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").

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:


smc: 2, crafts: 398474. Marked improvement.

Another great party, Allison, thanks!

Friday, December 14, 2007


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!)


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's that time again

Finals are upon us.


Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


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!


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


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."


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.