Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Can't Fucking Believe This

I would like to know which genius at my university thought that sending out the following email would be a good idea:

***

Subject: Unofficial Withdrawal Notice

The first run of grades for last quarter shows that you did not earn credit for your classes last quarter. Since you received no credit, we are required to assume that you did not attend class and were not eligible for aid. If this is the case, you must repay the aid you received as well as your tuition for the quarter.

***

I mean really. What the hell is that? Turns out that everyone in my program got this email because our professor has not submitted the grades for all of our classes. But I would bet that a lot of people read that first paragraph, combined with the subject line, and thought, "Oh shit, I failed out." It was only after I thought about it for a while and realized that there was virtually no mathematical way that I could have failed that I figured out it must have been a mistake.

What if you're a 1L in your first term of law school? They probably had only one test that makes up 100% of their grade, so it's entirely possible that they would think that they failed and not have a way to know that it wasn't mathematically possible.

Maybe some readers will think that I'm overreacting, but I don't think I am. Law school stress can really affect people. I know someone who, because of disappointing grades, broke a window in his house and later when on medication for depression. And I know someone else who had a 1L classmate commit suicide in law school. For a school to send out this kind of email over something as simple as late-submitted grades is almost negligent.

All the school had to do was say at the beginning of the email that the message is automatically generated because not all grades are submitted. But I don't even understand why the email is sent in the first place. If you don't attend classes, you would get a grade. You'd get an F. So why is this email generated for people that don't have grades submitted? That's clearly the professor's fault, not the students fault.

Are there any law students out there that agree with me?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Parental Elitism

If there is one thing I hate, it is parental elitism. You know, parents who assume that non-parents are incapable of understanding anything relating to the parent-child relationship?

The latest example of parental elitism is this article about David Goldman, the American father who fought for custody of his child in the Brazilian courts. The article is a nice sentiment, and I was with the author, until he went and wrote this:

Adams was also concerned that, if the boy wasn't returned to his father, Brazil could have faced devastating economic sanctions from the United States.

I'm sure I speak for millions of American parents, who have watched this case with bated breath and heavy hearts, when I say: You had better believe it, pal.


Now, why did he have to say "millions of American parents"? Does he think that the millions of Americans who don't have children have not followed this case with bated breath? Are incapable of feeling outrage over what Goldman had to go through? That's just insulting. For months I have said that, because of Brazil's reaction to this, I will not even consider visiting that country. As a lawyer I've been outraged that the step-father's money and influence have sandbagged this guy for years.

But this author makes the assumption that non-parents just won't understand or won't care. Never mind that everyone has been part of a parent-child relationship in their life. Never mind that many of the non-parents in this country will someday be parents.

Which leads me to my next complaint: all parents used to be non-parents. Parenthood does not trigger genetic changes in people. Parents (usually mothers) who say stupid shit like "mothers have a special ability to hear their crying child" or "mothers are tougher than the average person" risk my fist in their face. You may have been conditioned to hear certain sounds now, or you may have to do things that you never had to do before, but that doesn't mean you have abilities above and beyond non-parents. It just means that the non-parents have not had to step up to the plate yet. Just like parents didn't have to step up to the plate before they had kids.

This is not a rant against parents. I know many parents who do not think that they're better than their childless counterparts and who do not feel the need to talk themselves up at the expense of those who don't have kids. This is rant against parental elitists. We all know those people when we see them.

(On a slightly unrelated note, not being a parent might save your life.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm Starting To See A Pattern

South Carolina governor Mark Sanford disappears and, once he surfaces, admits an affair with an Argentinian woman. (06/24/2009)

Michael Jackson dies unexpectedly and under suspicious circumstances. (06/25/2009)

Tiger Woods runs his SUV into a tree in the wee hours of the morning, the story about his wife freeing him with a golf club makes no sense, mistresses come forward, and he eventually admits to "infidelities." (12/11/2009)

Brittany Murphy dies unexpectedly and under suspicious circumstances. (12/20/2009)

How many celebrities have to die tragically in order to deflect media attention from cheating bastards? WHEN WILL THE MADNESS STOP?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Congrats!

I would like to take this opportunity to offer my congratulations to Mike Fisher, brand-new fiancé of Carrie Underwood. I feel that my sentiments would best be expressed through a passage from the classic novel "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters":

"May she dwell symbiotically in the digestive tract of his existence, consuming all joy, causing him writhing pain at odd intervals, until she is finally defecated out."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Sexist Procratiblog

I should be working on my 10-page paper that is due Friday (Thursday for me since I'm going to FedEx it in because I'm going home tomorrow.) Instead, I'm watching old episodes of "Hunter" on Hulu.com and thinking about how much I hate it when hunky men get older.** It got me thinking, who else makes me want to kick the aging process in the balls?

Ryan O'Neal
So cute in "Love Story." SO. CUTE. I mean, he's looking pretty good now, but still. STILL.





Harrison Ford
What woman my age didn't fall in love with Indiana Jones as a girl? Like Ryan, he's still lookin' good, but it's not the same.





Val Kilmer
I was a "Batman Forever" superfan. I saw the movie like three times in the theatre, read and reread the book based on the screenplay, bought the soundtrack, bought folders for school with the Batman symbol on them, had a Riddler cup from McDonalds, I FREAKIN' LOVED THAT MOVIE. Mostly because Val here was so darned cute. Now? Now I weep.





Jeff Bridges
I know what you're thinking. Really? The Dude?



YES REALLY.



And now, the number one tear-jerking aging process...

Marlon Brando
I remember watching "Julius Caesar" in senior English class, and I was MESMERIZED by Brando. I fell in love right then and there. Looking at that last picture just reminds us all that life is not fair.





Ladies, who is on YOUR list?

**Yes, this is sexist. Yes, I would get in a tizzy if a man posted this about female celebrities. But sometimes double standards work in our favor.

Golden Globe Babble

I am such a dork for awards season, as if you couldn't tell from my Grammy/Carrie Underwood rants. Now Golden Globe nominations are out.

Has anyone seen "Up in the Air"? I think I'm going to have to see it now. Plus, it stars Jessica from "Twilight."

Right now I'm rooting for "The Hurt Locker." Did anyone else see that? I didn't want to see it, but I went with my friend, and I was really impressed. Great movie. I'd love to see an awesome movie with a female director win Best Picture.

Also, "The Hangover" was nominated for Best Comedy! That amuses me, much like the movie did.

And can we talk about the TV nominations?! Jane Lynch! My new girl crush! I love Sue Sylvester so much. A friend of mine wants to fix me up with her friend who lives on the other side of the country. I am considering it, because his grandmother is Julia Child's sister, who was played by Jane Lynch in "Julie & Julia." Anything to get me dozens degrees of separation closer to Sue Sylvester.

So glad to see "Modern Family" nominated, although I wish "Park and Recreation" had been, too.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thoughts on Pride and Prejudice

I had a bit of a blasphemous thought tonight. I put on the BBC miniseries version (Who am I kidding? It's called "the Colin Firth version." Let's not pretend otherwise) of Pride and Prejudice while I was studying, and I found myself thinking, "Huh. I don't really care for this."

!!!

I've always loved Pride and Prejudice! But suddenly Darcy was kind of an asshat and Elizabeth thought she was all that. And I didn't like it.

Time to take a step back.

The book is called Pride and Prejudice for pete's sake. They're supposed to be that way! I think that 2005 cinematic version has ruined things for me. I love that movie, I watch it all the time. I used to get annoyed when people would put it down as not being true to the book, but fuck me, they're right! I may prefer Matthew MacFadyen's Mr. Darcy because he comes across as a wounded, vulnerable guy, but that's not how Austen wrote the character.

I came to the quick realization that I need to reread the book because it has been years since I read it. And I think that I have formed a diluted view of the book. Pride and Prejudice gets hailed as one of the greatest romances of all time, but I'm not so sure about that anymore. I think my view of what a good romance is has really changed since the last time I read the book (or watched the Colin Firth version). Any maybe I'm doing a disservice to Pride and Prejudice by labeling it a romance. Doing so naturally leads one to focus on the romantic relationship instead of the other aspects of the story. It's okay if I don't think Pride and Prejudice is Austen's great work of romance. That's what Persuasion is for, right? ;)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How's That For Irony?

A few weeks ago, I went to the University bookstore with a classmate to look for study aid materials. We were looking at "Copyright Law In A Nutshell," but there was only one left and it was kind of expensive. My classmate said that she could buy it online and then make a copy for me.

Yes. We are in an Intellectual Property LL.M program. Yes. She did actually propose copying a book on copyright law.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Brilliant Idea

I am going to start an organization. This organization will be called "The Time Travel Writers of America." I will apply for a registered federal certification mark under the Lanham Act. Eventually, my organization will grow in prominence and respect until every author that wants to write a book involving time travel will have to seek certification from my organization. The certification process will require that authors prove they are smart enough to handle a time travel plot device.

Of course, the ultimate goal of the organization will be to eliminate the practice of time travel fiction from the earth BECAUSE TIME TRAVEL NEVER WORKS.

(Can you tell I just got tricked into buying a time travel book when all I wanted was a holiday-themed romance novel? Can you tell I'm unhappy about it?)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Simplest Things Are Apparently The Most Difficult

I think there have been at least half a dozen instances at this law school where I have been in the bathroom and seen the paper towel dispenser with it's cover open and a roll inside but not being dispensed. This never fails to confuse me. Mostly because anyone who has ever done any kind of janitorial work, including working at a fast food restaurant where you were responsible for maintaining bathroom supplies, would know how to fix the situation. It is not difficult. You lift up the spring bar, put the paper towel lead under it, release the bar, and pull the handle to start dispensing the towels.

Not rocket science.

Now I don't know how many times the dispenser has jammed and someone else fixed it, but I have been the one to do it half a dozen times. I just find it interesting that this building is full of so many supposedly smart people who either don't know how to load a paper towel dispenser or are too lazy to do it themselves.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Argh!

Well, shit. Carrie Underwood is nominated for a Grammy AGAIN. I swear to God, Grammy voters seem to be under the impression that they are obligated to nominate her every year. Normally when she's nominated there's no point in guessing who will win because SHE ALWAYS DOES no matter how awful the song. This year it's that shitfest "Just A Dream" where she shamelessly capitalizes on dead American soldiers to sell a record.

But this year there is a dark horse! TAYLOR SWIFT! That girl has been winning everything lately. Even though I'm not particularly fond of "White Horse," the song she's nominated for in her category again Carrie, she could pull it off! (Taylor has at last won me over with her song "Fifteen." Finally. A song that acknowledges what teenage love is really like. Although I will confess that "You Belong With Me" is pretty cute and catchy.)

Sadly though, while Carrie and Taylor duke it out, the best vocal performance nominated, Lee Ann Womack's "Solitary Thinkin'," won't win. Poor Lee Ann's beautiful "Last Call" lost out to Carrie's barf-o-rific shriekfest "Last Name" last year. I'm still rooting for you, Lee Ann!

On the boys' side I'm rooting for Billy Currington's "People Are Crazy." That guy is just so darned cute, and his songs are fun and lighthearted without being annoying.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Collection of Thoughts

Last night after I finished studying I watched the first episode of American Experience: We Shall Remain, a five-part series the chronicles the history of the American Indian.

The story of American Indians always makes me so, so sad. I am more ashamed of my country’s treatment of Indians than any other disadvantaged group. The history of slavery in American is also very shameful, but for some reason I find it easier to separate my own experience from slavery than from the Indian experience. Undoubtedly, remnants of slavery still exist in our society, but for those of us who grew up in the American West, those remnants often don’t impact us as much (unless of course you are African-American). I have not be extensively exposed to the ghettos of large cities that are due in part to the movement of southern blacks to northern industrial towns during and following Reconstruction and/or the significant lingering socio-economic disparity between blacks and whites in this country. Conversely, every post-secondary school I have attended has required me to drive through an Indian reservation in order to go to and from my hometown. I have spent eight years traveling through reservations and observing the stark differences between reservation life and the rest of the United States.

Another reason I feel it is easier to distance myself from slavery is because, and maybe I’m being na├»ve, it seems to me that today there are more cultural similarities between white Americans and black Americans than there are cultural differences. It is easier for me to unconsciously forgot about slavery when I feel the descendants of slaves are essentially my cultural equals; we're all Americans. I don’t know if that’s always true for Indians. Indian tribes are separate sovereigns with their own governance, and they have very different native cultures. Thus, while they are Americans, they are literally a different kind of American under the law.

Finally, my family immigrated primarily to the northern United States when slavery was no longer in place there, and by all indications my ancestors that settled in the South were too poor to own slaves. Thus, I don’t have a feeling that I as an individual have benefited from the institution of slavery. Surely I have benefited from the remnants of slavery by virtue of being a white person in American society, but the feeling is not quite the same as being a resident of the West and feeling the benefit of Indian decimation.** I’m sure that not every western resident feels the way I do, but for as long as I can remember, whenever I encounter a beautiful western landscape, I imagine how it would have looked to the Indians. For me, there is an ever-present awareness that I live where I do because Indians were deprived on their lands in shameful ways. This has always been an uncomfortable feeling, and I imagine that it will intensify if I ever become a landowner.

I acknowledge that we cannot go back in time and change what has happened. The injuries suffered by the American Indians are irreparable. But I feel strongly that it is the duty of every American to acknowledge the wrongs that were committed and that enabled us to live our modern American lives. I remember when a friend once expressed anger that state criminal justice jurisdiction did not extend onto an Indian reservation (Public Law 280 aside). My response was something along the lines of, “Don’t they deserve at least that?” In my opinion, that kind of gut-level objection to tribal sovereignty stems from an ignorance about our country’s history with its indigenous people. To me, that kind of ignorance is unacceptable for an American. The story of the Cherokee Nation should break your heart. The inequity of the United States’ refusal to abide by the treaties made with the Indian tries should cause you shame. It’s okay to enjoy our lives, but I feel that at very the least we need to consciously recognize those who paid the price for our lifestyles.

**I recognize that the American Indian experience is not limited to the West, but most of the Indian lands in this country today are in the West, so I have that association in my mind.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Letter To Greenpeace

Dear Greenpeace,

I'd be more sympathetic to your organization if your people would cease trying to stop me as I walk by the university bookstore. On pretty much a weekly basis.

And quit with the condescention, please. "You care about the environment, right?" is pretty annoying, especially when I'm just trying to go to the drugstore to buy some toilet paper. No, assholes, I really hate the environment. It sucks. I shit on the environment, in fact, when I go camping. I think I'll say that next time you try to stop me on the street.

Sincerely,

Litigious Mind

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fierce Lady Singers

My Black Friday present to myself was a new Dell netbook. Did I need it? Not really. Although I do get sick of hauling my 15" Powerbook around everywhere, and said 5 year-old Powerbook is getting a little slow. But mostly I am a sucker for good deals, and Best Buy lured me into buying a camera last year with their no-interest financing deal. They lowered their limit for the financing deal to $250, so I went for it. The netbook is so cheap that the monthly payments will be about one-and-a-half trips to Chipotle. I wish I could get a new Mac, but maybe once I have a job again I'll have my Powerbook spiffed up a bit. (Because even though my new toy is only a few days old, I am already reminded of why I prefer Macs.)

Anyway, the netbook I bought came with a free one-year subscription to Napster. It's pretty fun, I can stream all the music I want for a year. Naturally, my first choices were Rihanna and Lady Gaga. Man, I love these ladies. "Bad Romance" is so fun, and I am really enjoying "Cold Case Love" and "Russian Roulette" from Ri-Ri. Call me commercialized, I don't care.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bummer

I am disappointed with Quirk Classics' next choice for a book. Is that based on a classic? I thought Dawn of the Dead was a movie. (Does anyone know if it was a book first?)

Also, I wish they wouldn't return to Pride and Prejudice. They knocked the first one out of the park. This will only be a let down considering it's not even based on Austen's work.

I guess Wuthering Heights and Vampires was too much to hope for. It would probably be too easy. Doesn't Heathcliff dig up Cathy's coffin at one point? Haha. (Or was that only in the movie version I watched? Hmm...)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Depressing

What happens when the only thing that gives you self-confidence is taken away?

I guess I'll find out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

STFU Atheists?

I enjoy this website, STFU Believers. It's really annoying to see people shove their religion and spirituality in your face(book) on a daily basis. However, maybe there should also be a STFU Atheists, too. I don't really appreciate someone shoving their lack of religion in my face all the time, either.

I get it. You don't believe in God and you think everyone who does is not as enlightened as you. I don't need constant reminders, and you are not going to change anyone's opinion through Facebook. In my view, this is as equally annoying as the super-enthusiastic Christians.

I know I write a lot about Facebook, but I find it so fascinating. Recently I have been making a concerted effort to scale back on what I post. I got pretty carried away during the last presidential election, and now I look back and think, "What was I doing? Did I really think I was going to change anyone's mind?" I'm sure a good part of it is motivated by a desire for attention, but generally I am not someone who craves attention.

Sites like STFU Parents and STFU Marrieds have really helped me think twice about what I put out there. But Facebook is a fickle mistress, man. Recently STFU Parents featured a submission from a woman who complained about her husband not doing chores around the house. And oh my God, did they rip her a new one in the comments. I personally thought the reaction was kind of extreme. It is really easy to use Facebook as a sounding board for your gripes. And if you do the opposite and talk about how great your life is, etc, that pisses people off and they'll attack you for that, too.

So I've taken to trying to tow the line between those extremes. No major complaining and no "my life is awesome." Just stupid/goofy or informative updates. Occasionally I'll let my political opinions be known, but not as much as I did before. It's so easy to get carried away on Facebook, you have to be careful. I've caught myself being way too revealing about my various neuroses and then I wish I could take it back. But you can't! Everything you put on the Internet is there forever! (I had a professor in law school who liked to talk about how Google stored everything on servers in some giant warehouse.) I'm screwed if I ever run for president and someone accesses the archives of my Facebook and this blog.

Language

I've been impressed with my foreign classmates from the start because there is no way I could hack it in an academic program taught in my non-native language. (Of course, I'm a dumb American who can barely speak English, let alone a foreign language.)

But I really feel for them now that we are studying trademarks. How hard must it be to learn a very language-oriented area of law in a non-native language! Also, trademarks is heavily influenced by American culture and advertising. I really hope they are able to stay afloat during this section of the class. But I'm sure they will prove to be more than capable.

Isn't it funny how we often associate broken or heavily accented English with a lack of intelligence? It is the one thing I dislike most about being American. We are so isolated here in North America. Our neighbors to the north primarily speak English (save in Quebec), and our neighbors to the south are so separated by culture and wealth that cross-language facilitation is impeded. (Although most Americans by far know more Spanish than any other foreign language, I'd guess.) I really envy the Europeans for that. When I was in France this summer, I was amazed by how many non-French people there were, speaking their language. Living in such close proximity (geographically, economically, and socially) to other languages has to make it easier to pick up a second language.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Creepy or Not Creepy?

So there is this guy in one of my non-law school classes. He's older (50s), in a different LL.M program, and appears to be a nice and pleasant guy.

Today I was talking to him and he mentioned his "bride." Now, he has made these references before but I always thought I had misheard him. Nope, he's saying bride, which I'm assuming means his wife.

I'm probably overreacting, but I think that is so weird! And a little creepy. To me, a bride is something that exists between engagement and wedding (basically limited to a wedding and wedding planning). Once you're married, she's your WIFE. When he keeps saying "bride" it conjures up images of a mail-older bride, some young, desperate girl from eastern Europe or southeast Asia. That's why I say it is kind of creepy.

Even if it's not creepy per se, I'm right about it being weird though, right?

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Ramblings About Gender

I was reading an article on People.com about Tim McGraw. In case you’re not familiar with Tim McGraw, he and his wife Faith Hill have three daughters. In this article McGraw said something about how fathering girls is a tough a job because there “so much that can go wrong.” (I might be paraphrasing a bit, I can’t remember the exact quote, but you get the picture.)

So this morning I was talking with a male classmate (who happens to be the father of a little girl) about another topic. I told him how I missed my bus stop last night because I was looking at something on my iPhone, etc. He mentioned how the firm he worked for represented a college kid who was charged when he stole an iPhone from someone at a bus stop. Apparently this kid was a scholarship student, too. I said something along the lines of, “I just don’t understand why boys seem to do those punkish things more than girls. What is it about boys that would cause them to risk a scholarship?” etc. My classmate said something about a father’s influence, etc. I talked about all the punk-ass kids we represented at my old job. (Mostly boys/men.)

So that led me to bring up the Tim McGraw article because, to me, it seems totally backwards. So much can go wrong with girls? I think there is much more that can go wrong with boys, as most of the criminals and general asshats I’ve encountered have been male. The numbers are not even close. My classmate totally disagreed. He said that with boys you can say, “Don’t do this or I’ll take your car away,” basically implying that it is a lot easier to father boys. But with girls, he said, there’s so much more to worry about because as a father you know how boys think. He actually said that he’d rather deal with four delinquent sons than one beautiful, attractive daughter. He held his ground on that opinion, even after I argued that the associated harms are not anywhere on the same scale, i.e., sex with a boy versus prison time and the lifelong stigma of a criminal conviction.

I’m still flabbergasted by that, but it got me thinking. And let me just put in a disclaimer here that everything I say from here on out are just my own thoughts. I don’t necessarily believe what I’m positing, but I am considering it.

Could it be that girls turn out better (in the criminal sense) because they are viewed by their fathers as the ones to watch out for merely because of societal views about female purity? To put it differently, do girls turn out better because their fathers put more effort into parenting them based on the mistaken notion that it’s worse for a daughter to have sex than for a son to be arrested? If that’s the case, then it’s really no surprise that boys do get into more trouble because, apparently, their fathers think they don’t have to put much effort into parenting them.

I know that I’m basing this on one person’s opinion, but I bet my classmate is not alone in his thinking. But it just seems so completely, ridiculously ass-backwards to me. In my experience as a woman and a criminal defense attorney, a son’s criminality is exponentially more disruptive to a family than a daughter’s sexual experience. A criminal record will haunt you a hell of a lot more than a bad boyfriend will.

Get With The Program SNL

Saturday Night Live really needs to just hire a black actress already. I love Kenan Thompson, I do. I think he’s hilarious. But it’s just downright wrong that he impersonates so many black female celebrities. This weekend he did Whoopi Goldberg for a spoof of “The View” and then Jennifer Hudson. Now, the Whoopi impersonation I understand to some extent because she does dress in masculine clothing, but Jennifer Hudson was just way out of line. Breaking it down a bit, here’s what bothers me about it:

What kind of message does it send about black women that men are the ones that have to impersonate them? Think about it. Every white female celebrity gets a thin, attractive female cast member to impersonate her. But if you’re a black woman you get Kenan Thompson. Yeah, just think about that one.

Also, there’s no excuse for a show like SNL not to have a black actress on its cast given how many prominent black female celebrities we have in this country. Jennifer Hudson, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Gwen Ifill, Condoleeza Rice, Michelle Obama, Sherri Shepherd, etc, etc. Speaking of Sherri Shepherd, have you noticed how she’s never represented on SNL spoofs of “The View”? No surprise there given that that would require TWO black people to be in a skit together! And not only two black people, but two black women! Gasp!

I’m not the first person to voice complaints about this, but it really hit home watching Kenan Thompson impersonate Jennifer Hudson. I accept the comedy aspect of SNL not to get all worked up about a man playing Whoopi Goldberg, but what an insult to a beautiful, feminine woman like J. Hud. Urg.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Audacity of Lunatics

The audacity of this book title boggles my mind:



Mostly because I am convinced that Glenn Beck is not stupid. Mentally ill, yes, but not stupid. I could be wrong, but when I watch him it just seems so obvious that he is playing a role and manipulating his audience by giving them what he knows they want. I mean, doesn't this guy consider himself a comedian? He's gotta know that his audience are the idiots, but he packages this book and titles it this way to sell it to them. Wow.

Hehe!

This is why I love statcounter.com:



That right there is a screen capture of the most popular keyword searches that bring people to my blog. The one eighth from the bottom is my personal favorite.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Memories

Every once in a while I think of a friend I lost. Of a moment we shared.

It's been nearly eight years now.

It still doesn't seem right that the memories of our time together belong only to me now.

Missing you, Nate.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Get Real

So, remember back when I complained about my classmates that don't pay attention in class? I know that what they choose to do with their time is none of my business... except when this shows up in my inbox THE DAY BEFORE THE MIDTERM:

"Hey girl, u can of course say no, but im making an outline for patent law with my old and new notes, but i was wondering if i could see ur notes to fill in gaps that i have with the profs coverage of the material, i dont think its a violation of anything as long as i make my own outline, but its completely up to u, id appreciate it tho."

I mean, come ON. Maybe, MAYBE if he'd asked a week ago I'd consider it. But you can't expect me to hand over my notes, the day before the test, to a guy who has skipped more than once and generally takes a blasé approach to class.

Any law students out there who are with me on this one?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Man, now I know why people train for marathons and such.

Not that I didn't know why before, I had just never considered it. See, before recently whenever I would run on a treadmill or on the street, how far and how long I could go was limited by my crappy cardio fitness. I'd have to stop because I was too winded. Now that my cardio is better from all the walking I do, I can run two miles straight. (I know that is not much but it's a lot for me!) But oooh my goodness, are my legs sore! I didn't run at all today, and I even took the bus to my faraway class, but I'm still really sore from the two miles I did yesterday. Ouch.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

As Far As Epic Turn-Offs Go...

ME: Oh my goodness, I just finished such and such book last night, and it was amazing!

GUY: Yeah, I don't really read.

ME: Oh. *Silence*

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shout-Out

My friend Kris wrote a really interesting post about Christianity's approach to pagan holidays. I thought she made a great point. You all should check it out!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Daily Observations With Litigious Mind

Number One
Some people are really, really bothersome eaters. For instance, I am a cafe and seated at the table next to me is a man that is shoveling eggs into his mouth in a way that is, literally, making me queasy. Little yellow pieces are clinging to his lips before they are drawn inside or fall back to the plate. Not only that, but he makes smacking, sucking noises as he eats. You know what I'm talking about, right? That noise is probably in my personal top ten of extremely unpleasant noises. I mention it because I was at a coffee shop yesterday seated next to another man that made these noises while eating a bagel and cream cheese. Do I make these noises? If I do, please let me know.

Number Two
Here's a word to the (not-so) wise, specifically you people who have procreated. If there is a couple of childbearing years that you know who do not have children it is probably for one of three reasons: (1) they're not ready to have children yet; (2) they can't have children; or (3) they don't want children. Either way, it's none of your goddamn business. So why do you insist on dropping little hints and smarmy Facebook comments about when a "little" so-and-so is going to arrive? It's fucking rude.

This concludes daily observations with Litigious Mind.

Friday, October 23, 2009

One More Thing

Sorry for all the posts today. I'm bored, and I timed my NetFlix delivery poorly. No movies this weekend. :(

Anyway, something else happened today that I find annoying. (I know, what DON'T I find annoying?) My classmate was telling me about how he fell asleep in the law school lounge and how "this black girl came up and sat next to me, then left when she realized I was asleep."

Urgh! I find it so annoying when people describe someone in terms of his or her race when it's completely irrelevant. I mean, it's one thing if you're DESCRIBING someone, like "You know, Frank. The Hispanic guy?" At least then there's a point, and race is just equivalent to something like hair color. But why point out that the woman who sat next to him was black? It served no purpose.

I think it makes me uncomfortable because when someone says that to me, in a way it seems like they're (unconsciously, maybe) defining the other person's identity based on his or her race.

Barf

When I moved to my new town, I did not take my car with me for both convenience and monetary reasons. So as a result, I walk a lot. I didn't realize the effect this was having on me until I used the treadmill for the first time since moving here, which was about a month after the last time I went running. (I have been swimming here, though.) Much to my surprise, I did two miles without getting winded. "Wow," I thought, all this walking is paying off!"

However, I'm not losing any weight.

Probably because I CAN'T STOP EATING CHIPOTLE BURRITOS! I ate another one today, and I regret it hugely! Either my stomach will rupture, I will vomit, or I will be chewing on Tums all evening.

What is wrong with me? WHY CAN'T I LEARN?

I Heart Technology

I had a tweeted conversation with Fug Girl Jessica today. SO EXCITING!

More Feminist Stuff From Me

I know that I've led a pretty sheltered life by how genuinely baffled I am when I encounter sexist comments from well-educated men that I, generally, like and respect. But it keeps happening. And I am still surprised by it.

For instance, at my old job, there was a male attorney there who routinely referred to female clients (and girlfriends of clients) as "skanks." I always made sure to let him know in some fashion that I thought his comments were not cool. When I finally directly challenged him on it, his defense (for one female client) was, "I know she's a skank because she told me she likes to have sex with men."

I wish I would have been quick enough on my feet to point out that that doesn't make her a skank, that makes her heterosexual.

Another client apparently deserved the title because she had three children by three different men. I don't even know how many of our male clients had children by multiple women, children that they had no contact with, but never once did I hear him use a similar title on the men. Only the women were deserving of that.

And let's not forget the time he read a report from a female officer that contained things he did not like. She was labeled as a "slut." I took immediate umbrage to that. "You don't know that she's a slut!" I exclaimed. (You have to pick your battles. I wasn't even going to get into my objection to the word "slut" in general.) "You don't know that she's not," he replied. I couldn't resist saying, "Oh, so is that how it works in our system? Guilty until proven innocent?" He chuckled and said, "You're kind of closet feminist, aren't you?" I said, "Mmm, not really a closet one."

This is a nice, intelligent guy. Someone I genuinely like.

Yesterday at school I was sitting with a male classmate before class when a female law student walked by. I didn't see her, but my classmate watched her go by and then said to me, "I'm always amazed by the way some women don't take law school seriously."

Yes, in case you were wondering, he was implying that this woman wasn't serious about her future career because she was dressed up. Not dressed scandalously or inappropriately, just dressed to the nines. I, naturally, challenged him on that, and he stood his ground. "You know," I said, "women really can't win. If we don't dress nice enough, we're ignored by men. But if we dress too nice, we're assumed to be floozies who only care about our appearances."

"There's a happy medium," he defended.

"Yeah," I said, "and we'd better be careful to make sure we fall right between the boundaries or we're in trouble."

I don't remember how we segued, but he then made some comment about blondes and their (relative lack of) intelligence. I challenged him on that. "Come on," he said, "you don't think that if you pulled ten blondes and ten brunettes off the street the blondes wouldn't be dumber?"

I pointed out that twenty women would not yield statistically significant results, and he changed it to a thousand women each.

"No!" I exclaimed. "I don't think there'd be a difference."

"Well maybe just the blonde women I've dated have been bimbos," he said. Ding ding ding! "There's your common denominator," I retorted.

This is a guy with a law degree who actually thinks that a woman's intelligence and ambition can be determined by her appearance.

Is it any wonder that I consider myself a feminist?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Prescription for Insanity

The movie Zoolander is, obviously, the greatest film ever made. There are endless quotable quotes from Zoolander that never get old, never fail to amuse.

But did you know that there are also quotes that provide pertinent, succinct expressions for what a person may be feeling at a particular time? Take, for example, this gem from Will Farrell's character, Mugatu::

Who cares about Derek Zoolander anyway? The man has only one look, for Christ's sake! Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? They're the same face! Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

See, this expression is useful for those times when you see something that is so blatantly ridiculous, but everyone around you acts as if there's nothing unusual about it in the least. Today, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lyric of the Week

You criticize my walk as I watch you crawl.
—Holly Williams, "Everybody's Waiting For A Change"

This Is Why People Dislike Intellectualism

"The discursive constructions of law often dictate the enforcement of prevailing moral and social norms and serve to mold our perception of issue most sensitive to the body politic, such as the exogenous imposition of ethnic or gender/sexual identity." (Karen Eltis, Genetic Determination and Discrimination)

I mean, what the fuck is that? Is it REALLY necesary to write like that? Surely there is an average Joe translation that would get the same point across. It makes me think that the author is just trying to show off.

Part of my annoyance is no doubt attributed to the fact that I'm a lawyer. In legal writing you try to be as clear as possible. As my legal writer told us as 1Ls, "Write like your reader is an eighth grader."

I really hate readings from the social sciences.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hippies In The Family

DAD: Your cousin T is looking at Evergreen State for college.

LITIGIOUS MIND: What? Why? Does she like pot?

Reign It In

Do you know what I hate? People who squander the goodwill the world is willing, perhaps even eager, to bestow upon them.

The two best celebrity examples of this are Jon Gosselin and Levi Johnston. Kate Gosselin's criticism of Jon seemed so mean-spirited that I cheered when he left her. But then he goes and proves that he's the world's greatest douchebag by boozing, smoking, screwing, and stealing.

And who didn't cackle a little when Levi Johnston first spoke out again Sarah Palin? But the he goes and tells magazines about personal Palin family details that the public doesn't need to know. And now he's posing for Playgirl! Gross!

Come on, people! A little public support is not a free pass to go hog wild! Reign it in!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

At Least My Mom Thinks I'm Special

Holy crap! Do you know how many lawyers and lawyers-to-be I've met that have PhDs or MSs in biology or chemistry? I'm never going to get a job with my measly bachelor's degree!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cast Your Ballots

So, as long-time readers of this blog likely know, I have a problem with lack of objectivity at times. Some have accused me of being too sensitive. I will admit that, at times, that is true. I also realize that if it were not for my fear of confrontation—embarrassing for an adult, generally, and shameful for an attorney, specifically—this would be me:



Therefore, I submit my latest is-someone-being-an-ass-to-me-or-am-I-taking-it-the-wrong-way issue to you readers.

Exhibit A:
ME: I wonder if my student loan dispersal went through.

CLASSMATE: Nope. It didn't go through. Nothing will go through. You're going to have to go back to [state where you moved from].

Exhibit B:
ME: (Mentioned that what cost $.55 at a vending machine in my home state costs $1.25 here, and that state universities in my home state got Columbus Day off but we don't here.)

CLASSMATE: Okay, just as a warning, if you say that one more time, I'm going to say, "Then why don't you just go back to [state where you moved from]?"

ME: Uh, you've pretty much implied that already.

So what is the verdict, asshole or non-asshole? I bet you can guess where I fall on this issue.

(These are not the only potentially assholey comments I have received from this particular classmate, but they are the most egregious, I think. In isolation I could perhaps shrug them off, but the cumulative effect... I'm starting to get the idea that someone doesn't like me.)

Pink or Blue

It is a funny thing when a pregnant friend (or spouse of a pregnant person) announces the gender of the baby. We all get so excited (I'm including myself here) and say such obvious things.

Today, my friend announced she's expecting a boy. I get all excited and say something asinine along the lines of, "Wow! That will be different!" (Her first is a girl.)

Thank you, Captain Obvious!

I am also amused by the "boys/girls are so much fun" comment because you KNOW that they would say the same thing no matter what the gender!

But you kind of have to express stupid sentiments of excitement over baby gender, because what else would you say? You knew it was going to be one or the other! And one is no better than the other, but our words, when viewed outside of emotion, would appear to imply.

I don't know, I just think it's funny. I'm excited for my friend to have a boy, but I would be equally excited if she was having another girl. I guess expressing exciting is the best we can do!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Detours Ahead

BAD DAY for me and public transportation. First, I enter the wrong address into the online trip planner and end up in a part of town that is NOT where I was trying to go. Then I go to the mall but get on the wrong bus on the way back! An impromptu hour-long tour of the city.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Funny New Show

Okay, so that kid Manny on "Modern Family" is pretty freakin' adorable. And that show is hilarious; I laugh out loud during every episode.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You Know, Some Things Aren't Cute

Recently, one of my Facebook friends and his wife had a baby girl. The day after the baby’s birth, the father—in his status update—requested suggestions for “anti-boy protection devices.” From the comments, it appears that everyone thinks this is funny/sweet/etc. To defend against the inevitable accusation that feminists are humorless and can’t take a joke, I added a smiley face emoticon to the end of my comment “The feminist in me objects to this.”

I object for so many reasons.

First, this means that literally from the time this female child was one day old, she has been talked about in terms of her (impliedly sexual) relationship to/with men. I find this inherently objectionable because she’s an infant. Can’t they let this baby be a baby before they start thinking of her as a male’s companion? And why are they even assuming that she will ever be a male’s companion? Maybe she’s a lesbian. Did anyone ever think of that?

Second, this kind of thing (“protecting” from the opposite sex) is never said about baby boys. This desire to “protect” daughters but not sons is, at its core, a belief that females cannot be trusted to make their own sexual decisions. Because the same is never said of baby boys, the implication is that males can be trusted to make sexual decision. A natural corollary to all this is the belief that female sexual purity is valuable and must be guarded, but the same is not true of male sexual purity. This just propagates the harmful virgin/whore dichotomy that females have to deal with while leaving males free of stigma no matter what their choices.

And finally, it is always the father that must be the one to protect the daughter. This doesn’t make sense to me. Females need protection from males by males? Even if we assume that protection is needed, why is the mother always left out of this equation? Wouldn’t the mother be better equipped to offer protection, as she herself has been a female adolescent? Again, there is a strong implication that females cannot be trusted to make sexual decision, for themselves or for their children. The decision must be made first by their fathers and then by their husbands/partners.

Now, I’m sure that the father who posted this and many of the commenters would reject these assertions if presented with them. But that’s the problem. That’s where my frustration stems from. These underlying assertions are not apparent to them. It doesn’t factor into their consciousness, but it clearly does factor into their subconsciousness. Otherwise these kinds of “jokes” wouldn’t be carried on. Otherwise so many fathers would not feel compelled to express their desire to keep their day old infant daughters away from boys. As feminists, how can we rid society of these patriarchal assertions if people don’t even realize when they’re propagating them?

MSNBC versus Fox News

Did anyone watch Meet the Press last weekend? A discussion arose that got me thinking.

I am a big fan of The Rachel Maddow Show, and I like Countdown with Keith Olbernmann, too, but usually for different reasons. But I also have an inherent dislike for Glenn Beck. I really despise his public persona. I have heard people say many times that MSNBC and Fox News are essentially the same thing, but they are just aimed at opposing views. That is essentially what come up on Meet the Press when Rachel Maddow and Mike Murphy were commentators.

The discussion turned towards Rep. Alan Grayson’s comments on the floor of the House, and I think the question was whether it symbolized a widening of the divide between parties, and an increase in the vitriol. This followed:

MURPHY: What’s happened is that we’ve created—there is kind of a freak-show business now of, of each side, which amplifies the shrillest voices. We have one-party cable networks now—one of each. And what that does is dumbs down the debate. Everything’s argument by noise, by hot language, and by anecdotes. You know, so facts, and more complicated debate is pushed out because it’s not loud and colorful enough. It cheapens the debate.

MADDOW: Who is Joe Scarborough—which network is he on? Which one-party network?

MURPHY: He’s on your liberal network.

MADDOW: So he’s—how is that a one-party network?

MURPHY: I would take your primetime and Fox’s primetime and say there’s kind of the same dance toward the dumbing of the debate.

Then the conversation (eventually) turned to Sarah Palin and her prospects for the 2012 Republican nomination for president.

MADDOW: I do think that there’s a little big of reckoning that needs to happen on the right for Sarah’s Palin success. I mean she was the vice presidential nominee. She is going to sell a gazillion books, and she is the biggest brand name in Republican politics still right now. And she’s chosen—the person who’s writing her book, her last, the last person who she co-authored a book with was called “Donkey Con,” and it was co-authored with a guy who’s widely believed to be, and I believe him to be, a white supremacist. So she’s chosen Lynn Vincent, who’s written a book with a white supremacist, to write her book. And she’s the biggest name in Republican politics.

MURPHY: Oh Rachel—

MADDOW: —and you can dismiss her and say she’s not going to be the nominee, but I do think the right needs to sort of answer for what’s happened to conservatism.

MURPHY: Let me just say, I am a well-documented non-fan of Sarah Palin, at least as a national politician, I don’t know her personally. But that’s guilty by association stuff, that’s the cable stuff.

MADDOW: But why—

MURPHY: That’s the problem.

MADDOW: You can pick any ghostwriter.

MURPHY: Sarah Palin’s a lot of things, but she is not a white supremacist.

MADDOW: No, I don’t think she is, but you can pick anybody, why would she pick somebody who’s associated with the League of the South? Who’s said that Americans are revolted by the idea of having a black sister-in-law? I mean, she—this is who she picked to write her book.

MURPHY: Yeah, but there’s—

MADDOW: Why do you do that?

MURPHY: That sort of guilt by association stuff, which, I don’t know what—check it out—

MADDOW: It’s guilt by choice.

MURPHY: —it’s so not important to the central questions in the country right now. But that’s what cable TV has become.

MADDOW: Sarah Palin’s popularity is a central question in the Republican party right now. We can make fun of her, but it doesn’t make her go away.

I found myself really wondering where I came down on this. The last thing I want is to be just the liberal equivalent to Glenn Beck viewers.

I get the impression that Mike Murphy is just attacking cable TV content to avoid discussion of the real issue Rachel Maddow brought up: why is someone like Sarah Palin—who apparently doesn’t mind associating herself with this co-author—the biggest name in the Republican Party? I mean, essentially Maddow was saying that the Republicans have to come to terms with the fact that they’ve moved so far right that they’re losing moderates. Isn’t that an issue worthy of discussing? Maddow’s example may be used on cable TV, but it still serves a purpose, doesn’t it?

However, I do think that Murphy is onto something, but the difference lies in the viewing audience. If you’re a viewer who has ill-developed critical thinking skills, after hearing Maddow’s example, the only jump you’re going to be able to make in your mind is: Lynn Vincent wrote a book with a white supremacist → Sarah Palin is writing a book with Lynn Vincent → Sarah Palin is a white supremacist. Yes, that dumbs down the debate, but that’s only the fault of the cable networks if they intentionally cater to those viewers with poor critical thinking skills. I personally do not believe that The Rachel Maddow Show does that. I personally think that is what Fox News does. So for that reason, I don’t think it’s fair to equate the two.

Thoughts?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Love Song to Patty Griffin

This makes me so very happy, so I will share it for you listening pleasure. It is Missy Higgins singing one of my favorite Patty Griffin songs, Moses. I want a legal download of this song so bad, but I can't find one! It is available for purchase on the Australian iTunes page, but not on the U.S. iTunes. And you can only legally purchase songs from the Australian page if you're in Australia, apparently. (I tried.) I guess my next option is to see how much the EP is. Imported albums tend to be way expensive, though. Grrr...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Observations Thus Far

When I first decided to go back to school for my LL.M., I was worried that most of the people in my program would be people who were coming back to school after working in the legal field for a number of years. Having only one year of practice experience under my belt, I thought that I wouldn't have much in common with those types. I remember specifically hoping that there would be a lot of people straight from their JD programs.

Well, I have since realized that, although I am only one year removed from law school, one year is enough to make me more like the experienced practitioners than the straight-from-JD types. I suppose I can't really point any fingers considering that I was all about IMing during law school. But that was then, and this is now. Back in my JD program, I was taking classes that I had no practical interest in, classes that I knew I should take because they'd be on the bar exam or because I needed to fill credits. For instance, I did not take business associations, administrative law, or sales because I love the RUPA, the APA, and Article 2. So sometimes I allowed myself to cut back and chat.

But the game is different now. I'm in this specialized program because I'm interested in the subject matter. I've been out in the "real world" for a year now, and I've learned the hard way that starting your law career can really suck. (For instance, losing your first job and not being able to stay in the particular area of law you want to stay in.) I'm here at this LL.M program, and paying a shitload of money, because I'm serious about my career. I shouldn't care that the people around me are IMing each other all class long, but I am nevertheless slightly peeved. To be fair, the subject matter thus far is a review for them because they covered this in their JD programs, and it is all new to me. But still. Come on, be a professional and put the IMing away during class.

Not only does the fact that they are IMing kind of peeve me, what I've been able to glean about the subject matter of their conversations is also concerning. From what they've shared, it's quite clear that they're discussing the physical appearance of classmates and professors. They've made derogatory comments about another classmate's appearance and speech patterns to me already. That is beyond asinine in an LL.M program.

Come on, people. Grow up. I despised that kind of behavior in law school, I thought I left it behind me, and I'm sure as hell not going back. What else did I leave behind? The constant cynicism, I'm-too-cool-for-school attitude, and the annoying need to prove to everyone around you that you know more about the law than they do. I'm giving all of them the benefit of the doubt now and focusing on the things I do like about them. But I've already come to the conclusion that if it keeps up I'm going to have to be careful about who I associate myself with.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Devious Plans

I, in all my infinite wisdom, signed up for one of only two classes in my LL.M programs that are held someone other than the law school building. I was slightly annoyed when I discovered this, but then I realized that perhaps it's not so bad.

You see, it's a health-related class so now I have to go to the Health Sciences part of campus twice a week, which greatly improves the chances of success for my other mission here--landing me a doctor!*


*And by doctor I mean surgeon. And by surgeon I mean someone who makes lots of money that I don't have to see much. And by that I mean Sugar Daddy.

Gossip

I realize that critiquing the journalistic standards at People.com is a little like going to a dog show and complaining about the lack of cats on display. That being said:

Seriously, People.com, you are beating this Khloe Kardashian wedding story to death. (Although I suspect that the final death blow is near anyway.) Was it really that slow of a celebrity news week? We kept hearing all about it, and you even had a picture of the invitation as your lead story!

I don't really know who Khloe is or the guy she married. All I know is that one sister made a sex tape with Brandy's little brother, and another sister is too stupid to figure out how birth control works. So I am already slightly baffled by all this press. If it's not Wills and Kate getting hitched, I don't really care.

But I was nevertheless annoyed to see "Khloe Kardashian Is Married!" splashed across my computer page last weekend. Really? No shit! YOU'VE ONLY BEEN REPORTING ON THE DAMN NUPTIALS ALL WEEK LONG. WE KNOW SHE GOT MARRIED.

And it hasn't stopped! Today's headline is about how Khloe's wedding was the best night of Kim's life. I'm sure Ray J and Reggie Bush were upset to hear that.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Random Tidbit

I was walking down the street today in my new town, waiting to cross at an intersection, when I looked across the street and saw a guy I went to undergrad with! I vaguely remember that he went to University X for grad school, but how crazy is it that I just walked right by him?

I didn't stop to say anything, because in my experience I remember people much better than they remember me. Also, this guy was a lab TA of mine, so that's probably why I remember him so well.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Baby Madness

Wow.

I am literally out of congratulations. I cannot wish it upon FB friends anymore because it has lost all meaning.

I can't even count how many people I know that are currently expecting a baby. It's insane. The first half dozen received genuine congratulations from me. The rest, by no fault of their own, are just too late in the game. I'm numb to the news by now. Heck, now I'm surprised if you're NOT pregnant.

So if you don't receive congratulations from me, fear not, I'm happy for you. I just feel that it's better not to say anything rather than to (literally) copy and paste sentiment.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I'm Doing Now

Hello all! It's been awhile. I'm sure you've all been anxiously waiting my next post.

Well, I have moved to a new city, moved into a new apartment, and made it past orientation and course advising for my LL.M program. The good news: I live one block from a Chipotle; Chipotle does online ordering, and I have no classes on Friday. The bad news: I have to rewire my brain to start networking and working on lining up job prospects. Yuck. My least favorite part of being a lawyer.

Other things I don't like about being a lawyer: other lawyers. Now, most of the people I've met in this program have been really nice. But I did notice something. For the orientation packet, we had to submit a small bio. Mine was pretty much Litigious Mind is from City X. She went to Undergraduate School X and graduated with a B.S. in X. She graduated from Law School X with her J.D. She practiced at Firm X for one year and is a member of State Bar X.

My bio is pretty much the shortest.

I guess I figured that talking about how awesome you are is best saved for applications, resumes, and interviews. When surrounded by your classmates, I don't feel the need to talk myself up. After all, we all got into the same program, didn't we? And really, I don't give a hoot whether you graduated cum laude or magna cum laude. I had latin words after my name at graduation, too, but I assume that no one else cares about that. Same goes for having a law review article published.

Maybe this is why I hate networking. So much of it comes across as arrogance to me, and I hate arrogant people. I think talking about yourself all the time is impolite, too. But I guess I should have gone into a different profession because that's all lawyer do. Talk about themselves. What they've done, etc. Gag me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Deeeelightful

Dear Mr. Schaeffer,

I think I love you.

Sincerely,
Litigious Mind

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thoughts

Some people should not be allowed to use Facebook. I am one of them.

I'm sure my current unemployment is partially to blame as I've been spending a lot of time at home watching TV and sitting on my ass. To relieve the tedium, I check Facebook. Frequently.

I used to get really upset and worked up about the asinine things people post, but then a friend introduced me to STFU Parents and STFU Marrieds and changed my life. An outlet had arrived.

But now I can't seem to stop making smarmy comments, as if I'm subconsciously hoping someone will submit it and everyone will find me witty. I'm bound to alienate and offend in this process.

Which all makes me think that perhaps I'm not emotionally mature enough to be a Facebook user. A break from the site would probably be good for me. But I'm sure my return to school in a week will only make things worse.

So in the end I'm just working on not caring if/who I offend. They offend ME with their inanity.

FB Drama

Sometimes following a person's Facebook posts is like watching a train wreck right before your eyes. Either that or the slow unravelling of a person's sanity.

I used to get great amusement from this.

Now I'm seriously concerned for this person's mental health condition.

What does one do? Especially when you're not close friends?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where I've Been

I went to Paris!















I couple of years ago I bought Alistair Horne's book Seven Ages of Paris at Borders when they were doing one of their Buy Two Get One Free promotions they often do. I think I picked it up because I needed a third book and because I know next to nothing about French history.
I tried to read the book then, and I just never got into it, probably because Horne starts with pretty ancient history. After I decided to go to Paris I tried to read it again, and got a little farther, but not much. I took the book with me, and after five days in Paris, I tried again on the plane back to the U.S.

Let me tell you, that is the way to read this book. Yes, it would have been nice to know what the book tells you while you're actually THERE, but I found that the book was much more interesting to me AFTER having been there. It was so much easier for me to follow the stories and events in the city once I knew what the city looked like and how it was laid out. Not to mention all the specific places where I actually was.

So if there is anyone out there who has been to Paris and likes history, I recommend reading this book. It sure cleared up a lot of things for me. (For instance, why there was a Louis XVII. I was always confused how there was a monarchy after the revolution. Turns out I need a freakin' graph/map/flowchart/timeline to keep up with French regimes.) Also, I just gotta say it—while I liked Paris, this book made me realize that it has had its share of serious problems. I mean really, French people, where do you get off being so snooty? Paris (and French governance) was a MESS well into the Nineteenth Century. That really took me by surprise considering that I always thought of Paris as such a major city. It also made me feel good as an American to know that, while we have our problems, other modern countries have their share, too. (Although you do have to hand it to Parisians—they ain't afraid of revolt and revolution!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On a Lighter Note...

...I love my goldendoodle to pieces!



She is so stinkin' cute and a sweetheart to boot! We love to cuddle and share the bed.



I love you, Tinkerbell!

My Views on Health Care, the Annotated Version

I've talked before about how my religion influences my politics, and with this whole health care debate that is raging, I am feeling the overlap again.

I hear a lot of people talking about the cost, etc. Well, I guess I just trust the Obama administration when they tell us over and over again that this reform is aimed at cutting costs. If other people refuse to believe him then I can't do anything about that. (I do wonder what makes Obama so untrustworthy and Bush presumably trustworthy. There is one major difference between them. Hmm, what could it be...) Also, I would support a single-payer system, so I am not too bothered by the Obama plan.

But what I really keep coming back to is this:

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

I just feel strongly, based on my core beliefs, that reform is the right thing to do, no matter what the initial cost may be.

Advice

I am in need of serious advice. Facebook has brought a lot of positive things to our lives. I know that I have been able to keep in touch with people I haven't seen in years through Facebook. But it also has a lot of negatives. It now provides a forum for people to express their opinions to all of their friends at once. So my question is this: what is the proper way to deal with all of this information that's out there? More specifically, how much restraint should you exercise when you encounter someone who posts things that you disagree with?

This is a hard decision for me. On the one hand I want to stand back and not say anything because I realize the futility of arguing with some people. What's the point?

But on the other hand, I feel like these people need to be challenged and called out on the untrue things that they say. But then you run the risk of offending people who are long-time friends, parents of friends, former teachers, etc.

This is not an easy decision. What are your opinions on it?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Adios

Today marks a monumental occasion. Today I bought a new pair of pants. And the size of said pants is a single digit.

That's right, I've left double digits behind. I am no longer a perfect ten. I am a little sad about that, to be honest.

Although really I'm only in the single digits in one store's sizes, and I have a feeling they use vanity sizing to make the customers feel special. So this is not really that monumental of an occasion. But it still feels like it. I can't remember the last time I bought pants in a different (smaller) size.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Judging a Book By Its Cover

Thank you, Avon Press, for ensuring that every surface of this book is too embarrassing to be seen with in public. Thanks a lot.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Poop

I swear, if I walk into the bathroom at work and see an unflushed turd floating there one more time, I'm gonna lose my shit.

Hahaha. Lose my shit. Get it?

(But seriously, WTF? If it's yellow, let it mellow. IF IT'S BROWN FLUSH IT DOWN.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More On Me and This Crazy Country

Okay, so I will share a little more about my decision to go back to school. But first, Hoe-Lee Hell, did you see the clip with Glenn Beck they showed on the Today Show this morning? And Matt's interview with Michelle Malkin?

In some ways I was much more content when Bush was president. Sure, I did not like him or most people in his administration. But the thing about W's presidency was that the crazy motherfuckas out there kept their crazy underwraps.

Now that Obama is president, it is all out there. And I mean OUT THERE. They are terrifying me! And even if they are a marginalized minority I AM STILL FRIGHTENED!

So, I want an out. A means of potential escape from the good ol' U.S. of A if they reclaim power. Unfortunately for me, it's not all that easy for a criminal defense attorney to make a move to a new country (with a job). No one incarcerates like we do!

However, my international prospects improve if I am an Intellectual Property attorney. Because, contrary to what some of my Republican aquaintences believe, America is not actually the only country making scientific innovations.

I really don't like the idea of pullin' a Palin and quitting on my country, but dammit, those whack jobs are ruining MY country. If they take over and do away with logic, reason, critical thinking skills, and tolerance, then I don't wanna stay.

(Also, I have long entertained the notion of being a law professor someday, and for that to happen I'll need a degree from a better law school. So you see, I really HAVE thought out this whole return-to-school thing.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tunes of the Day

It is a Kathleen Edwards kind of day.

I don't know what that means, really. I just know that I'm digging "Asking For Flowers" and "Back To Me" today. Sorry, "Failer," today doesn't appear to be your day.

(Those are her albums, BTW.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Letter to My Readers

Dear Readers,

I owe you an apology. I have both been told by others and come to the conclusion myself that this blog is not "fun" anymore. It's just me complaining about things. I don't know what has happened to me to turn me into a negative person who does nothing but complain, but apparently that's who I am now. All I can say is that this year has been one of the most unhappy years of my life. The transition from school to the real world has been very hard for me, and I have not handled it well. I spend the vast majority of my free time alone, and there is no one here to tell me when enough is enough, and when I should just keep my mouth shut. If I've offended any of you by the things I've written on my blog, I'm sorry. I never meant to offend anyone. I've become a critical, intolerant person that I don't like anymore, and, I suspect, someone that my friends and family don't like as much either.

So I'll try to change that. I don't know if I have explicitly mentioned this on my blog before, but I am losing my job in three weeks, so I've been forced to make a change. The job situation, and my pervasive unhappiness, led me to my decision to go back to school for a year and get my LLM. So I'm moving to a new town, where I'll have to make new friends, and I don't think that's going to happen if I continue on the path I've been on. It's hard to get people to like you when you don't like yourself.

From now on I'll try to be fun again and to keep my rants and complaints to myself. All I can say is be patient with me.

Litigious Mind

Just Kidding

I'm trying to decide if I should be offended that someone suggested that I become a Facebook "fan" of "Go Outside and Do Something." What exactly are they trying to say?


(Just kidding, I'm not really offended. But it is kind of funny, isn't it? Maybe that's just me.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My New Pet Peeve

People who pray in their status updates on Facebook.

Matthew 6:6, anyone?

"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Babies Babies Babies

I know I probably have a bit of an anger/sensitivity problem when I start to get offended on someone else's behalf, but oh well. Here I go anyway.

I have a high school friend who is pregnant with for the first time. We are Facebook friends, and she often posts things related to her pregnancy. Now, there are some things she says that I find a tad annoying. She refers to her fetus as her "first" baby, as if having more is a done deal. (Don't get me started on people who assume all will go to plan, but I'm a pessimistic, glass-half-empty, if-something-can-go-wrong-it-will kind of person, so it's just a difference of views.) She also is one of those women who is willing to take advantage of the pregnancy stereotypes that drive me crazy. Such as, pregnancy makes you stupid, it's a disability, and it entitles you to special treatment. Again, this is a difference of views. I am of the opinion that women should STFU and not make our gender appear weak in anyway.

But for the most part, I cut her a great deal of slack because, hey, it's a big deal to have a baby. And I imagine it's really exciting to experience all that stuff for the first time. And although I occasionally find her posts annoying, she never crosses the TMI line, and I don't have to read them if I don't want to.

What drives me up the wall, however, are the comments routinely made by a mutual friend who has three children. This woman appears to be under the impression that she is the end-all authority on pregnancy. My pregnant friend cannot make an innocuous comment relating to pregnancy or childbirth without this woman chiming in about her experience, giving her two cents, and being generally annoying.

If I were my friend I think I would snap and tell her to STOP MAKING EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU AND LET ME ENJOY THIS FOR MYSELF. Scratch that, I know I would. The fact that my friend has not, and generally responds with polite comments thanking this woman for her input, I think, indicates that she already has what is perhaps the best parenting trait one can have. Patience.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shut Up

Really, Kerri Walsh, really?

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20289521,00.html

I get what you were trying to say, but is being "skinny soft" really the worst thing to be? No. I think being "fat soft," for one, would be worse.

I'm glad I'm not a new mom, because these celebrity moms would probably make me want to hide in a cave for the first post-baby year.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dopplegangers

Is it just me, or does Kevin Jonas's fiancee appear to have been separated at birth from a certain Napolean Dynamite actress?

And yes, I really do spend my time thinking about these things.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sometimes Being A Lawyer Ruins Things

To the screenwriters of "Confessions of a Shopaholic":

Look into a little thing called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Thanks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number

Wow, this blog is turning into nothing but a rant-fest. But here I go again!

This time I'm ranting about (older) people telling me that my opinions on certain subjects will change once I'm older. Months ago I was told by a friend's mother that I would no longer be a Democrat when I'm older. And yesterday, in response to including Wuthering Heights on my list of top ten favorite books and mentioning that I'd take Heathcliff over Mr. Darcy in a Facebook note, a friend commented that she predicted I would prefer Austen to Bronte once I'm older.

What, exactly, will age and life experience do to change those particular preferences? I'm twenty-six, not sixteen. I have a law degree, I work with the socially and economically disadvantaged, I think I'm capable of determining that I support more Democratic positions than Republican positions. Besides, people like my dad have actually become more liberal with age.

And as far as preferring Bronte to Austen? Again, what does that have to do with age? I've read all of Austen's books save one, and although I greatly enjoy them, but I still like Wuthering Heights better. The characters in Austen's books are proper, silly, or reckless. Catherine and Heathcliff, on the other hand, are kinda crazy. Their wildness and their passion jumps off the pages. As far as literature goes, I prefer Bronte's masterpiece to Austen's. Why would a person expect that to change with age? It's personal literary preference.

I think I get so upset when people say things like that because, whether they intend it or not, it comes across as really condescending. How old do I have to be before people will treat me like an adult? I may like High School Musical and the occasional Jonas Brothers concert, but I'm still an adult with an adult brain. Is it because I'm single? Not a parent? WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO TREAT ME LIKE A GROWN UP, DAMN IT?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ugh

Do you know what bugs me most about this commercial? (Other than the whole thing)



They describe Audrina Patridge as a "Top Rated Bikini Body."

Would it kill them to say, "Voted as having a top bikini body," or something of the sort? SHE IS NOT A BIKINI BODY. SHE HAS A BIKINI BODY.

God.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Live Blogging the Jonas Brothers Concert

Litigious Mind
Wait, I thought this was the Jonas Brothers World Tour, not John Tesh Live at Caesars Palace.

Kel
Wait! Is he giving us advice while pretending he is a zamboni driver?

Litigious Mind
This is serious. Nick is telling us how he testified in front of Congress.

Kel
I want diabetes if it will bring me closer to him!

Litigious Mind
I'll be your insulin, Nick. And you'll be my glucose.

Kel
I love how he wants us to sing. Do these songs have words? Are these songs?

Litigious Mind
OMG!!! Nick said I'M his inspiration!!!

Kel
Whatev! That was the longest infomercial I've ever seen at a concert. Will he shut up! He's ruining my image of michael Bolton coming to me through the dry ice!

Litigious Mind
If you think that was bad you've never been to a comtemporary Christian music concert, I take it. Although this is close. They do wear purity rings. Oh. My. God. Is there really a white baby grand and a giant disco ball on stage?

Kel
I thought a giant disco ball with a group of men under it meant we were at a gay bar? If so will the one int he tight shirt bring me a stiff drink?

Litigious Mind
I'm sure he'll bring you a stiffy.

Kel
I guess the sign blocking my view is for my own protection.

Litigious Mind
I think Kevin's T-shirt has a deeper V-neck than mine.

Kel
Will you buy me a rotating stage so I never have to walk anywhere?

Litigious Mind
I'll have to marry a Jonas brother before I can afford one of those. And that would make me a sex offender in most states, I think.

Kel
What about Canada? Also, poop. I just wanted to say that.

Litigious Mind
The boys are looking sweaty up there.

Kel
Those are boys?

Litigious Mind
Ouch!

Kel
Why does this little girl keep shoving her scarf in my face? Fine! I'll do a wee jig for michael jackson’s sake!

Litigious Mind
She keeps throwing us dirty looks for not being appropriately excited. Is it just me, or does Joe look like he's giving us about 60% tonight?

Kel
It's because he is busy looking down my shirt. Duh!!

Litigious Mind
Kel, I told you, if you flash the stage, that's 10,000 counts of indecent exposure in the presence of a minor. You'd better hope those don't run consecutive.

Kel
I just recorded the screaming to use as birth control later on.

Litigious Mind
Good thinking. I hope they do a Michael Jackson tribute. Hopefully Billie Jean.

Kel
Dude, do they realize that all these girls are billie jeans? (stalkers)

Litigious Mind
"See you at the finish line?" Is that code for a "happy ending"?

Kel
They did go through a large deep hole.

Litigious Mind
In the stage. Yes. Oh, they're back. And Kevin's wearing a sassy leather vest.

Kel
I feel so inspired! I think I'll go home and cancel my oprah subscription! Who knew all I needed was the jonas bros?

Litigious Mind
Ooh, Joe's standing on the piano!

Kel
He thinks he is Liberace. I wish I could see! seriously, he ain't gonna see your puffy paint sign!

Litigious Mind
Holy. Shit. "Sweet Caroline" cover. Are we the only ones who know this song?!

Kel
I think so! No one likes our bump bump bumps!

Litigious Mind
Finally a song we can sing along with!

Kel
Maybe they thought this was a michael Jackson song?

Litigious Mind
Somewhere a little girl named Caroline is creaming herself.

Kel
Neil diamond has nothing on these Tweens.

Litigious Mind
But he's "a major inspiration."

Kel
Stop bugging me! I'm busy practicing my desperate reach out arms!

Litigious Mind
WTF. Joe and Kevin are spraying the audience with firehoses. That's some not-so-subtle symbolism.

Kel
Yeah but it's a pedophile's dream come true! All those twelve year olds in wet tees?!

Litigious Mind
In their training bras.

Kel
Yep! I'm glad the girl stopped standing in front of me. Wait! Are they singing about babies? Possibly unwanted babies?

Litigious Mind
No, they're asking that we "be be good" to them. Oh, I'll be good to you, Kevin. But only because you're the only legal one.

Kel
Oh that sax! Please try again later as the gigantic sign is back!

Litigious Mind
I feel sorry for the violinists. "tell me about yourself." "oh well, I have a BFA from Julliard." "and what do you do now?" "um, I tour with the Jonas Brothers."

Kel
True dat! I bet they don't admit it!
However I would list sexual healing to the jobros on my resume!

Litigious Mind
Good luck getting past the purity rings. If Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift couldn't crack those nuts, you've got your work cut out for you.

Kel
Wait! Is this the heavens opening?

Litigious Mind
This is either Little Drummer Boy or a Civil War re-enactment.

Kel
It's worse!

Litigious Mind
Worse?!? Jordin Sparks is back! And she's singing Battlefield! (Hence the battle drums). Sorry, gotta stand for this one!

Kel
I take it back! There is a reason why she won that silly show! Did they just use their Jesus skills to make it rain inside?!!! OMG!!

Litigious Mind
I read somewhere that they're part Cherokee. Maybe that last number was a rain dance.

Kel
They're all wet. And I'm bored.

Litigious Mind
Really? I'm wet, too.

Kel
Still bored.

Litigious Mind
The bassist is super cute. I kind of want him and his sexy glasses.

Kel
What? Are we still here?

Litigious Mind
You need and attitude adjustment, young lady!

Kel
Ooooooooo!

Litigious Mind
This is an SOS! Ooooooo! I actually know this one! I am holding out for "Burning Up" though.

Kel
Ooooooo!! And a fart.

Litigious Mind
We're done here.