pain in one of his hands and poor circulation as a result of the accident.  While discussing his hands he stated, "Yes ma'am, because these are young strong hands (indicating)."  At this point he held his hands out to me and offered to let me hold his hands to see how cold the injured one was as compared with the normal (big & strong?) one...I again declined.

Finally, we got to the fun part of the deposition--the part where the deponent has to tell me all about his/her criminal history.  In this case, I knew coming in that his criminal history was long (thank you, background check!).  He couldn't actually remember all of his past and pending charges...but he could remember that he had been previously convicted for aggravated intimidation of a state witness.  This is actually my favorite part of the deposition, so I'm just going to lay it out for you:

Q (this is "Question"):  And what were you convicted of?
A (and this is "Answer):  Aggravated intimidation of a state witness.
Q:  Can you tell me a little bit about that case?
A:  Do I have to?
Q:  Yes, you do.  What did you do to intimidate him?
A:  I tried to kill him.
Q:  How?
A:  I beat him very severely.
Q:  What was he a witness to?
A:  Because I beat another guy and he had cases already on me.
Q:  So you were charged with beating somebody else and [Witness] was a witness to that beating?
A:  No.  I beat him, too.  I beat two guys in one, and I told him if he testified, it was going to be on.
Q:  Did he testify?
A:  He tried, but I went after him again.  I got a lot of felonies, lady.

For this, he went to prison for 3.5 years.  (Side note:  Still testifying about his criminal convictions, he states, "Don't quote me on that." are under oath and there is a court reporter writing down everything you

So, we continued to talk about past convictions and then we talked a little about currently pending charges.  At the time of his deposition he had 24 counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding...we went off the record so he could tell me all about taking the county police on a high speed chase.

Anyway, we go off the record and I'm getting ready to leave and he asked if I had dinner plans...sorry, can't...

So then he tells me that when the case is over, I should come out to his place and he will teach me to ride horses.  Oh please can I?  Really, I'd just love to come out to the middle of no where and ride horses alone with a convicted felon... [obvious sarcasm].

So that was my very first solo deposition.  It was interesting...obviously.

In case you are wondering, the case settled after my facebook stalking of the plaintiff got us a picture of him fishing after the accident, holding up a big string of fish shirtless...showing off his giant swastika tattoo that took up the entire left side of his chest...and was totally admissible.  Moral of the story:  make sure your facebook setting are properly locked...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hey! Remember that one time when I had a blog?

Me too!  It seems that the last time I updated this blog was many, many weeks ago.  I fail at life (well, not life...but blogging!). 
I haven't been baking much lately, but I do have a long list of baking related blog posts that are in the making...but you're not getting one of those today.  Today, you are getting a birthday story (because it is shorter and easier to write...and fresher in my memory).
My birthday was a little over a week ago (happy birthday to me!).  I did most of my birthday celebrating in Iowa over thanksgiving because...well...that is where most of the people who wanted to celebrate with me are located.  On my birthday, however, a wonderful group of friends took me out to eat. 
It was...and experience. 
The restaurant we went to was nice.  Very nice, in fact.  And the food was delicious.  But the absolute best part of the night, hands down, was our waitress. 
The waitress started the evening by casually flirting with the one guy at our table, Matt.  She was a little older than Matt, and wearing those old lady tennis shoes, but he was really liking the attention. 
And then someone told her it was my birthday.  She got really excited because, you see, it was her birthday too!  She turned 60 that day.  She had been a wee-bit loopy all night long...but man, when she realized that we shared a birthday, she went into full on awesome mode. 
Waitress:  "Man!  I just knew!  I knew as soon as you sat down that we have a connection, you know?!  You know, our sign is Sagittarius.  We've got one foot in this world, and one in the next!What time of day were you born?"
Me:  "Um...I don't really know..."
Waitress:  "Oh, I bet it was in the morning.  I was born in the morning [side note - she actually told me the time...but I forget].  Oh, this is so exciting!"  Awkwardly watching me with anticipation in her face.
Waitress:  "So, what's your name?"
Me:  "Rachel"
Waitress:  "Oh!  My name is [don't remember] Ray!  That is so interesting, RAY-chel and me with RAY for a middle name!"
More awkward staring...then she left.
When she returned: 
Waitress:  "So, are you like a metaphysical person?"
Me:  "Um...I don't really know..."
Waitress:  "Oh, if you were a metaphysical person, you would know.  Never mind."  Awkward watching...then she left again.
She came back:
Waitress:  "So, what are your parents names?"
Me:  "Robin and Dave"
And away she goes...
And when she came back, she was carrying a Tupperware container with homemade cookies inside.  She put four cookies in the middle of our table...and with that, we left.  We took the cookies with us...but we were all fairly certain that our metaphysical waitress was probably high...potentially from the cookies, so we didn't eat them. 
And that was my birthday dinner.  It was fantastic.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Life...Keeping me Humble

It's review time here at the Firm.  That means that sometime soon, all something like 70 partners are going to get together in a big conference room and talk about all of the associates, one by one.  For me, this is my first full partnership review...up until now, I've only been reviewed by a smaller group of partners (the Associates Committee). you can imagine, the idea of 70ish of my bosses sitting around and talking about me behind closed doors is a little...scary.
This week the partners are working on (or should be working on) our written reviews.  All of the partners who I have done work for in the past six months have the opportunity to evaluate everything about me, from my researching and writing skills to my personality to my willingness to participate in firm functions.  And if I haven't done work for someone, well they can always opt to review me just for the fun of it. 
Anyway, given it is review time, I was extremely happy with a phone call I received today.  You see, a couple of weeks ago I filed something for a partner with the Clerk of the Appellate Court.  Today he called me and said, "So...I just realized...when you filed that Response, did you make sure to bind it correctly and use the right color of cover page?  I just realized that this was probably the first time you've filed something like that."  And I responded with, "It was, but I looked it up and yes, I filed it correctly." 
And then he said something that as an associate you just love to hear:  "Excellent, this is why I like working with you." 
I almost said, "Great!  You should probably write my review RIGHT NOW!"  But I didn't.
I did, however, proceed to tell some friends that I was feeling good about myself.  You know, always better to go into a review with the partner you do the most work for feeling good about your competence...
And then I looked at a motion I filed for him yesterday...and realized that I'M AN IDIOT who COMPLETELY FORGOT to include our exhibits.  Seriously...
So, just an hour or so after the partner tells me I've done something well, I walk into his office and explain why I'm an idiot (and then I fixed it, obviously). 
Sometimes there is a wonderful balance to the practice of law (at least my practice)... is a wash...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream & Fantasy Football

Have you ever noticed how often I start a post on this thing with an apology for not posting in an excessive amount of time?  I have.  It's annoying.  Anyway, sorry for not posting in a month!  I think that is the last apology you will get out of me because if you are reading this should be used to it by now, am I right?!  (Also, you are most likely a family member or friend who expects me to be late/ why should posts on my blog be any different?!).
Anyway, I'm playing fantasy football this year.  And my team (Lindsey and I) is totally kicking some major A$$! 
I don't know anything about football.  I know I like the Hawkeyes, I know some of the positions and some basic information like scoring and whatnot from my days of being a cheerleader...but I don't know ANYTHING about the NFL, and I'm being completely honest when I say I've never cared to learn.
This year, however, the guy who organizes the fantasy football league at work asked me if I wanted to get an all girl team together and participate.  I'm a lover of infiltrating all things generally male dominated, so I asked a couple of girls here if they wanted to participate, Lindsey (who actually does watch football) said yes, and Team Candy was born! 
Yes, our name is Team Candy.  One of our newest associates, Paige, named us.  I believe it is technically Team Eye-Candy, but we like to keep things appropriate (although I don't know why considering one of the teams is the Champion Whoremongers...).
Anyway, Lindsey, Paige, and I went to the chaotic, loud, booze-filled draft and picked ourselves a wonderful team!  While I've never been in to the NFL, I am very competitive.  Now that I'm invested in this team, I'm learning everything I can about my players and the NFL.  Actually, it has become so bad that Ian recently asked me to stop spouting off about the NFL and told me that if he broke up with because of my new found interest in football, people would totally understand...(he was joking, I think...).
So far we have won both of our games, which means we are ranked number one! I know, there is still plenty of time for our team to go down in a flaming ball of crap...but for now we rock! 
Because we are competitive, awesome, and women, we went to the mall and ordered the most girly team t-shirts we could find:
And Lindsey has been arranging/hosting team watch parties at her house:
Matt shown for scale...
Lindsey's basement has an awesome setup for football watch parties, which includes this lovely projection T.V. and the NFL red zone package, which makes sure you are watching whatever game currently has a ball in the red zone.
My contribution to the first watch party was cupcakes, of course!  Lindsey is always trying to coerce me into make certain kinds of cupcakes for her.  She recently sent me a recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream frosting and all she said was how delicious they looked and how excited she was for fall.  But I knew.  I KNEW she wanted me to make these cupcakes...
And I did.  I mean, making cupcakes is kind of a team effort...I like to make them, she likes to eat I might as well make a flavor she wants to try, no? 
Seriously though, I imagine it must take a lot of effort to host even a small gathering at your home (I wouldn't know, I don't let people enter my home due to the fact that it is in constant disarray and every place I have to sit only seats two...), so the least I can do is make cupcake flavors she suggests. 
As I alluded to at the beginning of this long stream of consciousness post, I have a tendency to run behind.  I woke up on the Sunday of our watch party, went to the grocery store and purchased the ingredients for cupcake making, made the cupcakes (and a dip, yummy!), and then showed up one hour late to the party...but when you show up with cupcakes, I like to think that people don't care about your lateness.  I might be wrong. 
These cupcakes are deliciously fall flavored.  I thought they were good, they were a hit at the party (meaning Lindsey and I ate a lot of them), and when I took them to work I received numerous compliments on them (as well as numerous complaints about the general lack of cupcakes in the recent past...). 
I changed the recipe to use store bought caramel (what?!  I was already late!) and instead of one stick of salted butter and one of unsalted butter in the buttercream...I just used unsalted butter and added more salt...I'm too lazy to purchase two different kinds of salt for one freaking recipe!
Oh, and just an FYI - if you double the cupcake recipe, you should also double the frosting...
Quit judging the pictures in this post...I forgot my camera at work when I baked the cupcakes, so these were taken on my messy desk.  You can actually see highlighters reflected on the side...
Pumpkin Cupcakes - (original recipe says you get 18 cupcakes from this...I got closer to 24)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Salted Caramel Buttercream -
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste and to garnish
1/2 cup caramel sauce, more to taste and to garnish
2 cups powdered sugar
  1. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.
  2. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). 
  4. Frost cupcakes and garnish with more caramel and a SMALL sprinkle of salt.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Second Anniversary - the Toddler Years

Today is my second anniversary at the Firm, and it's really hard to believe that I've been a lawyer for TWO YEARS!  In honor of my second anniversary, I went back and read my post from my first anniversary...and I gotta say, I'm funny! 

My second year at the Firm has been another great one, and I feel lucky that, just like last year, I still LOVE my job!  So, here are some highlights (and a couple of lowlights) from the past year:
  1. One of the biggest highlights of the year is that I feel a lot more comfortable in my job.  The first year as a lawyer, you literally know nothing.  I mean, you know basic information about the law, and you know how the research and write...but you don't know how to file something.  You don't know what a motion or a memorandum in support look like.  You've never taken a deposition and you have no idea how to ask questions or treat witnesses (or object, if need be).  The best part about my second year at the firm is the fact that I am finally to a point where I know what I'm doing at least some of the time!  It's wonderful!
  2. This year I argued my first motion in front of a judge.  By myself.  It was both awesome and terrifying.  I lost my place in my argument and I think that I may have stuttered once or twice, but I apparently made my point because I won!  And it was GLORIOUS!  (it was also fun to be told that I have a lovely speaking voice as I was leaving the courthouse.  Gotta love compliments!).
  3. Opposing counsel panted at me.  Like a dog.  I'm not sure whether to call this a highlight or a I'm going to go with an interesting-light.  So here is the story: I was taking the deposition of a younger, single man.  He was represented by...let's say the epitome of a sleazy plaintiff's attorney (think, bars on the windows of his office while he drives a Porsche or something, older guy with a fake tan, plastic surgery lines, half unbuttoned shirt with gray chest hair sticking out...).  Person I'm deposing is very nice to me and gives me lots of answers that are great for my side (but not so great for his own case).  Later in the day, while the sleazy attorney is speaking to my supervisor (on speaker phone with me in the office, which he knows), he describes his client's reaction to me by panting like a dog.  The next day, when he took my client's deposition, he panted at me again.  He is...interesting.
  4. For the first time, I wrote a Court of Appeal Brief.  I didn't get to argue in front of the Court of Appeals, but I did get to help shape what our arguments were.  And we won! 
  5. I had my first experience where I told a client that we were likely going to lose and that we should settle, and they asked me to press ahead to trial anyway.  I appeared for the oral arguments in front of the judge, and we lost.  It was a very good lesson: while I am invested in the case, it isn't "mine."  It is up to the client to determine how we proceed.
  6. For the first time ever, someone called my office and asked me, personally, to represent them after a prior client sent them my way.  And at the end of my representation of my very first personal client . . .
  7. The client called me and genuinely thanked me for all of my work on his case, promising to come back to me with any future legal needs. 
  8. A combination highlight/lowlight is the ever changing group of associates at the firm.  I was very happy this past year when Amelia and Lindsey started and I was no longer the one and only unmarried and childless associate.  But, I'm sad to say that another associate and friend quit the Firm to move on to an opportunity elsewhere (this one is a selfish lowlight...because her new job is wonderful for her and her family!). 
  9. I have not yet been able to convince any of my friends or family from home to move to Kansas.  That's a definite lowlight. 
  10. A random farmer in Middle of Nowhere, Kansas, admonished me that I needed to get some sun while I was sitting outside of a courtroom waiting for a hearing.  Apparently the paleness of my skin in February did not please him.
Clearly, these are just a couple of the things I can think of that have happened in the past year.  Overall, it has been amazing and I'm really looking forward to many more years here!