I'm attending a 2 week long trial training session in sunny South Carolina. I've been taking part in a really intensive trial practice course. Feels like I'm back in law school - work every night 'till I fall asleep. Only this time I gotta perform on my feet a lot more - doing stuff like opening statements and closing arguments, cross and direct examination, introducing exhibits, making objections...and wrapping it up with a full mock trial. So, yeah, it's pretty interesting stuff.
Meanwhile, here's what else is going on in my life:1. Christy's sick
It's really weird and kinda scary. It started with chest pains and now it's moved across her shoulders and neck. It's actually a really crappy time for me to be away at training. Her mom flew in to take care of her this weekend, but it's still scary not knowing what's going on. We've been to the doctor and the ER, ruled out various heart troubles. But we still don't know what's causing it, and prescription painkillers have only be reducing, not eliminating the pain. Yesterday she had, like, her 4th doctor visit. And she'll be seeing a specialist of some sort next week. But not knowing and not being able to do much to stop my wife's pain is scary as hell.
On the plus side, it's been wonderful to have family and friends be really supportive of us. Folks at church have taken the time to pray for her and e-mail to ask how she's doing. It means a whole lot to know others are thinking of us.2. I voted Obama
It's kind of nice that my vote in the Democratic primary is in a state that makes a difference. Georgia's one of the many Super Tuesday states, and I sent in my absentee ballot last week. (Since I'll still be in Columbia on Feb. 5.)
For the time being, I can't imagine voting Republican because of (a) Iraq and (b) the potentially apocalyptic danger of global warming. (Although it comforted me to hear John McCain recently argue in favor of taking action on global warming.) I like to think that one day I won't be a partisan...that I'll be able to consider voting Republican. I mean, I am pro-life, for instance. But for now....let's just say I'm no swing voter.
That said, it was really tough choosing who to vote for in the Democratic primary. After spending hours reading the policy differences between Obama, Clinton, and Edwards (who was still running at the time) and cursing that Biden and Richardson dropped out of the race, I was no closer to a decision. I swear, these people practically plagiarized from each other on Iraq, health care, global warming, and all the issues that mean much to me. Being forced to choose, I finally went with Obama for 2 reasons. 1) Compared to Clinton, he seemed to have a better emphasis on addressing poverty, with ideas like indexing the minimum wage to inflation and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. Clinton doesn't even have a section of her website devoted to addressing poverty. (Not that I don't think she would, but still, how you present yourself says a lot about your passions.) 2) My second reason is pure political calculation. Given the unpopularity of the current president and the fact that no Republican candidate has really captured the hearts of the Right, Republicans are disorganized and dispirited. Democrats are energized and hopeful. The only thing that might bring Republicans out voting in droves is to keep out a candidate they really hate......and for reasons that are entirely unfair, that candidate is Hillary Clinton. Also, I kind of like how Obama often cites one of my favorite theologians, Reinhold Niebuhr
Now that it's Super Tuesday, we'll see how it all turns out.
Oh, as in 2000, I forgot that Super Tuesday is also Mardi Gras. So happy Mardi Gras. I expect to see everybody with ashes tomorrow! (Not that I've ever done that myself.)3. Saw No Country For Old Men
I saw this in Columbia last Saturday. I also rented Eastern Promises. A couple of violent movies, let me tell ya. [Spoilers.]
No Country certainly was fascinating. I found myself identifying with Anton Chigurh's many victims. Especially Carla Jean. She knew she was going to die, so she called him on his posturing bullshit. Chigurh pretends that he's some sort of agent of fate....in fact, I'm pretty sure that the Coen Brothers and Cormac McCarthy intend to portray him as such. I don't buy it. He DOES have a choice, dammit! Just like Moss had a choice whether to steal that money. Sure, the movie is dedicated to the idea that things are out of our control, that random chance plays a major role in our fates, that no good deed goes unpunished (note how one of Chigurh's most common victims is a good Samaritan....note how, before the appearance of the tracking device, it seems that Moss's compassion for the thirsty Mexican is the only thing that led to him being tracked by killers). But you know what, even within the limitations of that system, people are still free agents. Moss chose to take the money and not to return it. Chigurh freely chooses every murder he commits - and he shouldn't be allowed to hide behind a coin or "his word" to not take moral responsibility for what he does (for whatever it's worth).
Didn't see Moss's death coming. I mean, I figured he was a dead man from the beginning of the movie, but after he held his own against the unstoppable Chigurh, I figured we would at least observe his death....and that it would be at the hands of someone like Chigurh, instead of the Mexicans. Interesting how, late in the movie, the plot just discards the MacGuffin and focuses on the choices and inadequacies of the characters.
Anyways, I had more thoughts, but I should be getting ready for a day of mock trial prep.
By the way, don't take the fact that I talk more about my vote and a movie than about Christy as any sign of my relative priorities. It's just a lot easier to pontificate about movies and politics than about my wife's pain.