Monday, October 31, 2005

Just Call Me Scrooge

It irritates the holy bejeebers out of me that they hold the Law School blood drive in the middle of the student lounge. It just doesn't seem right to have people undergoing what is essentially a medical procedure in the same room where we all eat lunch. They set up a handful of screens, but I am not sure what the purpose of those screens could be, since the people who are donating are lying on cots in plain sight of the rest of the room. The whole thing seems unsanitary and just plain wrong. Don't get me wrong; I think blood donation should be encouraged and it's a great thing that Our Law School sponsors these drives a few times a year. But there are other, more discreet places that the actual blood draw could take place. Plaster the place with signs, put a table down in the lounge to have sign ups, send out announcements, advertise however you like. But for pity's sake, I don't want to have to watch one of my professors lying on a cot while her blood collects in a container.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Listening Skills Need Improvement

It's time to get a refill on my contact lenses, so I need to get my annual eye exam. Therefore, when I found myself in the neighborhood of the optometrist's office while running errands, I stopped by to make an appointment. I fully expected this to be an in-and-out, two-minutes-at-the-longest kind of interaction, unless they'd happened to have a cancellation and I could be seen immediately-- which is what happened last year, so you never know, right?

All hope of such ease of transaction evaporated when the conversation started as follows:

Katze: Hello, I'd like to make an appointment for an eye exam, please.

Receptionist: It's best to have one of those. Would you like to schedule an appointment?

I actually laughed out loud because I thought she was making a joke, but when I saw the blank stare, I realized that she had simply not been listening to me. Things did not improve as the conversation progressed. For example, she asked whether the exam was for glasses or for contacts. I replied "It's for both". I watched her click on "GLASSES ONLY" in the reservation system. When I pointed it out, I got the blank look again. I wonder if she was drunk or stupid or just trying to make me insane? Whichever applies, the fact remains: it took me almost 10 minutes to make an appointment for a simple eye exam. I can hardly wait until I try to get my prescription from the doctor and he tries to tell me that I can't have the prescription without buying the lenses from their office and I have to go all legal on them.


What Time Is It?

CNN just announced that Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday at 2 a.m. Yet I could swear that there was a bill passed by Congress that extended Daylight Savings Time until next weekend, as an energy-saving measure. I remember that one senator made the comment that trick-or-treaters would get an extra hour of daylight. Did I hallucinate this whole thing?

Next Time, I'll Key Your Car

I came out to get in my car to discover that an inconsiderate motorcycle driver had squeezed his crotch rocket inbetween my car and the car in front of me, inventing a parking spot that prevented me from pulling forward more than three inches without toppling his stupid bike. At the same time, a Papa John's delivery car had pulled up behind me into another non-existant spot. In order to keep his tail out of the intersection, he had to pull up until his bumper was maybe an inch from my bumper. I was completely blocked in.

I was tempted to call the police and have both morons ticketed and/ or towed, but I figured that by the time the police came, the Papa John's guy would be back and move his car. In fact, 10 minutes later, he was still MIA, but the motorcycle driver came back. He didn't even have the grace to look embarassed, just gunned his engine and pulled out into traffic without looking. I nearly had a stroke.

The best part of the story? He was a fellow law student.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Crowning Achievement

It’s Homecoming season here at Our University, and the kids who never left high school behind are vying for the right to be crowned Homecoming King and Queen. My undergraduate institution was no stranger to the Homecoming Royalty tradition, but here they take it to a whole new level. Any part of the campus traveled by undergrads is plastered with photocopied fliers, exhorting us to vote for one candidate over another, many of them employing phrases that the author obviously thought were catchy and clever, though in reality they are obnoxious and often poorly rhymed. I am comforted by the fact that I’ve been trying to think of an example for the past few minutes, but am drawing a complete blank; I’d feared I’d still be chanting some overly made-up Tri-Delt’s election slogan in my chair at the nursing home.

Merely plastering the walls with hundreds, no, THOUSANDS of posters in blatant disregard for fire code and campus rules governing the posting of notices is not sufficient if you truly desire to wear the Homecoming crown. No, indeed. One must also employ strategy learned from The Art of War, or at least the latest episodes of The OC. These include covering your opponent’s flyers with your own and ripping your opponent’s flyers down. I was torn between relief and dismay to find that there was no vandalism of flyers; it might have been amusing to see how the frat boy devotees of Former Highschool Cheerleader 1 would change the flyers for Former Highschool Cheerleader 2, if only in the same way that watching Dog the Bounty Hunter is amusing.

One particular young man and his friends employed a particularly interesting technique that I witnessed on my way to the bus. There is a pedestrian bridge connecting two buildings separated by a busy street. It’s lined with windows and lighted by powerful spotlights. These upstanding citizens had ripped down their opponents’ posters and were in the process of using them to spell out the young man’s name on the windows facing traffic. There was a certain amount of deviant intelligence in that move.

The amount of money that these kids are spending on their campaigns is astounding. In addition to the astronomical bills they must be running up at Kinko’s, not just for the initial 1,000 copies, but for the ongoing expense of replacing the ones that get ripped down by opponents, plus the ones that get removed by the cleaning crews because they were posted in violation of fire code and/or the rules governing the posting of notices. Then they spend the last day before the election standing in the area in front of the largest dorms. This is a particularly high-traffic area not just because of the people coming and going from the dorms, but also because there is no way to get from a very large bus stop to the buildings on the same side of the campus as Our Law School without walking across this area or going all the way around the block. Trying to get from the bus to the building on these days is like trying to play one of the higher levels of Super Mario Brothers. You dodge one overgelled frat boy trying to hand you another copy of his flyer and another pops up. They’re all trying to get you to promise to vote for them and handing out candy with little sayings attached to them. A few of them get a little abusive if you dare to ignore them, screaming after you. I hate running this gauntlet and wish the university would rein the little buggers in.

And after all that, I have never yet heard the outcome of these elections. While I might normally be happy about an event that seemingly celebrates the concept that the glory is in the race, not in the winning, it seems kind of anti-climactic in this case. I wonder if the victors felt the same way?


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

It's That Time of Year

After much debate and too much reliance on Google (where I developed an intense and burning rage at the apparent requirement that women get all slutted up for Halloween-- I guess I missed the memo on that one), I have decided to dress as Holly Golightly for Halloween. There are two minor problems with this costume, which I hope my very smart friends will help me solve. The first is the dress. I do not own a black dress similar to the one Audrey Hepburn wears in the movie. I do, however, have a pink one that is very similar. In fact, it is vintage (from about the same era, no less) and commonly known among my girlfriends as "The Audrey Hepburn Dress". I also have two plain black dresses, but neither one has the feel of the era. Does the Holly Golightly character transfer to the pink dress? Can I successfully pull off the character if I go to Target, buy a cheap tiara and a pair of gloves (white? or black?), and then get one of those long cigarette holder thingies (what the heck are those called, anyway?) from some as-yet-unknown place? Or do I really need the black dress? Are people going to get this costume, anyway? I share similar coloring and body shape to Audrey Hepburn and can (I think) force my hair into an appropriate updo, but I am certainly not as elegant and lovely as she. No one on Earth is, really.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Cranky, Cranky

There must be something in the air today. War is far more virulent than usual in her anti-Americanism (did you know that being lazy is an exclusively American trait?) and I am annoyed beyond all reason by the sound of people chewing gum and eating. I am fully cognizant of the fact that I am just as unreasonable and out of bounds in this annoyance as War in her "I Hate America" mode, but I cannot help it. I got plenty of sleep last night and I'm not hungry, so I have no excuse. Puppies would be wise to stay out of my path this afternoon, as I am apparently likely to kick them. Actually, I suspect it's because I didn't make it to the gym last week, what with all the fuss over the fundraiser and all, so I've got a week's worth of accumulated stress. We are so going to the gym immediately after class today before I progress from crankiness to homicidal rage.

Speaking of homicidal rage, I was awake bright and early Sunday morning, being unable to sleep with a head full of thoughts. This sucked because I could have been sleeping in and luxuriating in the lack of appointments that would require me to be at a certain place by a certain time. However, it did mean that I was able to go down and get my newspaper before Wonderful Neighbor stole it. Victory! Then I left a bag of burning dog poop on his doorstep. Well, okay, that's not true. But I did think about it. The problem is that he shares the floor with me, so I'd be just as stuck with the burning dog poop smell. I read the paper, then put it in the garbage bins outside along with my coffee grounds and all the other smelly kitchen garbage, making sure that it showed, just to be immature about it.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

New Addiction

I am officially in love with Corsendonk. That is all.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Temporary Suspension of Disbelief

The original "The Parent Trap" is on television right now. I love this movie, cheesy and cliched as it is. The split screen is very well done, especially considering the era in which the movie was made. However, I always get stuck on this point: Why didn't Susan and Sharon notice that they look incredibly similar? I mean, if I were sent to summer camp and met a girl who looked exactly like me, only with a different hair cut, I think I'd notice the strange coincidence right away. It's kind of like how no one ever notices that Clark Kent and Superman look really, really similar, except for the glasses.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

But No One Played Twister

I need three more credit hours for Spring Semester. This is a problem because a)I don’t want to take any of the classes offered and b)I’m trying to avoid adding a class that meets on Thursday or Friday. Now, before y’all roll your eyes and think it’s because I’m lazy and should just suck it up and go to class, it’s because I don’t have any other classes on those days and I’d like to be able to pick up a couple of days a week of paid employment of one kind or another. I am riding the ragged edge of penury and the bar exam is expensive. I can make it through this semester without a real problem, and I couldn't really fit a job in right now, anyway, seeing as I am taking more than the maximum allowable credit hours. It's all I can do to keep my head above water as far as school work is concerned.

What on Earth am I going to take?

I’ve registered for Elder Law, Education Law, and Legal Research Practice (and oh, Lordy, do I need the practice). I don’t want to take a seminar course because they are a. lot. of. work and I’m too tired to deal with it in addition to trying to find a job. I expect spring semester to be my heavy job search time, so I’d like to concentrate on that, not on researching a seminar paper that will most likely be on a topic that I’ll never deal with in practice.

There is the possibility of taking a course in one of the graduate programs. I don’t get a grade in it, but I get the credit hours. I have to take a look at what’s offered. Unfortunately, you can’t take a random language and get credit for it, or I would just sign up for “Beginning Swahili” or something. The two credit Langauge X for Lawyers courses offered by the law school suck, plus I’ve already taken the only one I’m eligible to take... Unless they bring back German for Lawyers, in which case, I’m in like Flynn.

I think someone should give me credit for the work I do for the public interest society. I’ve never gotten a grant from them, yet I’ve put in many more hours than anyone else whose gotten a grant. If people can get credit for writing a brief and arguing a couple of times, then I should get credit for my role in organizing and running fundraisers that have enabled us to pay out a good 50K in grant money over the past two years, plus whatever we come up with this year.

Speaking of, our Fall Fundraiser was last night. Unfortunately for us, we were not able to repeat last year’s Den of Iniquity, thanks to State Legislatures who were pissed off that some charities might make some money off of gambling and not be forced to pay anything to the state coffers for that privilege. There was much debate over the summer about what our fundraiser should be. In years past, the Fall Fundraiser was pretty negligible both financially and in terms of public relations (last year being the notable exception) and in fact, often lost money for the group.

Various ideas were considered and discarded, including a pub crawl, a movie night, and a student-faculty talent show. That last one was my favorite, conceptually. I’ve read that other law schools do this to great success. However, the faculty here is in dire need of a stickectomy when it comes to these things. Don’t get me wrong: many of them are very friendly to students (which I realize is to be valued in a professor), many of them are brilliant scholars, a few of them are also extremely talented educators, and most of them are very generous in their support of the public interest auction. However, allow me to give an example of the effect that the gigantic rectal stick has had in the past: Two years ago, we organized a Pie-in-the-Face Contest as part of the auction. We got one professor from each 1L section to agree to take a pie in the face, then set up collection jars where each section could vie for the chance to have their professor take a pie in the face during the Auction. Whichever professor got the most money in the jar would be the chosen recipient and the right to be the Thrower of the Pie was then auctioned off as one of the lots at the Auction. This was wildly successful. We raised enough money from this one activity to fund an entire grant by itself. It could have been named the “Professor X Summer Grant”. The faculty got in on the act, stuffing each others’ jars and persuading students from their sections to put their money in another jar. It was a heated contest, and the outcome was very close. The professor who ended up being chosen is wildly popular—though also hotly hated by a certain section of the student body—and on the younger side—though not exactly fresh out of law school and teaching his first class. He’s well known for his sense of humor and his slightly irreverent approach to the cases in his class, but also for his attention to detail and ability to teach. He’s one of the few professors I’ve had at law school who are both well-versed in their subject AND an exceptional educator. His classes are tough, but not because he’s making the subject even more impenetrable with lectures wandering aimlessly through theory and the Socratic Method. I say all of this to point out that he’s well-liked and respected as a professor. When we approached him last year to repeat his performance (on the theory that we could sell the contest as a grudge match between him and the runner-up from the previous year), he flat out refused and was actually quite nasty about it, which was confusing to us.

Turns out, he took a lot of heat from the other faculty after the fact last year. Apparently participating enthusiastically in a silly contest to raise money for students to do public interest work is “demeaning” and “encourages a lack of respect” among the student body. This makes me want to scream “GET OVER YOURSELF!” and smack them across the face with a white glove. I suppose I can’t speak for the entire student body, but I can tell you that among my social circle, this whole thing increased the estimation of this professor tenfold. It was seen as showing the ability to not take himself too seriously, making him approachable and human. There was also no small measure of appreciation for the fact that he put himself out there in a way, much like professors expect us to do in class every day, looking for us to discuss issues and matters that we may not necessarily understand or that we may be uncomfortable with. It seems to me that people are more willing to take the chance of making a fool out of themselves in Professor X’s class than in your average class.

Anyway, if taking a pie in the face at an Auction is “demeaning” and “encourages a lack of respect”, I can only imagine what they would think about an event which would require them to sing or dance or act out a skit or something. It doesn’t seem like the response would be too enthusiastic.

Somewhere along the line, the idea of a Beer Pong tournament got tossed into the ring and for some bizarre reason—perhaps the fact that the average age of the incoming class this year was only 23(!)—it found fertile ground. I kind of chuckled and went along with it, thinking that the administration would laugh us out of the building when we presented that proposal and then we could get back to discussing a “real” fundraiser. This brilliant plot only had one small flaw: the administration actually approved the plan, provided that we a) not use the word “beer” to advertise the event, and b) that we put water in the cups instead of beer to remove the element of binge drinking. However, we were allowed to bring in as many kegs of beer as we wanted, provided that we have it served by someone from the university catering service, so I’m not sure how far from the event we actually removed the binge drinking element.

The pre-registration for this event did not go well at all. At the end of the day last Friday, we had zero teams signed up to play. It was a major cause of stress, given that we had already laid out a significant amount of cash in expenses for the shindig. We corralled the 1Ls into standing up in class and making announcements throughout the week, subtly exerting the power of peer pressure to induce as many of them as possible into plunking down the money to enter the tournament or at least show up and drink beer and eat pizza. Still, by Thursday afternoon, there were less than 15 teams signed up to play in the tournament. We were poised to lose a lot of money on staging this “fundraiser” and I literally had nightmares about it all week long. It didn’t help matters any that a review session for the MPRE was scheduled for the same night, meaning that a significant portion of the 3L class was unable to come to the party.

People straggled in, though, and soon we had just under 100 people milling around drinking and playing beer pong. The brackets were progressing, the drinking was not too heavy, but heavy enough, and I reached into my bag of waitress tricks to flirt the half drunk law boys into buying raffle tickets galore. Two rounds of batted eyelashes and laughing at things that weren’t funny later and we officially cleared a profit for the evening. Success! Or at least, Not Failure! Dean Happy was there and I caught him manning the kegs at one point in the evening, which was a sight to behold.

No one got hurt, no one puked in the student lounge, no one behaved like a bigger moron than usual, and we made money for the summer grant program. What more can you ask for in a fundraiser?

Well, it would have been nice if some of the other members of the public interest society had stuck around to help with the clean-up afterward. Instead, it was the executive board plus three other people. If the other slackers think that won't be remembered come time to dole out the grant money, they are sadly mistaken. Next time, we'll specifically assign clean up chores to individual people and I'll be happy to track down anyone who doesn't complete his assignment with the wrath of a woman carrying seventeen credit hour and forced to mop up cheap beer and pick up trash when all she wants to do is go home and sleep off the seventeen hours she's been awake and moving. It will not be a pretty sight. The movie version will be rated "R" for extreme violence and adult themes.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Don't Get Between Me and My Sunday Comics

Three weeks ago, I got a new neighbor. "Coincidentally" enough, four weeks ago was the last week that I got an intact Sunday newspaper.

I am, for the most part, a go-with-the-flow kind of girl, preferring a general idea of what's on the agenda for the day to a schedule made out in 15-minute increments (God help me when I have to start worrying about billables). However, there are certain things that are an immutable part of my routine and missing one of them makes me very cranky and out-of-sorts. One of these things is breakfast-- no matter what time of day I actually get up, I must have breakfast as my first meal. Cold pizza or any other left over is not an acceptable breakfast. Breakfast must consist of something identifiable as "breakfast food": cereal, a danish, eggs and bacon, toast with jam, Pop Tarts. Paradoxically, other mealtimes are not subject to similar restrictions. It is perfectly acceptable in my world to have a pancake supper. Another of these things is reading a book before bed. Not the whole book, just a few pages. I get between the covers, turn out all of the lights except the lamp next to my bed, and read for 5 or 10 minutes, fifteen at the most. I don't know why, but these few minutes make the difference between me tossing and turning, waiting for sleep to claim me, and being able to click off the last lamp and fall straight into the arms of the Sandmännchen.

Reading the Sunday paper while lingering over coffee is one of these routines. And the petty jacka... I mean, wonderful neighbor who is stealing my paper is making me cranky and out of sorts. I pay good money for this paper, and more than at any other time in my life, I do not have money to spare.

After coming home to discover that, yet again, my paper was gone before I could get it into my hands, I posted signs over both banks of the mailboxes in our building-- partially to disguise the fact that I am basically accusing the jacka... I mean wonderful neighbor of stealing my paper. The next morning, a note was attached to my note, "politely" informing me that I was not the only person who lived in the building and that if I had problems with delivery, I should just go to the store and buy the paper there, "which is what I do". Signed, The Jacka..., I mean Wonderful Neighbor in Apartment 3.

This has royally hacked me off. It's bad enough to steal my paper, but then to suggest that I just go buy it at the store if I don't like having my paper stolen is infuriating. First of all, I get it much cheaper from the subscriber service than if I pay full price every week. Second, and most importantly, I want to be able to go downstairs in my PJs, pick up the paper, and go back to my couch and my coffee. I do not want to have to get dressed, get my car, drive the mile or two to the nearest store, park, go inside, find the paper, wait in line at the checkouts, go back to my car, drive the mile or two back home, and find a new parking spot before getting back to my couch and my coffee. I should be able to pay for that service, given that it is a regularly offered service available to anyone who requests it. I should not have to forego this just because you can't keep your sticky fingers to yourself.

On a side note, one week, he took everything except the front page, the local news, and the college football supplement sections and threw the rest on the shelf under the mailboxes, then laid the plastic bag it came in on top of the pile. What the hell is wrong with him?

Does anyone have any good suggestions on how I can keep the jacka... I mean, Wonderful Neighbor from taking my paper?


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Happy Birthday to War, Death, and Dirty Birdie

Too busy to blog lately, though I can’t claim to have been particularly productive—so what on earth have I been doing with the few precious hours we are granted on this mortal plane of existence?


How out of character for me.

Three of the four horsewomen plus our horsewoman in training (Demi-Horsewoman?) had birthdays in the first two weeks of October. Furthermore, we were all in the same country and even in the same city this year. This, of course, calls for a correspondingly large celebration and we started planning this a month ago.

Given the higher than average level of inner-nerd in our group, it was a slightly more... cerebral event than might otherwise be expected for a quadruple birthday blast. We went to a museum, where we savaged the world’s worst tour guide and nitpicked the exhibit—though our criticisms were, I feel, not unfair or unfounded. For example, the traveling exhibit that was the main draw for our visit to the museum that day originated in Germany. At two separate points in the exhibit, they displayed a blown-up newspaper article from a German newspaper, written in 1949, which detailed the discovery of a bog person by some workers at a construction site. The bodies were wrapped in a large bolt of cloth that had been so well-preserved that the blue and green plaid pattern was still discernable. The workers thought at first that someone had lost their jacket. This would have been no laughing matter or mere inconvenience in 1949 Germany, so work was halted for someone to climb down and retrieve the jacket. When the worker took hold of the cloth and started to pull it away, he revealed bones that were obviously human and yelled up to the rest of the crew that they should call for the police because “the SS murdered someone and dumped the body here”. An investigative unit was sent out and quickly determined that the remains far pre-dated the SS, a message was sent to the archaeology department of a nearby university, and the eerily well-preserved bodies of two men wrapped in a tightly woven blue and green plaid cloth were excavated. None of this was translated or otherwise alluded to in the English text beyond the remark that the mummified bodies were often found by workers digging peat in Northern Europe. Perhaps I am crazy, but a) I don’t see the point in displaying the untranslated article with no context or explanation, especially given that your audience does not speak German, and b) that seems like exactly the kind of story that would be interesting to people visiting an exhibit about an unusual phenomenon. Oh, and as you leave the exhibit hall, you are forced past a large glass display case in which merchandise from the gift shop is displayed. I don’t have a particular problem with gift shops in museums, being fully aware that they furnish a chunk of the funding necessary for the museum’s health and well-being. There is, however, a point where the offerings of a gift shop should conform to some standard of propriety and bags of coffee beans labeled “Bog People Blend—Good Enough to Wake the Dead!” are beyond that point, as was the rubber corpse doll wearing a Bog People T-Shirt and skullcap.

We ate at a local Ethiopian restaurant, where we sat on squat little stools surrounding a straw table. The restaurant was opened by a former graduate of Our Law School who apparently disliked being a lawyer enough to quit, spend months traveling in Ethiopia, and open the city’s first (and so far only) Ethiopian restaurant. The food was incredibly delicious. We each got a combination platter with four small portions of different entrees and shared with each other. Together with the spicy food and hot injera, we drank copious amounts of a highly spiced tea. Our table was in the front window with sun streaming in, and we ate and drank for nearly two hours. After stuffing ourselves to the point of nausea, we ordered strong Ethiopian coffee and cinnamon ice cream. The resulting inability to move was well worth it—though not as good as Grater’s, the cinnamon ice cream was smooth and not too sweet.

From there, it was on to the Aviary. We arrived just at feeding time and largely followed the volunteer workers pushing a cart loaded with bowls of dead mice, fruit, and seeds. It was highly amusing to see the reaction of some of the birds to the sound of the approaching cart. There were also a couple of open halls where the birds can fly freely around the tourists. The birds in these enclosures were naturally extremely acclimated to human contact. Some of them ignored us entirely and others followed people or approached them quite closely. War found her perfect love in the final hall; unfortunately, he was the wrong species. The bright green and yellow bird chirped and cooed at her, following her from one end of the enclosure to the other. She made kissing noises at him and he tried to stick his beak through the wires of the cage to “kiss her back”.

After a stop at the local Wine and Spirits store, we headed over to my place for tea, meeting Hulio. War and Death talk faster than any two people on the face of the planet and, as I have had occasion to remark quite often lately, no ability to use their Indoor Voices. Hulio was highly amused. The fun of verbally eviscerating Professor Strap and several of our classmates made the time fly and suddenly we had hardly half an hour to get back to War’s place, change into nice clothes, and walk over to the flamenco concert.

It was held in a very small performance hall attached to the local cathedral, making it a fairly intimate venue. War and I had some difficulty finding it, hidden back a way off the main road. We must have made quite the picture, all shawls and long legs, arms hooked together, sashaying up the street. The picture of two middle-aged central European women who grew up in the same small village and spend all their time together, going to the opera and eating pastries at the Kranzler rose unbidden in my mind. We arrived just as the performance was beginning and slid into seats near the front and off to the side. My entire previous exposure to flamenco came from the occasional special lesson in conjunction with my ballet classes (you know, just in case you should ever be chosen for the role of the Spanish Dancer in The Nutcracker or for a role in Carmen or something) and the Spanish exchange student who studied at my ballet school one year (she had studied flamenco for years back home in Spain and gave an exhibition at our end of the year performance). By all rights, it ought to be ridiculous: the anguished voices, the overwrought facial expressions, the stamping about, the grasping hands. But it isn’t—it’s wildly passionate and moving. I am sure that this was not a world-caliber performance. In particular, I was not incredibly impressed with the female dancer. But when you’re watching four unattractive men onstage and suddenly find yourself thinking “Wow, that guy is hot...”, there’s obviously something good happening.

The man seated next to me obviously had some form of Tourette’s and twitched violently the whole way through the first act. At several points, he mouthed words, but managed not to actually say anything out loud. I felt horrible because I know it’s not his fault, but the thing was, the constant movement and the sound of his lips smacking was incredibly irritating and distracting. Obviously, I didn’t say anything to him—if there was anything that he could have done to stop it, I’m sure he would have and I’m also certain that it’s embarrassing to him when these things happen. We ended up moving at intermission, not because of the man, but because we found four seats together along the railing in the small balcony, putting us directly above the stage. The seats were much better (and were all together instead of two here and two there), but I worry now that the poor man thought we moved because of him.

The evening ended with misadventures in the kitchen (but the end product was good, so who cares how you got there?), lots of cheap South African wine, mulled with spices and apples, and heated discussion of illegal immigration, plus presents and howling laughter. Though, I suppose if I am to be entirely accurate, the *evening* ended long before we got to the point of making bread pudding without the proper ingredients or a measuring cup at midnight. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say something like “The morning arrived with misadventures in the kitchen...”, since, though dawn had not actually arrived by the time War and I marched through the suddenly cold autumn air to her apartment and collapsed on her IKEA sheets, it wasn’t that far off.

It’s good to have a reason that lets you celebrate with abandon and not do any work for school without feeling guilty about it.

Monday, October 17, 2005


In lecture, said by the professor:

"On 9/11, the people who were doing the terrorists were here legally."

Conjugal visits before martyrdom, eh?

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Frankly, I Think It Should Be Required of Everyone

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 9 out of 10 correct!

I missed the one about which state wasn't one of the original 13 colonies. I knew it wasn't Massachusetts or New Hampshire, and I tried to reason it out but couldn't, so I just guessed.

It is my slightly rabid opinion that every citizen should be required to pass this test. I'm still a little nebulous on the "Or Else What?" part, but it seems to me that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Why should you get away with being ignorant just because you had the good fortune to come by your citizenship by dint of being born here if we'll require you to learn the information in order to become a citizen if you happen to have been born elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Look, I don't know about you guys, but I personally feel very, VERY uneasy with the idea of elevating anyone-- regardless of politics-- to the Supreme Court if they aren't already familiar with Constitutional Law. I mean, they might as well nominate ME. I got a B+ in Con Law, so you have to figure that I learned a thing or two, and I've got a couple of good study guides of my own, so apparently I'm all set for Senate Confirmation Hearings. It's one thing to nominate someone with no bench experience (though I'm actually not real comfortable with that, either, and I don't care how many former justices didn't have higher court experience when they were nominated), but if you don't even know enough about constitutional law to get through a set of Senate hearings that are unlikely to include complicated hypotheticals and trick questions about obscure clauses of the Constitution, then you are not the person I want to see given a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. It's not like we get a "do-over" if it turns out that she's not any good at the whole "being a judge" thing.

Others are apparently as concerned about this as I. I won't be sending mine because I'd like to use them to refresh my memory for the bar exam, but I'm looking forward to seeing the response from others.

Monday, October 10, 2005


You know things are bad when you're thinking of an impending class and the unbidden desire to throw yourself on the floor and start kicking and screaming "You can't make me go!" is nearly overwhelming in intensity.

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Two 2Ls are discussing interviewing for summer positions and land at the topic of male interviewers vs. female interviewers. Neither of these students is particularly attractive:

"Women interviewers always have a chip on their shoulder."

[Said with all seriousness]"Yeah, and plus, with male interviewers, you know they think I'm cute, so at least we have that in common."

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Is It Still a Felony if You Bring Her Back?

Hulio and I walked up and around to a local cafe that we've driven past a thousand times but never stopped into, lured (in my case, anyway) by the promise of pumpkin pancakes. It was the first really crisp, fall-like weekend and I am a fool for pumpkin, especially once the weather turns. I would eat pumpkin anything. And goat cheese. Pumpkin and goat cheese. And mushrooms. Pumpkin, goat cheese, and mushrooms-- that's the key to my heart stomach.

Anyway, we walked in and got into line, only to discover that we'd arrived just after one of Hulio's collegues-- in fact, the same one who tipped us off to the pumpkin pancakes. The line inched forward and as we came forward toward the dining area, I spied Mad Dog. More importantly, I spied his too-cute-to-be-real daughter, Ro, sitting on his lap.

I walked up, said a perfunctory hello, and demanded the baby. Ohhhhh, is she sweet. Beautiful child, truly beautiful and so deliciously cute. I just wanted to squige her right up and run away. And I don't even want children! But, oh, how I wanted to take Ro home with me, just for a little while, to cuddle and play with her. Sigh.

Mad Dog made me give her back. Bully. Next time, I'll stare off over his shoulder, then start and yell "Wow! Look over there!" and when he falls for the oldest trick in the book, I'll scoop up the baby and run the other way. But no worries, Mad Dog: I'll bring her back in a day or two... maybe.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Not Rhetorical

When is a betrayal unforgiveable? Does the line change depending on the level of intimacy (emotional, not necessarily physical) in the relationship? If the betrayed person decides to extend forgiveness, how can trust ever be rebuilt? When does it become foolish to grant the betrayer a second chance?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bad Influence

I'm sitting with War, feeding her Bavarian phrases that she's IMing to her friend in Dresden. He just asked her if she's been taking drugs today. Recently, we skipped school together. Last weekend, I stayed up all night talking with her, completely ruining my sleep pattern. We've also spent an inordinate amount of time making cruel commentary about our classmates in German. I think we're a bad influence on each other.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Well, over*read*, actually:

"The pub master was calling for a map, but really, who brings a map to a bar fight?"

Unfortunately, I lost the page it was on when I had to reboot thanks to a stalled virus scan, so I apologize for the lack of linkage.

It's All In The Presentation

This is even better than the Angry Alien Bunnies. I snorted coffee straight up my nose and it stings like hell, but was sooo worth it.

Monday, October 03, 2005

This Profession Attracts Them

I had to snicker a little this morning when Professor Marx took a full five minutes to announce that class would end early today because he’s “in the middle of a big deal” that just cannot be put off because it’s soooooo important and they really want to announce it for the beginning of the forth quarter. Five full minutes! You could just tell he wanted us to ooooo and aaaaahhh at how very important, smart, powerful, and handsome he is.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Stupid Non-Lawyers!

We are discussing formalities required for a valid will in my Estates and Trusts class. This has involved reading several cases in which a testator attempts to fulfill the requirements of his or her state, but fails on some technicality or another. In one case, the testator was elderly and quite infirm. He went to his bank, where he was on friendly terms with several employees, to have the signing of his will witnessed by two people, as required by the law in his state. However, due to his physical limitation, a bank employee carried the will across the room to a second employee for signature, in an effort to help this poor old man out. Because the two witness signatures were not made in the simultaneous presence of the testator (who needed to either actually sign in their presence or to verify that the signature was his in their presence), the will was invalidated. The following are some of the comments of my esteemed classmates:

“Couldn’t you sue the bank for screwing up?”

(Yes, because suing someone is always the right answer and bank employees are, in fact, experts who always know all of the intricacies of state law governing wills.)

“I mean, it’s so simple to just fulfill the requirements.”

(The mere words on the page fail to convey the utter contempt with which this was uttered. I personally fail to see how you can expect a layperson, acting without a lawyer—as the people in the cases we read were—to glean the simple requirements from the dense legal language of the typical statute, even if he knew where to find the statute. You might, of course, argue that it was stupid to proceed without the assistance of a lawyer, but when even Wal Mart sells “make your own will” kits, I can certainly understand how someone might think that they could save themselves a chunk of change by doing it themselves.)

“Don’t have a party with your friends to have your will signed!”

(Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I kind of like that idea. Kind of like a wake, but you get to be there for it. You know, eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die and all that good stuff.)