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Archive for June, 2005

Summer Camp

My friend Michael sent me this months ago, and I found it while cleaning out my mailbox, and I thought it was appropriate for the summer time.  Michael and I have fond memories of AYC, my dad spent almost 20 summers there, until he graduated from law school, and my mom was the camp nurse for five years when I was younger – it is my favorite place on the planet.  Michael was a camper and leader in Tallulah Falls.  This email is a gross exaggeration, but it makes me think of camp, and it makes me laugh real hard.  I hope y’all have as many happy memories of camp as I do. 

Dear Mom and Dad,

Our Leader told us to write to our parents in case you
  saw the flood on TV and are worried. We are okay. Only one of our tents and 2
  sleeping bags got washed away. Luckily, none of us got drowned because we were
  all up on the mountain looking for Adam when it happened.  Oh yes, please
  call Adam’s mother and tell her he is okay. He can’t write because of the
  cast. I got to ride in one of the search and rescue jeeps. It was neat. We
  never would have found Adam in the dark if it hadn’t been for the
  lightning.  Our Leader, Keith, got mad at Adam for going on a hike alone
  without telling anyone. Adam said he did tell him, but it was during the fire
  so he probably didn’t hear him. Did you know that if you put gas on
  a fire, the gas will blow up? The wet wood didn’t burn,
  but one of the tents did and also some of our clothes. Mathew is going to look
  weird until his hair grows back. 

We will be home on Saturday if our
  Supervisor, Keith, gets the bus fixed.  It wasn’t his fault about the
  wreck. The brakes worked okay when we left.  Coach Clary said that with a
  bus that old you have to expect something to break down; that’s probably why
  he can’t get insurance. We think it’s a neat bus. He doesn’t care if we get it
  dirty, and if it’s hot, sometimes he lets us ride on the fenders. It gets
  pretty hot with 45 people in a bus. He let us take turns riding in the trailer
  until the highway patrol man stopped and talked to us.  Keith is a neat
  guy. Don’t worry, he is a good driver. In fact, he is teaching Jessie how to
  drive on the mountain roads where there isn’t any traffic.  All we ever
  see up there are logging trucks.  This morning all of the guys were
  diving off the rocks and swimming out in the lake. Keith wouldn’t let me
  because I can’t swim, and Adam was afraid he would sink because of his cast,
  so he let us take the canoe across the lake. It was great. You can still see
  some of the trees under the water from the flood.

Keith isn’t crabby
  like some leaders. He didn’t even get mad about there not being any life
  jackets. He has to spend a lot of time working on the bus so we are trying not
  to cause him any trouble.  Guess what? We have all passed our first aid
  merit badges. When Andrew dived into the lake and cut his arm, we got to see
  how a tourniquet works. Steven and I threw up, but Scoutmaster Keith said it
  probably was just food poisoning from the leftover chicken. He said they got
  sick that way with food they ate in prison. I’m so glad he got out and became
  our leader. He said he sure figured out how to get things done better while he
  was doing his time. By the way, what is a pedal-file?  I have to go now.
  We are going to town to mail our letters and buy some more beer. Don’t worry
  about anything.

 

We are fine.

 

Love,

Chris

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Chick-fil-a

Have I ever told about the times I would have starved to death if it hadn’t been for chick-fil-a? 

Well, they are numerous and cover large hunks of my life. 

Honestly, I go through spells where all I eat is chick-fil-a.  And then I won’t eat it for a long time, but I always come back. 

I’m on a HUGE chick-fil-a kick right now, mostly because of the dwarf house that guards the entrance to the street down which I must drive to get to my summer family’s house. 

No kidding I eat chick-fil-a at least once a day during the week.  And sometimes on saturday. 

But of course, never on sunday. 

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Terribly important

I will be in depositions all day, being very useful. 

My job is to sit and listen.  It will be difficult and taxing, but I am working on being good at listening to conversations that do not include or pretain to me. 

Sitting still is the really hard part. 

But I am up early this morning, and feeling good, I’ve already eaten breakfast, I’m drinking coffee, and I’m ready to go. 

love y’all.

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Story People

I get an email from Story People every day with a new story.  Today’s story is one of my favorites and also rather appropriate for how I feel today.  I slept for ten hours last night and I could have slept for 8 more, I think I might be getting sick.  But regardless, here it is –


There are some days when no matter what I say it feels like I’m far
away in another country & whoever is doing the translating has had
far too much to drink


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The AJC has an article today on the state of the Timber Industry in Georgia.

Georgia’s forestry industry
lost a third of its economic might in three years, falling from $30.5
billion in 2001 to $20.2 billion in 2003.

In many parts of Georgia, trees are now less valuable than the land on which they stand.

Researchers at the
University of Georgia and the U.S. Forest Service conservatively
predict that one-quarter of the state’s timberland will be converted to
subdivisions, shopping malls, office parks and roads in the next five
years.

That’s a total of 5.6 million acres — about 16 percent of the
state’s land and an area the size of New Jersey. Look for more
clear-cutting along the coast and I-85 through North Georgia, the
researchers say.
 

What does this mean?  Where is this going to stop?  I’m serious about this, pine trees are a big deal.  I find the timber industry terribly interesting.  I LOVE TREES (although, white pine trees are my favorite – they smell really good, especially after it rains, and most of the timber trees are long leaf, or Georgia Pines).  I hate it when trees are cut down – unless they are replanted.  We don’t need anymore walmarts. 

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It has been an exciting week here at work,  full of international investigations, cult leaders, baseball games, and probate hearings.  I have actual projects and work and stuff, but more than that I am a sort of attorney companion – like a tag along friend.  My attorneys take me places and then ask me what I thought – like a second opinion.  It is really fun.  I like being an attorney companion.  In depositions they even write down my name! Sometimes my attorneys schedule with me ahead of time, and sometimes it is more spur of the moment. 

This week, Monday was my most interesting day –

Monday morning I went to a probate hearing involving a piece of property in Chubb Town, which was the first freehold black community in the south, possibly in the country, I’m not exactly sure.  But the lady who owned the property died in 1930, intestate, and nothing has been done with the deed to the property since her death.   The problem is that there more heirs than you can shake a stick at, and you know how family politics work.  Decisions are difficult to come by.  It is the same old sad story of whether or not the family farm will be sold. 

Monday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting an individual who adds flavor and color to the city of Rome.  She is a very intelligent, very interesting, very resourceful little woman named Serpentfoot (for more information, consult google, really, it is interesting).   David took me over to her house for a little inspection, the city is trying to condemn her house, and we represent the city, but David knows her from a class he taught at Floyd College.  She has borders in her house, she rents rooms to people – and each room of the house opens to the outside – and from what I could tell – none of the rooms open to each other.  There is one bathroom that opens to the outside as well.  One of the rooms is not currently occupied and she took us inside it – and I about died because it was probably at least 110 degrees inside that room.  And the room didn’t have any windows besides the one on the door – because I immediately started looking for places to put an air conditioner.  I’m sure it would be very livable in the winter time, but it was beyond hot on Monday.  She also runs a church out of house, for more on this, consult google. 

When we arrived she was pulling up poison oak, and didn’t shake our hands on account of the poison oak.  What I didn’t understand was that she wasn’t wearing gloves, and all I could think most of the visit was that tomorrow she was going to be covered in poison oak – especially since she kept wiping her face with her hands.  She showed us a tree she had cut down, and we looked at the sad conditions of the houses on either side of her, which both appeared to have termites and faulty roofs.  Her house seemed to have a fair roof, and she had lots of plants all around her yard – tomatoes, cacti, something called polk-stalk maybe?, and she had two dogs in the backyard on chains who both looked very hot.  At first the dogs acted like they were going to eat us alive, but after we spoke to them they calmed down and acted right. 

Overall it was a very colorful day. 

Ohh, and we got paid yesterday, which is always fun.

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Lightning Bugs

I had a whole interesting post about lightning bugs and all the fun things I learned about lightning bugs tonight and all the lightning bugs I saw tonight, but I deleted it by accident and can’t get it back.  It was much more intelligent that this post.  But I guess it is summer time, and who wants intelligent?

The only intelligent quote I want to use is this one from the MSU entomology website

Lightning bugs are true wonders of nature. The light they emit is a cold light.
  Put your hand close to an incandescent light bulb and feel the large amount
  of heat it emits. Light bulbs convert electrical energy into light and heat.
  Only about 10% of the electrical energy is converted to light energy. The rest
  is heat energy. By contrast, the lightning bug combines a chemical called luciferin
  with oxygen and an enzyme to produce light in specially adapted cells in the
  tail section of their abdomen. Over 95% of the chemical energy is converted
  to light.

(95%!!!!  That is crazy!  Can you imagine if we could get 25% of electrical energy converted to light energy?  Wouldn’t that be awesome!!  Lightning bugs are so resourceful!  I think I am about 15% efficient with about 85% of my energy being released as heat – and this is on a good day.  But then again, I’m so hot.  I can’t turn it off.  Maybe efficiency isn’t everything – otherwise I’m in trouble). 

Okay, back to the unintelligent stuff that is actually interesting, most of which I picked up in childhood and didn’t read on the internet –

Lightning bugs are easy to catch; they aren’t too quick and they light up in the darkness so you can find them. 

Once you catch them – if you smash them on your arm, or your shirt, or whatever, where ever you smash them will glow for a short period of time (this is really fun).   

Don’t start feeling bad for the lightning bug, lightning bugs feed on earthworms , snails and slugs, and sometimes a group of them will attack a prey together.  ALSO – some lightning bug females will lure lightning bug males of other species, and eat them.  According to the MSU website

Females of some species mimic the codes of other
  lightning bugs to lure a hormone-primed male to his death.      
(men are so stupid!)

But I guess you could feel kind of bad, because apparently the female lightning bugs don’t fly around really, they hang out on plants and on the ground, and the ones that you catch are probably all male.  But think about it this way – they were probably going to be eaten anyway. 

So, go outside, catch a lightning bug, and smash him on your friend and watch your friend glow. 

We really used to do this as children, which I guess is kind of gross.

Other Fun Gross, Stupid, Mean Things we used to do to  Bugs as children in the summertime:

1.    We also used to catch bumble bees and flies in plastic bags and put them in the freezer – after about 15 minutes the bug would be half way dead – and you could tie a piece of dental floss to the bug’s leg, and then the bug would come back to life, and you would have a bumble bee  or fly on a leash.

Or, if you were really hateful and mean, you could also snip part of one of the wings of the bee or fly, and then you would have a bee or fly on a string that flew around in circles.  This was always good for a laugh. 

You have to be patient enough to catch the little suckers in the first place, but after that it is hilarious.   Susan says this is really hateful – that too much thought and preparation go into this mean practice for it to be acceptable – that it sounds like something you would do in middle school when everyone is really mean.  I pretty sure middle school was about the time we did this sort of thing. 

2.  You all know what happens when you put salt on a slug.  I was never very into the whole slug thing.  It always kind of grossed me out.  This doesn’t mean I was above it, I always participated, but I never really liked it.   I mean, who wants an exploding slug on the driveway?

3.  But  I did kind of like to try to catch ants and things on fire with a  magnifying glass.  This is harder than it sounds, but also a lot more fun than it sounds.   

Yawn.  I’ll update this tomorrow if I can think of any more fun bug activities.  I really hate moths  – so I refuse to talk about caterpillars and stuff like that, but I’ll think.  I really don’t like bugs in general, but I do like lightning bugs and carpenter bees.

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Bad habits

I have picked up a new bad habit.  I have been very good about not sitting on my feet, although I am sitting on them right now, and I have been very good about flossing my teeth and my toes and my fingers are both painted, and other than the fact that I desperately need to have some clothes dry cleaned, I am learning how to be an adult. 

But I have suffered a serious setback this week.

You know how all court houses have metal detectors and stuff?  And because of this, law firms use plastic paper clips?  They look kind of like triangles, and they come in an assortment of colors and sizes- here is what they look like this –
ClipsWell.  I like to chew on these little paper clips.  They are much more fun to chew on than metal paper clips.  And somehow I believe this is probably comes in somewhere along the lines of highly unprofessional and vaguely unsanitary.  I have a neon yellow one in my mouth right now. 

Sigh. 

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How to Be Good

I have been reading Nick Hornby’s novel – How to Be Good.   I like it, I bought it in the airport on the way to Dallas. 

This is my favorite quote from the book so far –

"Tomorrow maybe I’ll try and find a phone number for the organization that provides counseling for people who have been brainwashed by cults; I’m sure that depression of this kind is an entirely normal consequence of having your whole reason for living taken away from you."

For some reason I thought this was really funny. 

I’m exhausted. 

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I have decided to just go ahead and make a new category for weddings.  Because weddings will be consuming my life for the next month, and I can see many more weddings cropping up in the next year or so. 

This past weekend I went to Dallas for the wedding of Catherine Anne, who was in my pledge class and who I studied abroad with in college.  She was a beautiful, happy, relaxed bride, and the wedding was tons of fun.  My favorite part was the champagne bar, where you could get fruit juice, fresh fruit, candy, etc of your choice in your champagne.  It was excellent.  The other highlight of the weekend for me was the dessert at the rehersal dinner, which was creme brulee in a milk chocolate shell.  I’m serious when I say I am going to have dreams about for years.  It was better than meeting a cute boy. 

In addition to watching Catherine Anne walk down the aisle, I got to spend some quality time with some old friends, like Neiman Marcus and Maggie (no, really, I did get to hang out with a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time and I wish I saw everyone more often).

I stayed with my love Kallie, who I met in Greece last summer and who I absolutely adore.  I haven’t seen her since Greece, but I have high hopes of her one day making her home somewhere in the metro atlanta area where I can watch her become a high power attorney and we can go to expensive lunches.  She is going to be a 3L at UT in Austin and is working in Dallas for the summer.  Kallie was the source of the best story of the weekend I think.  Kallie is splitting her summer with two firms in Dallas, and had a dinner Saturday night at one of the partner’s houses (they actually call them shareholders, not partners, but regardless).  So Kallie came to the reception after the dinner, even though she doesn’t know Catherine Anne, or anyone else involved, Catherine Anne told me to bring her, and I really wanted Kallie to get to meet my other friends.  Well, by the time Kallie gets to the reception, we have been drinking champagne for a while, and I introduce Kallie to Catherine Anne’s brother Michael, who just graduated from medical school.  Somehow I neglect to tell Kallie that Michael is Catherine Anne’s brother, and here is how the conversation went (by the way, Kallie did get to meet Catherine Anne before this happened, she really wasn’t crashing the wedding):

M:  So what are you doing in Dallas?
K:  Well, I’m clerking for two law firms, I just finished my second year.
M: Really?  What firms are you working for?
K:  Firm W for the first half and then Firm H & L for the second half, I’m rotating in the business part, contracts, real estate, that sort of thing. 
M:  Oh, well, my dad is a partner at H & L, actually, he is one of the founding partners, he works in real estate – venture capital.
K:  Really?  I love that sort of thing, who is your father, what is his last name?
M:  Well, he is the father of the bride.
K:  Oh, right, yes. 

(eventually it is all sorted out and Michael introduced Kallie to his dad, who I know and think is great, and it all ends up being hilarious and Catherine Anne’s dad promised to get Kallie a project). 

Catherine Anne’s wedding was the first of my June weddings, and from here on out I have a wedding every weekend for the next month except the weekend of the 4th of July.  So counting this last weekend, five weeks, four weddings; Dallas, Sea Island, Augusta, and Athens.  I am heading down to Saint Simon’s on Thursday of this week for the Sea Island wedding, and I am looking forward to laying on the beach.  I haven’t been to the beach since Spring Break, in contrast to  last summer when I spent seven weeks on the beach in Greece. 

But work has been terribly interesting this morning, give me a little while and I will get back to you on that topic.

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