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thursday 09.14.2000
night & day

yesterday morning was absolutely horrible. i go to legal aid to get the paperwork started on my divorce. as expected there is a line. what i did NOT expect was to be forced to stand in line outside in the hot sun for nearly 2 hours while they took only 3 to 7 people at a time inside. i was still at least 30 minutes away from the door when my ex showed up (my ride) to see how i was doing. we discussed it (he was worried i would have a heat stroke any minute), and we decided to go pick up the paperwork and i would attempt the whole divorce thing myself. while this may not be the BEST thing to do, it is certainly better than me dying of heat stroke. some poor little one got so sick she threw up (and no one, not even her father cleaned it add the smell to the experience). for a minute it looked like mom was going to force this poor child to stay in line with her anyway, but she eventually took her and left and dad stayed. now add to the entertainment the hucksters preying on the poor and weak with their little schemes, including some guy selling $100/hour prepaid attorney services. now if i, or anyone else in that line, could afford $100/hour attorney services, would we be standing in line in the hot sun for almost 3 hours to see someone in legal aide? i think not! but still at least 3 of these people canvassed the line. and from what i was hearing/seeing, legal aide will soon be losing the building and there will be no more legal aide for the poor.

so off to the court house we go to try to pick up the paperwork that way. i know the california legal system is a tangled maze. but do the buildings have to follow suite? three buildings, one an old historical monument. we're allowed one entrance, which is no where near the parking lot of which 90% is employees only. after we pass the picketing old woman out front (never did understand what she was talking about...something about the legal system making money off of custody cases, however, for obvious reasons i just wanted to get my paperwork and go home - now i know better, you DON'T just pick up the paperwork and go home, i swear), and going through the metal detector, and going down a looooooooooooong hall just to find a drinking fountain, we had to actually find where to get the forms. around a corner, through a hall, out a back door into another building. of course it costs to pick up the forms ($3.25) and of course they don't take checks and the atm machine? it's in the THIRD building. off we go, back through the first building, turning another corner to go down a long hallway to walk out another door so we can go to the third building (which IS next to the parking lot, by the way) to get money out of the atm, then i have to go aaalllll the way around to the door, past the picketer, get checked for metal again, back through the back to the second building. then i was told that the cost for filing was $255!! thank god for waivers. with any luck i qualify...once i figure out the paperwork. sigh....

i swear i am not stupid, i can read and understand english. but if i am going to pay $3.25 for the damn forms the least these guys could do is include a small instruction booklet for the non-legally minded. i have been using the paperwork from my first divorce to figure things out but am more than a bit worried here. all forms have to be completely filled out before filing. talk about daunting.

now yesterday evening, by comparison, was nice. the kids got out of hand at one point, but they usually do in the evenings. emce was over and we enjoyed each others' company, worked on my campaign and just generally had a good evening together. for awhile, some other friends came over, and he actually went to sleep on the couch (he works grave shift and had been up since the previous night at 11 pm), but it was, over all, a peaceful and enjoyable evening. the nice thing was that most of that carried over into today as well. he's off again, he has a convention to make it to early in the morning, but hopefully he will be back in the afternoon. it is so nice to have someone that i can be comfortable and relaxed with. it's funny, i have many people tell me i am ALWAYS tense, especially in my shoulders, even when i sleep. emce has told me that that's not true. i guess that goes to show how different our reactions are to different people. or maybe it shows just how comfortable i am with him. either way, it is nice to be able to spend time with him and just feel at peace with it. and it is even nicer to share such a comfortable evening with someone you care about and who cares back, without any stresses or tensions, after such a hell of a morning. it's a balm to the soul.

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