Sunday, July 13, 2014

Big Bucks Homework

At my age, I should be beyond dreaming that I'll be a ballerina or an astronaut when I grow up.  But Michael Connelly's The Brass Verdict has got me imagining that I can be a dandy defense lawyer someday.

That may be a weakness in his story.

His protagonist, Mickey Haller, stepped away from his law practice for awhile.  Something about getting hooked on pills.  Then a colleague turns up murdered and Mickey ends up with the man's entire practice.  First item on the to-do list: defend a movie producer accused of a double murder.

Isn't a lawyer novel supposed to have a lot of leaning against the dark wood of the witness stand and popping surprise witnesses on the prosecutor?  In this story, I'm getting more about Mickey writing stuff on his legal pad, or telling his staff where to meet him for a working lunch. 

It also didn't help that, just before I got serious about digging into the book, I watched a movie about a man taking a dreadfully dangerous business trip.  A movie like that uses up all one's adrenaline.  However, in this case, I saved some for reading Connelly's novel.

But it's all rather procedural, a lot of carrying around files instead of running from guys with knives and bombs.

So, even though Mickey Haller's problems don't have me worried like a weak bladder in a spook alley, at least I'm dabbling in my lawyer fantasies.  Yes, I too could stay late at the office, drawing a time-and-action flowchart of the night of the murders, studying crime scene photographs with a magnifying glass.  This is just homework with big bucks attached to it.  I'm sure I could get up to speed on this.  Although I think I'd stumble big time trying to guess the prosecutor's strategy.

Now, if I stayed late at the office all the time, making those big bucks, I wouldn't have time to make big dinners, would I?  But I might be able to throw together:

I first tasted this at a restaurant called Tom + Chee, where they get creative with grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup (Ooh, another career idea!).   You can order up the basic sandwich, or you can go fancy and add some hummus, or even some macaroni and cheese. 

It's in-a-hurry simple:  Make a salad on your plate.  Besides greens and tomatoes, I think theirs included carrot chips, sliced mushrooms, maybe a few strips of bell pepper.  I'm pretty sure they threw some cucumber in there, too.

Next, make a grilled cheese sandwich.  Cut it up into about sixteen pieces, place it on top of the salad and you will never again feel the same about ordinary croutons.  

Pour on your favorite dressing.  I think French dressing is ideal.  It fits the tomato-soup theme and it looks pretty.

How handy it is, eating my grilled cheese sandwich with a fork.  Keeps me from staining my lawyer files   Kindle with buttery fingers. 

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