Saturday, December 22, 2007

Stop in the name of the law!

I saw this Christmas decoration at Target last night and just started laughing.


Hands where I can see them, Frosty.

Maybe I just need to get out more.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'd know your order anyway, babe

Today I popped into my favorite, family-owned local restaurant (with authentic Argentinian garb!) to get a delicious and deliciously huge burrito. I'm pretty sure the kids that run the front are a brother-sister team. At any rate, they are young- teens or possibly just out of teen years, and while their English is considerably better than their older co-workers, I still have to strain and listen carefully to understand what they are asking me. Luckily, I have been there enough to know the routine inside and out, and they could talk to me in Chinese and I would still have a pleasant dining experience.

Today was a bit different. After I gave my order, the young male cashier leaned as casually as I think he could lean against the counter and said "So how have you been? You haven't been in here lately."
Me, very surprised at this break in routine, and that he remembers me: I've been doing very well, thank you.
A pause.
Him: How old are you?
Me: What?
Him: How OLD are you?
Me: 24.
Him: Really? Wow.
I start laughing at this point as I hand him my money.
Him: Why are you laughing? (He sounds a bit hurt).
Me: Because I didn't expect you to ask me how old I am.
Him: It's just a question.
Me: How old are you?
Him, proudly, puffing up: I'll be 19 in July. (For our viewers following along at home, that makes him 18.5).

Pause. I gather my change and get my food. To go.

Me: Have a good day.
Him: So maybe I'll see around sometime.
Me: Bye now.

Ha. I tell ya what, I still got it. The young 18.5 year olds really go for me. I wouldn't trade Patrick for anyone, but one has to consider whether this guy could get me the cherished burrito-discount... I'm just saying it's something to think about.

What? Adults color, too.

If you read the 100 things about me post, you know that I take Flintstones gummy vitamins (two a day!) instead of the chalky, huge, One-a-Day type. Though Patto likes to make fun of me, I maintain that a lot of adult women prefer to pop in a couple of grape gummy Dino's rather than choke down those horse pills. I mean, I found out about these vitamins from one of my law school buddies-- that just drips of respectability!

That is, until they started packaging my gummies with a free crayon. Or rather, A FREE CRAYOLA TWISTER CRAYON!

A little harder to justify with the free crayon, I gotta admit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wayfaring Stranger

I have finished my last final, and am laying on the couch having a glass of wine. Patrick is out with some friends to see a movie. A couple of Christmas candles and the Christmas tree light the dark apartment. My laptop is down to 9% but I don't feel like getting up to plug it in. Tobey is asleep on my chest.

I am listening to Wayfaring Stranger as performed by Andreas Scholl. You can sample the music here (on right hand side under "highlights").

Lyrics:
I am a poor, wayfaring stranger
While traveling through this world of woe
Yet there's no sickness, toil or danger
In that bright world to which I go.
I'm going home to see my father
I'm going there no more to roam
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home.

I know dark clouds will hang around me
I know my way is rough and steep
Yet golden fields lay just before me
where God's redeemed their vigils keep.
I'm going home to see my mother
She said she'd meet me when I come
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home.

In short, it is well with my soul.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Sweater Party

Last night, Patto and I attended the annual "Christmas Sweater Party" hosted by one of his co-workers, who is known for throwing the best parties. She always picks an unusual theme and runs with it, and her friends are fun enough to play along and really get into the spirit. Obviously, the theme of this party was Christmas sweaters, the more ridiculous and guady, the better.

Patto and I do not own any Christmas sweaters, nor did we really want to. But a theme is a theme, and we were determined to participate. I decided that rather than spending good money to buy a guady Christmas sweater that we would never wear again, I would try to make a guady Christmas sweater that we would never wear again! Now, you guys know that I am not that crafty, having only successfully completed one fabulous craft in my last 398475 attempts. And that one was promptly eaten by my cats. Ne'ertheless! I would try again!

I went down to the local dollar store and found two stockings bearing undeniably guady 3-D Christmas scenes, complete with a sparkly and fluffy Santa beard. I also purchased simple sweatshirts from the craft store next door. I cut up the stockings and sewed the scenes to the front of the sweatshirts. Voila! Total cost: $7 per shirt. Total time: $10 min per shirt. Total outcome:

Awesome.

smc: 2, crafts: 398474. Marked improvement.

Another great party, Allison, thanks!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Boom

Whenever I am having a bad day, or a long day, or a stressful day, I go and watch this video and it cheers me up. I could watch it over and over again. Enjoy!

Snow Day!

It snowed yesterday, and I mean good. 9 inches on the ground and drifts of over 2 ft. Here is our backyard:

Yes, that fence is higher than 3 ft tall

This is a snow adventure everyone can enjoy! Can YOU find the back steps in this picture?


Hint: There are four of them

It's not as much fun to have snow days when your husband is at work and there is no one to build snowpersons with. The cats weren't interested in a snowball fight, either. It's times like these a kid might come in handy. I wonder if any of the neighbors have one I could borrow...

I'm off to make snow angels. It's part of studying for Constitutional Law, I promise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

That just ain't right

So it's time for my annual check-up. But this time, the only doctor who can see me in the next three months is a male doctor.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think there's anything wrong with being a male doctor per se, I'm just saying that there are some things boys ain't got no business doing- and being an OB/GYN is one of them. Now I know male doctors go to school and work hard and all that just like regular doctors, but I mean, come on. Male doctor as my primary care physician? No way. What if he became hysterical in the middle of my examination?

Male doctors as OB/GYNs. What will they come up with next?

Protestant Trumps Jew Trumps Catholic Trumps Jew Again

I am reading various articles about the history and the development of the legal profession for one of my finals, and one article (from 1982) suggested that the legal profession is really divided into two hemispheres- one stocked with lawyers for private, wealthy families and corporations, and one stocked with lawyers who work for the public or regular Joes. The article said that the lawyers from the two hemispheres are entirely different- from different law schools, different social backgrounds, even different religions.

Apparently, "high ranking" Protestants (Episcopalian and Presbyterian) went into more prestigious corporate work than Jews. Jews were overrepresented among tax, real estate and labor law (both union and management). Catholics were most likely to be prosecutors and personal injury lawyers (you can almost hear the disdain in the author's voice (personal injury attorneys!)), but just when you thought we had established the prestige order, Jews are five times more likely that any other religion to be divorce lawyers. DIVORCE! The SHAME!

So. Figure out your religion and then attend a law school of more or less prestige accordingly. After all, you wouldn't want to be the only Catholic at a WASPy client meeting, am I right? Am I right? Myum myum myum. (Oh, Muffy, you're so funny!)

Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's that time again

Finals are upon us.

FINALS ARE UPON US!

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Whew

While out shopping today, Patrick and I stopped into Jared The Galleria of Jewelry (TM) to have my wedding band and engagement ring cleaned and inspected. The technician discovered that one of the small diamonds in my wedding band was severely chipped and needed to be replaced. Luckily, we got the super extended lifetime service plan, which means we could drop it into the garbage disposal and they would restore the mangled remains to pristine perfection.

Let me tell you- ALWAYS get the insurance/lifetime service plan, especially if you are clumsy like me and prone to slamming your hands into walls/floors/other people. It's worth it in the end.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Those God-Awful Undies

Gift-shopping time is upon us, and advertisers are out in full force playing on whatever values, fads or stereotypes they can in order to sell their goods. I have become interested lately in how advertisements portray gender and relations between men and women (and children) in mainstream media. I'm thinking of writing a brief article on it in the Spring at the encouragement of one of my Professors (never before have I wanted to write so much about so many things that are not my thesis, and so little about the thing that is. I suspect the two concepts are related).

Anyway, I would like to express my extreme ire about the "Property of" underpants that are popular these days. These are various styles of undies that are emblazoned with "Property of Tom" or "Mike's" across their fronts or backs. Here's a fine example:



"Property of Joe Smith"



Harmless and cute? Maybe. But think about what message they communicate. If you are the property of a man, what are your respective rights? Didn't you cede access to yourself to him? If he owns you, can't he do what he wants with you? Oooh, subrogation is sexy! Think I'm taking it too far? The actual tag line to this ad is "Here's a good way to let him feel like he owns you!" I'm not kidding. See for yourself.

"Oh," you might think, "don't get your (unowned) panties in a twist! Relax! It's a fun way to flirt with your partner." Sure. Say, have you seen those sexy man-undies that say "Property of Susan?" No? Odd, I wonder why not. Perhaps it's because it's laughable in our society to think that a man could be owned by a woman in the same way a woman could be owned by a man. Or you might counter by saying that it doesn't exist because men just wouldn't buy it so there's no market for it. I tell you that we're both right, and in fact are making the same point.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not insulting the incredible, fulfilling intimacy and trust that can exist when sharing yourself completely with your partner. What I am critiquing is the societal encouragement of women (and even more dangerously, girls) to sell, objectify or subrogate their bodies to men in the name of being desirable or cute or sexy. Subrogation isn't sexy!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Standing O

This is the last week of classes before finals, and that means it's time to honor one of Harvard's oldest (and one of my favorite) traditions: applauding out the professor. Usually after class, the professor hangs around to speak to students and answer questions. But on the last day of classes, the professors give their closing remarks, and then gather their books and stride past all of the students and out the back of the class, to thunderous applause. It is exciting and honorable and I love it.

Some students say that they feel coerced to participate, and that if they don't want to applaud out a professor than they shouldn't be pressured by tradition to do so. I can relate to having poor professors and not being particularly enthused about applauding them out. On the other hand. It is an incredible tradition, and there are many, many things worse that people are coerced into everyday, and I don't feel so sorry for a bunch of Harvard kids who want to be passive aggressive about applauding their instructor. So. Huzzah for Harvard Law Professors!

Huzzah!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Have you seen that Burlington Coat Factory commercial where a classy Holiday party is in full swing? Running around you will notice a girl of about 5 or 6, dressed to the nines in a plaid velvet and taffeta Christmas concoction. An elegant lady swirls by and sweetly asks her if she believes in Santa. The girl replies matter-of-factly, "I believe in cashmere."

Now, don't get me wrong, sweetheart, I believe in cashmere, too. But I'm just a few months shy of having 20 years and a law degree on you. I'm supposed to be jaded. You are supposed to be dreaming of sugarplums and trampolines, not comparing thread counts and tsking over stitch technique.

Leaf subsides to Leaf and all that.

Go On With Your Ethical Self

Huzzah!

I have passed the MPRE with enough airborne colors to practice law in the state of Illinois! Step 1 of the bar process complete. Now I only have left steps 2-3490857! Well on my way!

Exclamation point!

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Season's Creepiest, Sexually Coercive Song

I'm not a big fan of fluffy, secular shopping mall Christmas music. Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Reindeer annoy the living heck out of me. Sure, I love a good "Carol of the Bells" and "I'll be home for Christmas," but for the most part, give me "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Silent Night" any day of the (winter) week.

With that said, I would rather be surrounded by an entire singing cast of animated winter critters and a cartoon jolly old St. Nicholas than hear "Baby, It's Cold Outside" one more time. Oh yeah, I know what you're thinking- "I love that song! It has such a catchy tune! The singers harmonize so well!" I'll grant you that it's catchy and the music pleasant-sounding. But listen to the lyrics. What? All you can remember is "Baby, It's cold outside?" Then allow me to help you. The woman's lines are first- followed by the man's responses.

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice
My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry?
My father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
well, maybe just a half a drink more - Put some music on while I pour

I simply must go - Baby, it's cold outside

The answer is no - Ooh baby, it's cold outside
This welcome has been - I'm lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm -- Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious - Man, your lips look so delicious
My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh your lips look delicious
Well maybe just a half a drink more - Never such a blizzard before

The neighbors might think - Baby, it's bad out there

Say, what's in this drink? - No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight now
To break this spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no, sir - Mind if I move a little closer
At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense in hurting my pride
I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outside

I've got to go home - Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there

Say, lend me your comb - It's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand - Your eyes are like starlight now
But don't you see - How can you do this thing to me
There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Making my life long sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can't stay - Get over that old out
Ahh, but it's cold outside.

Think about it. Forget that this is a Christmas classic and you grew up with it and blah blah blah and really think about the lyrics. She tells him she is leaving. He begs her to stay. She tells him she can't. He turns up the pressure ("forget that old out"). She tries to be nice about it, but remains firm. He tries to distract her by talking about how beautiful she is. She offers a polite concession- "half a drink more." And he freaking DRUGS HER! What? You missed that all those times you sang along in the shopping mall? He PUTS SOMETHING INTO HER DRINK in the third verse. Stop and think about what that means. If you aren't 100% disgusted with him right now, ask yourself why not.

In some of the most popular versions of this song, the singers speak-sing to each other at the end and she finally agrees to stay. Her line is "Well... I really shouldn't... Oh, Alright." This infuriates me, because undoubtedly some people are thinking "Hey, she really wanted to stay the whole time- she just wanted to play hard to get or try to avoid a bad reputation, etc etc- so why shouldn't he pressure her to stay if that's what she really wanted?" After all, don't we live in a culture that suggests that sometimes "no means yes"? Indeed. In the academic circles we call that "rape culture"- the idea that every woman wants to have sex with you, and if you just pressure her a little bit, and then a little bit more, and then maybe give her more alcohol or slip something into her drink to "loosen her up a bit" she will eventually comply...

These ideas are reinforced through advertising, stereotypes, television and yes, even beloved old Christmas songs. And don't think that it really doesn't mean anything, and that only lowlifes who are prone to rape buy in to that culture. At a Harvard Law party earlier this fall, one of my fellow students offered the observation that all women "need a little coaxing" in order to agree to sex. He explained it through evolutionary biology terms (another post on why I hate evolutionary biology), and said that the reason women do not naturally engage in casual sex is that they have to ensure that if they become pregnant, their partners will stay around to protect them and their helpless offspring against attack or starvation. Therefore, when a woman is hesitant about engaging in sex, she is really asking "are you going to stick around through the next rival tribe attack?" And what you have to do is assure her you will. This is why, as he put it, "women say, 'oh, I don't know if we should, do you think it's really a good idea?' And you say, 'come on, it'll be fine.' You have to be a little coercive (he actually used that word) in order to reassure her."

WTF?!?!?!

Crap like this makes me want to overturn tables and set fire to things.

EDIT: 12/4/07:
Special thanks to Ken Basin, who helpfully sent the link to the YouTube video in which you can watch her push him away and try to gather her things at least 50 times before she sits back down at the end. Alas, in this version you don't get to see him physically put something into her drink, but you do get to see him grab her arm and block the door. Say it with me now: CREEPY.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pompous mood-killer

At the table behind me in the Hark, an incredibly arrogant 1L exhibitionist is (loudly) telling his comrades about the girl he could deign to like and how she is so ridiculous and how this one simple misunderstanding was blown way out of proportion (by her) and now she isn't talking to him (not that he really cares, you understand). The other two people at his table are trying to prepare for their 1st year Ames argument, but this guy keeps on and on about the girl. The other two don't know the girl. He pauses every now and then in his long story and asks if he can help them prepare for their argument, but as far as I can tell, doesn't wait for them to answer before continuing his previous story.

Suddenly, the very girl walks into the Hark and sits at another table! He points her out. They look. I look. They go back to preparing. He announces he is going to call her over and have things out right then and there. And he does! He calls her name and she walks over and says hello and he starts his conversation with "Listen, [name of female], if we are going to be together you are going to have to get over this bullshit with Sharon." She says, "do you really want to talk about this now?" Oh, yes he does. And he proceeds to list out all the reasons she is completely thin-skinned and silly and she's like... okay... And says it's nice to meet the other people at the table and she'll talk to him again soon and walks away.

And he calls her "an annoying whore" as she leaves. I wish I could throw things at him in a socially acceptable manner. I hope she is smart enough not to be interested in him anymore. I hate guys like that- so self-important.

Argh! Way to ruin my otherwise happy vibe, jerk.

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Tree

Happy Day After Thanksgiving, everyone! And, I guess by extension, Happy Belated Thanksgiving!
Today I did a bit of shopping (although I did not get up at 4am like the crazies- I went around 10:30am and still caught some good sales). But all of that was just filling before I got to put up My Tree.

No, no, not "my tree." My Tree. Capitals. I love this artificial tree more than any foliage living or fake in the world. My tree has been in my family for ten years or more- I can't really remember. It is a complicated tree. You individually shape and place every single branch on the tree. It takes hours. But the results are amazing. I took over the building of My Tree from my parents at about age 16, and put it up every year thereafter. It was a yearly labor of love and frustration. As I was leaving college for Boston and law school, I told my parents that if they ever decided they no longer wanted the tree-- or if they so much as failed to put it up one year-- I wanted it. And, only a year after I left, they bought an easier artificial tree and shipped My Tree to me.

And today I put it up. Beautiful, frustrating, wonderful Tree. Even the cats somehow sense that this Tree is something to be honored and respected, not climbed or chewed upon. They reverently scoot past it, probably because I turn into a shouting and foaming lunatic if they so much as pause to sniff it.


My Tree

Oh happy day. Black Friday is looking pretty bright.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hurts Because It's True

I was reading a blog yesterday in which the author described sitting in a Gestalt circle in which the other members of the circle shout insults, slurs and epithets to see if anything "sticks." The idea is that each person walks away from the circle knowing the truth about their weaknesses and insecurities- those insults that stung. He described the process as abusive and exhausting, but ultimately, extremely rewarding as a means of introspection.

I got to thinking about what insults would stick to me. In the past, I would tell you that if someone had said to me "you talk so much that you annoy people" it would have stuck (and stung). But I realized that I no longer truly fear that or feel it is true. I know that while I am still bubbly and talkative, I have developed enough social sense to know when to zip it and when people are eating it up.

So what would stick now? I really had a hard time coming up with something that would hurt because it was true, or at least because there was enough truth in it to make me uncomfortable. I thought about from 3:30 am to almost 5 am this morning, and I think a hard truth for me right now is that I intentionally hold on to past hurts in order to feel self-righteous or to nurse my wounds. I mean, who cares that someone I deeply trusted betrayed me when I was in fifth grade? I only care 15 years later because I was badly treated when I was right, and when I don't feel good about myself I can hold that up as an example of my enduring goodness and victimitude. And I had never thought about that before this exercise.

And yes, I just made up victimitude.

So. What insult would stick to you? Martin (the blogger) was right- it is an exhausting and incredibly worthwhile endeavor. I encourage you to try it- and then tell me what you found. It's none of my business, of course, but aren't you just a little turned on by the prospect of baring your soul to me?

Exhibitionist!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mobius, the Champions!

The American Lawyer's Summer Associate Survey 2007 results are in!

Now. The American Lawyer is often derided as ridiculous and unimportant, and their surveys worthless. This is mostly argued by law firm hiring partners who are trying to ease the concerns of potential associates who just read that all of the mid-level associates are about to hang themselves. It is also important to note that the same law firm hiring partners forget how silly these surveys are when their firm is a shining beacon of goodness and law firm hope for the future.

Get your amnesia and toasting glasses ready, folks, because Mobius is at the forefront of summer associate happiness and joy! I think I can hear the whir of brochure-making machines getting warmed up for a new round of promotional materials.

Congrats to Mobius, (0ne of) the happiest summer associates places on Earth!

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Music Meme

Since I am newly back and forever behind on my schoolwork and thesis, I'm going to adopt the music meme from my sister and turn my iPod on random. The first ten songs to pop up are:

1. It's Only Me (The Wizard of Magicland) by the Barenaked Ladies. I still love me some BNL.

2. Que Onda Guero by Beck. For something completely different.

3. River Deep, Mountain High by Celine Dion. This is the only Celine Dion song I like or own. It was on a mix CD given to my by Melanie, the world's best mix CD creator.

4. The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel. I can hear my mom doing the "Crash, Boom!" background parts to this day.

5. A Whisper by Coldplay.

6. Only One by James Taylor.

7. Desperado by the Eagles. Yeah, I like the older stuff. Sue me.

8. Dandy Life by Collective Soul.

9. Real World by Matchbox Twenty.

10. Fat Bottom Girls by Queen. Queen! I love you Queen!

Okay, so now you know that if someone is singing in harmony to an acoustic guitar 20 years ago I'll buy the album. Purchase Christmas gifts accordingly. :)

I'm really surprised that the Killers didn't pop up in the first 10 songs. I am inundated with Killers albums. In fact, I think I'll listen to some now while I snore through my reading on the nondelegation clause...

Like Nothing Happened

Missing posts creates a snowball effect. Once you go a few days without a post, you tend to go more and more, until at least two weeks have gone by and you haven't written so much as a notice that you are still alive. Whenever I am in this position, I struggle between trying to explain where I've been and what happened and just moving on without explanation.

This time I have decided to just move on without explanation. I'll tell you about how the play went and other developments in my life, just not in one super-post. You'll have to get them flash-back style from later posts.

So. Let's move on.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rise and Shine

My sis sent me this video, and I laugh so hard every time I see it that I just had to put it up. If you can listen to it with sound it's even better, but the video is hysterical without, too.


video

Part cat lovers, part masochists.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sexy Costume Wearhouse

Halloween is approaching, and while it is usually a day of fun and farce, I cannot help but point out that many of the costumes for women reinforce the notion of "women as sex objects" instead of "women dressing up to be whatever they opted to dress up as that day." My sister commented on this briefly last Halloween, but I think the issue is just getting worse and worse.

This year, I have found a great parody of the "sexing up" of Halloween for women. Give it a view. And then be mustard for Halloween. And not of the sexy mustard variety, either.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's 12 degrees. Do you know where your leg warmers are?

For some reason, it is freezing YET AGAIN in my legal ethics class at Harvard. It is a bright and sunny 63 degrees outside, but it is a brisk 12 degrees inside. The professor has sworn to us that he has complained about the A/C every day for two weeks, but nothing has been done. Perhaps a class of otters meets before this one, and require icicles as part of their learning experience. No one knows. But we do know that no matter what is going on outside, you need a spare parka for legal ethics.

At least most people have taken a good attitude concerning the cold. I imagine that a class exchange will soon go a little like this:

Professor: Firms are incredible sensitive to potential conflict issues. How many of you have already been screened out of a matter at your future firm?
The class is a silent, huddled mass.
Professor: Come on, I know some of you have. Let me see a show of mittens.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's 1am and I'm not asleep. In fact, I'm not even tired. This is quite annoying, as I know I will be tired tomorrow morning during class. I have tried to explain that to my body, but it isn't as good at cost/benefit analysis as I am. We are a work in progress.

In college, I suffered from insomnia every 6 months or so. I would go about a month being either unable to fall asleep, or unable to stay asleep after a couple of hours. I didn't like the idea of taking sleep aids (that creepy lime green butterfly aside, those drugs are addictive, and I don't have room in my rotation for another habit to break). Therefore, my sleep options in college were:

1. Drink. Nothing solves insomnia like alcoholism.
2. Play pool. Nothing improves your game like those 3am practice sessions.
3. Hang out with the graveyard shift desk associates. They are usually funny and endearingly neurotic.
4. Stay up and write stream of consciousness poetry. You'll be thankful when your first book is published.

But those options don't really exist for me anymore. There isn't a pool table in my house, and I don't want to drive anywhere because a) Patrick might wake up and think I've been kidnapped and b) if I suddenly get tired, I want to only have to stagger 3 steps to bed, not 3 miles.

There are also no desk associates at my house. It turns out this place doesn't have to be manned 24 hours a day.

So that leaves drinking or writing. Or drinking and writing. Mmmyessss. But wait! I suddenly remember that Patrick got me some great relaxation bath salts. And while I didn't have a bathtub in college, I do now, and I might as well use it. It's not a tried-and-true method, but hell, it's still better than that weird butterfly.

I'll let you know how composing drunken poetry in the tub goes. Goodnight.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

This limp brought to you by the letters K, S & W

Oh, I just HAD to be treated like all the other prisoners. I just HAD to have lines and be in the songs and double as a dancer in the fantasies.

What I asked for in spoonfuls, they gave me in shovelfuls.

My butt is totally kicked. I've been practicing 4 nights a week for KSW, and while delivering my 5 lines with conviction isn't hard, and learning the music is challenging but not cruel, oh, the dances. The dances are cruel.

The choreographer is beside herself because there is a small cast, so she can really do difficult, amazing dances. And they are both difficult and amazing. And after a 4-hour rehearsal last week and a 3-hour rehearsal last night, my knees are swollen and my back is sore and I'm closer to crying in the fetal position than learning these dances.

But learn them I will. Because my moans will be the moans of faith abandoned and hope blah blah blah.

Back to limping.

Monday, October 08, 2007

make-up free with smc

I have been reading a lot of interesting articles lately that support the proposition that the more powerful and visible women become in the work force, the more demanding their make-up and fashion routine becomes. Sort of a, "in exchange for viewing you as competent, you must be extra beautiful, too," situation. There are many, many sex discrimination cases on the books in which women were fired for being too old or ugly, or because they were not feminine enough. Very often, the employer's decision to fire the woman was upheld, with the suggestion that beauty was an actual job requirement for women in the work place. On the other hand, many sexual harassment cases were dismissed because the woman was dressed too femininely, and thus was "asking for it." Today, those cases are thankfully more rare, but the pressure to be beautiful and feminine (but not too feminine and sexy) in the work place rages on, fueled incessantly by the cosmetic and fashion industry.

Other interesting articles have chronicled the rise of the make-up industry. Before 1920, make-up was referred to as "paint" and was associated only with the theater and prostitution. Respectable women did not paint their faces. But then, as women entered the workforce, the cosmetics industry was created and the term "paint" was changed to "make-up" (making up for what, one has to wonder). The pressure to never go out without make-up intensified on the newly liberated woman. A professional woman suddenly had to be "put-together" in ways men did not have to be.

So I am trying a mini-social experiment on myself. I am not wearing make-up this week. Not a stitch. I want to find out whether I wear make-up because I want to, or if I wear it because there are social pressures on me to wear it and so I only think I want to in order to conform with expectations of what being a woman means.

I'll let you know if I come across any interesting revelations as I face the world without my cheeks artificially flushed.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hooray for the Parental Units

Special shout-out to my parents, who today celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Thanks for marrying each other, mom and dad! Thanks for being a shining example that marriages can still work, even in this "look to your left and right; 50% of you won't be married in 5 years" society.

And thanks for ensuring that el seester and I are who we are today (God love us), and not some weird halfling.

Congratulations!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ask and ye shall receive

I grew tired of being 3rd silent dancing prisoner on the right. So yesterday after rehearsal, I gathered the Director and the Producers and told them I wanted lines, and equality with the other male prisoners since I was cast as a male prisoner, and they couldn't tell me that the audience would stop giving the production a willing suspension of disbelief as soon as I opened my mouth because Hey! That prisoner is a GIRL!

They won't give you what you won't ask for. Know your worth. Refuse to be marginalized! Rarr!

And they gave me my lines back. And allowed me to sing the prisoner song. And double as a servant in one of the fantasies.

Hooray! I am very pleased. Now I am a full prisoner with all the rights and responsibilities you would expect a prisoner to have in a 1970s Argentinian prison.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Le Accident

You know I was an Resident Assistant (RA) at the University of Tennessee, but did I ever tell you about the time one of my residents stabbed her boyfriend?

No?

Well. One of my residents was an exchange student from France. Let's call her "Collette." She started dating one of the other French exchange students in our residence hall, "Pierre." And the passions flew. Unfortunately for everyone involved, they were mostly angry passions. His RA and I spent most of our time separating the two as they tried to beat each other senseless. Correction: as she tried to beat him senseless. When my resident got angry, she didn't use her words. She used her fists. And Pierre just meekly took it, and refused to break up with her, no matter how many screaming fights they had in the quad or how many times she was written up for throwing a 25-gallon metal trashcan across the community kitchen at him.

By the end of the semester, all of the residence hall staff was worried about Pierre. Because Collette never hauled off and punched him directly (or so he claimed), we couldn't just throw her out of the hall like we wanted to. She was getting on up there in write-ups, however, and we were hoping to be able to transfer her. We had called her in for countless conferences, and warned her that if she had so much as another noise violation we would throw her out before she knew what hit her. And of course, we recommended ad nauseum that she should go to counseling to learn how to channel her anger into non-throwing/pushing/screaming/threatening activities.

Then one day, the desk agent called my room and told me to get up to the third floor, because "there had been an accident and an ambulance was on the way." When I asked what happened, the desk agent said that Collette had just come downstairs in a frenzy and said the Pierre had cut himself, and she needed an ambulance. I sprinted up to the third floor to find the hall director, a police officer, and our lovers a fou, one of whom was gushing blood. "What happened?!" we all exclaimed in unison.

But we were met with a stony wall of French. They refused to be separated to explain what happened independently, and if they were separated, would only speak in French. The only thing we could get out of them in English was "it was an accident," so as Pierre was bandaged by the EMT, the cop agreed to let them tell the story together.

Collette Story #1: It was just another day, and our snuggle-bunnies decided to make a sandwich in Collette's room. Her only knife is a steak knife, so they were using it to spread the mayo and mustard upon their bread of love. But as she was getting ready to put the knife back on her desk, she stumbled a bit, and accidentally slashed Pierre!

Pierre Story #1: It is just as she says.

.....

But waaaaaait a minute. Pierre's wound is an inch-deep puncture wound (through his jeans) in the back of his calf, not a shallow slash as would have been inflicted had she stumbled for a moment. And how did she stab him in his calf? The way she says he was sitting makes it almost impossible to reach the back of his calf. And there is blood on top of the bed, as well as the floor, and none on the side of the bed where his calf would have been touching. There's something wrong here.

Collette Story #2: It was just another day, and our tumultuous pair had just finished eating some sandwiches. Suddenly, Pierre was threatening to leave her. He didn't love her anymore, and told her he was seeing another woman. She turned around grabbed the steak knife off of the desk and waved it at him, just to scare him, but she tripped just as he was turning to leave, and accidentally cut him!

Pierre Story #2: It is just as she says.

Oh my goodness! You picked up a knife and threatened your boyfriend with it and then stabbed him because he was leaving you?! That's a crime, not an accident! And it still doesn't explain how you stabbed him in his calf, since in this version of the story, he is standing and about to walk out. Or the blood on top of the bed.

Collette Story #3: Her English must be not so good, as that is not what she meant at all! It was just another violent day, and she and Pierre were in a screaming fight. He was threatening to hurt her, so she told him to leave. He wouldn't, so she tried to push past him to get away from him. He just grabbed her wrists and laughed at her and then pushed her backwards, hard. Seeing he was about to hit her, she turned around, grabbed the knife off of the desk, and told him to leave or she would defend herself by force. He grabbed for the knife, a tussle ensued, and she accidentally stabbed him in his calf!

Pierre Story #3: It is just as she says.

What the #*%&^?!?!?

Cop, exhausted: Who wants to press charges?
Hall Director and I: We do! We do!
Cop: Pierre? Pressing charges against her for stabbing you?
Pierre: No! It was only an accident! We have settled our differences now! No harm has been done (it's only a little inch-deep stab wound, nothing they can't party around). All is well. It was a lover's quarrel, nothing more. Have a good day!

And so, basically, everyone went home. We had Collette moved to another hall (finally!), and she left the University almost immediately thereafter. We never did get a story out of Pierre, and we never got one from Collette that made logistical sense. The walls were paper thin at the hall, but none of her neighbors, many of whom were home, heard the supposed "screaming fight" they claimed to have been having. One did hear her shout one sentence, but didn't do anything because, well, she always shouts at Pierre.

This is what I think happened: It was just another day in which Collette teetered on the brink of criminal insanity. They made sandwiches. Pierre was laying on his stomach on the bed, when he committed some boyfriend foul. Collette became hysterical, and started to scream at him. He did not respond to her, or perhaps said he was going to leave if she was going to shout at him. She whirled around, picked up the knife, and stabbed it straight down into the back of his calf. Enough pressure to go straight through his jeans and an inch-deep into his calf. He immediately started bleeding, and she realized what she had done and ran downstairs for help.

If only Pierre were here to fill in the missing line: It is just as she says.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ich bin ein Berliner

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy made a now infamous speech in which he pledged the United State's support of West Germany as they tried to form a democratic government. To give the speech just a little more punch, JFK decided just before he took the podium to emphatically proclaim, "Ich bin ein Berliner!" which means, "I am a Berliner!"

What he did not know, however, is that berliner happens to mean "a little sugared donut" in German and is quite a popular little pastry. So really, he emphatically proclaimed, "I am a little sugared donut!"

I have long been proclaiming that "I am a fruit loop!" so I totally know where he is coming from.

Thumb Drives

I received a mass e-mail from the Registrar's office today with the subject line "Thumb Drives."

I had no idea what a thumb drive was, but it sounded terrible. Like a torture device, much like thumb screws. Oooh, I bet this was to remind us that some human rights commission was giving a speech at Harvard today to call for the end of using thumb drives in interrogations!

Or perhaps it's a reminder that they are taking donations to help kids get much needed hand prosthesis. And "thumb drives" is more catchy than "hand drives."

But alas, no. It seems the registrar thinks thumb drives are (yet) another name for USB drives. And they wanted to remind us that they still had some of ours from last semester's exams, and we should pick them up as soon as possible.

Lame.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Believe it or not, I was downgraded

Yesterday I posted about how despite the fact that I was merely a dancing prisoner, I was still going to give Kiss of the Spider Woman ("KSW") my all, and say my ten or so lines with all the conviction and ability God gave me when he knit me together in my mother's womb and said to me, "smc, thou shall be an attorney. Or a famous actress."

And then yesterday we had the read-through. And due to some of my very important dancing-prisoner responsibilities, I was no longer allowed to play the double that I was told by the Director that I would get to play. But no matter, there was still the prisoner song, and the doubles as orderlies and servants, and I had two or three prisoner-type things to say, right?

Wrong. It was announced that since there wouldn't be female prisoners in a 1970s Latin American jail for men, those of us cast as female prisoners would have no speaking lines. And probably not sing the prisoner song, although they hadn't decided for sure. And the doubles for the orderlies would probably be actual men, too. And I have to admit, dear reader, I felt even more disappointed. And confused.

Why confused, you ask? Because I don't understand why they cast me. I mean, I'm a decent dancer. I learn the steps and execute them properly, and with some attitude. But I am by no means so great a dancer that the choreographer stamped her foot and insisted I be cast as a non-speaking, non-singing dancing prisoner or she was walking out. Trust me. My abilities are in acting, not dancing. Which leads me to think there are other reasons I was cast in this part:

1) The choreographer is a woman who will dance in the show, and they couldn't have her being the only (female) male prisoner, that might look weird. So they needed more (female) male prisoners to dance with her. So they cast two more, me and another woman who is as equally confused at her casting as I am.
2) I have become friendly with the creative team who is producing the musical, so even though I did not have a strong enough voice to play an actual female, they gave me the part of silent, dancing prisoner as a friendly gesture.
3) I am directing the Spring Parody, and the creative team was terrified that I would retaliate by giving them horrible parts in the Parody if they did not cast me in the musical. This is of course ridiculous to anyone who knows me, but perhaps an otherwise valid fear in the dog-eat-dog world of law school drama societies.

That's all I got. I guess what really frustrates me is that before auditions, I asked if there were any good non-soloist roles to play, and I was told that the Warden and prison guards were great roles that didn't sing. But if they didn't intend to have females speak as men, why did they say that role was open to me? Why didn't they just say, "No, we picked a musical that only has three female roles. If you aren't one of those three, you won't have any speaking lines." And assuming they decided after auditions to limit all speaking roles to men, why didn't they just cast men? I'm sure there were two other men who auditioned for this musical and could be trusted to say "I hope my girl is still waiting for me" while doing a box step.

Oh, I am trying to stay enthused. I am trying to remind myself that some people were not cast at all, and I should be thrilled that they wanted me to be a part of this musical so badly that they cast me in a completely mismatched role for my talents. And then told me not to say anything. And I am not saying that this role is beneath me, or I deserved to be cast as a leading female. Not at all. I'm saying I'm disappointed. And I don't know why they cast me for a role they won't let me fully play.

Monday, September 24, 2007

That's me, 3rd tree on the left

This fall, the Harvard Law Drama society is putting on a musical, Kiss of the Spider Woman. If you have never read the book or play, I'll give you a quick synopsis: The story takes place in the 1970s, in an unidentified Latin American prison. Molina, the main character, is serving an eight year sentence for "corrupting a minor." But in essence, he is in prison because he is a homosexual. To escape the horrible prison conditions (including torture and general abuse from the guards), Molina fantasizes about being cared for by his favorite actress, Aurora, who starred in all of these fabulous productions when he was a child. One day, Molina gets a new cellmate, Valentin, who is a political prisoner. Valentin is being tortured so that he will surrender the names of his political accomplices. The story is about friendship, escapist fantasies, love, betrayal and death. So all in all, pretty heavy stuff, though there are some laugh-out-loud quips from Molina from time to time, and the writing is quickly paced and interesting.

I auditioned for said musical knowing there were only three female parts (all of which included much singing), but I was assured that there were very substantial prisoner guard and Warden roles which did not require solos and would not be limited to men. So I was hopeful to still get a meaty part, despite the fact that I do not have the strongest voice of the women I knew to be auditioning.

And then I was cast. Third dancing prisoner from the right. I may also double as another character for a tiny scene, although this will not be confirmed until this evening at the first read-through when they work out the doubles once and for all. I am disappointed, I won't lie. I don't even consider it bragging to say that I am a good actress. Objectively, I am a good actress, and I am disappointed that this is my last opportunity to really act while at Harvard (I will not take on a large role in the Spring Parody, because I am directing it and I do not think the role of the Director is to star in the production) and it is being used as a dancing prisoner.

But before I get too mopey, I must remember that a quick Google search of the prisoners in this production reveals that they have a song in the opening scene, and they double as orderlies in the prison infirmary and as servants in one of Molina's fantasies. And there are 9 prisoners in the original play, but only 5 cast in the Harvard version, so I am sure to have at least one line. And probably two or three. And when you take into account that I am going to double as an extra character, well, I'm up to ten lines.

So I will act my heart out as third dancing prisoner from the right. The world has never seen a dancing prisoner so convincing as I! My prisoner will evoke so much angst and heartbreak and hopefulness in the face of despair as to bring tears to your eyes, even if all I do is sit in the background and moan. My moans will be the moans of justice denied and faith abandoned!

Moan!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hey There, Delilah

By now, I'm sure you've heard Hey There, Delilah by the Plain White T's. What you might not have heard is the story behind the song.

Because it is a small, small world, it turns out that one of my fellow summer associates at Mobius is the good friend of the boyfriend of the real-life Delilah. According to him, it seems Delilah met the lead singer of the Plain White T's out and about one night, and after much flirting, he promised he would write her a song. And he keeps his promises.

Understandably, her boyfriend was not pleased when she announced that the singer had promised her a song, and even less pleased when the song came out several months later. Apparently, Delilah has used the limelight to her advantage, and has made somewhat curious remarks when asked if she had any romantic interest in the singer, considering she still has that pesky boyfriend hanging on.

Patto and I think the entire situation is hilarious, and have taken to making up alternative lyrics to the annoyingly catchy song. What follows is my little parody:

Hey there, Delilah,
Bet your boyfriend really hates it
That I'm singing you this love song
And he just has to take it.
It must be hard
But I've got free speech and my bodyguard
I bet he's charred

Hey there, Delilah,
You looked great in that last interview
I heard your boyfriend broke his fist
when Rollling Stone contacted you.
How opportune
That we met each other in that bar last June
So here's to you

Oh, this song is so catchy
Oh, this song is so catchy
Oh, this song is so catchy
Oh, this song is so catchy

Hey there, Delilah,
Hear you've milked this dedication
All your girlfriends are so jealous
That they weren't on your vacation
When you met me
How flirtatious you turned out to be
Although not free

Hey there, Delilah,
I've got to be getting on now
There are other girls to meet and
I don't know your last name anyhow
It was fun
And I've made some good money on this run
But now we're done

Oh, this song is so catchy
Oh, this song is so catchy
Oh, your man's got it in for me
Oh, this song is so catchy...

Ok, that's all I've got. I'll leave it to you to do the bridge.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wellness Wednesday

Last year, Harvard Law started this program called "Wellness Wednesdays" ("WW"). In the beginning, it was really a pathetic little program, and consisted of a table set up in the Hark with a bowl of fruit. Some Wednesdays it wasn't there at all. Pretty much no one paid attention to WW. And that made the Dean of Students sad.

This year, WW came back with a vengeance. There are posters, and banners, and health professionals. There are four tables, with fruit, and Tylenol, and stress balls, and other types of good-for-you goodies. There are brochures on everything from the benefits of a brisk ten minute walk to directions to the nearest mental hospital. And there are chair massages.

I said, THERE ARE CHAIR MASSAGES.

You can bet that when I saw the sign-up sheet for a free ten-minute chair massage I threw down my bags and climbed over three students to get an open slot. And when it was my turn for the massage, I'm pretty sure that I only got out "do your worst" before sinking onto the chair and beginning to purr.

I loves me a good massage.

As the massage therapist began to work, he encountered the twisted knot of muscles that make up the right half of my spine, and after a startled gasp, started asking questions.

"Are you under a lot of stress?"
"Mmmm."
"Do you have pain in your lower back?"
"Mmmm."
"Do you sit for long periods of time in front of a computer?"
"Mmmm."
"Do you carry a particularly heavy bag?"
"Mmmm."
"Headaches?"
"Mmmm."

I'm not terribly responsive when I am receiving a back massage, but I think he could tell that those "mmmm's" were in the affirmative.

At the conclusion of my ten-minute massage, as the other masseuses told their clients to have good days, mine told me I could probably benefit from seeing a good chiropractor. Then he got out a brochure and said that the Harvard Health Center did therapeutic massages, and I would really benefit from regular sessions. And by lessening the amount of weight I carried, the length of time I sat in front of a computer, and decreasing my daily stress levels. In other words, I could benefit from quitting law school.

But back to the massages. If a massage therapist recommends getting regular massages, is it the same as doctor's orders?

Do you think I could present it that way to Patrick anyway?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Harvard Law: The New Class

Remember when they had squeezed the last bit of plausibility out of Saved By the Bell and introduced Saved by the Bell: The New Class? I swear that's what is going on at Harvard.

Either my contacts are out of date, or Harvard has introduced a new class of 1Ls who look and act like the recently graduated 3Ls (4Ls?). Everywhere I turn, there is an incredibly familiar face, ready to embark upon the same zany adventures of their predecessors (updated slightly as technology and hair styles continue to improve, of course). I have been fooled on more than one occasion by these doppelgangers. I wonder if eventually I'll be laughing along and wondering what section love triangle is going to pop up this time, or how the kids will make it in Evil Professor's Socratic method-only class. Until then, I remain suspicious.

The more things change, the more we desire an ill-advised sequel to mimic the past.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Misfit

I very rarely feel socially awkward, but tonight was one of those nights. All I could think of was how long until I could run away without looking like a complete moron. Or, better put, more of a complete moron.

Tonight, one of Harvard's professors (and the one I am trying to solicit to be my thesis adviser) was honored with an old and prestigious endowed chair. After her brief lecture, there was a reception. The three students I knew at this thing left immediately after the lecture, but I stuck around, because I wanted to 1) congratulate the professor, and 2) remind her that I exist so she will agree to be my adviser. But of course, my professor was immediately flanked on all sides by colleagues, and I didn't want to interrupt their animated conversations with my paltry greetings. So I was left to roam for a bit. A bit that lasted 15 minutes. I didn't know anyone else in the room except for other professors I had had throughout my tenure here, and I didn't feel particularly inclined to wander up and play the fun game of "remember me? What are you working on these days?" One professor did catch my eye and wave, so I walked over and began to speak to her, but no sooner than we exchanged pleasantries did another professor come up and begin to speak to her. They were talking about the Brookline neighborhood and their families, and I know nothing about the Brookline neighborhood or their families. I stood on the fringes, awkwardly, until both professors started talking about heading out, since they were going the same way.

I knew how I looked and I hated it. I was hovering, clumsily, not able to contribute to the current conversation and not feeling able to steer it back to a topic to which I could contribute. I didn't know one of the women, and the other I had only the most cursory of relationships with. She must of wondered why I continued to stand there for so long, when the conversation obviously no longer included me.

Finally, I spotted an opening in the honored professor's circle, and I stepped up and congratulated her. To my delight, she remembered me. No mention of my pending request for her to be my adviser, however. I plan to schedule a meeting with her via her secretary later this week, so all is not lost. As soon as she had greeted me she was congratulated by another colleague, and turned her attention to him. I quietly slipped away again and hit the door.

Ugh. I am thankful that I am able to act gracefully and confidently in almost all social situations. This one, however, completely got away from me, and I felt miserable. It was probably a good exercise, however, since so many people suffer from the complete fear of a cocktail party, and it's good to remember that they aren't just being sissies. Sometimes, wandering into a group of strangers who are not your peers and trying to blend in is, plain and simply, horrible.

Delicious crabcakes, however.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I would do anything for love, but I won't do that

As you know, Patto's and my first anniversary was earlier this summer. Unfortunately, I was still living in Chicago, so while we did many fun things, we did not eat the top layer of our wedding cake.

Indeed, the frozen cake was still chillin' (heh) in my parent's deep freeze, so on our next trip back to Tennessee, we retrieved it. It was wrapped up in a cardboard box, and then sealed in a generous helping of plastic wrap.

After letting it fully thaw on the kitchen table for a couple of days, I opened it with giddy anticipation. Besides the bite I had for the pictures, I didn't eat any of my own wedding cake. I have heard that this is often the case with large weddings. The couple that experiences the least of the ceremony is the bridal couple. Anyway, I was told it was delicious. The top layer was red velvet cake. Come to me, fruits (cakes?) of my labor to love and cherish the adorable Patto till death do us part!

Opened at last! Here it is!




Oh. Ewwwwwwww. I... I don't even know what happened here. I can see that the icing walls have fallen off (probably due to some scientific principle about the freezing method of icing. Mom?), and I know that the large and ugly gash on the top is from where our little cake topper sat, but... This thing is hideous.

Nevertheless, I cut a small triangle and ate it. Mmmmm, stale red velvet cake. But it tasted like it might have been delicious.

Last year.

Oh, well. That ruins my vision of candlelight, champagne and feeding each other little bits of red velvet without the photographer pushing in to rearrange us. But ever the trooper, I will press on. Maybe the next time I'm in Tennessee, I will just buy a little cake from my baker, fresh, and eat it right then.

Oh, and special shout-out to my sister, who planned to eat her cake top for her FIFTH anniversary, to occur in April, 2008. Might not want Tony to read this post...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Overreation

I reacted very badly to the pumpkin arrangement disaster. After I picked up the flowers from the floor and tossed them back onto the mantle, I burst into sobs. And I sobbed for ten, hard minutes.

It quickly became apparent to me that I was not crying over the ruin crafts project. It was just a craft, after all, and not really that badly ruined. The pumpkin frame had not broken or bent, and even though the flowers were all pulled out and lightly nibbled upon, the whole thing could be restored. It would probably only take 20 minutes or so to rearrange it. But I couldn't even stand the thought of starting over last night. So instead I sobbed.

What, then, did the ruined craft represent for me? After smearing my mascara all over Patrick's shoulder, we tried to talk it out. Was I too stressed? Overwhelmed? Did I feel as though I wouldn't be able to get ahead or stay ahead? Were we spending enough time together?

This is the best I have come up with: I have a lot of work to do. Hours of reading, classes, and a major paper to write over the next 10 weeks. And I had just come home from a really fun evening with friends. I was at a high in the midst of a mountain of stressors. And to come home and find my efforts ruined (efforts on a project I was so proud of because it was something new and hard for me to do well) it came like a punch to the stomach. The contrast was too much. It doesn't matter how hard I work or how well I think I'm doing, it all falls apart.

I think that's what the arrangement meant to me. Tonight I will try to put it back together again, like I always do.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Robbed

I had the best evening tonight. I went out with the Harvard Law Drama Club while Patrick was at the gym, and I had so much fun. I met up with Patrick after his workout and I couldn't wait to get home and tell you all about my evening.

And then when I walked in, I saw my pumpkin mantle centerpiece in pieces.

While we were gone, the cats jumped up on the mantle and destroyed perhaps the only successful crafts project I have made in years.

And I felt...

Robbed.

And then I didn't feel anything much at all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I am probably my mother's cousin

It is autumn in Massachusetts, and autumn is my favorite season. It makes me want to bake spice cookies and put out Harvest-themed decorations. Emphasis on the words want to.

I am not as craft-able as my mother and sister. They make really cool things, like incredible centerpieces and flower arrangements and custom-made potting sheds. I make the occasional lopsided ornament out of glitter and construction paper. I have great visions of what I want things to look like. They just don't turn out to be what I envisioned. Or even close, for that matter. It's enough to make a gal wonder if there is any truth to my sister's claims that I was purchased from a flea market.

So mostly I do not try the crafty stuff. But this year, while wandering through the craft section of a large super-store, I decided to try. I decided to combine a lovely bunch of artificial fall foliage with an iron pumpkin frame. I have seen my mom do this with great success and much oohing and ahhing from family and friends, myself chief among them. So I thought, "history of poor arts and crafts grades be damned! I am going to make a pumpkin/flower arrangement thingie for my mantle!"

Here is the finished product:


I'm very happy with it. It looks even better in person than in the picture. I know it's a little dark here, but I didn't like how the pictures with the flash on came out. The whole thing was too stark, too focused. And that's not autumn to me.

So, while my one success at craftiness probably does not qualify me as my mother's daughter (or my sister's, uh, sister), I am at least a distant cousin.

Back on the tree, baby.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We run for cupcakes

This evening I had dinner with a couple of fellow law students, and at the end of the main meal, my friend Jess suggested splitting dessert with one of the guys, whom I shall call Sparkles. Sparkles is always very excitable, and even when he is at his worst, he can be picked up again with the spotlight and a good show tune. Anyway, Jess asked Sparkles to split some carrot cake, and Sparkles declined. In his words, "Oh, Sparkles does not do dessert." Why not, his table mates ask. "Ugh, we just don't. Especially because we already had a cupcake for breakfast." (It is important to note that Sparkles often speaks in the royal plural). Anyway, we pressed him until the story of the breakfast cupcake came out.

And so follows the narrative of Sparkles:

Sparkles: Well, almost every morning we run down to this particular Back Bay bakery (which is about 4 miles away), and as a reward we eat all of the icing and a little of the top of a cupcake, and then we run back.
Me: What about the bottom of the cupcake? (I am always concerned for the bottoms of cupcakes, the marginalized cupcake class).
Sparkles: Oh, we don't eat the bottom. Anyway, so we eat the cupcake and then run home. So since we ate the cupcake for breakfast, we can't eat the carrot cake for dessert.
Table Mate: Don't we get a side stitch from eating cupcake icing in the midle of an 8 mile run?
Sparkles: Oh no, we're fine. We love butter. We LIVE for butter!

But apparently, not carrot cake.

If I were Sparkles, and I was telling this story, it would go something like this:

Me: Oh, smc does not do desserts.
Table: Why not?
Me: Well, almost every morning we make our darling husband drive us to the corner bakery where we consume one entire cupcake (as long as it does not have too much icing. And we savor the bottom). And then we jog half a block to the supermarket where we buy a carton of milk. And then we jog back to the bakery and have another cupcake. And then our husband drives us home.
Table: So you can't split any cake?
Me: Well. Maybe if we split it...

We would make a pathetic Sparkles.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Back to School

Today is my last first day of school.

I have my pens and pencils and highlighters at the ready. I've purchased all of my books. I cleaned out my book bag from last year and created new files for this year's classes on my trusty MacBook. I'm ready.

But I'm nostalgic. Last week I gave tours to the brand new class of 1Ls. And I remembered how excited I was to start law school. Harvard law school! And I suddenly missed all of the fun orientation events and welcome cocktail hours and having a "section mom"- a professor who watches our for your section and makes sure you are adapting well (Of course, this professor is not usually a woman- but mine was, so the term "section mom" kinda stuck).

Then, over the weekend I watched the Undergrads move in, all toting a mom and giant shopping bags from Bed Bath and Beyond. And I missed college, and toting those bags with my mom, who helped me pick out all the best animal print accessories for my dorm room (because I was 18 and insisted on having an animal print-themed room). And I missed home football games, and painting my face with my sister and the other girls on my floor (and the time Amanda painted UT on her face using a mirror, and when she pulled away realized she had actually put on "TU"), and playing billiards at the UC or the Strip.

And then yesterday I popped into Target. And you guys know that Target in September is like going back to grade school. And I missed buying new markers and glue sticks, and I missed new back packs and reams of loose leaf college rule paper (limit two per customer!), and I missed being nervous (were any of my friends in my class? Who did I have for home room?). And I really missed getting dressed for the first day of school. Because first impressions count.

Although, thinking back to some of the things I wore in grade school, I have to wonder what impression I was trying to make.

And one day I will probably miss today, the last first day of school I will ever have.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

That's what friends are for

Folks, there are good friends, and then there are good friends.

A good friend calls you and chats about the Labor Day sales she happened upon and asks if you did anything fun with your long weekend. A good friend perceives that you may have been caught up with studying and cleaning and calls you early enough that you can throw down your laundry basket and make it to the mall with three hours to spare so you can catch those sales yourself.

Thank Heaven for good friends, or else the most stunning black velvet blazer ever to grace this earth might not be hanging in my closet right now.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Appalachian State University is HOT HOT HOT

If you are a football fan like me, you may have noticed that 5th ranked Michigan was upset by Appalachian State University today. This video is an actual promotional video released by App State a few years agao.

HOT! HOT! HOT!

I tink I'mb sick

I have been hit full-force by a summer cold. Stuffy nose, stuffy head, sore throat, and general patheticness.

And I'm a total grump.

Hopefully I can keep the cold at bay with Tylenol: Severe Cold capsules long enough to enjoy the long weekend. And start school next week.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Commercial Confusion

Ok, I no longer get the "coulda had a v8" commercials.

I understood the first one, where the guy is working out on the balance ball and his trainer asks him if he is still eating right and getting all his veggies, and he says "when I can" and she bops him on the head. Ah, she's right! He could have had a v8 and he would have gotten his veggies! There's no excuse for missing them when they are neatly pureed into a handy disposable bottle! What a bop-worthy offense!

But now the commercials make no sense. The latest one is a montage with a guy passing up veggies at all these different functions and his wife (I assume she is his wife) bopping him on the head after each one. After about the 7th pushing away of his carrots and his wife bopping him, the announcer intones "Coulda had a v8" while the wife shakes her head disappointedly at her hapless, unhealthy other half.

But here's the problem. v8 is continuing the theme of saying that you can just get your veggies by drinking a v8, and to pass up such a simple solution is stupid. Hence, the head bopping. But the guy in the newest commercial isn't passing up a v8 or saying he hasn't gotten his full servings of veggies, he's passing up the traditional on-your-plate veggies. Why is he being bopped when he pushes away a plate of broccoli? If he ate his veggies, he wouldn't need to drink v8.

Maybe I'm missing something. But it doesn't seem like a good plan to infer someone who doesn't eat physical veggies is boppable when you sell a product that replaces those missed veggies.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

100 things

I lovingly stole this idea from my sister, who lovingly stole it from another blogger. It's a good thing. I encourage you to lovingly steal it from me.

Anyway, for my 100th post I thought I would give you 100 things about me. In no particular order...

1. I cannot whisper. It's a stage whisper at best. Everyone can hear me. I try to whisper, I just don't succeed in it.
2. I used to get in trouble in grade school for talking in class all of the time. Probably because I couldn't whisper.
3. Thanks in part to my lack of whisper ability, I have a naturally authoritative voice.
4. This is great for speeches and giving direction, but it gets me in trouble because people sometimes accuse me of pretending to know what I'm talking about when I don't.
5. Often I didn't realize that was the impression I was giving. I have taken to adding at the end of my sentences, "Despite my confident tone, I don't know that for a fact."
6. I love cheese. Especially cheese with salted crackers.
7 Once, while Patrick and I were still dating, we went to a friend's wedding, and I tried to spread cheddar on a cracker.
8. Patrick told me that cheddar was not a "spreading" cheese. I told him that with a little elbow grease, every cheese could be a "spreading" cheese.
9. That pretty much sums up my philosophy on life.
10. I also like to talk about "personal accountability" a lot.
11. For example, I dislike it when people give excuses. I would rather a person say to me "I'm sorry I am late" and offer no explanation than to tell me "the guy in front of me at the check-out took forever, there was nothing I could do."
12. I am guilty of offering excuses, too. But I consciously work at it.
13. I am a terrible speller. It took me three tries and a spell-checker to get "consciously" right.
14. There is a scar in my right eyebrow of which I do not know the origin. One day I started looking through old photos, and I have determined it showed up between my third and fourth birthday. No one in my family knows how I got it.
15. I was a pretty rough-and-tumble kid, so the scar doesn't really surprise me.
16. In fact, I'm pretty well covered in small scars.
17. I have dislocated both shoulders, broken my left wrist, broken both big toes and both pinkie toes, sprained my left knee, had two cysts taken out of my left wrist, sprained both ankles too many times to count, and had 4 concussions.
18. I used to joke that everything that could possibly kill me has already tried.
19. I often joke about my clumsiness. In fact, I often joke. Period. I am a firm believer that she who can laugh at herself will never cease to be entertained.
20. I never cease to be entertained.
21. I have a great wit. It's probably my best non-physical attribute.
22. My best physical attributes are my calves.
22. Seriously. Great calves.
23. My sister wonders why I have such a thing about high heels. It's all in service to the calves, baby.
24. I have a black belt in Shingitai Jujitsu.
25. My husband has a second degree black belt in Jujitsu.
26. We met when I was a white belt and he was a green belt.
27. I had a crush on him from the day I met him.
28. I still do.
29. Just yesterday, in fact, I told him "I don't know what it is I like so much about you, but I sure do like it a lot."
30. Anyway, he didn't know I was alive when we met. It took me two more years to get him to ask me out.
31. He says he was always interested, but thought I was too serious and studious for him.
32. That's fair. He wasn't studious at all. He's two years older than me, and we graduated at the same time.
33. Of course, I graduated a little early.
34. But still. He claims that if he hadn't started dating me he would still be in college.
35. He is very smart. He left UT's engineering program with a 4.0 because it was boring. Then he didn't bother to go to a bunch of other classes over a few years because they were boring, too.
36. See a theme?
37. Anyway, it seems his stick-to-it-edness has improved substantially since he got himself an smc.
38. Oops, this is supposed to be 100 things about me. Seems I've gotten off track.
39. I graduated from UT summa cum laude with degrees in psychology and political science in 2004.
40. And then I went to law school.
41. As you know, law was not my first choice for a career.
42. I still take Flinstones gummy vitamins as nutritional supplements.
43. Two a day.
44. I'm very picky about my pills. I hate swallowing those big, chalky horse pills.
45. I have to take them with orange juice to hide the taste. And even then, I have the aftertaste in my mouth all day.
46. I don't know my sister's legal married name. Before marriage, she was CEC. Then she married an H. I know she goes by EH. But is her name CEH? CCH? ECH? I don't know.
47. I don't know if she knows my legal married name, either.
48. It took me 8 months to decide if I was going to change my name. I flip-flopped constantly. I only made a decision when Patrick announced he didn't know how to introduce me and I had to make up my mind.
49. I don't know if I made the right choice.
50. My best friend is Melanie.
51. As you know, we met in high school.
52. We used to make up songs while running cross-country and track together. And just in general, because it was fun.
53. "You get into the truck on another track day; Coach is kinda smiling, you know what he's gonna say..."
54. During track practice as a sophomore in high school, I was struck in the forehead by a discus.
55. The swelling was horrible.
56. The next day, a girl on the tennis team got hit in the face with a tennis ball.
57. It was caught on tape.
58. So people were too busy making fun of her to make fun of me.
59. I went to a cruel high school.
60. I was senior class president.
61. I gave a speech at graduation.
62. The only part I remember of it was quoting the "we are more than champions" verse of the Bible.
63. I love college football. I don't care who's playing. I'll watch it.
65. But if the Tennessee Vols are playing, I don't just watch it.
66. I armchair coach it.
67. I am very competitive.
68. Almost anything can be turned into a game.
69. A game I'll try to win.
70. Melanie is not nearly as competitive as I am.
71. When we play cards, she often suggests that we don't keep score.
72. And this makes the point of the game... what?
73. I love those "Where's Waldo" books.
74. And the traditional logic games, like "If Adam doesn't bring a casserole and Danielle brings a ham, whose drives a Saab?"
75. The answer is Caleb. Caleb drives a Saab.
76. I skipped number 64. Did you notice?
77. I did that because I repeated number 22.
78. Both were intentional.
79. I am the youngest of my family.
80. I don't buy the "birth order" analysis of personality.
81. It seems about as accurate as my daily horoscope.
82. I hate it when people interrupt each other during debates.
83. Or say "No offense, but..."
84. Or make global generalizations or stereotypes.
85. I hate it even more when a member of a particular group reinforces a negative stereotype.
86. Whenever I see someone royally botching a parallel parking job, I pray it isn't a woman.
87. I am a great parallel parker. Much better than Patrick.
88. He is the first to agree.
89. I have two cats, Tobey and Caesar.
90. Tobey's full first name is October. But no one ever calls her that.
91. Except my mom.
92. Caesar fetches rubber bands. He'll drop it right back in your hand, over and over again.
93. I've never seen anything like it.
94. Like all moms, I believe that my cats are the best in the world.
95. Except mine actually are.
96. I like dance. All types of dancing. Ballroom, line, hip hop, tap...
97. I'm not particularly good at any of them. But I still like to try.
98. I love colloquialisms. I'm all over them like white on rice.
99. When I grow up, I want to be the most respected attorney in my field.
100. Or a famous actress.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Goodbye Chicago!

Well. It's 2:30pm, and I am leaving for the airport at 3:00pm. All I have left to do is haul my hopefully only 50lbs bags onto a cart and take them downstairs to the cab I have reserved for me. Except the front desk is out of carts for a moment. However, I could not help but notice what floor the last cart has gone to. I think I may go knock on that resident's door and take it by force. Because they will never see me again, and I need that cart.

Goodbye, Chicago! Goodbye s'mores maker, goodbye incredibly stained carpet, goodbye awesome view of Navy Pier, goodbye too-short grocery cart, goodbye somewhat creepy mannequin in the corner!

Goodbye!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Flight of the Conchords- Business Time


Too funny. I nearly shot chai tea latte out of my nose the first time I saw it. And you guys know I usually reserve that reaction for when a family member falls down the stairs or something (you have to know my family...)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hey smoopyliciousness!

The darling Patto and I are planning a trip to the World's Best Alma Mater for a housing reunion, since I was an RA in college and am still close to my former fellow RAs. The other RAs and I have been exchanging e-mail messages for some time, working out the reunion details. Then yesterday, I received an e-mail to the group that The Breakfast Club, the most amazing 80s cover band ever to play the stage in Knoxville, TN was going to be in town the exact! same! weekend!

It was a sign from God that this trip home and the attendant housing reunion is blessed!

In my glee, I quickly fwded the e-mail to Patrick, along with the following note:

"Oh baby! Remember the Breakfast Club? They're going to be in Knoxville the same weekend we are! Oh! Happy Day!
I love you my baby I dooooo!
Happy Wednesday, otherwise known as Wed "less than 4 days till I am back with my baby" nesday!"

Nauseatingly cutesy, I know, but I haven't seen my husband in a couple of weeks and I have been living apart from him for the past 3.5 months, and my mental state is deteriorating quickly without him. And he would have just chuckled and that would have been that.

That is, had I actually sent that e-mail to Patrick.

No, instead of hitting "Fwd" I somehow hit "Reply All," and in my extreme excitement, did not notice the difference. So I sent that incredibly snuggle-filled missive not to my darling husband, but to 9 of my former co-workers and my former boss.

They were good enough to send me multiple e-mails back telling me they loved me, too.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Admission Essay

Every now and again, someone gets real impressed with the fact that I go to Harvard Law School and asks me about my college grades and LSAT scores and such. But a couple in the know also ask me about my admission essay. What did I write about? Did I combine my political science and psychology degrees into a comment about the benefits and flaws of the current American Jury System? What impresses Harvard?

If you think for a moment that I wrote a comment on the American Jury System, you have another thing coming. But to ease the curiosity of those of you who really want to know how I wowed Harvard into accepting me in two weeks flat, I am reprinting the first paragraph of my admissions essay. I swear to you on my sister's gave (sorry, Boo) that what you are about to read is what I actually submitted to Harvard with a straight face (or what I can pull from memory- the actual copy is on a computer at home in Boston. I reserve the right to change this post if I get home and see an error).

"Law was not my first, or even second choice for a career. When I was a child, all of my friends and I knew exactly what we wanted to be when we grew up. Josh wanted to be a CIA agent, Jennifer wanted to be a novelist, and I wanted to be Queen of a small, tropical and fabulously wealthy island nation. Upon later inspection, I realized that the queen-market was a very difficult one to break into, and set my sights on something more managable: becoming a famous actress."

Obviously, the admissions folks at Harvard scrambled all over each other to be the one to type up my admissions letter.

The point is this: Harvard is chock-full of serious people who write about serious things. And that is great. And if you are that type of person, Harvard has a spot for you. But I am not that type of person. And I wasn't about to write a phony admissions essay about the intersection of law and interstate commerce. I wrote about why the law interested me, and I didn't take myself too seriously. And Harvard had a spot for me, too.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Look at me and my usefulness!

I finally have work to do! Well, I *had* work to do. Then I did it. But none the less, I actually came to work and settled in and worked! This is a much needed break from the two weeks of absolutely nothing I have done since coming to OFC. Don't get me wrong- I like down time. A whole day of not having anything to do? Great! But 7 days of not having anything to do while being forced to account for your time? Not great. Miserable.

To show you my level of functioning over the past two weeks, I give you a pair of haikus I wrote to Melanie in my height of bored desperation (this is something we did in high school quite a bit, and I'm a-bringing it back, cause I'm old school like that).

I have lost three pounds
climbing the stairs between floors
'cause it takes longer

than taking the lift
and I have time to waste, so
I print three floors up.

But thankfully, it will probably be Thursday before I subject her to more of my, um, creativity.