Let’s retain an attorney!

Professionals doing their own work is a funny thing: on the one hand, you often read about architects who design their own homes. On the other hand is the saying “The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient.” Well, on Friday I eschewed the DIY approach and retained an attorney in New York to seek judicial intervention on behalf of my grandmother, who had a stroke two weeks ago today. (She’s doing fine at the moment, though at 93 years old, anything is possible).

While technically anyone could have filed the necessary papers, the complications of acquiring a court number and serving any interested parties (in the appropriate language) became daunting. This would be a good time to note that law school (nor the Bar exam) didn’t really cover the minutiae of actually being a lawyer. I’m embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t even clear on how a retainer works until I had to pay one.

I am especially grateful to the Elder Law clinic at CUNY School of Law, who provided background info and attorney referrals. Having worked in legal aid for five years (and Rachel had put in a good four semesters at a similar clinic in JP) I know that the work they do is vital to the community.

Worst flight evah

I’m not into hyperbole, but “pretty bad flight” doesn’t make for much of a blog post.

My flight from LA to Hong Kong sat on the tarmac for about 2 1/2 hours while an engineer twiddled with one of the engines. I’m of a few minds on this. On the one hand, I’m all for engines not falling off while we’re halfway over the Pacific. On the other, the engineer had been twiddling for 2 hours when the pilot announced that he’d give it another 15 minutes. What exactly can you fix in 15 minutes, a heat shield? Also, why was the engineer and pilot “coordinating with Hong Kong” — did we outsource our engineering supervisors?

Anyway, things were back on course and we had a peaceful 11 hours of nonstop flight when the pilot announced that the weather in Hong Kong was too poor for landing, so we turned around and landed in Taipei. By this point in our intercontinental flight we were all welded to our seats anyway, so another 3 hours sitting on the Taiwanese tarmac was only that much more marginally painful. At some point the crew gave up on us (having exceeded their legal limit for work) and we were bused literally 20 feet to another plane, which finally arrived at Hong Kong at about 2am. There was rampant speculation that the delay was largely due to the airline (Cathay) avoiding the need to put us up at a hotel. Indeed, instead of a hotel, we were escorted to a holding area:
Camp Hong Kong
… which isn’t all that bad since there’s free wifi and power outlets galore here. Free wifi… maybe the communists can teach us a few tricks after all. And sleeping on the floor ain’t so bad — in fact, it’s pretty good for the back.

The folks I feel worst for are the ones who were heading to Taipei and weren’t allowed off during our unwilling layover there. Instead of being done with their journey, they were force-marched here to Hong Kong, waiting for the first flight back there again.

(In Cathay’s defense, it does appear that there’s a typhoon making its way up the coast that was hanging out near Hong Kong last night.)

Oh, I should mention that I’m on my way to State of Play V in Singapore. Hopefully, I will be there in time for the planning session we’d set for the workshop I’m helping to run. So much for touring the island tomorrow. I mean, today.

A pain in the neck is a pain in the neck!

I’m not sure whether it was sleeping wrong, running 7 miles, moving my sister’s boxes, or watching “Transformers,” but sometime on Sunday I pulled or tore a muscle in my neck/shoulder area. Boy, is that a pain! Losing the ability to turn your head means doing full-body turns to check for oncoming traffic when crossing the street.

Fortunately(?), with my new tablet I have set up a ludicrous workstation where I’m lying on the floor, with the tablet monitor rotated around 180 degrees so that I’m looking up at it. (I’ve got my new keyboard on my lap and mouse on the floor). When, um, I’m wearing pants I’ll take a picture of this setup, just because I want my dorkness immortalized.

More practically speaking, my mother-in-law helpfully suggests physical therapy for neck pain. Thanks Eunice!