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February 24th, 2002

Lost in a small park

I hiked Sister Grove Park in rural Collin County today.
The weather was warm--mid 70s. The park still had its winter face on--dead thistle and brown, tall grasses punctuated by the green cedars. I took pictures of plants, of flying giant crows, of the lake and clouds--perhaps some will become mail art postcards.
I visited the Princeton Flea Market, great prices, right in front of the trailer park, didn't buy anything. I mailed out two
copies of my book to ebay buyers. It's nearly time to write another.

I set up this livejournal this morning, and was frustrated when the system was down after I wrote the first draft of this.
We'll see if this one "takes".

was once lost but now am found

The livejournal thing works. My first post
managed to indicate how I got lost in the title,
but my rewrite left out the loop trail from hell.

This weekend I've been thinking about law firm hiring. In 1999, law firms hired new associates at exorbitant rates, and many law grads got a great job. In 2002, hiring is much slower.
I think our profession does not do a good job
of transitioning law grads into the field.
We know that middle class folks can't get their legal needs met, and yet we don't help fashion ways to transition all these law grads to meet those needs. At the elite end of the scale, though, law firms are either in boom or bust.
Either they're paying kids right out of school
120K to 150K, or they're laying off associates
imprudently hired during the boom. Although the
phenomenon is market-driven, I'd have to think that law firm planners could do better with this.
Of course, I just run a 2 man little shop, so I don't know the challenges that these megafirms face. I do know that (a) law firm hiring trends seem to fluctuate in ways that disadvatage everyone, even the firms, and (b) the also-ran law student should be helped into practice by the bar so that both new lawyer and under-served client
have a win-win situation. I guess I'll have to
shed my customary reluctance to be a joiner and see if anyone in the TX bar is working on
the underemployed/unemployed lawyer situation.

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Kite

A dollar store kite with tropical fish
Red twine from Wal Mart spun around a plastic spool;
Little suburb pocket park, flat, firehouse before,
suburb behind.
I tied on the the string and let it go.


The kite flew like a character in a movie--
it left my hands and reached the sky in seconds flat;
I heard myself chuckle a deep pleased chuckle,
like preteens do, when things are better than television.

My kite soared and twine spun out, while the man next to me and his toddler daughter coped with high wind on a traditional kite.
"She doesn't care how well it flies", he said to me,
"as long as it goes this high". He gestured to her kite,
struggling at ten feet off the ground.
"She got it free at her school".

"I paid a dollar for mine", and that moment I felt as though that
dollar was the most valuable dollar I ever spent in my life.

The kite turned. It plummeted down.
I reeled in line. It came up again.

The kite turned again. It plummeted down.
I reeled in line. It plummeted down further.

Soon the kite found the only tree in the only backyard with a
tree in the whole tract home neighborhood, the sort of tree
that the tree farmer brings in and plants when folks move in,
because all the trees that preceded the tract are long ago cut down.

I reeled in red line.
The nice man with the toddler said "kite-eating tree", just like on television. I pulled the line in, and then I cut the line.
The kite adorned the tree.

I felt myself chuckle that deep chuckle, the kind of chuckle that preteens make when they grow up and remember their kites.

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