Sunday, February 11, 2007

We're Engaged!

A while back, I explained to Starman -- in as loving & supportive way as I could -- that every engagement I know of has resulted in a story. Maybe it's a story about the ring, or the wedding preparations, or the proposal itself. Stobex and I have a story about the ring and one about the proposal, which took place during a transatlantic phone call at 5:45 a.m. my time. I didn't want Starman to be intimidated, but I wanted him to have a chance to think about how he wanted it to go. I swear to you I didn't have a trap set for him, so that if he didn't outdo himself I'd find fault. But I could tell he felt the pressure.

Well, dear readers, he needn't have worried: he outdid himself. We've had a hectic few weeks, what with moving stuff from one place to another, thinking about this now on-now off election stuff, and some lingering legal issues that won't be going away for a while. I really would have been happy if we'd negotiated some buffer zone so that he didn't have to sweat all this right now. But he put that negotiation off, suggesting he had it worked out.

In case the date has escaped you, Valentine's Day is coming up. As it happens, my birthday is the day after that. But we've got so much going on this week, I certainly didn't expect him to do anything on either of those days. And, on top of all that, we had a fight last night. (80% my fault, by the way.) So when I got up this morning and saw that he'd created a crossword puzzle for me, I was thrilled just that he'd done it. Such a loving and creative gesture, I think.

After breakfast, I settled down to solve it. He'd kept the clues pretty easy; well within my level of ability at cryptic crosswords. I'd actually solved the first two before I read the rubric, which told me to solve the puzzle, including an unclued question at two lights, then answer the question by highlighting my choice of three answers imbedded in the puzzle. Yup, you got it: the question was Will You Marry Me, and the three choices were Yes I Will; No I Won't; and Don't Know. I highlighted Yes I Will -- in green for go.

He managed to hide not one but two diamond rings nearby (how did he know which chair I'd be sitting in???), in case one didn't fit. The first one was huge: a "diamond" keyring! The second one was huger: a "diamond ring" paperweight. I'll treasure both of them as it they were real.

I know he'll read this, so here it is again: Yes, I'll marry you, Starman. You make me happy, you work hard at being a great boyfriend, and you love me as much as I love you. And I am very happy with the story you created of how we got engaged.

I'm running; no, I'm not; yes -- no, wait . . .

I got a call a few weeks ago from some Democrats I know here. They happen to head up the Democratic Party in my county, and they wanted me to run for magistrate district justice in one of the three county districts. I didn't say yes right away because I wanted to think about it, and because I needed to make sure there were no legal impediments to my running, such as my not meeting the residency requirement.

Thanks to Stobex's legal research, Iwill have been a resident of this county for more than a year by the date of election, which is what the regulations say is needed. After checking out a couple other things, I said sure why not? I'm a lawyer, this is a judgeship, I'm a fair and reasonable person, and a great judge of character (if hopelessly immodest) so why not?

Then I started to talk to people, and they were all very nice to me, and all very encouraging, but I began to see that I am probably unelectable. I have two strikes against me, and while either might be sufficient to make it impossible to win, the two together are a death knell. First, I'm a lawyer. Yeah, I know -- I thought the same thing! That ought to make it easier, not harder, right? Well, no. I gather the fine voters of my county takes actual pride in electing regular folks to be "the people's judge." The only lawyer anyone can think of who has held this post was appointed. And the guy who's on the bench now was a bank teller. Oh-kay.

But the real problem is that I'm not from around here. I didn't grow up here, go to school here, take sides when so-and-so had that long-standing feud with what's-his-name, etc. I don't have family here, my daddy and his daddy before him weren't born here, and . . . well, you get the idea. Now, the nice folks who asked me to run identified this as a problem, but they thought it could be turned to an advantage as well -- I'd be fair, judicious, unbiased, and the like. But I think it's basic: too many people would feel, "I don't want some stranger deciding issues round here." And that's fair enough.

Mind you, I'd do a great job. I know that, and I suspect the people I've talked with know that. But "best qualified" doesn't always translate into "easiest to get elected." So when a smart, capable, non-lawyer, third-generation local came forward and said she wanted to run, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and mentally stopped running. Dodged a bullet, I did!

So, no, I'm not going to put the Mag into Magistrate. But thanks, Coffee J. for the campaign slogan!

Life in Hi-Def

I know, I haven't been posting much recently, but that's okay because I actually think about what I would be blogging if I had time to blog (this is thinking done while driving or doing other things that preclude accessing the computer), and I remember all that stuff. Of course I do. So, here's the blog from two weeks ago:

We went down to Philadelphia to rent a trailer, pack it with stuff from Ikea, and get back to our newly painted and wired home offices. I realize that sounds like Starman and I both get goodies from this excursion, but it's only for me. His stuff is on a boat crossing the Atlantic, and should be here in a few weeks. My stuff is all in flat-pack boxes waiting (in some cases) to be built. First to be constructed were two Billy bookcases (does anyone not own these?) for my cartons and cartons of books. We weren't able to get all the extra shelves I need, so books are piled up on the bottom shelves, waiting for their chance to be sorted and arranged just so. But no matter how hard I try, I can't get all my books to sort themselves out and fall into some sort of order.

I'm developing a slight ability to tell which tasks want to be done first. Or rather, which tasks my subconscious wants me to do first. This is a useful ability, as it is much -- much! -- easier to do the task that wants doing than those that don't. I agree; sometimes we don't get a choice. Sometimes we have to do the undoable, move the unbudgeable, and sort through the unsortable. But not this time. So, the books are partially done and I'm on to the next job.

Meanwhile, we've upgraded to high definition satellite TV. Mind you, we don't have the 50" plasma HDTV yet. We bought it, but they don't keep it in stock, so it's back down to Philly for another stint with the trailer to load up the car and the trailer with the TV, all the bits of furniture too big to fit in the back of the car ordinarily, and as many boxes as we can manage. My preference: my fabric. Remember, I'll move mountains for my fabric, including mountains of the fabby itself!

Postscript: Second trailer trip was, by about 1/2 inch margin, a success. The TV didn't fit in the car, so we collected the trailer, loaded it with everything but the TV then went back to the store to collect the TV. It just fit, literally by the thickness of the cardboard box it was in. I pushed the poor Starman to get it unpacked and unloaded the next day; he nearly melted with the effort. The day after that, our local satellite guy came round and double-checked that everything was as it should be. (Good thing, too -- we didn't have a crucial cable, and it would have been way too much stress for us both to figure out why Tori Amos & Alannis Morrisette were an odd shade of green.) And is HDTV all it's cracked up to be? Well, we can't watch any network stuff on it yet because the local affiliates don't have satellite feeds for the hi-def stuff, but that's okay. The regular lo-def programs look surprisingly good on this TV (we got the one with a better processor for lo-def programs; money well spent I think) so we're happy. And I'm doubly happy because my new DVR records two programs at the same time, and with all the time I will be spending sorting out my new home office, that's a good thing.

So, it's a good hi-def life.