Monday, February 18, 2008

Why I don't blog on a daily basis

6:56 a.m. : Wake up with a start, realizing I've hit the snooze button on my alarm at least four times already. Crap. No time for breakfast. Again.

7:04 a.m. : Take a shower. It's nice and hot.

7:32 a.m. : Decide that since I'm probably going to be late for work anyway, I can sit for an extra 3 minutes on the couch.

7:57 a.m. : Step out of the house only to see that it's very, very icy (it had been raining on and off since Sunday afternoon) and so I have to be very, very careful.

8:04 a.m. : Finally make it off my front walk and across the little parking lot to the park across the street. (This usually takes about 30 seconds, and is possibly the only interesting part of my day today.)

8:10 a.m. : Get to bus stop. Wait.

8:11 a.m. : Board bus. Take out book. Read.

8:37 a.m. : Get off bus.

8:39 a.m. : Realize it is Family Day and all 3 of the coffee shops in my building are closed. Damn. I'm dying for a muffin. Why, oh, why do I work for the federal government? C'mon, Mr. Harper, give us the day off!

8:41 a.m. : Get in to my office and turn on the computer.

8:42 a.m. : No new emails. Read the daily update of happenings on Parliament Hill. Turns out Jack Layton is giving a press conference on the Hill today where he will ask Mr. Harper to extend Family Day to all federal employees (ie., make it a federal statutory holiday). Or maybe he issued a press release; I don't remember. Anyway, I'm amused that Mr. Layton and I agree on something.

8:46 a.m. : No new emails.

8:51 a.m. : Since there are *still* no new emails, I decide I can't avoid the inevitable any longer, and start real work. My task: Find all the provisions of the criminal law statutes of Australia, South Africa, and Scotland which grant a sentencing judge a certain type of discretion. No problem.

9:12 a.m. : Argh. As I'd suspected in preliminary searches on the topic that I did on Friday afternoon, the situation is very complicated. For starters, criminal law is individually administered by each state and territory of Australia, meaning there are many different criminal law statutes, none of which specifically refer to what I am looking for, and, further, to add insult to injury, that many of these jurisdictions have additional non-criminal laws that create criminal offences. Everyone should just follow Canada's lead and have ONE Criminal Code for EVERYTHING.

9:32 a.m. : Double argh. South Africa has a similar hodgepodge of criminal law (although just at the federal level, but it's spread out over many different statutes).

9:37 a.m. : Triple argh. Scotland, in fact, has NO criminal code but just charges people with offences as outlined by hundreds of years of common law precedent. Excellent.

9:40 a.m. : Discover that, no, there IS a Scots criminal law, but it isn't yet in force (despite being passed in 1997), at least not in its entirety.

10:12 a.m. : I'm really tired, and it's time for a break anyway, so I shut my door, put my head down on my desk, and have a 10-minute nap. I've never done this before and it feels awesome.

10:27 a.m. : Go see one of the other librarians about the lack of criminal laws in other jurisdictions. She finds this amusing and, in the end, gives me a number of good suggestions about how to proceed. She also gives me some tea bags and a cup so that I can make myself a cuppa', which I desperately, desperately need. (I meant to bring a spare cup in this morning, but forgot.)

11:00 a.m. : Sipping tea and composing a preliminary email to the client regarding the criminal law problem.

11:27 a.m. : Finally a new email! One of the lawyers in my department would like me to search for the whyfores and whetherhows of a certain regulation. This means pouring through old debates in the hopes of Parliamentarians having mentioned a regulation (odds are slim to none).

12:21 p.m. : Finish drafting the preliminary email to the client regarding the criminal law problem, and go see the same librarian as above. We chat some more, bouncing off other ideas.

12:51 p.m. : I should go for lunch.

12:53 p.m. : But first, I pop into the office of the lawyer looking for regulations, and we further discuss what it is she needs.

1:15 p.m. : I finally get out for lunch. I have not brought something today, thinking I'd get a sandwich from one of the coffee shops downstairs. I hope Mr. Harper realizes that his lack of action on Family Day has caused me to go without a nice healthy sandwich!

1:23 p.m. : In a food court a block away, most of the eateries are closed. I get some pizza and a chocolate milk, and bring it back to my office. I also, in a move I will soon rue, pick up a small bag of white cheddar popcorn. Smartfood, it's called. How bad can it be?

1:35 p.m. : Play some Scrabulous on Facebook and read a few online articles. Check CBC's website for interesting news. Try to relax. It's lunchtime.

1:51 p.m. : This popcorn is kinda icky. I shoulda known.

2:15 p.m. : Back to work. I telephone someone else in the library to follow up on an email I sent last week to see about the status of an unreported case I'd requested (she would normally then contact the courthouse to get it). No answer. I call someone else in her department, who also sometimes does this. No answer, and her voicemail says she is off today. Then it hits me: Family Day strikes again. Oh well, the client's not going anywhere; it can wait till tomorrow.

2:23 p.m. : I have to stop munching this terrible popcorn.

2:30 p.m. : I call the client who is looking for the criminal law provisions, and explain to him the immensity of this task. I offer to send what I have uncovered so far. He agrees. Seems like a reasonable guy.

2:47 p.m. : Another lawyer has emailed me, asking if I can find articles on a certain subject. Sure, I tell her, but not today. I put her research off till Wednesday, which she says is fine.

2:51 p.m. : Remember that I was supposed to email another one of our lawyers about some journal articles he is looking for. I haven't had time to do this yet. I email him, and thankfully he replies to say tomorrow, or even the day after, is fine.

3:03 p.m. : Hmm, when am I going to have a chance to look for the justifications for that regulation? I tell the lawyer I'll look in Hansard (the debates) tomorrow morning (I have to go to another location to do this). Meanwhile, I look online for articles that may have already done the research for me.

3:47 p.m. : No one seems to care about this aspect of the law. No one has written about it. Argh.

4:04 p.m. : I go see the other librarian, one last time, to ask a few stupid questions.

4:17 p.m. : I'm asked to find an online report and, finally, for once, the gods are smiling down on me, as I find it right away. At last! Proof I am not completely incompetent and/or useless around here!

4:19 p.m. : A phone call! It's the client who I sent the lengthy list of criminal law statutes to earlier in the day. And, hurrah! Good news: He's explained the complexity of the question to his superiors and they have decided that he (read: I) only needs to find TWO examples of this particular clause from each jurisdiction, not every single occurrence. I tell him I can probably do that in the next few days.

4:30 p.m. : Time to go but I'm trying to finish some stuff up before heading out.

4:32 p.m. : Randal calls on my cell. He wants to know if I'm going to the gym. "No," I tell him. I'm stressed out from the day, and my belly is slightly off anyway. I'm going to go to the grocery store and pick up some milk, of which we are in desperate need, then go home.

4:35 p.m. : Decide that, rather than go to the Loblaws near my house and risk the ice and possible rain, I am going to go to the grocery store downtown, which is about a 10 minute walk from my office.

4:47 p.m. : Finally make it out of the office.

5:01 p.m. : Get to the grocery store. Closed for Family Day. Figures.

5:12 p.m. : Back to the bus stop near my workplace.

5:15 p.m. : Get on bus. Take one of the last seats at the back of the bus. Take out book. Read.

5:37 p.m. : As the bus nears my stop, I look out the window to see if the Loblaws is open. I can't tell, but there's no one parked in the lot. Fine, then, I'll just go to Zellers in the mall. (Can you tell where this is going?)

5:39 p.m. : Get off bus. Look towards Zellers. All the lights are off. Shake head in disbelief (yeah, yeah, I shoulda known), then call Randal, who is still at work, on my cell. Ask him to find a convenience store somewhere, anywhere, downtown, that is open, and buy some milk. (I need my Ovaltine before bed.)

5:57 p.m. : Home again. Dog is happy to see me. I put him outside, get changed, bring him back in, curl up on the couch and read a magazine for a bit.

6:38 p.m. : Randal arrives home, milk in hand, and announces his intention to go to the gym tonight. This we know is open, because I looked it up on the Internet this morning, and it specifically announced it would be open on Family Day.

7:35 p.m. : Randal leaves for the gym. I reheat some leftover Chinese food.

7:55 p.m. : Randal arrives back home. Huh? Turns out that while the gym is, indeed, open, the mall wasn't, and he didn't feel like walking all the way around the mall on the icy sidewalks just to go to the gym and then have to walk all the way around again (it's a big mall, and usually we cut right through).

8:20 p.m. : Start writing a blog entry about why I don't blog on a daily basis. It was originally planned to be a much, much shorter entry. But somewhere along the way, it turned into this.

8:57 p.m. : Start reading the blog entry back to Randal, who instantly wants to know why it sounds like I live alone. My reply: "Because it was 6:56 in the morning and you weren't up until I left to say goodbye." His reply: "Blah. I was busy at 6:56 being woken up by your alarm." And now you also know, my dear readers, why I don't blog about mine and Randal's conversations on a daily basis. LOL


Erin said...


Waterlily said...

ROTFLMAO This is one of your funniest posts! Write your memoirs-make a fortune! Now tell the truth: how did you keep track of the exact time?

julie said...

Erin: As if you like Smartfood.

Waterlily: I might have, uh, guess-timated some of the time. But other ones are pretty accurate - they were just sticking in my head some some reason, today.

Mark Reynolds said...

Start reading the blog entry back to Randal, who instantly wants to know why it sounds like I live alone.

Randal does have his own (very funny) blog - though he might need to be reminded of that.

Given how many of our friends seem to get their news about us from my blog, I feel like I should write about Amynah's news more often, for parity's sake. On the other hand, she knows how to type.

Good post - though there's nothing so frustrating as trying to researching something and coming up dry. You never know if it's just that you weren't looking in the right places....