Sunday, December 31, 2006

Beijing - Dec. 30, 5:05 am

For the last 13 hours in Beijing, I got to do something I rarely get to do back home ... SLEEP!

We got some time off between our afternoon activities and dinner and I came back to the hotel with the chills, utterly exhausted from head to toe, curled up in my (extraordinarily hard) bed, and except for a few interruptions, slept straight through. I missed the “Peking Duck Dinner,” but I’m not too worried. I really needed the sleep. Although after my last post I eventually did, umm, make a few more visits to the toilet and return my foul lunch to where it belonged, I still felt pretty crappy yesterday.

Anyway, enough about my illness! Through it all, I managed to walk about the Summer Palace. It’s about 20 miles from downtown Beijing. It’s where the Empress Dowager Ci Xi, the Dragon Lady (again, gotta see The Last Emperor), summered. Well, she wasn't the only one, but she was the one who put the country into serious financial debt to rebuild it in 1902. She died in 1908. Oh, and why did she have to rebuild it? B/c Anglo-French forces burnt it down! It’s true of most of the sites we’ve seen. Although sometimes, before the Anglo-French got their torches to these sites, they burned down of their own accord. Because it is as cold as a witch’s fucking teat here and there was a lot of coal used to keep people warm. Coal and wood equals fire, natch!

The Summer Palace sits on the edge of Kunming Lake, which is half man-made, as in, there was a lake there, but then the Emperor ordered workers to make it bigger. Dig, dig, dig. The lake makes the temperature about 4 or 5 degrees colder than downtown, where the Forbidden City is. The lake was frozen and tourists were merrily strolling about on it. The American sensibility in me said, LAWSUIT! I suppose this is a communist country, after all, and there would hardly be anyone to sue. It’s also so damn cold here, I’m sure the lake was frozen pretty solidly. It’s been a bit shocking, this cold, since in Boston it’s only gotten below freezing maybe once or twice so far this winter.

After the Summer Palace, we had lunch at this fancy Chinese Restaurant. Actually, as this is China, it was just a restaurant. (God, I will never tire of that joke.) Two things to note. First, there is no such thing as diet soda. Second, they’re still allowed to smoke indoors in China. According to our guide, 70% of men smoke. Amazingly, unlike in America, I do not see that many cigarette butts on the streets, but I will have to look again because most of the tourist sites do not allow smoking on the premises.

After lunch, we went to the Temple of Heaven, where the Emperor would travel three times a year to offer sacrifices for such things as the crops. And by travel I mean 16 very strong men would carry his “sidan” measuring over three meters wide and 12 meters long. The Temple of Heaven is very well restored. There’s a lot of restoration work going on all over the city in anticipation of the 2008 Olympics. If you can get a sense in the pictures, there is a lot of intricate artwork on the structures, so restoration takes a lot more effort than giving these buildings a good power-wash.

Just outside the Temple of Heaven is a teahouse. We stopped there for a tea demonstration, some lessons on different types of tea and, of course, an opportunity to purchase some tea.

And then back to the hotel, where this post started.

On a personal note, I should probably get cracking on that paper and other crap I have to do.





Beijing - Dec. 28, 10:24 pm

When I turned nine, my parents had a big party for me. I think it was at their restaurant in the City, but I’m not really sure. What I do remember, and what I’m here to write about, is how I felt afterwards. That was probably the first time in my life that I had food poisoning. I woke up in the middle of the night with the chills. No matter how many blankets or sweaters or pairs of socks I put on, I could not get warm. And then the nausea hit, rolling around my full belly like a snake slowly swallowing and digesting prey ten times its size. Finally, sweet, sweet, relief came in the form of me running hurriedly to the bathroom and depositing a clump of undigested food in the sink. I don’t remember who cleaned it up, but I went back to bed and finally fell sound asleep.

Well, here I am, my first night in China, and I am similarly afflicted as I was when I was in third grade. Only this time, instead of waiting in bed for the illness to be too powerful to hold down, I am systematically shoving my finger down my throat trying to dislodge whatever is unholy in my belly. My last deposit was pretty good and I’m hoping I’m done. In any event, as I’m nursing this Mirinda orange soda (the closest thing to ginger ale in the mini bar), I’m lucid enough to write this blog...

...which I won’t post for about another week. That earthquake that hit Taiwan on Dec. 26 knocked out the T1 connection so it’s nearly impossible to get online. Not that this hotel room has a connection, but I tried from the “Business Center” downstairs. Anyway, I’m not complaining. People died in that earthquake, even if there was, thankfully, no tsunami.

Besides the devil’s baby inside me, I’m having a fantastic time. Today, after landing at 5:45am local time, going through customs and checking in to our hotel, I managed to walk around the neighborhood. I saw the train station, evaded yet still stepped in countless loogies, was pushed and shoved by many of my people, and went into a few shops but quickly left after being hovered over and followed as soon as I stepped foot inside. Then we had lunch (which I think was when I swallowed Satan’s spawn), then we walked for a few hours in the frigid air around Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Oh my God. Tiananmen Square was this vast, paved space teeming with tourists and people trying to make money off of tourists, including government sanctioned souvenir and concession vendors. Then there were the soldiers standing guard, freezing their asses off, bearing very loud and staticky walkie-talkies. I took lots of pictures and will let them speak for themselves.** And of course, there was no mention of the protests and massacres in 1989, and that famous picture of the lone yet powerful person facing off against a tank. But it was in our minds.

Then we went through an underground passage, so we didn’t have to ford what seemed like 14 lanes of traffic, and came out in front of Mao’s portrait in front of the south gate to the Forbidden City. Again, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.** But I MUST see The Last Emperor when I get home.

OK, I think I feel fatigue setting in again, and since it’s a calm amidst the storm, I think I will try to rest.

Cheers.

** Because of the wonky internet connection, I will have to post the pics at a later time. I will post a few for the time being.







Monday, December 25, 2006

A Pre-Trip All-Nighter

I am the worst packer in the world. I go through like three stages of packing. First, I pack things that don't require a lot of decision-making, like toiletries and workout clothes. Then I make giant piles of all the clothes I think I want to take with me. And then finally, I say to myself, you cannot take all this with you, pick the necessities. It takes several hours. Soooooo, here I am, 2 am on Christmas Day, packing. As such, I will regale you with a pre-trip blog.

I spent about 24 hours at home. In that time, my parents equipped me with a suitcase, a cell phone that works in China, some Chinese money they had (b/c they travel there a lot), and countless words of warning.

To wit:

- If you're going to give money to panhandlers, watch out, b/c once you give to one, a thousand more will swarm to you.
- Don't feel bad for the panhandlers, especially the children. Many of them were kidnapped from the countryside, had their limbs lopped off, and are basically panhandling hos for some panhandling pimp.
- Don't eat the seafood; it will kill you.
- Don't drink the water; it will kill you.
- Don't eat the chives; they will kill you.
- Don't eat the carrots; they are so ridden with pesticides and growth hormones that they continue to grow in their packaging; they will kill you.
- Don't pay the posted price for anything; they are marked up 1000%; haggle, haggle, haggle; it will kill you.
- Don't wear one of those money-belts; they will be cut off of you.
- If you need to change money, do it at a bank or they will give you counterfeit money.
- They have Starbucks in the big cities.


I don't know how much of this is true, but it's taking all my worldly sensibilities not to fall into the trap of my childhood where I believed everything they said because they were my parents. I was a stupid, stupid child.

Oh, and

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Like Clockwork

There are a few things in life I've come to rely on. First, that I'll get sick over winter break. Second, that it won't take long for someone in my nuclear family to launch into some racist discussion. This time, it's whether my brother should live in the Bronx (with Hispanics) or in Morningside Heights (with black people). Inside, I was shouting that he's a 32 year old loser with his first real full-time job and apartment (at the same time!) and maybe he shouldn't complain because his neighbors are going to be harder workers and more reliable than he.

Argh. This impending 4 hour drive back to my apartment is going to be a welcomed relief.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Drive

I just got home an hour ago. And by home, I mean my parents' house in Jersey.

I saw some beautiful colors on the way home. Mostly, I was staring at the sun because I was driving west and didn't leave my apartment until around 2pm. But when the timing and angles were right, there were the most beautiful hues of purple and orange. It even made the barren trees lining the highway and filling the horizon beautiful. I'm grateful for sunsets.

Other than that, the drive was a lot of holiday traffic and near mishaps.

I'm grateful to be alive.

Done-zo!

I'm done done done done done with finals! It feels amazing. Well, it felt amazing. Right now, it just feels like a hangover.

I'm not sure what happened last night, but it started at about 1:45pm with my professor buying 35 shots of jim beam.

I woke up on my couch a few hours ago. I don't want to sleep. It feels too good to be done.

Here's a brief overview of my upcoming life:

- Drive to NJ for visit with parentals and to borrow suitcase
- Drive back to Boston for Christmas Eve with my Tivo
- Fly to LA on Christmas
- Fly to China on the night after Christmas
- China!
- Fly back to LA on 1/6
- Fly back to Boston on 1/7
- Party and plan for this course I'm taking where I teaching enviro law to undergrads.

I taste Jim Beam in the back of my throat. Ughhhhh.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Some Good Advice ... That I'm Going to Need on Saturday

I got this in an email forward that originally started from a Harvard Medical School newsletter. Harvard? It must be true. Smarties. (For more info, you can buy this report on alcohol abuse. Or, you can go to law school.


How to handle a hangover

Drinking fluids may help with the morning-after misery from getting drunk. Hangovers seem to be the body's way of reminding us about the hazards of overindulgence. Physiologically, it's a group effort: Diarrhea, fatigue, headache, nausea, and shaking are the classic symptoms. Sometimes, systolic (the upper number) blood pressure goes up, the heart beats faster than normal, and sweat glands overproduce — evidence that the "fight or flight" response is revved up. Some people become sensitive to light or sound. Others suffer a spinning sensation (vertigo).

The causes are as varied as the symptoms. Alcohol is metabolized into acetaldehyde, a substance that's toxic at high levels, although concentrations rarely get that high, so that's not the complete explanation.

Drinking interferes with brain activity during sleep, so a hangover may be a form of sleep deprivation. Alcohol scrambles the hormones that regulate our biological clocks, which may be why a hangover can feel like jet lag, and vice versa. Alcohol can also trigger migraines, so some people may think they're hung over when it's really an alcohol-induced migraine they're suffering.

Hangovers begin after blood alcohol levels start to fall. In fact, according to some experts, the worst symptoms occur when levels reach zero.

The key ingredient seems to be "drinking to intoxication"; how much you drank to get there is less important. In fact, several studies suggest that light and moderate drinkers are more vulnerable to getting a hangover than heavy drinkers. Yet there's also seemingly contradictory research showing that people with a family history of alcoholism have worse hangovers. Researchers say some people may end up with drinking problems because they drink in an effort to relieve hangover symptoms.

Dr. Robert Swift, a researcher at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rhode Island, coauthored one of the few review papers on hangovers in 1998. It's still one of the most frequently cited sources on the topic. The rundown on hangover remedies that follows is based on that review, an interview with Dr. Swift, and several other sources.

Hair of the dog. Drinking to ease the symptoms of a hangover is sometimes called taking the hair of the dog, or hair of the dog that bit you. The notion is that hangovers are a form of alcohol withdrawal, so a drink or two will ease the withdrawal.

There may be something to it, says Dr. Swift. Both alcohol and short-acting sedatives, such as benzodiazepines like diazepam (Valium), interact with GABA receptors on brain cells, he explains, and it's well documented that some people have withdrawal symptoms from short-acting sedatives as they wear off. Perhaps the brain reacts similarly as blood alcohol levels begin to drop.

Even so, Dr. Swift advises against using alcohol as a hangover remedy. "The hair of the dog just perpetuates a cycle," he says. "It doesn't allow you to recover."

Drink fluids. Alcohol promotes urination because it inhibits the release of vasopressin, a hormone that decreases the volume of urine made by the kidneys. If your hangover includes diarrhea, sweating, or vomiting, you may be even more dehydrated. Although nausea can make it difficult to get anything down, even just a few sips of water might help your hangover.

Get some carbohydrates into your system. Drinking may lower blood sugar levels, so theoretically some of the fatigue and headaches of a hangover may be from a brain working without enough of its main fuel. Moreover, many people forget to eat when they drink, further lowering their blood sugar. Toast and juice is a way to gently nudge levels back to normal.

Avoid darker-colored alcoholic beverages. Experiments have shown that clear liquors, such as vodka and gin, tend to cause hangovers less frequently than dark ones, such as whiskey, red wine, and tequila. The main form of alcohol in alcoholic beverages is ethanol, but the darker liquors contain chemically related compounds (congeners), including methanol. According to Dr. Swift's review paper, the same enzymes process ethanol and methanol, but methanol metabolites are especially toxic, so they may cause a worse hangover.

Take a pain reliever, but not Tylenol. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, other brands), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help with the headache and the overall achy feelings. NSAIDs, though, may irritate a stomach already irritated by alcohol. Don't take acetaminophen (Tylenol). If alcohol is lingering in your system, it may accentuate acetaminophen's toxic effects on the liver.

Drink coffee or tea. Caffeine may not have any special anti-hangover powers, but as a stimulant, it could help with the grogginess. Coffee is a diuretic, though, so it may exacerbate dehydration.

Vitamin B6. A study published over 30 years ago found that people had fewer hangover symptoms if they took a total of 1,200 milligrams of vitamin B6 before, during, and just after drinking to get drunk. But it was a small study and doesn't seem to have been replicated.

A few thoughts. First, this just makes me want to drink more, because now I know how to make myself feel better more quickly. Second, clear liquor? Mmm, martinis. Third, now I know why I love eating crap like fries the morning after! It's for my brain, waistline be damned!

Fourth, I wish my professors would stop mentally violating me. The first time was fun and all, but today just made me feel trampy.

Hopefully Cathartic

That exam rocked me. I kind of knew my stuff, but there just wasn't enough time. I should have expected it. I know it didn't go very well, and it's not for a reason that I can just shake off. I just didn't study enough, or didn't pay enough attention all semester, I didn't try hard enough, etc. All bad reasons. And I'm having a hard time getting it together to study for my last exam on Friday, for which I haven't even started studying yet. Ugh. I need to get it together. I need to accept the fact that that sucked, and I need to move on. I can't. I'm hoping this Frosty from Wendy's helps. Meh.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I REALLY Should Be Studying Privileges...

A YEAR-END SURVEY LIKE NO OTHER

1.) Where did you ring in 2006?
In the South End, Boston.

2.) What was your status by Valentine's Day?
Still drunk.

3.) Were you in school (anytime this year)?
Duh.

4.) How did you earn your keep?
On the corner of ... From taxpayer dollars and selling my soul to the devil. Oh, and I guess I research assistanted for a few months.

5.) Did you ever have to go to the hospital?
To visit my uncle, yes.

6.) Have you ever encountered the police?
Pimps n hos always bring the po-po.

7.) Where did you go on vacation?
Chicago, Montreal, LA, Cape, my parents’ house, and does the school ski trip count? Oh, and I’m going to China before the end of the year!

8.) What did you purchase that was over $500?
No one item.

9.) Did you know anybody who got married?
Yes. And popping out babies like it’s their freaking jobs. Yeesh.

10.) Did you know anybody who passed away?
Yes. No one close to me, thankfully.

11.) Have you run into anybody you graduated high school with?
Yes. On purpose and by accident.

12.) Did you move anywhere?
Up and down the elevators in the law tower was pretty regular movement for me this past year.

13.) What sporting events did you go to?
Some Sox games, some Bruins games, Hamburglar broomball and volleyball games, and Boo Law Softball games.

14.) What concerts did you go to?
Oh man . . . Imogen Heap, Editors, We Are Scientists, Weepies, Dinosaur Jr. (what the!?), Damien Rice, and I know I’m forgetting some. I HEART shows!

15.) Are you registered to vote?
Fuck yeah.

16.) If so, did you do your patriotic duty on Nov. 7?
I’d call it my civic duty, and yes. Go Deval!

17.) Where do you live now?
Bahston

18.) Describe your birthday.
Margarita Mania and NYC-bound.

19.) What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2006?
Breaking a particular personal rule of mine, involving the law school.

20.) What is one thing you regretted this year?
I don’t have regrets. Really. Well, except not studying abroad in college.

21.) What's something you learned about yourself?
I’m afraid of softballs hitting me in the head.

22.) Any new additions to your family?
My BFF got a cat. Grrr.

23.) What was your best month?
This whole year has been pretty fantastic, and July and August were amazingly fun, but I’d have to say September.

24.) What from pop culture will you remember 2006 by?
SexyBack! The song that made me buy the JT album.

25.) How would you rate this year with a scale from 1 (shitty) to 10 (excellent).
Screw you.

Fears

Maybe, more accurately, dislikes.

The dark. Scary movies. The dark especially after scary movies. Heights [only by instinct, you know, wobbly knees and sweaty palms]. Things that swarm. Killer bees. Spiders. Talking to Professor Admin. Talking to Professor Property. Racial and socio-economic homogeneity. Conformity. Saying too, too much. Being a bad hostess. Having things stuck in my teeth when talking to people. An unzipped fly. Toilet paper stuck on my shoe when I leave the bathroom. Bed bugs. Tapeworms. Parasites in general. Slipping in the shower. Eating unidentifiable foods. That my canned tuna will actually be horse meat. Papercuts [paper slicing skin! Really!?]. Public speaking / performance. Being fodder for gossip. Never finding a professional purpose in life. Living in Boston for the rest of my life. Plane crashes. Being predictable. Getting bitten by a snapping turtle while swimming across the lake at camp. Getting bitten by anything not human. Dark murky water. Insincerity. Making the same mistakes and never, ever learning my lesson.


That will do.

Clearly I do not dislike lists. And one day, probably soon, will have to make a list of those. Not dislikes, that is. Not a list of lists. Because that would be weird.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh, Yes.


You are The Tower


Ambition, fighting, war, courage. Destruction, danger, fall, ruin.


The Tower represents war, destruction, but also spiritual renewal. Plans are disrupted. Your views and ideas will change as a result.


The Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower stands for "false concepts and institutions that we take for real." You have been shaken up; blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

A Wee Update

Hello. Yes, I'm alive. There is not too much to report. Well, I could say stuff, but I'm not going to. I mean, I can always say stuff, but there's something particular on my mind, but I'm not going to write about it here.

I had my first exam today. It was nice to get it done. Sure, I was mentally violated, but it was by one of my favorite professors and there was something sadistically fun about it. Two more! I kind of think this being a third year thing has its benefits - I mean, exams don't seem as hard or frightening. If only I would stay on top of my reading, I bet I could have good grades. Oh well.

Today, someone told me she liked me because I am always perky, even after I just got out of an exam. Finishing that exam did make me unnaturally happy, but I think she's right. I think it has something to do with being an extrovert. People make me happy, so people always think I'm happy when they see me, but really, I'm just happy to see people.

Oh, how about a picture for good measure! From a party on Saturday night which I probably shouldn't have gone to, but I did, and it was fun!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Things to Expect

If you're the only single and straight man at a party full of gay men and hags, here are some things to expect:

1) If you find the right guys, you can be set up with almost any single, straight woman at the party.
2) But not if you're sketchy.
3) Once you leave, you will be talked about.
4) Especially if you're sketchy.

Maybe it was tacky to do it while you were standing right outside the window and could hear us, but you'll live. I have no apologies. HA!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Numbers Don't Lie (Usually)

Some excerpts from the 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States, as reported in the New York Times:

"More people are injured by wheelchairs than by lawnmowers, the abstract reports. Bicycles are involved in more accidents than any other consumer product, but beds rank a close second."

"Americans drank more than 23 gallons of bottled water per person in 2004 — about 10 times as much as in 1980. We consumed more than twice as much high fructose corn syrup per person as in 1980 and remained the fattest inhabitants of the planet, although Mexicans, Australians, Greeks, New Zealanders and Britons are not too far behind."

"Americans are getting fatter, but now drink more bottled water per person than beer."

"At the same time, Americans spent more of their lives than ever — about eight-and-a-half hours a day — watching television, using computers, listening to the radio, going to the movies or reading." [Where's the law student statistic?]

"Among adults . . . 16 million used a social or professional networking site and 13 million created a blog."

"For the first time, the abstract quantifies same-sex sexual contacts (6 percent of men and 11.2 percent of women say they have had them) . . . ."

"Meanwhile, the national divorce rate, 3.7 divorces per 1,000 people, was the lowest since 1970. Among the states, Nevada still claims the highest divorce rate, which slipped to 6.4 per 1,000 in 2004 from 11.4 per 1,000 in 1990, just ahead of Arkansas's rate."

"One thing Americans produce more of is solid waste — 4.4 pounds per day, up from 3.7 pounds in 1980." [It's probably all that bottled water.]

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Tree Crudites!

I want to meet the people who created this and/or decided it was a good idea. Now that's the holiday spirit!

Photo courtesy of MightyGirl via Flickr.

You Know It's Finals When . . .

Here is what I've been spending my money on, when I spend it at all:
  • Coffee - especially lattes and flavored lattes b/c they are creamy and quite the treat
  • Take out
  • Candy
  • Snacks
  • Index tabs - you know, those sticky flag post-it like things
  • iTunes
  • Bottled water
I should probably buy my plane tix to LA for my China trip. And maybe Vegas, and maybe Florida. Oh, next semester will be so fun!! I'm taking an accounting class b/c (1) it's easy - hello! I'm Asian! Numbers! Math! and (2) the scheduled exam time fits in with my schedule and won't require me to bust my ass.

Crazy Shit

There has been some crazy shit in the news. I'll just add them to my list of "Reasons Why I Think the World Is Ending."
  • Some psycho wingnut who blames soy for making kids gay. What about the generations of Asians for whom soy has been a staple part of their diet? What about your scientific credentials and research, you fucking whackjob?
  • A conference, held in Iran, to determine whether the Holocaust actually happened. There's nothing to rebut this. I mean, do the piles of bones and shoes and teeth not mean anything? In the face of that evidence, there is nothing else to say.
I have nothing else to say on these matters. They do rather speak for themselves, no?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Elizabethtown, Redux

Remember when I wrote about how much I loved the end of Elizabethtown, sans Kirsten Dunst? Here's a video of just that - and the part with Kirsten is cut out. Yay!



I'm obviously procrastinating.

This Is What's Really On My Mind

I realize everything is on hold right now - it's all in some sort of finals-stasis. It gives me time to sort out my thoughts and feelings.

The situation I was in before finals-stasis was . . . nice, but disturbing. Disturbing mostly because there was a familiarity to it that reminded me a lot of the debacle I got myself into over the summer. I realize everyone has baggage, but sometimes it's heavier than usual. I was kind of reminded of that tonight via the interweb, which itself adds another heaping scoop of "Oh, I've been here before."

What's weird, though, is I still want to go there. Drawn like a moth to a fucking flame. Is it desperation? Is it genuine emotion wrapped in hope? Is it wanting to fix the damaged? Is it that I am damaged, too, and like-begets-like? What is it? I want to find out, but I can't. Stasis.

What I really want is to be able to make a choice - a real choice - and not get into that situation. Everything about it feels wrong. And that alone should compel me to choose rightly, over my emotions.

I think part of the problem is that I went to a Damien Rice concert tonight and, man alive, is his music depressing. All it does is make you think of relationships, in every which shape or form.

I miss the cold-hearted, independent, not-so-vulnerable me.

Last Year: 81; This Year: 64.

My posts have been really inane lately. I'm deleting them and am going to try and do better. Let's start with this law school purity test. Last September, I scored 81. This year: 64. I think I have a few more points to lose next semester...

Score one point for a "yes" answer to each of the following:

I. The Basics

1. Have you ever taken the LSAT?
2. ...more than once?
3. ...more than twice?
4. Have you ever filled out a law school application form?
5. ...more than five of them?
6. ...more than ten?
7. ...more than twenty?
8. Have you ever stepped foot on a law school campus?
9. ...taken a tour?
10. ...asked a question specifically about the library?
11. Are or were you ever a law school student?
12. ...at an accredited university?
13. ...at more than one law school?
14. ...at the same time?

II. Classes

15. Have you ever missed a class?
16. ...more than half the classes in a semester?
17. ...all the classes in the semester but you still took the exam?
18. ...did you pass?
19. Have you ever chosen a class for an academically-impure reason?
20. ...like what time it met?
21. ...or what kind of exam it had?
22. Have you taken a class with the title "Law and..." ?
23. ...did you choose it because it sounded easy?
24. Do you know what the socratic method is?
25. ...have you ever been called on?
26. ...when you hadn't done the reading?
27. ...and you faked in pretty well anyway?
28. Have you ever cheated on a law school exam?
29. ...by using prohibited materials, like the Internet?
30. ...by consulting a live human being?
31. ...by obtaining a copy of the exam beforehand?
32. ...was it a legal ethics or professional responsibility exam?
33. ...did you get caught?
34. Do you know what a "gunner" is?
35. ...have you ever been one?
36. Have you ever gone down to talk to a professor at the end of a class?
37. ...more times than not?
38. Have you ever gone to office hours?
39. ...specifically to suck up to the professor?
40. Have you ever volunteered to be the student who hands in the course evaluations?
41. ...or some other similarly unnecessary duty just to curry favor?

III. Interpersonal Academic Relations

42. Have you ever borrowed notes from a classmate?
43. ...and not returned the favor when he or she asked?
44. Have you ever deliberately changed ("dumb-ified") your notes when a classmate asked for them?
45. Have you ever stolen a book from the library?
46. ...ripped pages out of a book in the library?
47. ...hidden a book somewhere it didn't belong to keep other people from finding it?
48. ...checked the book out and ignored the recall notice?
49. ...checked the book out on someone else's card and ignored the recall notice?
50. Have you ever given someone a wrong answer to a question on purpose?
51. Have you ever been part of a study group?
52. ...did you organize the study group?
53. ...did you ever kick someone else out for not pulling his or her weight?
54. ...did you just do it to get someone else's outline?
55. ...did they do better than you anyway in the class?
56. ...did you ever have a meeting that lasted more than 12 hours straight?
57. ...more than 24 hours?

IV. Interpersonal Non-Academic Relations

58. Have you ever gone on a date with a fellow law student?
59. ...in your section?
60. Have you ever made out in the library?
61. ...in a classroom?
62. ...during class?
63. ...while being called on by a professor?
64. Have you ever made out with a professor?
65. ...in a dorm room?
66. ...the week before the exam with the express intent of finding out the questions?
67. ...did it work?

V. Dorky Things To Do

68. Have you ever used Lexis or Westlaw?
69. Have you ever bought anything with Lexis or Westlaw points?
70. ...something really cool, like a TV?
71. Have you ever won a Lexis or Westlaw contest?
72. Have you ever taken any extra Lexis or Westlaw training just to win points?
73. ...just for fun?
74. Did you sign up for Bar-Bri as a 1L?
75. ...did you go to any of their 1L "review" lectures?
76. Did you buy any pre-law-school books before law school?
77. ...more than five?
78. ...were any of them "study guides" like "Getting to Maybe" ?
79. Have you ever listened to any law-school-related cassette tapes?
80. ...are you too embarassed to admit it to anyone?

VI. The Recruiting Process

81. Have you ever interviewed with a law firm?
82. ...more than fifty of them?
83. Did you ever get a callback?
84. On your callback, did the firm pay for your flight and/or hotel?
85. ...did you bill them for meals?
86. ...meals your friends ate?
87. ...meals no one ate but you just wanted the money?
88. Did you ever get an offer?
89. ...more than five?
90. Did you make the firm wait before you accepted just because you could?
91. ...more than two firms?
92. Did you lie on your resume?
93. ...on your transcript?
94. ...about something serious?
95. ...did you get caught?

VII. Finally...

96. Have you ever worked for a law firm?
97. ...did you like it?
98. ...did you love it?
99. ...is there nothing else you'd rather do in the world?
100. ...but you'll be a lawyer anyway? :)

Count up the number of "yes" answers and subtract from 100. This is your law school purity percentage.

80%-100% -- Are you sure you're a law student?
60%-80% -- Nothing to be ashamed of
40%-60% -- I hear white-collar prison isn't too bad
0% - 40% -- I want you to be my defense attorney

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stating the Obvious?

I think it goes without saying that we will have a movie about the murdered ex-KBG agent ASAP.

Going Blogger Crazy

Life could be worse. I could always relate to these lyrics, from Damien Rice's song "Rootless Tree":

FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU
and all we've been through.
I said leave it, leave it, leave it,
it's nothing to you.
And if you hate me, hate me, hate me, hate me so good
that you just let me out
let me out, let me out?
It's hell when you're around.
Let me out, let me out, let me out.
Hell when you're around.
Let me out, let me out, let me out.

Yikes.

Expect much more blogging from me in the next week.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

BTW

There has been some good news, lately. One, I passed the MPRE! What does this mean?!?!? I can take the BAR!!! Whoo.

Second, I am certed!!! What does this mean?!?!?! I can graduate . . . so I can take the BAR!!!!

Sensing a theme?

At least after I take the Bar, I can travel! And work! And get a Blackberry! Hmm...

I'm a little loopy right now...

Phone Call Redux

First, thanks again to H for calling me out of concern after our AIM conversation yesterday. That was incredibly sweet and totally grounded me as I was getting caught up in law school bullshit. Unfortunately, it took up all my phone time for the day and when T called shortly afterwards, I was brusque and had to go. Sorry, T!

Second, pictures!

The Weepies, Paradise, Boston 12/7/06 (I think Deb is preggers!)


Keith, We Are Scientists, Middle East, Cambridge, 12/7/06


Michael, We Are Scientists, Id.


Chris, We Are Scientists, Id.


The Crowd, Middle East, Id.


Two Concerts, Two Cities, One Night.

Seriously?

Yes, b/c it's finals time.





Friday, December 08, 2006

BRRR!

Holy balls, it's cold outside. Winter is officially here, after a month of unseasonably warm weather.

First, today, I saw some girl on the T popping her zits. Seriously!? She must do it a lot because she had her little mirror propped just perfectly in her hand and still had fingers from both hands to extract with. Previously, I have seen people clip nails and eat sunflower seeds and discard the shells on the ground. Instead of giving out prizes for being kind, maybe the MBTA should consider giving them out for proper hygienic behavior in public.

Second, Last night, I went to the We Are Scientists show. Before the W.A.S. show, I went to the Weepies show. The juxtaposition of the two was startling. Pictures to follow, but for now:



Yay! I got to see my friend, introduced another friend to the band, watched as groupies grouped, met up with some college alums, and had a pretty damn good time.

Now, finals. For reals. Well, until Saturday night.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

On Boys and Girls

Consider this article in the New York Times on transgender children as young as preschool aged:
Supporting Boys or Girls When the Line Isn't Clear - by Patricia Leigh Brown

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 1 — Until recently, many children who did not conform to gender norms in their clothing or behavior and identified intensely with the opposite sex were steered to psychoanalysis or behavior modification.

But as advocates gain ground for what they call gender-identity rights, evidenced most recently by New York City’s decision to let people alter the sex listed on their birth certificates, a major change is taking place among schools and families. Children as young as 5 who display predispositions to dress like the opposite sex are being supported by a growing number of young parents, educators and mental health professionals.

Doctors, some of them from the top pediatric hospitals, have begun to advise families to let these children be “who they are” to foster a sense of security and self-esteem. They are motivated, in part, by the high incidence of depression, suicidal feelings and self-mutilation that has been common in past generations of transgender children. Legal trends suggest that schools are now required to respect parents’ decisions.

“First we became sensitive to two mommies and two daddies,” said Reynaldo Almeida, the director of the Aurora School, a progressive private school in Oakland. “Now it’s kids who come to school who aren’t gender typical.”

The supportive attitudes are far easier to find in traditionally tolerant areas of the country like San Francisco than in other parts, but even in those places there is fierce debate over how best to handle the children.

Cassandra Reese, a first-grade teacher outside Boston, recalled that fellow teachers were unnerved when a young boy showed up in a skirt. “They said, ‘This is not normal,’ and, ‘It’s the parents’ fault,’ ” Ms. Reese said. “They didn’t see children as sophisticated enough to verbalize their feelings.”

As their children head into adolescence, some parents are choosing to block puberty medically to buy time for them to figure out who they are — raising a host of ethical questions.

While these children are still relatively rare, doctors say the number of referrals is rising across the nation. Massachusetts, Minnesota, California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have laws protecting the rights of transgender students, and some schools are engaged in a steep learning curve to dismantle gender stereotypes.

. . .

I do not know how this fits into my world-view. I mean, first, at the foundation, is my belief in God and the Bible. And in these beliefs is the sense that gender plays a big part of faith and life. In how I relate to God, in how God relates to people, in how I relate to others.

But when there are children out there who question their gender at such a young age, I have to wonder why God did that. And I don't mean it in a judgmental way, but it does chip away at my fundamental belief that, while God may be genderless, God does choose to relate to us as a "father." I could try and explain it away - maybe these kids were exposed to images in the media at an incredibly early age that somehow short-circuited their gender identity. While I will blast popular media at the drop of a hat, I somehow think the struggles of the children and family featured in the article cannot be trivialized into saying, you shouldn't have let your kids watch television when they were babies. So the conclusion I am left with is that the kids were born this way. Which gets me back to my original question, why, and how do these kids fit into God's plan? Or, more specifically, my world view and belief system?

Speaking of gender, lately I've been trying to assess how I relate to guys. These thoughts are rooted in my mistrust of guys with very close female friends. If I am romantically interested / involved in such guys, I have a very hard time trusting that their relationships with these women are purely platonic. (Except that one time...) Part of it is lack of information, and I think that if I knew more, I would worry less. But I'd really like to able just not to worry.

Anyway, outside of this speculation, I think it has to do with *MY* inability to have purely platonic friendships with men. I think that I have very few single, straight men in my life who I wouldn't get romantically involved with. But I did in the past, in college. And maybe the supply was greater, and it was easier b/c there was less booze and more living together involved, but I also think it's a personal thing. Like, somehow I have changed and my attitude has changed, and my behavior has changed. And at the root of it all is that stereotypical emotionally closed off relationship with my father.

I want this to change. I don't want to look at every single straight man in my life as a potential love object (or something dirtier). I think that break I was going to take from boys sounds pretty damn good right now.

Well, I don't really have a choice. Hello, finals! But I think this change in attitude should come from the inside, and not just from external circumstances.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Milestone

THE FIRST SNOW!!!!!

I don't know how my whole not-drinking thing turned into me drinking every night this weekend. Granted, Friday and Saturday were quiet nights, but I made up for it last night. Yikes.

But last night was special. Some friends had a dinner party. Unfortunately, the wine ran out and a designated driver took us out to the store ... and we came back with a case of wine. All in all, we went through about 30 bottles, plus other assorted beverages, like champagne and beer. It was so much fun! I heart dinner parties!

No, really, now I'm not drinking anymore for the rest of the semester. Well, ok, maybe on Thursday for the last day of classes.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Procrastination Movie Review

A while back, I raved about the Elizabethtown soundtrack. Last night, I finally got to see Elizabethtown. I had a woman-date with a friend of mine - relaxed, ate copious amounts of tasty food, drank a few quiet beers (but I'm back on the wagon), and just chilled after what was, after all, a 13-hour workday yesterday.

Anyway, I LOVED the movie. I hate Kirsten Dunst, but I loved the movie.

First, Orlando Bloom's character did not fall in love immediately with Kirsten Dunst. Makes it more realistic, I think, although I do kind of believe in love at first sight, or, at the very least, instantaneous lust and attraction. And then their love for each other, it grew out of a need, but it also grew out of satisfying that need.

Second, Cameron Crowe was able to capture in images and music exactly what I love about road trips (without the Kirsten Dunst waiting for me with open arms bit). I've driven across the country five times and I'm not sure, even given all the words in the English language, that I could convey what I love about it and how I feel while I'm driving. But in the last 20 minutes of the movie, Mr. Crowe did exactly that. It made me want to get in the car and drive.

Oh, wait. Finals. Fuckity fuck fuck. Well, a girl can dream:


Thursday, November 30, 2006

BEST FUCKING NEWS EVER

Let's face it, let's be real. I'm not where I want to be. I did something the other day purely for the wrong reasons. And the situation has turned out the way it rightly should have.

So it's no surprise that I just got amazing news. And now I'm literally soaring, my heart is floating in its little cage, my stomach is on the edge of nausea out of the excitement. Two little words, in the middle of a sentence, two words. What were those two words?

STUDY ABROAD.

IT'S OFFICIAL

I'M GOING TO CHINA. 12/26-1/6. LAX-CHINA-HKG-LAX.

I'm going to be exhausted, but me and the couple I'm traveling with, we'll have a fantastic time, I'm sure. I'll be alone on New Year's though. That thought kind of saddens me...

Drunk on Sound

Drunk on Sound

I just got home from a concert. Dinosaur Jr. How did I end up at this show? Well, I got drunk and someone I was drinking with brought them up and I said, "Oh, I'll go, I love shows." I had never heard their stuff before. But I do love shows. Here are some bulleted thoughts, because it's that time of the year.

  • The band was loud. My ears are still muffled and at a few points during the night, they actually, physically hurt. I'm going to the Weepies concert next week; my ears should hurt less.
  • There were a lot of white men, ages 25-40. Thus, it was one of the tallest concerts I've ever been to. I had a hard time seeing.
  • I loved the crowd - there were lots of older people there b/c Dinosaur Jr. was big in the 80s, mainly. That was 20 years ago. You do the math. It was pretty fun to watch middle-aged men rock out. Half the fun of the concert was people watching.
  • I got drunk on music. I was quite tired, and the constant thumping of the music on my eardrums - at one point, I felt like I was in a trance. I once went to a rave (in college, on my college campus, so not as nuts as it sounds), and in the middle of dancing, also experienced this similar otherworldly sensation. Amazing.
  • The members of Dinosaur Jr. (and their opening band, too, actually) were some of the least glamorous musicians I had ever seen. Round in the middle, wearing grungy t-shirts, sporting grungy haircuts. They resembled the crowd. I smelled a lot of borderline BO. Heh. It was so refreshing. It made me realize that I've been really caught up in some superficial bullshit. When you took away all that crap, it was just songs. And there weren't much lyrics, so it was really drums, guitar and bass.

I'm in a good mood, but I'm waaaaay behind on work. Fuck it all.

I did have this thought: You know how every law student is crazy in his/her own way? I mean, every professor / partner I've ever met / seen / worked with is completely nuts. And every one of my classmates has idiosyncracies - and I mean, more than the average person, because everyone's got issues. But law students are worse than most. Social awkwardness, inability to look people in the eye, inability to handle stress, etc. Then I realized, OH MY GOD, WHAT IS MINE?! OH MY GOD, WHAT IS MINE?!

My plans to visit China over break are gelling ... hopefully in the morning, they will be finalized. This year is going to be exhausting, but balls to the wall, my friends, balls to the wall.

Good night!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

This Is What Happens...

This Is What Happens...

...When I go pseudo-incognito.

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc.)
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.

Opening Credits:
Stray Cats - Stray Cat Strut

Waking Up:
Beck - Black Tambourine

First Day at School:
Editors - Someone Says

Falling in Love:
Ms. Triniti - Based on a True Story (Mama Told Me)

Fight Song:
The Chiffons - One Fine Day (Is this ironical?)

Breaking Up:
The Album Leaf - Writings on the Wall (Rather appropriate, no?)

Prom:
Guster - Amsterdam

Life is Good:
Green Day - Time of Your Life (Hmm...because the title is happy but the song is kinda sad)

Mental Breakdown:
The Cars - You Might Think ("You might think I'm crazy, but all I want is you.")

Driving:
Ani DiFranco - Serpentine (Far too mellow and un-singalong-able for driving...)

Flashback:
The Killers - Enterlude (Kinda mystical and ethereal...)

Getting Back Together:
Trainspotting Soundtrack - Mile End ("Oooh it's a mess alright, yes it's Mile End")

Wedding:
Dar Williams - The Ocean (" And the ones that can know you so well are the ones that can swallow you whole. I have a good and I have an evil, I thought the ocean, the ocean thought nothing, You are the welcoming back from the ocean.")

Paying the Dues:
Bangles - Hazy Shade of Winter ("Look around Leaves are brown And the sky Its a hazy shade of winter")

Night Before War:
U2 - Zoo Station ("The cool of the night, the warmth of the breeze, I'll be crawling round on my hands and knees")

Final Battle:
Darin Leong - Lisa's Lullaby (No lyrics, a soothing guitar melody, hmm.)

Moment of Triumph:
Pat McGee Band - Haven't Seen For a While (Wha? I guess my moment of triumph involves making out... ha!)

Death Scene:
Men at Work - Down Under (Maybe I die laughing...)

Funeral Song:
Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl (This is pretty much what I hope...)

End Credits:
Nancy Wilson - Bicycle Kid (A rather quaint, jaunty melody from Elizabethtown Original Score)
I kind of like these.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Finals

Finals

It's really just mind over matter. I can choose to be stressed, but I will just make myself miserable. Or I can choose to be rational and not get freaked out and just accept (resign myself to?) the fact that I am going to bust my ass for the next few weeks. But I will do fine, I always do, and frankly, right now, my standards are lower than they have been the last two years. Which is handy, because the amount of work I've done is less than the last two years. But not just solely because I've been socializing a lot, but also because of journal. So there are legitimate reasons.

Last spring, I also gave myself this pep talk and things turned out perfectly fine.

I don't know why I'm having a harder time this semester more than any other. Or maybe it just feels that way. Or maybe it's not so much anxiousness over finals as it is this desire just for this to end. (I do mean law school; I'm not suicidal.)

Also, I think I'm going to do something bold that may result in rejection, but at least that will make things easier than this obsessing I'm doing. I have to do something that (relatively) mature people do when there isn't booze and "random" encounters involved. Wha?

I hate myself at times like these.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My Mood

My Mood

I feel blue. I'm not sure why. It could be because my dreams and random encounters on the street remind me of loss and longing. It could be because I'm uncertain how to move forward, if I should move forward at all. It could be because finals are looming and everyone is boring and I'm boring and I'm more stressed this year than ever before. It could be general third year angst and fidgetiness. It could be because the caramel slice I baked last week just didn't come out that well. It could be alcohol withdrawal. It could be loneliness and social withdrawal. It could be the five pounds I've put on in the last few weeks. Who knows. I just feel blue.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Lesson Learned

Lesson Learned

I knew this day was coming. I could feel it approaching. My behavior was alarming me. I was feeling smudgy and not myself and just . . . wrong.

I'm not drinking anymore for the rest of the semester.

And there's a good chance I'm taking a boy-break for the rest of the semester as well.

I just went to city hall to copy some documents for our presentation on Monday and I almost threw up on the T on the way there. I managed to keep it together for a few hours but made a deposit in a city hall bathroom before I left.

And last night, I kind of almost did something stupid. I do not know how my sense kicked in, but it managed to, despite the booziness.

I wish I didn't have to go to such extremes to learn lessons.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful

Thankful

I think law school has made me an empty, vapid, soulless shell of an alcoholic.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Suckage

Suckage

The day started with me waking up late, 30 minutes before my meeting. So I spent the day unclean. Then I went to the student health center for an . . . uncomfortable regular checkup. When things like that happen, I usually like to be complimented and have drinks bought for me, but she was a nurse practitioner so it was straight to business. Then I took my prescriptions back to the CVS by school, but that CVS didn't have a pharmacy, so I had to walk back to the CVS by the student health center. I go inside and get in line and find that I have lost my scrips. Instead of tracing my steps, I go across the street and wait 30 minutes to get copies of my scrips, only to be helped by a somewhat nasty NP who was upset that I wanted to see the other one, the one who already violated me. "I'm sorry, it wasn't personal, I just wasn't sure if I had to see the same one again." But she gave me a refill on one of my scrips, and frankly, I can't complain. Then it was back to school for a few hours of homework (and MySpace surveys), and then to the gym. 15 minutes into my workout, I get an enormous, awful cramp in my left calf, nearly drown, and no one bats an eye. One day, when there's a real emergency and I can't self-rescue, I'm going to drown, all while some 18 year old lifeguard is twirling her hair. Anyway, it was a crappy workout. Short, really.

And through all this, I've been perseverating. And what I've concluded is this: BOYS! PLEASE DO NOT VOMIT YOUR DEEPEST DARKEST BAGGAGE OR FREAK OUT ON ME WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF GETTING TOGETHER WITH ME, IN WHATEVER FORM. I mean, telling me about your ex-girlfriends who ripped out your heart and ate it in front of you while ripping off your 'nads, well, I don't need to know. PLEASE! *I* am supposed to be the crazy one here, NOT YOU! Unless you're telling me and then following it up with, "So, the truth is I want . . . ." Because when you just throw that shit out there, well, I don't know what to do with it. Yeesh.

Here I am at home. I am halfway through a bottle of wine and I had a burrito and it was tasty and I've got a baked good in my kitchen, although it's kinda messed up, but it's there and it's sweet. So, things are looking up. :-D

Monday, November 20, 2006

Getting Ahead

Getting Ahead


Sometimes, the grander and more ostentatious a wedding is, the more I suspect it's not real. That the couple is somehow using the spectacle to compensate for doubts and falsehoods. Then again, TomKat have the excuse of promoting Scientology to hide behind.



Babies born with full heads of hair freak me out.



And, on a final note . . . I'm not feeling attachment. I'm feeling . . . something sincere. I think the key is laughter. And I didn't know it was possible for people to talk more than I do, but they exist. It's kind of refreshing. But it's all just fun, alcohol-fueled fun. I'm not sure I have room for more than that right now, socially or emotionally. I am a slave to school and the journal. Oh, the journal. Why doesn't anyone bake me a cake or take me out for drinks when I finish editing an article?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Itinerary Addition

Itinerary Addition



Photo courtesy of NY Times - Harf Zimmermann

The last time I went down under, I really, really wanted to go to Tasmania. But I didn't; I went to the Cook Islands instead. That was great. But this New York Times article inspires me to try and go during my post-Bar travels this summer / fall. So, that's Greece, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, and now Tasmania. Umm, yeah, that's clearly a TENTATIVE itinerary.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

And What Have I Done with My Life?

And What Have I Done With My Life?


Well, here I am working on my functioning alcoholic skills, and people are having babies. ANOTHER one! Joy! Welcome to the world, PSW!

















And, just for fun, a smiling baby. Yeay, happiness! Tee hee!





















And, a personal note, still happy, still chill.

Friday, November 17, 2006

You Seem Happy

"You Seem Happy."

Well, yes, I am happy in the immediate because I went to a hockey game tonight and the game was fun and the ride home was fun - sufficiently loud and rambunctious, but not obnoxious. But other than that, overall, I'm happy, too, because . . . I can't put my finger perfectly on it. But it's a chill situation, I think. Not too much pressure, besides the looming pressure of finals. I'm having loads of fun, meeting loads of people, things feel under control, feelings feel under control. My life is starting to feel like my own again. And, I'm not caught up in any overanalyzation. Yes is good, and No wouldn't be the end of the world. So right now, yes, I am happy. And tomorrow is Friday. I am scheduled to be found at the bar across the street at 6pm.

So in celebration, a photo from my trip this summer to Chicago. This is Millennium Park. I had to scan the photo in, which explains some of the fuzziness.

Oh, and the wind is blowing viciously. It's deliciously autumnal. (Although really it's summer-like -- 70 degrees and flip-flops today!) I wish I could snuggle down in bed under my covers. But I did that earlier tonight for two hours - because I went to a bloodletting and it really took it out of me! I felt drunk afterwards. Anyway, I ramble. So "Publish Post" I shall click.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Vagueness Due to Infiltration

Vagueness Due to Possible Infiltration


I feel like I'm on the edge of a crevasse. The jump to the other side is just at the boundaries of my proven abilities, but maybe that's just from this perspective, because the fear of the crevasse makes every jump seem longer. I feel good, though, and I think I can make the jump. And jumping over to the other side, well, I don't know what's over there, but I kind of want to find out. Because it's forward, and forward is good, and forward is the direction to go.

But at the same time, I feel like every time I have attempted a similar jump, I've fallen into the crevasse and gotten my ass royally kicked. The last jump, it was small, it was tiny, it looked so easy and natural. Maybe I didn't fall into the crevasse so much as get pushed in, but it was a giant tumble down and I'm not quite recovered from it. In fact, it seems that every jump I make, someone is on the other side waiting to push me down the crevasse.

When I put it in these terms, I see that the thing to do is to jump. Forward, always forward, always to discover more, new terrain. But, I kind of wish I knew whether there was someone was on the other side waiting for me, or whether that person is waiting to help me fall.

[This isn't really that vague, is it? Heh.]

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fooding

Fooding

I hosted a brunch on Saturday. I think it was a success. I served pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon butter and real maple syrup, bacon, papaya, cantaloupe, sour-cream apple coffee cake, coffee, mimosas, and bloody marys. Here are some recipes:

Sour-cream Apple Coffee Cake
- From the Boston Globe, Sarah Hearn

Topping:
1/3 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c granulate sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

In a bowl, combine the light brown and granulated sugars. Stir in cinnamon and mix well. (Can also add 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, but I'm not a big nuts+baked goods fan.)

Cake:

Extra butter (for the pan)
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. sour cream
2 large baking apples, peeled and sliced

Set the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 13x9-inch baking dish.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egs, one by one, followed by the vanilla.

With the mixer set on its lowest speed, beat the flour mixture in the batter alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour.

Spread half the batter in the baking dish. Sprinkle with about 1 Tbsp of topping. Cover with apples and 1 more Tbsp of topping. Spread the remaining batter on top. Sprinkle with the remaining topping.

Bake the cake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (I used a ~12-inch round springform pan and 40 minutes left the center a little doughy.)

Let the cake cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Cut into large squares and serve warm.


Pumpkin Pancakes
About 6 servings.


2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar

In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.


Cinnamon Butter

4 oz butter
2 oz granulated sugar
2 oz brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

Beat the first four ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

There's another recipe I found that uses honey instead of sugar - I think it might work out better b/c the butter won't be so . . . gritty. But I didn't have enough honey.

Oh, and on a final note, I could really use a quiet, sophisticated, non-binge-drinking weekend. I think it may happen next weekend when I go to NYC for a mini-summer associate reunion, female style. That is, if the stress of all this work doesn't compel me to bail.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bar Review

Bar Review

"It's good to have a distraction or a back-up, isn't it?"
No, not really, it's not. Because that's not a fair way to treat people. And I did the "distraction" this summer and it made me kind of uncomfortable at the start, although eventually I became attached. And attached, that's not what I'm aiming for in life. Earth-shattering, epic, enormous love. That's what I'm aiming for. Distractions create angst and aren't genuine.
"Yeah, that happened to me, and it sucks."
Did it really happen to you, where you felt this instant connection, where there was such amazing chemistry that even other people around you were commenting on how you looked like best friends, but oh, they just met?! Did it really happen to you, where for a month, with even the slightest amount of alcohol and loosening of self-control, you would come home and lay on your floor and bawl hysterically? Did you feel like your whole world shifted and changed and, perhaps, came to the place it was meant to be? Did you make each other laugh uncontrollably with a single word? Did you predict each other's thoughts? Did life, all of a sudden, have, in its own way, purpose and meaning? Did this really happen to you, and you're standing there telling me it didn't work out? Don't. Because no matter what I say, that is not the assumption I'm working on. And I can't believe that something this good, this amazing, is just another sad chapter in just another sad girl's life.

I know I wasn't going to talk about it anymore, but I can't help it. I'm not lingering, but I still have hope.



A picture, just for kicks. It kind of sucks that it's sideways. And on a different note, it sounds like bombs are exploding out on the street. Fabulous for 8am.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Few Things

A Thing



Cutest baby ever! The product of fabulous parents. The way he smiles in pictures evokes pure happiness that I am certain will carry on into adulthood. None of that "grownups smile 20% the amount kids do" for this guy. And I heart you, M. The interwebs has created this e-friendship that would not exist otherwise. It makes up for the creepiness that the interwebs has created that would not exist otherwise. I don't know what to say.

Plus One

Plus One

Back in August, as I was deciding my future, I made a list of things that made this city great. Or bearable. Well, today, I get to add another item or two. Because our state is now run by a Black Democratic Governor. And we have elected the first woman AG in this state's history (and a grad of my law school)!

It will do. It will SO do for now.

Oh, and back in August, my friend added: the best Ethiopian food north of Washington, DC. True, so true.)




Monday, November 06, 2006

Lucky Duck

Lucky Duck


I successfully baked my pound cake last night. Will post link to recipe later. I wanted to bake a second cake because I talked about it so much I wanted to have lots and lots to share with friends. The pound cake required 70 minutes of oven time. This gave me time to shower and get some other things done before going to bed. Unfortunately, I timed it poorly and was ready for bed about 10 minutes before the cake was ready. So I thought, well, I'll just lie down for a minute. You know where this is going.

About 7am, I woke up and was like, why the hell are my lights on? I wasn't drunk when I went to bed, I didn't go out last night, WTF? Then I remembered the cake.

Well, my journalees had a somewhat delicious orange-cranberry pound cake. And I'm about to go home to a charred mess. I'm lucky I didn't burn my apartment down!

"Let's Go on a Bender"

Let's Go on a Bender

Famous last words. Somehow, last night's post-MPRE party ended up at my place. This morning, we awoke, hung out, and went to Wendy's for lunch. Then for some reason, we headed to a bar. About six bloody marys and 2 shots later, the bartender refused to serve us, and, whilst still daylight out, we stumbled back to my apartment, where I made more bloody marys. And people drank their way through my liquor supply, and ate their way through a pizza I ordered.

What a day. And, well, there's a boy. It's too new to comment on or have any solid thoughts about. All I know is that . . . it's not the same and there is no replacing or substituting. There just are others.

And because I promised my journal kiddees pound cake, I am baking. I feel pretty gnarly, have no idea what's going on, and think I've fallen in with a bit of a "rough crowd." And by rough, I mean hard-core partyers. Yikes.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

On Ethics

Yesterday, in the midst of studying for the MPRE, I was going to write about how I lost my wallet at the Halloween party but had it returned -- with $55 and my monthly subway pass missing. Although it was nice not to have to spend $300 replacing my locks, I was going to write, it kind of sucked to lose the $55 and subway pass. On balance, not so much, but then I was going to mount a high horse and allude to the fact that when I have found lost things, I return them, with everything intact, even if I could stand to gain from the find and not suffer any obvious, outward repercussions. This all was on my mind as I was studying for my ETHICS exam.

But halfway through the post, halfway through mounting my high horse (I'll call him "Ed"), I lost my inspiration. I mean, it's easy for me to say I won't steal, but I don't need to steal. (And I don't have a compulsion to steal, but that's a little off-topic.) It's easy to condemn the act when I have never felt worried that I wouldn't be able to find my next meal (except when driving in the depths of rural bumblefuck . . . but, again, off-topic). I've been really lucky, and there was something kind of distasteful about talking about being a privileged law student, getting drunk, being stupid, and losing a wallet and essentially condemning an employee, who had to clean up after my mess and my idiocy and spilled drinks, for taking $55. And a subway pass. (I presume it was an employee based on a note left in my wallet.) I face a potentially privileged future, and have come from a fairly privileged upbringing. Who knows about the perpetrator. Maybe s/he is privileged; maybe s/he has a compulsion. Who knows.

But, after my performance on the MPRE, I am extra glad I didn't mount Ed. Because come March, I may have to take the damn thing again! Ugh.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Chuckles

Chuckles


Miniature food. Tee hee. Click here for more.

Am taking MPRE tomorrow. Will hopefully return to verbose blogger self afterwards.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Joy and Shame

Joy and Shame

Joy: NASA ok'ed one last shuttle repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope! Let there be rejoicing. It was due, in part, to images from HST that compelled me to study astronomy.

Shame: Today, in a meeting with students from other law schools in the area, the suggestion was made to meet at my law school. I had this instantaneous, instinctive reaction and shouted, "No, it's ok! It's a dump!" Because it is. And it's been extra bad the last few weeks. Elevators are not working - it takes 15 minutes to get to class. And the heat has been so bad, everyone was walking around in tank tops yesterday. My ass got sweaty just sitting in class. It was funny, though, my reaction. I felt ashamed, like people wanted to come over to my apartment but dirty socks and underwear were strewn everywhere, and my sink was full of dirty, moldy dishes. Or my parents were coming to visit and I had porn everywhere.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gauche, But I'll Do It

Gauche, But I'll Do It

I don't particularly care for blogs where people just post a bunch of song lyrics. I think doing that's a cop out because you're using someone else's words to express your thoughts and feelings. But every once in a while, a song just so perfectly captures my feelings. I've posted Au Revoir Simone lyrics, and Colin Hay's "I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You" from the Garden State Soundtrack. Here's a song from the Last Kiss Soundtrack - Paperweight, by Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk. (I transcribed them myself, so there might be mistakes.) I'm not sure they capture my feelings RIGHT NOW, but . . . maybe sometimes, and maybe several times in the last few months.

Been up all night staring at you
Wondering what's on your mind
I've been this way with so many before
But this feels like the first time
You want the sunrise to go back to bed
And I want to make you laugh

Mess up my bed with me
Kick off the covers and wade in
Every word you say I think I should write down
Don't want to forget come daylight

Happy to lay here just happy to be here
I'm happy to know you
Play me a song
Your newest one
Please leave your taste on my tongue
Paperweight on my back Cover me like a blanket

Mess up my bed with me
Kick off the covers and wade in
Every word you say I think I should write down
Don't want to forget come daylight

And no need to worry that's wasting time
And no need to wonder what's on my mind
It's you, it's you

Every word you say I think I should write down
Don't want to forget come daylight
I give up, I let you win
You win cuz I'm not counting

You made it back to sleep again
Wonder what you're dreaming
Oh Zach, how your music selections delight and depress me so!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happiness

Happiness

Today, I booked a hotel room for my parents for graduation weekend. This means I have to graduate or $700 goes down the drain. Well, you know, $700 plus $120,000. My goal for graduation weekend: have it be less annoying than college graduation. Because that was awful - so awful I almost didn't want my parents coming to this one.

But when my BFF offered to come for my graduation, I realized, well, it would be sort of gauche not to invite my parents as well. So yay! Now all I have to do is, you know, not fail.

I'm really not that excited about graduation. I think it's because pretty much right afterwards, I have to study for the bar.

I just watched Brothers & Sisters (ABC). It's a damn good show, although I have to say, I wasn't that excited by the pilot. The last two episodes have been much better. It's a real adult drama. With interesting characters and somewhat realistic scenarios. I mean, it's no Desperate Housewives, that's for sure. This has inspired me to list the other shows that have made the cut this fall:
  • The Class (CBS)
  • The Nine (ABC)
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC)
I'd also really like to watch Ugly Betty (ABC), but it overlaps with The Office (NBC). I think I'm also going to Tivo Heroes (NBC) and Vanished (Fox). Oh, and that new Taye Diggs show looks good, perhaps . . . Oh, too much TV!

Shows that sucked:
  • Jericho (CBS)
  • Justice (Fox)
  • Six Degrees (ABC)
And other shows that are returning to my Tivo:
  • 24 (Fox)
  • Lost (ABC)
  • Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
  • Gilmore Girls (CW) [It was off to a rocky start, but the last two episodes were GOOD.]
  • Veronica Mars (CW)
  • House (Fox) [When it doesn't overlap with GG.]
  • The Simpsons (Fox)
  • Scrubs (NBC) [If it ever starts up again.]
At the end of tonight's episode of Brothers & Sisters, there was a really beautiful song. It was Roseanne Cash's "The World Unseen." I've noticed a lot of shows use music. I'm not sure if it's the Grey's Anatomy effect or the Scrubs effect, but it's almost getting to the point where it's annoying. I guess it saves on production costs. I remember one of the things about X-Files was that it required a lot more musical score composition than other shows - for example, if the average show had 25 minutes of music, X-Files would have 35 or something like that. But today, there's not a lot of original composition - just a lot of hip rock music. I wonder if it's the iTunes effect. I mean, I certainly am in tune with a lot more indy-type artists than I was 10 years ago. Then again, I could just be hipper. Natch.

Off to finish my mid-term!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Few Stolen Things

A Few Stolen Things


Here is a BBC story about the image to the left. It is an image of a pelican eating a live pigeon, swallowing it whole cloth. It took about 20 minutes, and, according to eyewitness accounts, the pigeon fought the whole way down. Well, wouldn't you?



Several weeks ago, I went to NYC to see a friend, Becky, in a play. The play was called "Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven." Here is a New York Times review of the play. Becky is funny. And hot. And talented. The play is about race. Well, that's trite, but it is, but the play is also about so much more. I've been doing a lot of assessing and introspection on this. I think I will write about it one day. But now is not the time.


I stole both of these from my friend Bat's blog to share with you. Thanks, Bat. And I'm pretty sure everyone else thanks you, too.

An update: my apartment was not burgled. I was so afraid b/c I had my keys and my drivers' license in the same coin purse thingie and my license has my current address. I am still going to have my locks changed, because I am kind of freaked out. Although, I could use a serious unburdening of crap. How nice would it be? As long as the burglar didn't steal the things I need to graduate (you know, like my books and my such), it would be nice. Then I would have so much less crap, and I could just up and leave . . .

Anyway, I'm home today doing a mid-term. Expect about 14 more posts!

Another update: Blogger has been acting weird and it took me all day to finally publish this post. So I *kind of* posted 14 times today, but not really.

PS Daylight savings and mid-terms: perfect together.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Una Nueva Entrada

Una Nueva Entrada

I'm not kidding when I say my blogger is now in Spanish. I think it thinks I'm blogging from South America or something.

My life is kind of a pathetic, poorly written tragedy. But the heros, they are strong, well-developed characters. And they stand out.

I lost my wallet at the school party last night. It was a mini wallet with keys, drivers' license, school ID, and a few credit cards. I have spent the last hour canceling credit cards. If only I could get up and in the shower so I can get to school and get a new ID. Because my plan to go to the gym tonight will be thwarted without one. When I asked to go back in and look for it, they were like, it's illegal for us to let you back in. Seriously, this city needs to spend time doing something else besides passing retarded laws.

Oh, and I broke my camera. I really don't want to know.

Also, my ankle is killing me.

See! Pathetic, poorly written tragedy. :(

Publicar entrada!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Yuck.

Yuck.

Mail I received on Flickr:

Dear [Hap],
Your toes are erotically beautiful and not ugly.I would love to suck your toes and lick your soles.Are you a foot player.I hope so.


Also, my Blogger is now in Spanish!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Clowns

Clowns

A real story in today's Metro about a clown college in Mexico.

I don't know what's funnier - the clown college or the picture.