Panorama of San Bernardino

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wonder Woman

I am sitting here at 6 am watching Everybody Loves Raymond and writing in a mumu and my Bowie socks. I have already picked up the house, fed and watered my dogs, made and ate my own breakfast (vegan pancakes and faux sausage) and am about to take the dogs for a walk. It got me thinking about all I do.

My job is more than demanding. I don't write about it much because it is technical, intense and at times very sad. I represent people at the state hospitals who are incompetent to stand trial and it is a stressful and surreal experience at times. Public defenders get a bad rap in the media, but everyone knows you only stay in this job if you love it. And I have been here a decade and adore my job, taxing as it is.

I also have two dogs, a writing career on the side and I serve on a magazine board as well as a nonprofit rehabilitation center board. We also caretake for my mom in law. Add in my love for music and obsession with live shows and some days, it is all too much.

This Thursday, I have a show at Pappy n Harriet's in Joshua Tree (The Breeders yeah!) and have to be at March Air Force Base at 8:30 am the next day (did I mention, back in the day, that I was the veteran's court attorney for a year?).

Then, on Saturday, I have an overnight writer's conference in Wrightwood. I have classes all day Saturday and  I am performing in a spoken word contest Saturday night (I have written the pieces but need to practice). I know, woe is me, but it is a lot. I am blessed to have these opportunities, but I think I may need to put on my Wonder Woman underoos and a cape to do it all.

I think, why do I do this to myself? But I know why.

I truly believe that life is here to live. To love. To be present and happy. And for me that means music and my writing. These things make me happy, plain and simple. And I want to be happy.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018


I had a really bad day the other day. My client's energies were off, they are PC 1368 incompetent for trial so energies are always off, but this day was worse than usual. It was traumatizing. Enough said.

After court, I was sapped. I felt a tightness in my chest. I couldn't relax. My heart was racing. My mind was spinning.

I decided to go get a quick 30 minute lunch massage at a reflexology spa and it worked wonders. I felt bad for my therapist and I groaned as his fingers took away the pain in my neck and upper and lower back. Finally, I could breathe.

It made me realize that my job is toxic in many ways. I need to learn to block but it is hard. Most people know that I am naturally empathetic. But empathy can go too far when it harms you mentally and physically. A spiritualist and writer I know advised me to go to the ocean and pick a shell and keep it in my pocket to ground myself in court. That's a good idea but I have yet to put it into practice.

What I want the most is to feel like me at work. Not irritable or stressed, but the real me. The JEM who is happy and sings out loud. But maybe I am not that person. Maybe that person is the person I want to be. Or used to be?

My goal in the next month (it's my birthday month so it is a good time for rebirth) is to be the positive energy in the world. In my world. I pledge to be happy no matter what. To find joy in the mundane and even within the institution of criminal justice.

It is after all a choice to be happy. And I choose joy.

Thursday, September 6, 2018


A phrase keeps repeating in my head, this is all an illusion. Yesterday, my phone rang and rang. My head banged and banged. I read thousands of records. I sent emails and I made my own calls.

Does any of this really matter? I mean it does as far as work. I have a calendar and cases for trial to prep. But sometimes, I think we get caught up in the minutaie. In a week, will I remember everything I did? Or will it all blend together and melt in my mind like ice cream in a bowl? Maybe Facebook is a way we remind ourselves? The minutiae becomes pictures, memes or text.

Last night, after my rough day, I sat on the couch eating cereal and watching The Great British Baking Show. My dog Frodo knew. He wouldn’t leave my side and somehow his presence made it all OK. Just his breath. His heat next to me. The rhythm of his panting and beating heart. It sustained me.

Is that what having a child is like? Being distracted by love and from mid life musings by carefree and joyful youth? I wouldn’t know. I’ve given up that dream and many others. But some still remain. My book, my writing. The need to memorialize it all.

To show we were here. I was here. Life is not an illusion if something tangible is the result. The book on your coffee table is someone’s lifeblood. All those stacks at the library mean something. Don’t they?