Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christina Ricci

I seem to lose readers as fast as I gain them...

The new readers can be fun though, watching the rapid demoralization of their souls as they dig deeper and deeper into the dreary depths of the Lounge. Ah, nothing like the loss of innocence to start the day off right!

So, one such blog-spelunker observed recently that I seem to hold a limited fixation on Christina, while other, healthier, individuals can have entire LISTS of predatory sexual obsessions.

"Hold your horses!" was my retort. "You obviously have not dug deeply enough to have seen the List. The Laminated List!"

Which raised the realization, "Holy Guano, Batman! I need to update the list!"

So, without further ado, here is the all-new fully-updated brunette-heavy Gin-&-Tonic Laminated list:

Nicole Kidman
Christina Ricci
Alyson Hannigan
Dita Von Teese
Eva Green
Of course, to validate the list, I must name my obligatory alternates...
Blonde Alternate: Tricia Helfer
Over Age Alternate: Isabella Rossellini
Under Age Alternate: Emma Watson
Same Sex Alternate: Ewan McGregor

Not in Oregon

Finally, freaks doing frealky things in OTHER states...

Man accused of spray-painting 3 goats

Tue Nov 28, 10:26 PM ET

A man broke into a barn on Thanksgiving morning, spray-painted three pet goats and scattered pages of pornographic magazines on the floor, apparently to harass the property owner, police said Tuesday.

"Obviously it's not an occurrence you see every day," Karst said. "I think it was a situation where this harassment got out of hand."

He would not elaborate on past instances of harassment or what the feud involved but said the suspects were known to the property owner.

Karst said he did not know specifically how the goats were harmed, but a veterinarian said the goats became sick after eating the magazine pages. The vet, Stacey Dallas, also said the orange paint was on their genitals and described the act as torture.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Late Shift

Trisha was working the late shift at Target. Clad as she was in tan pants and red short-sleeved blouse, she looked down the deserted aisles, looking for signs on life, or a patron to process through the checkstand maze.

She was crabby. She wasn't supposed to work tonight, but Cheryl couldn't make it in due to snow. So, Trisha had to cover.

So, there she stood, in sensible shoes, regretting the fast food she feasted on for dinner. Bored. Cold. Dreaming of a day when she would work regular hours with regular weekends. Maybe she would be a dental assistant. Maybe she would be a paralegal (whatever that is...) The odor of the over-buttered popcorn wafted from the food court.

She felt ill.

Suddenly she saw him. Perhaps the last customer of the night on this snowy November Monday. He was tall. Over 6 foot for sure. He wore a ratty green sweatshirt under a black leather coat. He had bad hair. His glasses were too big for his face. He smelled vaguely of gin.

In one hand, he carried discs; CDs and DVDs. Among them, INXS, Gorillaz, and the Little Mermaid. In the other hand he held a six pack of one-liter bottles of 7-Up.

For this, he left the house late and braved the snow? This was the late night shopping emergency? Sad really. She smiled politely.

He fumbled with his debit card, seemingly confused by basic technology. He mumbled something both unfunny and incoherent.

Trisha kindly packed the bags, gave the man his receipt, and sent him on his way. To his credit, he shuffled out the door without complication.

Trisha, knowing the end of the shift was near, slumped against her register and sighed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I finally managed to get my ass into a theater to see Casino Royale. It rocked. It was smart and stylish, suspenseful and well-paced, well-written and well-acted. It was stripped-down and edgy, lean and low-tech. It was what true fans have waited for, for a long long time. Here, I thought Pierce was the best Bond since Connery. Hell, Mr. Craig is really quite possibly better than the original.

If the Broccoli family ever come across this blog, I would just like to say, "Thank you. Finally, you got it right."

How, you may ask, did I ever actually get out to see a movie? (With the missus, no less!!)

What, pray tell, happened to the monkey??

Well my friends, I have one word for you: "Babysitter!"

A trusted twenty-something from the wife's work requested a tot-fix, and we had just the tot for her. By all reports, all went well. The lovely lady arrived, as pre-arranged, with her polite and dapper boyfriend around noon. The monkey napped without incident or alarm for a couple of hours, leaving me with really only one question: "Where in my house did they screw?"

Not that I CARE... I'm just curious.

The mid-day movie-date allowed for a rare luxury, not partaken of since, oh, last May. This of course was the all-adult dining experience. As we drove north, we ran through the litany of all known eating establishments. We don't often have this opportunity, so we decided to make it count. We settled on our favorite Vietnamese Pho house, near where Tom used to live. However, that idea didn't sit quite right.

We randomly called out a few more sorry suggestions, until Mrs. Gin-&-Tonic finally recalled one small cafe up in the northwest part of town that she heard about on the radio. Having wound our way through the narrow streets, we came to the corner of 24th and Thurman, only to discover that the place was gone.

Not to let the loss of a cafe defeat us, we toured some more through the uber-hip over-priced neighborhood, until we came across a little red and white brick building with a simple sign that read Stepping Stone Cafe. It looked deliciously divy. So, we walked in.

Now, I'm not here to tell you that it was the greatest diner in the world, or that it will change your life. However, it was truly tasty, and the wait staff is charming, in a sassy and surly sort of way. Their motto is : "you eat here because we let you."

The Coffee was durable. The proportions were large. The sausage was sizzling, and my wife ordered some sort of thick banana hazelnut French toast thing that would have been appropriate for desert. I will definitely drive back for more, and if you are near Portland, you should too.

Now, while we sat in the cafe for this Sunday's brunch, I began to look around at my fellow patrons. Not surprisingly, it was a typical Sunday Portland crowd with varied ages and economic backgrounds. Most clearly, no one looked like they had just come from church. In fact, many looked like they had just rolled out of bed with delicately disheveled hair and cleverly pre-crumpled ironic clothing. Some wore high-tech outdoorsy weather gear. Some wore khaki. Some wore creative ensembles of all these things.

Most Women had pony tails. Most men were unshaven. A few of the guys still had make up on from the night before, but otherwise mascara was nowhere to be found. This is Portland. Weekend Portland, at least. During the week, downtown is predictable business suits, ties, and dresses, but even then, there is a subversive subcurrent in the professional appearance.

My sister visited from California a couple of years ago, and noticed after a short time, that people in Portland had a, uh, um "different style." Well, fair enough.

so sitting in that cafe this afternoon, I wondered to myself, what exactly is that style? It crosses generations and local geography. Formal dining here means a dinner jacket with your blue jeans. Most wait staff, anywhere in town, is tattooed. There is a hipster sensibility mixed with the necessities of wet winters. There is an outdoor ethos mixed with a blase aloofness. It is concentrated understatement. It is trying too goddamn hard to look like you are not trying at all.

So does it have a name? Deliberate-dress-down-woodsy-chic? Quasi-urban-techno-casual? I don't really know, and perhaps I don't really care. After all, I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard.

But in all seriousness, the food was good. You should go.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Can We Have Root Beer Flowing from the Fountains Too?

Wishful thinking is what it is. I know, I know, it's popular in California. However, THIS is not California...

People like fake trendy facades down there. Hell, the whole place IS a fake trendy facade. So, it should be no surprise that the latest trend in shopping is a "total immersion commercial experience."

See, the big malls and bigger box stores have killed the concept of local downtown mom-and-pop shopping. However, market research proves beyond doubt that the downtown village shopping experience is exactly what shoppers want.

So, now, retail developers have taken to building fake shopping towns, which, when viewed from a historical perspective, is exactly how real town were first formed. So, it's actually a cyclical circle of sorts, so to speak, but I digress.

These new pseudo towns have no mayor, no city counsel, no residents to speak of. They are simply malls. Malls with streets, street art, and artsy thematic facades. And so, we come to the illusive point...

The greater Portland tri-county metro region has, among other things, three big malls. Washington Square caters to the Yuppies on the westside (home of Nike and Intel). Clackamas Town Center caters to the eastside hillbillies. Lloyd Center, toward the northside, caters eclectically to street-thugs, gay men and Tonya Harding. (She used to ice skate there...)

Recently, however, some developer took note of a triangle field located near Interstate-5 at the very gateway of Lake Oswego. ( For you folks who don't know, "Lake No-Negro" is a private lake surrounded by wealthy white folks who shelter along its shore behind tall walls, and who venture out only in caravans of matching SUVs with darkly tinted windows.)

Needless to say, this little capital venture was aimed at the "upper end" shopper. So, it should be no surprise that a little pseudo-village shopping park, Bridgeport Village, should emerge, as if overnight. Streets were re-routed. Entire big-box book stores made the move literally across the street, but then things slowly started to go wrong...

First, there was the flaming fountain sculpture. It is nice, with stone and bronze, fire and water. It was temporarily loaned to the Village by the aging artist. It was, however, PERMANENTLY installed, and no one seemed to have planned to pay anyone for it. Oops.

And then there is the parking. And really, since I've started writing this blog last year, I have resisted a raging rant about the inexplicable absence of parking at this place. So, in the interest of moving on, let me just say this: Parking at Bridgeport Village is poor.

(By "poor," of course, I mean that the designers should be ass-raped in hell for all of eternity.)

And then, as if by surprise, once the first winter hit, it was discovered that there was no roof. Well, the individual shops have roofs, but not the side walks. Now, Oregonians are a hardy bunch when it comes to rain, but really, the upper-end shoppers from Lake-O, so coveted by the village, are just a bunch of pussies.

Bad planning. BAD GODDAMN PLANNING!! That's what I think every time I go. And I have to go. They have things there that I want! But having made my purchase, I feel guilty for having supported BAD FUCKING PLANNING!!

(Jesus, this one's getting long...)

OK, so, tonight, The Village hosted it's first annual lighting of the Christmas Tree. First attempt. Fair enough.

But Damnit, if you are going to invite a gazillion people to come stand OUTSIDE in the cold November air, have more than TWO heaters on site.

AND, if you are going to distribute hot cider to the throng, or even offer hot cider, have the cider ready. Have cider pump-pots that work, and have more than one poor schlepp on hand to help. And if you are not going to have the product available, do not make kind folks and potential shoppers stand in line.

AND, if you're going to have a gazillion children come stand outside to see Santa and the tree, and you are in Oregon, and you FORGOT TO BUILD A ROOF, a little temporary tarp or tent might be nice.

AND, when you've designed overly-narrow lanes, and crammed them with kiosks and a gazillion crying cold wet children, DO NOT try to force a team of angry elk, dressed as reindeer and pulling a sleigh, through the milling masses.

AND, this is the important part, when you have lured a gazillion crying cold bored hungry tired wet children to your Bataan-death-march-like holiday extravaganza, Santa Claus had better goddamn well better be sure that he is not 30 fucking minutes late!

Piss-poor planning in goddamn deed.

And before you ask, no, I do not want or need a tinsel hat...

Thursday, November 23, 2006


It's dark now. It's been a good day. Every one is asleep, except me of course. I am sitting in the dark by the big window watching dimly lit breakers slide up the sand. I am on my second glass of port. All that is missing is a cigar. Poor planning on my part.


Growing up, I had a dog named Sargie that was half lab and half shepherd. When I was 5, we moved into a house nextdoor to a dog of the exact same mix. So, what are the odds of that happening again? Well, here at the coast on a stormy thanksgiving, our shepherd husky boy has met and played with not one but two others exactly like himself. It's just odd really.

Holliday Update

Happy thanksgiving from the sunny oregon coast.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Man of the Year

GOOD LORD, it's been a long week. I feel bad. Really I do. I've been remiss in my duties.
Thanks to the commenters to the last post for at least presenting something new for the last few days.

Anyway, It's Saturday night, and very few folks read this thing on Sunday. Nevertheless, I have to scratch my bloging itch. So, here are some pictures sent to me at work to satiate the masses.

I added some commentary...

It's the 2006 Man of the Year Awards!!

Our first runner-up is a sensitive man of nature.

Unfortunately for Mr. Extreme Sport, he probably will not be getting a blow job from the girl SLEEPING ON ROCKS any time soon. You know what they say: "Spokes before Pokes..."

The second runner-up is a hero for many reasons. However, my favorite detail in this photo is the fact that he is drinking one of the beverages. I picture in my mind, the man saying something like: "here, let me help you with this," as he takes the bottle from the top rack while shirpa-girl is holding them.

I also like to imagine that the girl is the man's Russian mail-order bride.

The Winner may be the greatest man off all time. It could only be better if he was shirtless and and eating a steak.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ides of November

I am old, and getting older by the minute. Fortunately, however, the other Brian -Dr. Brian- will forever be older than me.

Happy Birthday to Dr. Brian!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Piggly Wiggly

You can tell what region an American is from, not so much by their accent, but rather by the grocery store they frequent.

Vons or Ralphs? California.
Kroeger? Midwest.
Fred Meyer? Northwest.
Piggly Wiggly? South.

Truth be told though, the Piggly Wiggly chain used to be more dominant, and certainly more ubiquitous. Proof of that fact can be found in the nostalgic photos that line the Hooka aisle at the local world food store, around the corner from my office.

Photographic history tells a tale that takes us back to the 50s, through the personal history of Barber World Foods. The market has been through various incarnations including Barber Foods, Barber Market, and even once, long ago, Piggly Wiggly.

Much has changed over the decades, and the current high-end ethnic trend brings unusual color and flavors to a rather dull intersection. Lunch becomes a safari. A walk down the aisle is a caravan to Morocco. Even the gummi bears are imported from Hungary.

So, there I was this afternoon, picking up a quick powerbar lunch after my extended Russian depositions this morning. Coming the aisles for a beverage treat, I came upon an oasis of juicy delights. scanning the exotic labels, I spied varying treats from diverse continents, until I came across the abomination.

Three great tastes that don't taste great together. Hate in bottle. A little bit of vomit in the mouth.

I discovered a product that nearly justified in my mind Cheney's campaign of middle eastern ethnic cleansing. The product is making me nauseous just thinking about it. Seriously, I'm getting that queasy, going to throw up feeling.

I can barely type this.

It was called "Mint-flavored Yogurt Soda." Oh god, I'm getting sick.

Fine, don't believe me? Here's a picture:

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Truth in Advertising.

We made the monthly run to Costco this wet and windy afternoon. We bulked up on Yogurt and soda and toilet paper. On the request of the Missus, I also also grabbed a three-pack of canned pumpkin, presumably to make a pie for the impending holiday.

After returning home, I began the long processes of unloading the car and storing the goods in the pantry/fridge/freezer. As I unloaded the tightly-packed parcels from the reused wholesale boxes, I came across the cans of pumpkin.

The label stated clearly that the can contained 100% pumpkin, which I assumed, of course was a load of horse shit. I'm not sure what I expected was in the can, but sugar, water, and preservatives were a given.

I expect labels to lie to me. It's the nature of advertising. "We're the #1 blah blah blah in town!" "We have the lowest prices!" "I am a compassionate conservative..." You know what I mean.

So, as I unwrapped the cans from their clear plastic sheath, I casually turned one in my hand and glanced at the ingredients. This is what it said:

"Ingredients: Pumpkin"

That's it. Well, I'll be damned.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

-How the Grinch stole Christmas

I was alone on the dark road. The air was cold and clean. The rising elevation of the twisting mountain road had lifted me from the perma-smog level of the valley below.

It was convenient, living in the small town at the very foot of Mount Baldy. It was too early for snow, and on a chilly mid-week evening in the middle of autumn, there was no traffic.

I came around the corner and slowly trailed off the road into a flat gravel turnout. There was a mounded soil berm around the edge, poorly-designed to prevent wayward drivers from plunging to their fiery death down in the dark canyon below. I stopped before I got that far.

I sat in the cab of my truck watching swirling eddies of dust dance in my high beams. Morose music played meaningfully from my stereo speakers. Probably the Smiths. This was many years ago, but still, 10 to 1, it was Morrissey and Johnny meandering their way through the harmony and melody of gloom.

My stalwart sensibilities were in some sort of youth-induced disarray. Was it a girl? Maybe. Was it the apprehension of my waning faith? Perhaps. Might it have been the tedious monotony and of work and school? It's truly hard to tell.

I'm not even certain now, these many years later, whether it was angst, anger, or anxiety. I was full, however, with whatever emotion ailed me, and I felt that it was prudent to take it out on the mountain roads that wound their way above my home.

So, there I sat, alone, with the lights turned off, listening to sad songs in the dark by the side of the silent road. The source of my ire swelled, and it needed to come out.

I opened the door of my truck. The frigid night air made a sucking sound as it poured into my once-warm cab. The ping ping ping of my open-door alarm and the glare of my overhead lamp were jarring against the inky silence. As I stepped out, I felt the satisfying crunch of my Vans stepping on the gravel below. Quickly, I closed the door to end the assault of light and noise.

A few feet away, I found a boulder perched precariously on the edge of the cliff. I stepped carefully atop the rock and stared at the moon-cast shadows crawling against the apposite canyon wall.

I knew the alpine ravine was deep and the walls were steep. It was also quite wide. From where I stood, it was several hundred yards to the other side. I felt small. I felt engulfed by the unknown darkness.

It took a few moments to find my voice. Eventually, however, whatever it was, whatever the cause of my melancholy, I closed my eyes, lifted my head and and let it out. It was Whitman's barbaric yawp. It was primal. It filled the valley before me, echoing against rocks and trees, flowing toward nothingness in the night.

It was, what you might call, therapeutic.

Today, I drove my practical car to the office to get in a few extra weekend billables. I was dressed comfortably in practical Northwest layers. I had lunched with the monkey and the missus. I stopped for a grande coffee (no room) at Starbucks.

I was listening to some old music on the way that recalled memories of my road-side outburst. I realized that don't feel Yawpy much anymore. In fact, I don't feel much in the way of swelling emotion very often at all anymore. Maybe I'm a Jedi. Maybe it's just old age. Maybe my heart is two sizes too small.

Hard to say. However, it's probably for the best, there aren't many cliffs to scream from around here...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dinner for Two

Time was short and I was hungry. It was past noon, and the tummy was grumbling. Apparently that grande coffee and Rice Crispy treat wasn't the breakfast-of-champions that I thought it was.

There were things to do, motions to file, letters to write. So, I jumped in the car and made a run for the border. Well, not a border in any literal political sense. I went to Taco Bell.

And there I sat, with discarded Burrito Supreme and soft taco wrappers strewn across the mauve laminate table. I was reading the day's newspaper. This was not so much to catch up on the current events, as it was an attempt to not look like the hapless friendless lunch loser I really am.

I flipped idly through the pages, discarding useless sections like the classifieds and Sports. It was Tuesday, so I glanced through the special Food section. It occasionally has interesting BBQ ideas.

I came across an odd article about an old man who learned how to cook by making soup in his backyard as a child. It didn't make sense when I read it, and it makes less sense now that I am recalling it.

Regardless, the man was asked: "If you could invite anyone in history to dinner, who would it be?"

Pretentiously, and predictably, he said: "Thomas Jefferson. I'd ply him with an Oregon Pinot Noir. While he talked, I'd cook. What a wonderful occasion that would be."

Now, the man lived in Northeast Portland. So, more than likely, while he cooked, Jefferson would be making time with the attractive African-American lady next door. But I digress.

I sat stewing in my refried-bean-induced lethargy, thinking to myself, "well, self, who the hell would you invite to dinner?"

The possibilities swam wildly through my imagination.

Jesus, perhaps: "Excuse me, Mr. Son of Man, could you heal my pancreas? No? Right, I didn't think so..."

Julius Caesar: "Yes sir, we call them 'The French' now, and no, they're not quite as tough as when you fought them..."

Nicolaus Copernicus: "...Right, eight. I mean, there were nine, but someone change the definition."

Leonardo DiVinci: "Tell the truth Leo, that really is you in the picture, right?"

Napoleon: "You're the military genius here, but I'm just saying, you might want to avoid taking little naps during large battles in Belgium..."

All of these guests would make for fine fellowship and delightful dinner discourse. However, if I were ever presented with the option of selecting anyone in history to dine with, I'd probably choose Christina Ricci. I mean, I always serve wine with dinner, and if I got her drunk, she might make out with me.

(Yes, I am married, but Christina is on the Laminated List, so it's OK.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

In the News Today

Here is a tasty, though abridged, morsel from Today's Oregonian, a fine-fine printed news source:

Former jailer accused of preying on inmate

Lawsuit: An ex-prisoner in Lake County alleges former guard, Jason J. Haskins, pressured her into oral sex for a can of chew

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
BRYAN DENSON The Oregonian

A former jail inmate has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses a one-time corrections officer in Lake County of coercing her into oral sex for a can of chewing tobacco.

Haskins was charged with two crimes -- supplying contraband and official misconduct. His trial is set for later this year, said Lake County District Attorney David Schutt.

"(The alleged victim) was able to describe a particular room in the jail that prisoners don't have access to," said Schutt, adding, "She was in possession of a can of Copenhagen."

Attorney, Ron Howen said his client broke no laws and denies soliciting oral sex or giving the woman any chew.

The suit accuses Haskins of selecting her for abuse because she was vulnerable and her capacity to consent to sexual intimacy was limited. Also, the suit alleges, Haskins flirted with the inmate "in order to groom her for later sexual predation," and lured her with chewing tobacco and other favors.

Lake County and its sheriff answered the complaint Oct. 27, saying that if the woman really did perform a sex act on the deputy to obtain benefits, she did it willingly and that -- if the acts really occurred -- they were intended to help her bring a lawsuit against the defendants.

Brian's comments:

Just for clarification, Lake County is about as far as you can travel from civilization and still be in the State of Oregon. It's a place the Amish find a little backward, but quaint. Close relatives are expected to "keep it in the family." Jesus usually gets 20% of the write-in vote, just behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.

What I take from this article is two-fold:

First, tobacco-chewing semi-retarded jail babes are cheap AND easy.

Second, and more importantly, even tobacco-chewing semi-retarded jail babes need a little foreplay (or just some quality chew.)

Monday, November 06, 2006


I suppose it is election day. So, if you haven't voted already, go vote.

And of course, by "Vote," I mean go and do whatever you are capable of justifying to yourself to punish the pig-headed jack-booted red-neck religion-twisting brown-man-hating bible-thumping cocksucking hypocrites who stole the GOP from me.

Punish Bush

Punish Cheney

Punish warmongering

Punish partisan betrayal

Punish corporate corruption and executive treason

If Daniel Ortega can abide by and participate in constitutional democracy, so can you.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

112 Honest Lawyers

Why don't sharks eat layers?

Professional courtesy.

Heh heh...

I laugh with the rest when a good lawyer joke is told. It is important to be able to laugh at one's self. Too often, however, I think folks form the wrong impression of my profession.

While car dealers will lie, cheat and coerce to make a sale, and mechanics will look you in the eye and prescribe an unnecessary yet costly repair, lawyers are actually bound by a very strict code of professional conduct. The practice of law is one of the most highly regulated and strictly disciplined lines of work in the world.

So, there I sat, Friday afternoon. I was at a conference collecting my mandatory continuing-legal-education credits. It was near evening, and it had been a long boring day. There was a forensic accountant speaking to us about tax records. We were probably a half hour from being done, and I was sitting in the back row trying to stay awake.

Then it struck me. There were still a lot of lawyers in the room.

We were there for credit. Every three years we must report our CLE (education) credits to the bar to maintain our licenses. It is an honor-system. You are only supposed to report the credits for the hours that you were actually present, but in reality, no one is stopping you at the door.

But here we were, 4:30 on a Friday, with an accountant blathering away at the podium. No one wanted to be there, and no one was making them stay. No one, that is, except honor. The bar would never know if any of them lied about being in their seat for the full 8 hours, but they stayed. 112. I counted. 112 lawyers sitting in their seats, being honest and doing the right thing.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Odds And Ends

Item 1:

Juries in this county are, for the most part, intelligent. They are, in fact, probably more intelligent and better educated than juries in most of the other counties of this state. Unfortunately, they are also satanically sadistic motherfuckers.

The trial is over. It's not so much that I lost, as it is, the jury was simply pissed off and found a way to punish every single party and attorney involved. They spread the pain like pavement, and there was nothing like having my boss's most-lucrative client sitting in the gallery behind me when the verdict was read.

Item 2:

Get back on the horse...

One of the very best ways to overcome a disappointing trial verdict, is to run right back down to court the day after trial and argue a motion that is sure to win. However, running right back down to court the day after trial, arguing said motion, and in fact losing the sure-thing motion, does NOTHING for one's self-esteem.

Item 3:

Of course the only surefire cure for the litigation blues is a healthy dose of Monkey Therapy.

If you don't happen to have one of your own, you're welcome to borrow mine. (Assuming I know you of course, and further assuming you're not totally creepy...)

Which leads to my fourth and final item...

Item 4:

You can never have too many monkeys.

Well, OK, maybe you can. However, as the old saying goes, two monkeys are better than one...

Yes, the gin-&-tonic monkey (pictured above) is going to be a big sister. Mighty seed has once more issued from my loins. Mrs. G&T is thoroughly knocked-up, and I have it on good authority that I am very likely the father.

We are not so far along that I can tell you what it's going to be. However, we are far enough along that I can tell you it has a head, a heart beat, two arm buds and two leg buds. And that is good enough for now.

I will say this, and I apologize to you folks who have heard it already. Just after making the first announcement a few years ago, when we were expecting the Monkey, I was told by another lawyer friend of mine that I was going to have a girl. "Why do you say that?" I asked.

"Because you look like the father of girls," he said.

Funny, but later, it got creepy when he told his partner that I was going to be a father. "It'll be a girl," said the partner,

"Right! Right! But WHY do you say that?" asked my friend.

"Because he looks like the father of girls," said the partner, and the father of a girl I am. Does this mean that I am destined to be the father of two girls? Perhaps, though I don't stake much faith in such superstitious hobgoblinry. Boy. Girl. Whichever. I'm just holding out for healthy, happy, and smarter than dear old dad.