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2005-02-10 - 2:33 p.m.

I think I really have the Middleburg law office experience well understood now: The elite clientel are OK when their immigrant help walk into the same church as them. The landowners then figure these are good hard working God fearing people who will respect authority- (THEIR AUTHORITY....) and will be happy and content in their shitty low paying jobs, because there will be rewards in heaven for them later. Church reinforces the social strata and makes them all feel good.

However, if those same elite landowners walk into THEIR attorney's office, and come accross those same farm or domestic workers... the ones who are SUPPOSSED to work QUIETLY behind the scenes and not appear in society EXCEPT for church on Sunday... well then LOOK OUT! THE whole social strata is being rocked!! What would happen if those workers were to actually become Citizens?? OH NO!! They'd eventually hear of things like health care, and minimum wage, and paid time off..... AHHHH THE DEMISE OF THE FAMILY FARM As we know it!! They'll be taking jobs at Giant (as one former domestic worker I assisted from the strongly possible fate of deportation who is now instead a cashier with health insurance)

OH NO.... the family might be forced to REALLY farm...or clean their own hair out of the bathroom drain, or worst yet, since most of the families are aged and couldn't hoe or shovel shit well even if they wanted to, the FARCE of the farm would be blown away... without the farmworkers who will work for that shit, how COULD there be a farm????

Anyway, I feel a little better now after a chat with the ONE Immigration attorney west of Fairfax. She's located in Reston and not only is happy to meet my quote in helping my former client's spouse with her N400, but is SO HAPPY that she might be able to refer work to me! After having difficulty finding someone willing to supervise me out west here, I am sure for fear of disturbing the social strata.... I called her to negotiate the cost of the VISA hoping she'd grant the deal. She is not only happy to do so, and will take this job on that I was so happy to POTENTIALLY have a few months back, but she will also be glad to supervise me in doing work for her office! The H2B Quota is already filled for this year but she asked me if I would be interested in processing them whence they come around again... she said this year she had an influx of inqiries.

So out of a negative experience may be a more positive one! Instead of feeling like a renegade underground lawyer it would be SO NICE to be actually "supervised" by someone whose specialty is REALLY immigration! I surmise I won't have to pull out the OED to correct frivolous feedback on grammer and spelling with her, and perhaps I can LEARN some things from her!

I was feeling guilty after talking to the lawyer who reluctently said he WOULD still supervise, but who clearly preferred to sever the relationship. I do understand, and can't blame him too much. (IT really WAS his office "girls" as he calls them who clearly projected the attitude)
I just felt badly for the client who I wanted to follow up with, as I graciously gave the attorney in Middleburg the out when it was hinted at, and I confidently professed I'd find someone else to supervise the work. The attorney said to call him if I couldn't find anyone else- but I admit to being too proud to do so now that I can't find anyone else! I mean , how can I walk back in there and NOT be catty back to his office staff? I just can't do it. HE I could easily see- but not the women who were so sly and suspicious of me with their obvious issues. Not now that I figured out what those issues are!

WEll someday I'll eventually have time to study for the BAR exam.I'll get to hire my own office help that can be as gracious with the farmworkers as they are with the rich old elite. Money to me is money- and I'll work for whoever is a hard worker and earns the money to hire me for legal help- WITHOUT discrimination. I joked with a friend that I would just have to schedule the old bittys one day, and the farm and domestic workers ANOTHER day... and that's SAD, but truthfully a logistically good idea for a lawyer who wants to serve BOTH clientel in this area! If years ago someone told me the U.S, was rift with class issues I wouldn't have believed it! I am really astounded that in this day and age these issues STILL exist!

Maybe I'll have a ritalin prescription and can stay awake for that BAR exam soon ! I did head to Buffalo last weekend for the first part of a full personality indicator which I am court ordered to go though. I joked to my friend the MSW who I stay with that perhaps some good will come of this $1700 expense I HAVE to pay for my own MMPI because my EX is questioning my competency as a parent! I joked maybe I'd at least get a prescription and ADD diagnosis out of it... and she said seriously "It might not even show up." I guess if the test is not so thorogh that it doesn't show up then in some ways I will feel like "What the heck? $1700 FOR NOTHING? WE don't need a full psycological to tell anyone I am not crazy!" It seems the test ONLY focused on ABNORMAL psych issues! I'll feel really cheated if ADD is left out.. I mean for $1700 I should hope I at least get something personally out of this! But I guess if it gets me my kids back that is getting something personal out of it- but I can't help but think it shouldn't be becasue of paying $1700 to an expert that the court will suddenly hand them over. If so its a truly wacked system- because I already have a letter from a friend here WITH THE EXACT CREDENTIALS of the Psycologist in NY that states Westley and I are good parents. (Not to mention TWO other letters, one from an MD, and another from the family/marriage counselor here)

So THE ONLY difference between the assessment of the NY Psycologist and the one here is that I have to pay for the assessment from NY. And of course that is the court referral... and the court refers to those they have prior good working relationships with (AKA but not always mentioned their FRIENDS!)

The little cynical part of me creeps up sometimes and thinks "Now I understand all this... its one of the few ways of helping the otherwise flailing, long dying Buffalo economy...Get well off people from OUT OF STATE to travel and pay for as many services as possible"
Hmm... tourism, legal fees, babysitting, now psycological fees ,"
I am constantly wondering what the court HASN't yet thought of to order me to pay for in that economy:

hmm... school for kids. That will be next I'm sure....
I asked for their Dad to inquire about the Catholic school and to his credit he DID bring the kids there for the open house last weekend! I am happy he is considering it for Soren who I think would benefit from that environment. I am happy that Katerina HAS BEEN MOVED to the gifted and talented program and is excited about it! She is not bored out of her mind anymore. They also have a youth orchestra and individual string lessons. She had her first violin lesson on Mon and on Wed FORGOT her violin for Orchestra! (Predictable!)
I tried to help her over the phone with some suggestions for organization- like "Do you have a calendar?"
"Is it hanging so you can see it?"
"Ask your Dad if you can hang it somewhere where you can see it- Then write on it for Sun and Tue Night BRING VIOLIN, then take out your violin before bed and put it somewhere so you can't LEAVE without tripping over it- so you can't forget it"

Or some such routine... that was my general advice GET IN TO A HABIT AND MAKE IT ROUTINE.

Ahhh... maybe I can call her and give her help until she gets into a new routine. All the opportunity in the world means nothing if one FORGETS about it! ... CAN you say " ADD"....

Anyway, the little ones are doing well. Getting over colds. The baby is that last with the boogy nose. So this week we will venture out to Bible school tommorrow morning which the children enjoy.
They enjoyed making valentine's yesterday. I hope everyone enjoys their non-traditional cards with pictures of a WHALe, and stickers of animals on them. (That's what we had here when they wanted to make them!And their heart drawings are rather blob like, and blue.)

We did enjoy a nice visit with my parents who stayed with the girls while I traveled to NY.

A question to think about:
At what point does one become an alcoholic? Would a daily drinker necessarilly be one? How about a person who drinks a few glasses of wine DAILY? OR A few times a week?

What is the cut off?
I've been thinking about this alot lately as I looked at the site for Adult Children of Alcoholics and note I meet the criteria! (And so does Westley and his sister!)
Westley commented about my Dad- who I said never drank much- just a bit of wine when we ate red meat. Then of course I realized that growing up we ate red meat rather often.... Hmmmm
Westely commented that just because my Dad drinks only wine doesn't preclude him from possibly being an alcoholic. There are a number of FUNCTIONAL alcoholics who manage to hold down jobs and be responsible in life. (I lived with one as a young adult. He was in fact my best roommate EVER, even thought he drank alone in his room almost nightly... and did crash my borrowed car once )
So I had said, "Well it WOULD explain my Dad'd philosophy of 'FISH AND RELATIVES DON"T KEEP FOR MORE THAN A FEW DAYS' and the way he won't stay anywhere long"
I said, "Well- lets see-- if he brings wine when he comes to stay the weekend then I'll think about that more."

Dad brought a 2 liter of red table wine. 12.5% alcohol ... Hmmm... So I'm thinking about that more now. The bottle was almost empty by the end of the weekend.

I asked my MSW Social worker friend I stay with "IT is REALLY possible to be THRITY SIX YEARS old before realizing you have an alcoholic parent???"

She responded "Yes- Its actually not uncommon"

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