April 26, 2016


The phone rings … intelligent sounding idjit just wants to ask me a quick question. Ugh!! I give my standard response – ‘… we only work with attorneys …’.

Idjit replies, ‘ … but it’s just a question. Is there someone there that can answer a question for me? I don’t want to have to have to pay anyone for a consultation or anything …”


‘Sir, that’s how we make our living’ <he cuts me off> “No. You make your living in court.’


“I don’t make my living in court. I make my living by providing paralegal support TO ATTORNEYS, not the public. I answer questions from attorneys. I’m a PARALEGAL. I don’t answer questions from the public because they are usually questions of law and I’M NOT LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW.”

Idjit: “Well, I know laws are different for paralegals in different states …”

I visualize a thought bubble over my head:

1. You’re calling from Georgia.
2. I’m in Georgia.
3. Georgia limits the services paralegals provide to the public.

“Sir, paralegals are NEVER licensed to practice law. Attorneys go to law school and pass the bar so they can answer legal questions and give legal advice. I didn’t go to law school or take the bar and I choose to provide my services to attorneys that PAY ME for my time and expertise.”

Idjit: ‘Oh, uh, but …’

“Now you want me to violate my principles and possibly break the law AND you want me to do it for free?!?!? Would you call a random doctor or nurse to ask a medical question and not expect pay for their services?”

Idjit: ‘Yeah, because the hospital and insurance companies pay them …’

Oy! For the love of …
<I’ve now successfully burned 1000 calories>

The rest of the conversation is a blur … I think he broke my brain.


You Can’t Stop Stupid

April 19, 2016

I’m still anxiously watching weather reports from Houston … it’s really not the day to mess wif me! <Mah nishtana hayom hazeh?>  But you can’t stop stupid.

My business phone rings – ‘unknown caller’. I sense a disturbance in the Force and answer with trepidation.

“StarrParalegals; this is Pamela Starr. How may I help you?”

stoopid peopleCaller: ‘Uh, yeah, uh. Can you help me to uh …’

Me: “No sir. We only work with attorneys.”

Come on people. I don’t need to be a Jedi master to identify a caller as a member of the ‘public’.

The line goes dead. Moments later, the phone rings again – same number. Oh, really? 

The stoopid is strong in this one.

“StarrParalegals; this is Pamela Starr. How may I help you?”

Caller: ‘Uh, yeah. I just called. I need help with a, a Georgia corpor… incorporation. Is that …’

Me: “Sir.  We only work with attorneys. It states that quite clearly in Google search results and on our website.”

Caller: ‘Yeah. Uh. Uh. Right. Uh, I’m a [sic] attorney in South Georgia <yeah, that’s the ticket!>. Can you help me?’

I’m not buying it. After 30 years in the business, 9 on my own, my lawdar is pretty good.

Me: “May I have your name?”
It’s a reasonable request. Right?

Caller: ‘<grumble> unintelligible comments to someone in the background … giving me the <expletive> runaround!’ <dead air>

REALLY?!? Asking for your name is ‘giving you the runaround’? 


Oof! A Monday of Mondays

April 19, 2016

That’s the edge of mom’s back patio, not a pool deck!

April 18, 2016 was challenging. Houston was hit by storms of biblical proportions – again . My hometown has been declared a disaster area. It hasn’t even been a year since the ‘2015 Memorial Day Flood’.

Mom’s home flooded last year – a first in the 50ish years my family has owned the house … a first for so many homes and businesses in southwest Houston. My hometown is still reeling from the after effects of that storm. Today, the water came this close to coming into mom’s home. Many friends haven’t been as lucky and the rains are set to come back again.

And I’m #HelplessInAtlanta following posts as the waters rise and recede. I keep scrolling through FB posts – a devastating earthquake in Ecuador and some <insert expletives in several languages> sstandwithisraelorry excuses for humanity bombed an Egged bus in Jerusalem. #IStandWithIsrael


Yum! Brisket …

April 15, 2016

I’m taking a break from Passover Kitchen Tetris* to share ‘my’ brisket recipe … Why? Because folks have been asking – duh!

‘My’ recipe is a modification of Mom’s / Mema’s brisket. First, you have to understand that Mom is the ‘Queen of One Dish Prep’ and a founding member of the ‘Who Needs Recipes?’ movement.

Face it, we’re all busy little worker bees with far too much to do, and never enough time. On top of that, I have a lovely, Lilliputian kitchen that has barely enough room for one cook. My only prep area is the counter above the dishwasher. And, I keep a kosher home. Two sets of everything (cookware, serveware, dishes, glasses, flatware, small appliances) – one for meat, and  another for dairy, PLUS a set for ‘neither’. Mom’s one-dish wonders help me maximize prep space and cooking areas.

I should mention that no one in my family ever learned to cook for just one or two people at a time? All our family recipes generate enough leftovers for several rounds of Freezer Tetris.


But on Pesach: mah nishtana hayom / halayla hazeh?? Why is this day/night different from all other nights?

I’ll ‘splain you … Everything in my kitchen will have to be moved or ‘sold’ and replaced with its ‘kosher for Passover’ counterpart. Think of it as spring cleaning on steroids. Not only do I have to ‘flip’ my kitchen, I literally have to pour boiling water on every surface before I can bring in all the pesadik stuff.

But I digress …

Are you ready? Remember, in my family, there are no measurements, weights, or numbers – it’s all ‘to taste’, or ‘that looks about right’.


brisket (with just enough fat)
kishka (yep, I found a kosher l’pesach kishka!!)
orange marmalade (no corn syrup)
dry onion (& mushroom soup)
purple wine (Manischewitz Concord Grape)
extra large (foil) roasting pan
large, sturdy cookie sheet
lots of foil

  • Wrap the cookie sheet with foil
  • Place roasting pan ON cookie sheet
  • Rub brisket with horseradish & marmalade and place in roasting pan
  • Toss in everything but the liquids & soup(s)
              Nu? You thought I was kidding about Mom’s process?
              Fine … cut, chop, do whatever makes you happy with the cuttable ingredients
  • Pour dry soup(s) over the top
  • Pour several glug-glugs of wine and about ‘that much water’ over the top
    No, I can’t tell you how much water. You need ‘enough’ …
    Me? Enough for gravy/onion soup in the pan after removing all the cooked ingredients.
  • Heat oven to 250 degrees
  • Cover roasting pan with foil and make sure it’s sealed real good
  • Pick up cookie sheet/roasting pan combo and place in oven
  • Go do something else for the next several hours
    Have a nice schluff –
  • Brisket’s done when the house smells amazing
  • Take the brisket out of the oven … USE THE COOKIE SHEET to pick it up!

Presentation is on you –


Chag sameach v’kasher! B’tay avon!!

* My Jewish followers will understand 😉 

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