Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Experiences in a Concealed Weapons Licensing Class

So, last weekend I took a class that is required for me to get a concealed weapons license. A classmate of mine once joked that my state is one in which even the liberals are pro-gun, and yeah, that's kind of true. I have nothing but positive associations with guns, mostly because my dad used to take me shooting when I was a girl, and it was a lot of fun. It's not too hard to get a concealed weapons license, and so I figured, why not, I'll apply.

Holy Jesus. I guess I temporarily forgot where I lived, a lily-white part of the country well-known for racist mindsets. Because there were some uncomfortable racial undertones going on at this class. Every single example of an assailant, whether it be via oral story from the instructor or video, was a black man. Okay, wait, I think one was a Latino man. That could not possibly be a coincidence. I got all squirmy. No one else seemed bothered by it.

And at first I thought the instructor was going to be reasonable and not scary gun-crazy. He made a point to mention that guns can now be carried in national parks and monuments because President Barack Obama signed the bill into law. I was pretty impressed by that. Then he threw it all away. He showed us this video of a horrible, horrible man who randomly, violently, and viciously assaults people on the street and videotapes it to post online. The man is just a disgusting human being. In the video we saw, he talks to the camera about how he's going to beat up on someone, then he picks up a crowbar and starts attacking a woman's car, while she's inside and trying to get away. The man also happens to be black, and obviously of a low socio-economic class. So what does our esteemed instructor say when this man comes on the screen?

(To a friend of his in the class) "No, Tom, that's not Obama's brother."

I was so pissed. So. Pissed. What on earth would make a person compare the piece of garbage on the video with our President unless he's a racist? The two have nothing in common other than they're apparently both American, male, and black.

And of course we got the standard tell-a-story-where-a-person's-skin-color-is-completely-irrelevant-but-make-a-point-to-mention-the-person-acting-like-an-asshole-is-black. I fucking hate that shit.

So I'm already kind of pissed. Then the instructor tells us that we should use hollow-point bullets so that if we shoot someone we kill them, because otherwise they might survive and sue us for their injuries. Gross. I don't want to kill anyone. I just want to be able to scare someone off or get away.

Then as we're all filling out our applications, literally half the people in the class have a criminal record they have to explain away. Seriously.

But here's the kicker. As the instructor is finger-printing me for the application, he asks what I do for a living, and I tell him I'm a lawyer. He asks what kind of law, and I tell him mostly creditors' rights and collections for banks. So then he proceeds to tell me that he has a house in Florida that's in foreclosure and he's hoping to avoid a large judgment against him. I say, "I don't know Florida law, but good luck with that," because really, deficiency judgments are pretty straight-forward. But then, then he says to me, "I'm just going to hide it all."

As in, hide his assets from criminals.

I was so taken aback I couldn't react. I couldn't believe that he would actually say that to me. Jesus Christ. This coming from the same man who, earlier in the class, told us the story about Nicholas Cage's stolen guns from Face/Off that have a $50,000 reward. Who told us that if we ever come across the guns, let him know and he'll buy them for $20,000.*

So he'll spend $20,000 on guns, but wants to hide his assets to creditors? Nice.

This is why I am inherently distrustful of NRA members, despite how I personally feel about guns.



*Nevermind that this genius doesn't understand that he couldn't buy these guns because they're stolen and he admitted that he knows they're stolen and thus he's not a bona fide purchaser.

Baby Talk

This blog post is about something really bothers me: people talking about baby girls getting married.

I don't understand it. At all. I've touched on the subject before. I'm writing about it now because of someone else's blog post where they shared a letter they wrote to their (then) unborn daughter. Part of that letter talked about how she would one day give her away to the love of her life. Before this baby was born, her parents were talking about her marriage like it was a certainty.

I... I am so flabbergasted by this. Especially now that I'm an aunt to a six-month old little girl. I think a lot about what my niece will be like. I think about what kind of music she'll like, if we'll share tastes in that. I think about what sports she might want to play. I think about what career choices she will pursue. I look forward to seeing the kind of person she grows up to be.

But I have never, ever once thought about her romantic relationships, whether she'll marry or who she will marry. It just bothers me, so goddamn much, that marital status is the first thing so many people seem to think of when they think of a person's future.

These expectations are so ingrained in our society, they literally start before we are even born. For most people, that's harmless, because they're probably get married. But not everyone will get married, and failing to live up to expectations is always, always hard. Take it from me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Legal Writing 101

It is a good thing I'm not a judicial clerk. If I was, poor writers would suffer greatly under my influence.

For example, today I read a filing where the attorney REPEATEDLY used "Plaintiff's" when he meant "Plaintiffs." Once or twice I can forgive. I often type a possessive when I mean a plural or plural possessive. It happens. Usually I catch it about five second after I type it or catch it on editing.

But an ENTIRE legal filing with apostrophe abuse?! If I were a clerk, I would be immediately prejudiced and biased against that party. It's not okay.

Also? This attorney repeatedly failed to capitalize a proper noun. Not just any proper noun, but the party's name! Oh my God, make it stop.

The other thing that sets me off? COURT OPINIONS with improper citations. I'm not a huge stickler; if a court uses "Cal. App." instead of "Cal. Ct. App." it's not a big deal because you know what court they're talking about. But "N.J. Super." is NOT okay, because I DON'T know which court that is. Is it the New Jersey Superior Court appellate division, chancery division, or law division? THE BLUEBOOK TELLS YOU HOW TO CITE EACH, SO JUST DO IT.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Speaking of Kids...

I got an email invitation at work the other day to a baby shower for a staff member at the firm's other office; a staff member I have never met. I had my suspicions as to why I had been invited, and sure enough, I was right.

I checked, and the email only went out to female employees.

What the hell? Just because I'm female they think I want to go to a stranger's baby shower? I don't even like going to my friends' baby showers! It's such a subversive gender stereotype, but so annoying. Why weren't the men in the office invited?

I remember when my friend had a baby shower and issued the invitations as a "couples baby shower." I got all offended at first because I thought she was saying single people couldn't come. Then she clarified that just meant that men were invited and there would be alcohol. I had never really given it much thought that the defaut standard for baby showers is "No Men Allowed," but it kind of seems that way.

Well, if that email regarding my fellow employee's shower is any indication, though, "No Men Allowed" has also somehow morphed into "Every Woman Must Attend."

I know some people will think I'm being a bitch for complaining about being invited because I can always just so no thanks, but it IS annoying when the only invitations you get from people are to events where you're expected to get them a present. Especially when you've never met them!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm A Horrible Person

Sometimes when I hear parents of young kids warning other parents not
to post pictures of their kids online because pedophiles are trolling Facebook profiles for photos, I think, "Pssh, please. Don't flatter yourself."

Horrible person, I know.

Monday, October 11, 2010

White Girl Problems

Ugh, I am so over #whitegirlproblems on Twitter. Sure, it started out kind of funny, because it was an acknowledgment of the incredible privilege a lot of white women have in America. But it quickly devolved into something that gives me an icky feeling.

Here are a few examples of what Twitter uses consider to be White Girl Problems:
-"My phone is fucked up... Great"

-"I was gonna work out but I'm hungry so.....oh well. I'm just gonna embrace my body and be a size 6. *sigh*"

-"I can't find a good sushi place anywhere in this town"

-"It's almost 3 a.m., and I am up looking at application's for prestigious graduate schools"

They are all bad, but that last one is especially bad. That's not funny, that's not clever, that's borderline racist. (I do appreciate the humor of the apostrophe, though.) As for the tweets that identify everyday events and call them "white girl problems," all that is doing is creating false divisions between skin colors. Do these people really think that people with different skin colors are so different that they can't share these simple experiences? It's so annoying.

It's particularly annoying because, in the hands of a clever person, #whitegirlproblems can be pretty funny. Two examples:

-"My best friend resembles Justin Bieber"

-"Maroon 5"

I just wish that the unimaginative, non-clever people would stop trying to jump on the bandwagon because all they're doing is making everyone who uses the hashtag look like a racist douche.

Palate Cleansing

After one of my Facebook friends just couldn't understand why I, an open feminist, would hate "Mama's Song," it is nice to know that I'm not alone. The person who wrote the post I just linked to is much more articulate in his/her disapproval of Carrie Underwood's latest single than I was in my semi-drunken rant from a few days ago. But essentially we're saying the same thing. It really, really concerns me that there are college-educated people out there who can hear a song like "Mama's Song" and (1) not only not have a problem with it but also (2) completely fail to comprehend why anyone would.

Anyway, between writing these posts and a Google search to see if anyone else agreed with me, it's too much time spent on Ms. Underwood. Time to cleanse the palate.

I took a short road trip this weekend, and since my car is too old to have one of those fancy iPod hook-ups, I busted out the CDs. I love listening to old CDs for the first time in a long time. On this trip I popped in Mary Chapin Carpenter's Party Dolls and Other Favorites. I had forgotten about "Quittin' Time."



So pretty. When you hear an artist like MCC, you realize how robotic and devoid of emotion some of the new singers are (like you-know-who).

Friday, October 8, 2010

For My Friend

This song is for my friend. She knows who she is.

He's Making A Fool Out Of You

I see clearly, I'm on the outside
I've been watching you fall from the start
I can't believe it, how'd you get here
I remember you when you were smart
It's not that you've lost all that now
But blind is the love that leaves no room for doubt

He's making a fool out of you
He's making a fool out of you
He's making a fool out of you
But you're still smiling

Have you forgotten, all that you taught me
Never lay down your heart for a lie
It's gonna hurt you when your eyes open
And you shed all those tears you've denied
Everyone needs someone else
But love only grows when you don't lose yourself

He's making a fool out of you
He's making a fool out of you
He's making a fool out of you
But you're still smiling

So have you forgotten all that you taught me
Never lay down your heart for a lie


-Holly Williams & Chuck Jones

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's Been A While, Bitch

BITCH, I'M BACK.

Yeah, you know who you are. You, the blonde country music princess. Frequent subject of People.com. Known to Lainey Gossip followers as Country Bitch (because you sing country and you're reputed to be a bitch). I AM BACK ON YOU ASS.

What the HELL is this newest shit you're polluting country radio with? Mama's Song? Oh barf.

Mama you taught me to do the right things
So now you have to let your baby fly
You've given me everything that I will need
To make it through this crazy thing called life
And I know you watch me grow up and always want what's best for me
And I think I found the answer to your prayers

And he is good, so good
Seriously?! A man? THAT'S the answer to your mama's prayers for you? Gee, if I ever have a daughter, I will certainly spend my prayers on hoping she finds a man. BECAUSE THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING A WOMAN CAN EVER DO.
He treats your little girl like a real man should
You're old enough to find a man who answers your mama's prayers, but you're still a baby girl? Give me a break.
He is good, so good, he makes promises he keeps
No he's never gonna leave
WHAT IF YOU WANT HIM TO LEAVE? I suppose that is completely out of the question. Everyone knows women never leave men. That's crazy talk!
So don't you worry about me
Don't you worry about me
You've got a MAN to take care of you, don't worry.

Mama there's no way you'll ever lose me
And giving me away is not goodbye
As you watch me walk down to my future, I hope tears of joy are in your eyes
Yes, your future is a man.

'Cause he is good, so good
He treats your little girl like a real man should
He is good, so good, he makes promises he keeps
No he's never gonna leave
So don't you worry about me
Don't you worry about me

And when I watch my little baby grow I'll only want what's best for her
Because everyone knows that what's best for a woman is a MAN.

And I hope she'll find the answer to my prayers
And that she'll say

He is good, so good
He treats your little girl like a real man should
He is good, so good, he makes promises he keeps
No he's never gonna leave
So don't you worry about me
Don't you worry about me

Mama don't you worry about me

Don't you worry about me


JESUS CHRIST. Country Bitch, you have a gift. You choose songs that trigger my Pavlovian kill response, without fail. God, I hope your ape husband dumps you.

(Yes, I'm a little drunk tonight.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rageaholic

Things that unreasonably fill me with rage:

1. The extensive use of Mumford and Sons songs on yesterday's series premiere of Lonestar. The show is called Lonestar. It's set in Texas. The copious use of a British, old-timey sounding folk band is just dumb. One song I can handle, but multiple ones? Nope. RAGE.

2. Singers who insert their own names into songs on their debut album. Dude, why don't you build a reputation before you start singing about how cool you are? I'm looking at you Jason Derulo. RAGE.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Better in the Original

So, if I haven't been publishing on ere much lately, it's probably because I'm hopelessly addicted to watching "McLeod's Daughters" on Netflix Watch It Now. "McLeod's Daughters" is an Australian show that is essentially a soap opera, and although it gets very cheesy and melodramatic at times, I CANNOT LOOK AWAY.

Anyway, the point of this post is to talk about Matt Passmore, a hunky Australian actor on the show. He is, as I've said, hunky. With a delightful Aussie accent. A little bit of imdb-ing told me that he is now in the States, starring on an A&E show called "The Glades." So naturally I decided to check it out online.

And I was quite disappointed to discover that his American accent, while very good and convincing, substantially diminishes his hunkiness. I don't like it, don't like his American voice. That's the first time I've noticed that. There are plenty of actors who fake American accents on a regular basis, like Hugh Laurie and Simon Baker, and I've never thought that about them before. But maybe the difference is that I knew them with their fake accents FIRST. I wonder what Brits and Aussies think about their accents.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Holy Shit

Holy shitballs, I don't know what to do.

Let me fill you all in on what has been taking up most of my spare time for that past two days. Earlier this month I saw a dermatologist. I was new to the clinic, so I just took an appointment with whoever they scheduled me with. He was a nice guy, and because my sister just finished her residency in dermatology, we talked a bit about his history. He told me he did his residency at the Mayo Clinic. At the time I thought he said in Huntsville. When I asked what he was doing in my town, he said that he had signed a commitment to join the clinic after he finished his residency, and he was just helping out during the summer. I didn't think anything of it until I related this to my sister, and she told me that there is no Mayo Clinic in Huntsville. There is one in Scotsdale, so I figured I must have misunderstood him. But she also said that she thought it was strange that a resident was moonlighting out of state. My sister asked me what his name was because she disagreed with a medication he had prescribed me, but his name was not on the pill bottle. Another doctor's name (from the same clinic) was on it. Still, I brushed it off.

Until I went back on Thursday and saw another doctor. This doctor, even after looking at my chart, was unable to figure out who I had seen on the previous visit. I didn't push it at the time because this guy was a locum. But it started to bother me, so I called back yesterday and asked them to tell me who I had seen on my first visit. (I couldn't remember his name.) The office worker looked me up and gave me the name of the clinic's owner, who I definitely had not seen. I insisted that was wrong, and when I described the first doctor's circumstances, she gave me another name.

I looked the first doctor up on my state board of medicine's website. He's not listed as licensed in the state. He's not listed at all. Neither is he listed on the Mayo Clinic's website or on Minnesota, Florida, or Arizona state board of medicine websites. (The three states that have Mayo Clinics.)

So by now I'm suspicious as hell. I log onto my insurance provider's website and view my claims. There are two from my first visit, both of which are listed under the name of other doctors from the clinic.

At this point I don't know what to do, because there is always a chance that I'm wrong. I could be spelling his name wrong (although it's a fairly simple, phonetically and grammatically unambiguous name). It could be that my state has some kind of visiting physician provision that doesn't show up on the Board of Medicine's website. It could be that they haven't processed his information yet.

Except... why can't I find him on the Mayo Clinic website? Why did they put down another doctor's name on my chart? Why did they bill my insurance under another doctor's name? This is all so crazy, I just have a hard time believing my suspicious are correct. Why would this guy tell me all about his history, knowing I'm a lawyer and my sister is a dermatologist, if he wasn't on the up and up? (Of course, I was the one who asked, he didn't volunteer it.) Regardless, something is wrong here, even if it's just negligent record-keeping.

I have a complaint form filled out and ready to sent to the Board of Medicine. But I still go back and forth between whether I should just report him or write a letter to the clinic demanding that they provide me with assurance that I was treated by an actual licensed physician, threatening to report them if they don't. Any input?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Get It Right

Ugh. I find glaring legal inaccuracies in television shows to be incredibly annoying. For instance, tonight I was watching a rerun of "Law and Order: SVU." Stabler and Benson were working a rape case, and it became clear upon the suspect's confession of an earlier rape that an innocent man was in prison. The entire episode had this hotshot DA who gave the cops all sorts of grief for the way they bend the rules. She came off as a real bitch, but a smart one.

So they have the confession. Stabler goes to the prison and promises the innocent guy that he'll get him out. But then the confessor falls/jumps/is thrown out a window and dies. Stabler's not too upset that the scumbag is dead until the DA tells him that now, without the dead guy's testimony, there is now way to exonerate the innocent guy. The rules of hearsay don't allow the prior confession to be admitted. Cue the dramatic music and fade to the Dick Wolf credits. Tough shit, huh? Man, the legal system sucks.

Except...

THE FUCKING RULES OF EVIDENCE DO ALLOW IT. It's called the statement against interest exception. When the declarant is unavailable to testify (say, because he's DEAD) then his statement is admissible if it is so against his best interest that it's deemed to be true. This scenario was the PERFECT example of how that rule would be applied. (Also, there was additional corroborating evidence to back up the statement.)

What the hell? Who's doing the legal advising for that show? That's second-year law school stuff.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bitch Bitch Bitch

Holy hell, I need to bitch.

I just got internet at my apartment today. It worked fine at 3 when I had to leave work so the cable guy could install it and show me how it works. Of course, after i get home for good at 6 it suddenly doesn't work. I call tech support, and in the time it takes for the incompetent guy on the other end to FIND MY FUCKING ACCOUNT, I have managed to find a way to fix it. (Which seems to require unplugging the modem and plugging it back in EVERY time I want to use it.) Not a great start, cable company.

And Facebook is pissing me off again. You know what I miss? The days when people were afraid to publicly show genuine emotion. WTF. I don't want to hear about how much you love your fucking amazing life. And when you follow up by saying that the only thing that could make it better is if Jesus would come soon... do you know how douchy you sound? Why can't everyone be like me? Uncomfortable with displays of genuine emotion (that is not rage). Also, I'm glad you got married to the person of your dreams, but holy hell, we don't need to see four FB albums worth of photos from your wedding. I don't give a shit about the shoes your wife wore, but I can handle a picture of them. But five? Get over yourself. If your friends are really staring at their computer screens, squealing with delight over photos covering every possible angle of the wedding shoes... you need new friends.

Speaking of Facebook, someone I know is aggressively pushing everyone to vote for her alma mater in some contest Kohl's department store is doing. The top 20 schools in the country win a bunch of money or something. When she hijacked my status to try to get me to vote, I had to hold myself back from informing her that I'd rather see the money go to a poor urban public school than a private school that charges thousands of dollars in tuition. I mean, COME ON. The obliviousness to their privilege is maddening. I am tempted to find the poorest school in the top 20 and vote for it out of sheer spite.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

One More Thing

Oh yeah, and my PowerBook G4 just broke. But luckily I fixed it myself. Thanks, Apple.com support website!

Thankful

Man, I am so thankful to have a good job right now because everything in my life seems to be breaking at once.

First a rear blinker on my car broke, and I finally got tired of hand signaling and took it in. Luckily there's a small auto service place near my house that my boss recommended. They fixed it for $10 in less than 10 minutes. Yay.

But then my bike tires just refused to hold air AND the valves got gunked up and so pumping the tires was difficult, to say the least. Had to take it in for a general tune up anyway, so there's another $35.

(This one's a little gross, sorry. Proceed with caution.) Then I go to the dermatologist to take care of this pesky little cyst that is under the skin. It seems to have ruptured (again) and is inflamed and painful. Doctor visit co-pay = $35. He puts me on antibiotics = $11. But while I'm there he, as a good dermatologist should, notices that I'm the moliest person alive and does a mole check. He finds one he wants to biopsy = $$$$ who knows how much in lab fees. Oh, and did I mention it's smack between my shoulder blades and thus essentially impossible for me to reach and care for? It's probably infected already because when I put the bandage on last night, I'm pretty sure I missed and put the sticky park right over the biopsy site. Luckily I'm on antibiotics anyway.

Let's not even get started on my hair, which is a train wreck that needs a cut ASAP. THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY HOURS IN A DAY, PEOPLE. I don't have time to schedule and make appointments all the time. Especially when you work 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day like I do. I have to spread them out. I already had the doctor this week, and I have the cable/internet installation next week. The hair will have to wait, but it will be at least another $35.

My state bar admittance certificate and undergrad diploma are still waiting to be framed, too. MORE MONEY. (But I get reimbursed for $250 of that.)

Life is expensive. I'm never having kids. I cost too much myself.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Help Me Out, Lawyers

I should know this, I really should. But here's my question about this recent U.S. District Court ruling on gay marriage:

What is it's effect in other federal districts in California? Normally, I think that district court rulings are binding precedent only in their district, correct? What could be confusing me here is criminal law rulings, which is what my federal court experience is limited to. Different districts can have different approaches to the sentencing guidelines.

But when the ruling strikes down a statewide law, it wouldn't make sense for the law only to be invalid in certain districts. I mean, the plainff has to choose a venue SOMEWHERE. I think I just answered that for myself, but I still feel like there's some disparity here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thoughts

If there's one thing I need to remember, it's that my life generally works best when I stop trying to plan things. Just a few months ago, I never would have thought I'd be where I am doing what I'm doing, but I'm happy here. What's more, I've fallen back in love with my home state. It's a privilege to practice law here. It doesn't hurt that I live in one if the prettiest places in the country, if I do say so myself

Also, I think I have finally found the secret to my own success. Don't laugh, but it comes from a one-liner in an episode of 30 Rock, when Jenna tells James Franco, "Don't Lemon your life."

I have a real tendency to Lemon my life. Everyday I make a conscious effort not to. So far, it seems to be working.

I seems to screw things up when I think really hard about them. So I'm done with that. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Good Week

I started a new job this week, my friend who's been unemployed for a few months got a job, and another friend had a baby girl! So far this week has been full of good things.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Actual Text Message Conversation

(My parents have a dog named Piper)

Officious Intermeddler: Just got a new puppy yesterday, he's pretty cute.

Litigious Mind: Aww, what's his name?

Officious Intermeddler: Trip.

Litigious Mind: Cool, we named our dog after Palin offspring, too.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Snippets

Why is everyone so upset over this LeBron James thing? The guy who probably has everything except a championship wants a championship. So what? I am either missing something or people are being unrealistic about the vanity of pro basketball players.

Can you believe all this stuff about Mel Gibson? Nasty man. I knew there was a reason I hated Braveheart and never had even the slightest desire to see The Passion of the Christ despite the fact that many Christians I knew at the time were shitting themselves over how amazing it was. Such violence. I do loooove the Lethal Weapon series, though. It will be hard to watch them now knowing Riggs really was a racist like those South African dudes in the second movie. Good thing Murtaugh and Leo Gehts were my favorites.

I got a job!

My niece had a nearly inconsolable meltdown tonight. I love the cutie pie, but thank the Lord she's only my niece, not my baby.

Lindsay Lohan tweeted about how her 90 day sentence was inhumane. Please. The funniest part for me was how she invoked the injustice of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. Which only apply in federal cases. And, if I recall, don't have much (anything?) to do with probation violations. Stay in school, kids, or you could end up like Lindsay. F'ing retarded but convinced you're brilliant.

My sister and I have been compulsively watching the Australian TV show "McCloud's Daughters" all week. It's addicting. I even choked back tears at one point. Will Tess and Nick EVER get together?!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Should Just Stop Watching

Another ridiculous commercial that airs during TLC's "A Baby Story":

"When you find out you're pregnant, it's like there are a million stretch mark products to choose from."

I have never been pregnant, but I imagine that is not what goes through a woman's mind when she finds out she's pregnant. If it is, baby she should rethink parenthood. (Of course, by then it's kind of too late.)

Not Quitting My Day Job (Oh Wait, I Don't Have One)

Sooooo... remember this? When I so confidently predicted that Bachelor Jake Pavelka was still single because he liked strong independent women that didn't have time for his "intensity"? Well, I think I was onto something regarding Jake, but clearly I was too kind and gave him the benefit of the doubt when I probably shouldn't have.

In my defense, I didn't watch Jillian's season of The Bachelorette, and I didn't watch Jake's season of The Bachelor save for the first episode. So unlike many women, he didn't set off my creepiness radar because we all know that the first episode is just a lot of shirtless footage and ramblings about "true love," "soulmates," and future spouses. But something just didn't feel right about him from the start.

Now it seems clear from the post-split interview he did with Vienna that he's a total douche nutjob. Ladies, always trust your instincts, and don't make kind excuses (like I did for Jake).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Icky and Sad

I grew up pretty sheltered, and I was never the type of person to rebel. As a result, I haven't seen too many disturbing things in my life. (I didn't even watch horror movies until I was in law school.) Well, my friends, today I think I witnessed one of my top five most disturbing events.

I was driving down the highway, and one of the cars a ways in front of me must have hit a cat. Because I came across a cat that was not dead but was having violent and prolonged spasms all the way across the highway. It's whole body was flipping and contorting.

Now, I do not like cats. I don't really understand why anyone has them as pets because they're just boring and lame. But nevertheless, this was pretty awful. Poor kitty. It almost makes me think that I should have hit it and put it out of its misery.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm Still Alive

Sorry for the sparce posting lately. There's not much going on in my world right now. My sister and niece are staying with our parents now, too, so I'm getting a lot of baby-holding in. Yay for babies! She likes her auntie Litigious.

Oh yeah, and I turned down a job offer yesterday in order to continue to pursue another job that would be a better opportunity in the long run. But getting the job is not a sure thing. Blurg. Life stinks sometimes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Baby Story

I'm watching daytime TV in my unemployed state. One of my favorite shows to watch is TLC's A Baby Story. I don't know why, but I can't stop watching it.

I'm amused today because one of the episodes featured a woman who had a doula, midwife, etc. She is in a lot of pain and asking for an epidural, but no one seems to be willing to give her one. It just makes me laugh because I have a friend who is really anti-traditional medicine/hospital childbirth because she thinks that the mother's wishes are often ignored by "the man." This episode just shows that, sometimes, childbirth experts have an agenda they try to push on the mother no matter what approach they ascribe to.

I feel sorry for this lady because she switched to a midwife from an M.D. because she didn't feel like she was being listened to. And then these hippie ladies ignored her, too.

*UPDATE*
Holy hell, there are some really emotionally manipulative commercials that run during A Baby Story! First was the horrible pertussis immunization ad that told mothers that in their arms is a dangerous place for their baby. Now there are these cord blood depository commercials that feature kids with leukemia and brain injuries, of course with the disclaimer that "individual results vary." Ick.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Harry Potter and Twilight

Just in case you didn't believe me about bandwagon hating, there's this article over at Jezebel today.

The article is about the newest Harry Potter trailer, yet for some reason the author feels the need to compare the previous trailer to Twilight, and talk about how this one is different. And a dozen people in the comments feel the need to talk about much better Harry Potter is than Twilight, how much they hate Twilight, and how much Twilight sucks.

Since when did Harry Potter and Twilight become so inextricably linked that Harry Potter must be judged in light of Twilight? Seems to me that the Twilight haters are giving Twilight more credit and influence that it deserves (and I like the series!). They're completely different books! Stop comparing them. Harry Potter can stand on its down; it doesn't need validation by comparing it to Twilight.

I suspect that it's all just an excuse for Twilight haters to mention, yet again, that they hate Twilight. They just can't resist the opportunity, so they create them. Bandwagon hating, people. Bandwagon hating.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Things I Think About When I Should Be Thinking About My Thesis

Isn't it funny how you can say:

"He pooped himself";
"He crapped himself";
"He peed himself"; and
"He pissed himself,"

but you can't say:

"He fecesed himself" or
"He urined himself"?

Fascinating. It's like a special rule for the slang terms.

This classy post was inspired by a bus ride I took today, where I smelled something that made me think, "Hmm, I think someone just [insert your choice of word here] themselves."

Procrastinating Doesn't Pay

Sometimes procrastination serves me well. Like last quarter, when I essentially wrote a 19-page Copyright paper in a week, mostly in a bar, while drinking beer. I got a 3.9 on that paper.

And sometimes, procrastination KICKS ME IN THE ASS. I just got my first drafts of two Patent Prosecution assignments I did not give enough time to, and I did pretty abysmal. I am going to blame in on the arrival of my niece, which distracted me for a full week. Luckily, I get a second shot at them, but I was kind of hoping I'd have all of next week to work on my thesis paper. Ugh. I am SO over that class. Our professor repeatedly talks about getting a 4.0, and makes it sound like getting a B in that class would be abject failure. Dude, I just want to learn a bit, pass the class, and get out of here.

I have this rather nonchalant attitude because I have been told by at least three people that I will mostly likely not get hired to do patent prosecution because I only have a bachelor's degree, and most biotech patent prosecutors have a master's or doctorate's degree. (Seriously, what kind of masochist gets a Ph.D. and then goes to law school?!) I'm only taking the class to learn more about the process because I figured it would be valuable as a patent litigator. Now I'm kind of glad that I probably won't do patent prosecution because it's hard! And our professor expects us to be perfect at it. Ugh.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bad Idea

Damn Michelle Obama, walking around lookin' all amazing in cropped pants and ballet flats all the time.


Thanks to the fab First Lady, I convinced myself I needed some cropped pants for summer, and on Memorial Day I misguidedly bought THESE:


PLEATED PANTS.

Rest assured I have since come to my senses and returned them. In my defense, I kind of thought I was buying these (as they were on the same rack):


Tragically, though, I cannot fully rectify this mistake, because on Monday I got 30% off, a sale which has since ended. *Sniff* No Michelle O. homage for me.


**UPDATE**
I have no self-control, so of course the replacement cropped pants have been purchased since I first wrote the blog.

So Stinkin' Cute!



TOO. CUTE.

Bandwagon Hating

Everyone is familiar with the concept of jumping on the popularity bandwagon. It happens all the time, and sometimes it is bewildering, as if people like something just because it is considered cool to like it. (Take for example, hipster glasses. I have a hard time believing anyone actually likes those 1980s monstrosities, yet I see them everywhere. The same goes for all of hipster fashion really...) Bandwagon-jumping can be annoying, but it's understandable. People want to know what all the fuss is about.

What I have a harder time understanding is the concept of hating something because it's cool to hate it. In some ways the same principle is at work, but I guess for me it just makes a lot more sense to be vocal and enthusiastic about something you like than to be vocal and enthusiastic about something you hate. That's why when I see people who can't ever resist an opportunity to shit all over something like Crocs or Twilight, it just seems like jumping on the hating bandwagon.

I mean, we all have things we hate. I hate Carrie Underwood's music, obviously. But I limit my vocalization of this hate to my own private blog because I recognize that I am in the minority here. For example, recently one of my good friends posted on her Facebook page that she "wishe[d] [she] was at the Carrie Underwood concert." About four people commented with "me too," "me three," etc. I started to write, "I wish I was there so I could tell her in person that I think she sucks!" but I stopped myself. Why? Because it occurred to me that doing so would be kind of rude given how many people had commented before me about how much they liked her. I don't like it when I post on Facebook about something I like and then someone comes along and basically mocks me for it. (Full disclosure, I did actually post the comment after another friend noted that I would "unfriend" her for posting that, but I felt the mood had altered enough at that point that it wouldn't be as insulting.)

I started thinking about this when a website I read recently posted about a story where a little boy was saved from electrocution by a hair dryer because he was wearing Crocs. Innocuous enough story, but of course dozens of people have to chime in about how ugly and stupid Crocs are and how no one should wear them in public, despite the fact that a good number of people in the comments had already admitted to liking and wearing Crocs. I mean, that would be like me trolling a Carrie Underwood fan site and writing about how much I think she sucks. There's no need to insult people like that, it's kind of rude.

Maybe I'm overly sensitive to this because I happen to like things that are ripe for bandwagon hating, but I still think it is a real phenomenon. And frankly, it's a tired one. We get it, you think Crocs are ugly. We get it, you think Twilight sucks. We get it, you think romance novels are not intellectual. There's no need to mention it each time someone vocalizes a liking for one of those things. Don't these haters realize that they come across just as annoying as the fans? Who really cares what you don't like? No one! You're boring me.

This is part of the reason why I have stopped reading the comments at websites like STFU Parents. I still think the blog is funny, but after a while the comments just got to be too much. I like to make fun of annoying parents, but it's clear that some of the people who comment just want to make fun of all parents (and all kids). The first time they called kids "crotch fruit" was kind of funny. Throwing out the term every time a kid does a normal kid thing, however, is tiring. Blanket parent-hating is one bandwagon I don't want to jump on, thanks.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Good Stuff

Oh, my God. This Facebook page just might be one of the most entertaining things I have found on the Internet in quite a while.

First of all, it's a site dedicated to hating Carrie Underwood. So of course I approve. But second (and most importantly), the postings on that page are very similar to the comments on my own post about Ms. Underwood, which, three years after its posting, continues to be the most popular thing about my blog BY FAR. Those comments never fail to amuse me. Same goes for that Facebook page. Spend about three minutes on there and it's clear that the worst insult those geniuses can think of is to call someone "fat" or a "bitch." Wow. That cuts deep.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thoughts On Glee

Did anyone else think Glee went a little over the top last night when Kurt's dad basically ripped Finn a new one? Sure, he was right to call him out for calling Kurt a fag, but let's be honest: everyone occasionally uses words they don't mean when they're emotionally distressed. And Finn had every right to be distressed! Who forces their teenager to share a bedroom with someone who is romantically attracted to them? Especially when the feelings are not returned?

I just felt like the show went a little overboard in trying to make its point, because Finn is a good kid who has thus far been a genuine friend to Kurt AND has been pretty tolerant of his unrequited love. But last night he basically got screamed at for being a bigot.

Of course, Kurt's dad was emotionally distressed at the time, too, but it was clear the show thought Finn deserved all of it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rant

Do I walk around with a sign around my neck that says, "Second guess me: I'm an idiot who doesn't know anything?" I swear to God, that is how I'm feeling this week.

First, I emailed my former supervisor to ask him for a letter of recommendation. He writes back and basically says, "Are you sure you want a letter of recommendation? Most jobs only want you to list a reference unless they specifically ask otherwise." So I write back and politely point out that I'm pretty sure it's a letter of recommendation they want SINCE THE JOB POSTING SAYS "TWO LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION." I mean, come on. Why is he willing to write a letter for me if he thinks I'm so stupid I don't know the difference? I've got less than a month to go before graduation, so this is hardly the first job I've applied for. Yet this IS the first time I've asked him for a letter.

And then today, after I email my parents about how I PICKED UP THEIR TICKETS FOR MY GRADUATION (which has the DATE of the event PRINTED ON THEM), my dad emails me to basically say, "Your graduation is probably on Saturday, not Sunday. Most schools hold graduation on Saturday." And then, just to be EXTRA condescending, he adds, "You're not at [my Adventist undergrad] anymore." Oh really? I've now spent just as much time at public universities as private universities, but thanks for assuming I'm an idiot that can't read a ticket.

Ugh.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Old Stuff

Don't you love it when you listen to an album you haven't listened to in years? Right now for me it's Jonny Lang's Long Time Coming. My roommate junior year in college bought this album and we listened to it all the time. Good times.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm Just A Wee Bit Baby Crazy Over My Niece


Actual Letter From My Grandmother

I changed my mind about you, too! You'll meet the right (older) man someday. And you'll be a good catch.

Hmm, okay, seem innocuous enough. Aaaaand then we segue immediately into this:

And although I do like to listen to Rachel Maddow, she is so smart and really knows her stuff. Still a woman compared to a good man cannot be fulfilling.

My grandmother apparently thinks I am a lesbian. I might just let her go on believing that for a while. Let her stew in it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

BREAKING NEWS

Patent Attorney McDreamy has been identified.

*UPDATE*
Name may be changed to Adjunct Professor McDreamy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm Comin' Out

Those of you that follow celebrity gossip websites religiously, as I do, probably heard all the hubbub about People Magazine featuring a celebrity who was coming out of the closet. There was a lot of speculation about who it would be. I heard a lot of people say they thought/hoped it would be Queen Latifa. Well, yesterday we learned that the celebrity is country music artist Chely Wright. And many of the reactions have been "Who" or "Who cares?"

I think that's unfair, personally. Just because you don't know who a particular celebrity is doesn't mean that their story does not have an impact. Believe it or not, I don't know if there is another celebrity whose coming out would have affected me as much as Chely Wright's announcement.

I have always been a fan of Chely Wright, and I have long thought that she was underappreciated in country music. Chely often writes and records songs about what it is like to be a single woman, and I really related to her songs, Picket Fences, While I Was Waiting, and Not As In Love particularly. There were some great lines in there:

Here I am in my prime at least they tell me so
And if I go to sleep at night I always go alone
I guess that I could have it all and someone by my side
But I can't take the give and take the price is just too high


or

Well that's what got me thinking, it's like someone slammed the door
You just wanna girlfriend, I want so much more
You ask me what's the hurry? You say let's take our time
Well I say our time it just flew
While I was waiting, while I was waiting
For you to pop the question, for you to make your move
I turned into someone new
While I was waiting, while I was waiting for you


or

I can see a red flag wavin' when I'd rather be alone
When I know it's him callin' and still I don't pick up the phone
Oh I know there's a love here that's a fact
But he loves me more than I could ever love him back
I've been tryin' but I just can't live like that


I know it's stupid, but finding out now that she is a lesbian makes me feel... betrayed in some way. As if we lost the solidarity that I thought we always had. After all, Chely is a beautiful, talented woman who could most definitely have a man if she wanted one, and I always thought she stayed single because she hadn't found what she was looking for. The fact that she is a lesbian doesn't necessarily change that, but it does make it different; it does make our experiences different.

That sense of betrayal also comes from the feeling of being lied to all these years. Chely always struck me as a very honest songwriter. On her last album, she wrote a song about her relationship with her mother, Between a Mother and a Child that is really personal. I guess I figured she was always that candid with her writing. But as it turns out, she's been lying to her fans all along. And that bothers me.

But at the same time, I think there is a lesson to be learned here. Would I have been such a fan of Chely's if I'd known all along that she was a lesbian? Would she had been able to get her music out there? I would like to believe that it wouldn't have made a difference. I really like Missy Higgins, and she is a lesbian singer-songwriter. But country music is different, and I've been a fan of Chely for over a decade now, and I have not always been as enlightened as I am now. I think the fact that Chely did lie about herself for so long tells you the kind of life that gay entertainers have to lead. It makes me sad. Also, if I was able to connect so deeply to Chely's songs about male/female relationships, then isn't that evidence that a musician's sexual orientation really shouldn't matter at all?

So I guess what I really want to say is this: don't discount someone's decision to come out, just because you don't care about them. It matters to some of us, and it can teach us all a lesson about how we view the sexual orientation of our favorite entertainers.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

No Equal Justice

Readers that are Facebook friends with me probably noticed this week that I'm not a fan of the new Arizona immigration law, mostly because I am a fan of the Fourth Amendment. What's left of it anyway.

Now, I've heard that the law was recently changed to assuage fears that it would encourage racial profiling, and I don't know, maybe that's true. But that's not the point of this blog post. Even if the law ends up being completely repealed, the attitudes that emerged from supports of the bill made one thing perfectly clear: there really are two criminal justice systems in this country.

I am just fundamentally incapable of understanding how someone could be okay with giving law enforcement the authority to stop and detain someone on account of their skin tone. I know everyone has their own pet issues in life, ones that not everyone will agree with or understand. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. But when I see white, middle-class conservatives protesting in the streets over their loss of "liberty" in relation to taxes, gun control, etc, I get confused. Why do they get so worked up about those issues but they don't get worked up over invasions of personal privacy? Why don't they get worked up over the prospect of Arizona law enforcement officers stopping people and demanding to see proof of legal residence or citizenship.

My friend put it best when we were talking about this earlier in the week: a lot of people in this country aren't worried about being stopped by police officers because they think that would only happen if they had done something illegal. Why? Because that's probably true. What these people fail to realize is that not every kind of citizen shares the same experiences. What they fail to realize is their white privilege.

First, I have to say that I didn't think up this blog all on my own. When I took Criminal Procedure in law school, my professor assigned us to read David Cole's book No Equal Justice. That book is where this blog originates from. I think that I'm very fortunate that I had a professor who recognized these issues and incorporated them into my Fourth Amendment curriculum. I recall him telling us of his experiences as a public defender in Memphis, Tennessee. Every Monday morning, he said, he'd go to the jail and see the arrests over the weekend. And every time, it was just a sea of young African-American men. That left my professor with the conviction there was some kind of racial and class disparity going on in the American criminal justice system. In his book, David Cole explains how this came about.

Cole's thesis is that this country's criminal procedure laws have developed the law in such a way that there are two systems of justice in this country. One for the wealthy and middle-class whites, and one for the lower class and racial minorities. Criminal procedure at its core is always a balance between law enforcement's interest in ferreting out crime, and the public's interest in privacy and liberty. Because the courts are unwilling to extend protections to all members of society--as that would unduly hinder law enforcement--they have instead chosen to shape the law in such a way that the lower class and racial minorities have been sacrificed in order that the higher class whites may enjoy their own protections. In other words, a balance was struck, but reduction in privacy and liberty is born primarily by the lower classes.

Looking at Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, this is hard to deny. For instance, in Florida v. Bostick, 501 U.S. 429 (1991), the Supreme Court held that consensual searches of passengers on buses is not per se unreasonable. In other words, police officers may board a bus and work their way up and down the aisles, holding up the bus, while asking for permission to search passengers and their belongings. Without specific and articulable suspicion for each passenger. Not only that, but in his dissent in Bostick Justice Thurgood Marshall (who was joined by my personal hero, Justice John Paul Stevens) focused on the coercive nature of being approached on a bus, away from home, by a police officer carrying a weapon. Some may not find this too intrusive, but consider: what kind of people ride buses? Those without cars, those who cannot afford a plane ticket, etc. The lower classes and racial minorities. The fact pattern in Bostick is not likely to be familiar to the privileged white class.

Justice Marshall's skepticism over the voluntary nature of consent in Bostick finds its roots in the Court's decision regarding consent to search, Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218 (1978). In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that consent need only be voluntary. In other words, police officers do not need to inform someone that they actually have the right to refuse consent. Justice Marshall's dissent is one of the most powerful dissents in all of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence:

"I must conclude, with some reluctance, that, when the Court speaks of practicality, what it is really talking of is the continued ability of the police to capitalize on the ignorance of citizens so as to accomplish by subterfuge what they could not achieve by relying only on the knowing relinquishment of constitutional rights."

Marshall confronted the Court on how it struck the balance between enabling law enforcement and protecting citizens. The Court speaks of practicality, he says, but what they're really doing is sacrificing the less-educated members of society, those who don't know that they have a right to stand up to the police.

And finally, in Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983), the Supreme Court did away with the Aguilar-Spinelli two-pronged test for issuing warrants based on a confidential informant. Previously, before such a warrant could be issued, two conditions must be satisfied: "(1) The magistrate must be informed of the reasons to support the conclusion that such an informant is reliable and credible, and (2) The magistrate must be informed of some of the underlying circumstances relied on by the person providing the information." (From Wikipedia.) In Gates, the Court instituted a "totality of the circumstances" test in place of the two-pronged test.

Again, some may not see a problem with this, but that is a failure to acknowledge that not all citizens are treated equal. The movie American Violet is a great example of this. The movie is based on a true story out of Hearne, Robertson County, Texas. At one point in Texas, it was common practice to issue warrants based on the uncorroborated word of a single confidential informant. The real-life story of Regina Kelly demonstrates how law enforcement abused this lax law in order to target the poor, black community in Robertson County. When a CI fingered Regina (and others) as a drug dealer, her entire apartment complex was raided, and the single mother of four was arrested and jailed. The pressure to accept a guilty plea was intense, but she resisted and insisted she was innocent. When the ACLU came to town, they chose Regina as their lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the District Attorney. Eventually the parties settled, and Texas changed its law regarding warrants based on information from confidential informants. Perhaps if more white neighborhoods were raided on these faulty warrants, the national outcry would have been more audible.

I don't point out off of these examples of white privilege in order to make whites feel guilty. I see no purpose in that; we can't change the skin color we were born with. But what we can do is be aware of the incredible privilege it carries with it, and to put ourselves in the shoes of others before we accept and acquiesce to laws and practices that curtail the freedom of others in our society.

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me. "

--Martin Niemöller

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm Not A Doctor, But I Play One To My Lawyer Friends

Now that I wrote that subject line it reminds me of something my classmates and I were talking about today. One of my friends is married to a mathematics Ph.D. student, and apparently one of her husband's classmates insisted that my friend's J.D. was not really a "doctorate." There may some truth to that, but sheesh, that's rude.

Anyhoo, the real point of this post has to do with a phone call a got from a law student friend today. Apparently her young nephew is in the hospital because be drinks fluids excessively. (Not diabetes and not kidney failure.) My friend asked me to tell her what was going on. She wanted to hear my diagnosis.

Haha. I always find it funny when my law friends think I know that kind of stuff. Science and math is totally foreign for a lot of lawyers. When I was in my J.D. program my friend asked me about something medical, and I told her I just had a degree in biochemistry; I didn't know anything about medicine.

Her response: "Listen, if we're ever stranded in a lifeboat and have a medical emergency, you're our best hope. If we have a political science emergency, then I'll cover it."

I suppose she had a point, but really, I'm the absolute worst kind of person on this. I know just enough to think I know enough. I know enough to be dangerous instead of helpful.

So my diagnosis for my first friend? I went with a problem in either the production of vasopressin or in its reception/signal transduction pathway.

Are you impressed? You shouldn't be. Literally the ONLY thing I remember from my Mammalian Physiology class is that alcohol inhibits vasopressin, and vasopressin promotes insertion of aquaporins into the walls of the collecting duct. I have no idea why that stuck with me. But I told my friend that if I'm right, I'm quitting law and going to medical school.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One More Thing

So I just discovered one more thing for me to work on. I need to stop getting offended on other people's behalf. Because I'm learning that what is appallingly rude to me is apparently a-okay for a lot of people, including the person I think is the target of the rude behavior.

No more calling people out on being rude. If people want to speculate about intimate details of others, I guess I'll just shut up, because some people don't have a problem sharing those intimate details with the world. As I was just recently told, "Welcome to Facebook."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Facebook Funny

Is this as funny to anyone else as it is to me?

Revelations: Christianity

My third and final revelation: Christianity.

I don't know what prompted it, but the other day I decided to pull out the old iPod and listen to some contemporary Christian music. I used to listen to CCM quite a bit back in the day. I never listened to it exclusively (because I think we can all agree that those people are weird), but it's kind of hard to ignore it when there is a CCM radio station on your high school campus. (Although I'm sure there are a lot of my fellow of alumni who would beg to differ on that point.)

Anyway, the point is that I took a listen after a significant break. I was a little surprised by what I noticed.

Now, I know that I just wrote a blog about how the online feminist communities have started to go too far for me, but they did teach me about a lot of things. One thing that they (along with help from my friend Kim) taught me about is privilege. Now, the privilege accusation can be and is abused on the online feminist communities, but that doesn't mean there's no truth to it. And when I listened to those old CCM songs, it occurred to me that contemporary Christian music is just FULL of privilege.

I'm not sure how to articulate it, but the best way I can think of to describe it is to point out the focus of a lot of CCM music and modern praise worship music, too. To me, the artists always seem to be focused on what they're not doing in their spiritual lives, what they can do to be better, etc.

And then it occurred to me that mainstream Christianity in America is generally pretty full of privilege, too. If you know any mainstream evangelical types, you've probably heard them talk/seen them update Facebook about their ongoing struggle to be better, to get closer to God, etc. I just can't help but think that if your biggest struggle in life is whether you love God enough, then you're probably doing pretty good. You have a house, your children are fed, etc. This is certainly not the case for every Christian, but there are thousands/millions of people in this country who go to church every week in new cars, new clothes, and go home to a nice house and a big lunch. When those kind of people go around saying "Poor me, I'm a failure because I don't give it all to God all the time," I get uncomfortable. It sounds like humility, but to me, it also sounds like extraordinary privilege. You love God, He loves you, and He doesn't expect you to be perfect. SO GET OVER IT. Stop making it all about you.

Which gets me to my next point. Not only does modern Christianity strike me as privileged, it can also be appallingly self-centered. And really, they go hand-in-hand because all the focus in on yourself and what you're not doing good enough. Maybe I'm a lazy Christian, but I don't worry about that too much. Like I said, I love God, He loves me; that's good enough for me. This is part of the reason why I have no interest in attending church. I don't really care to sit around and reflect upon myself or listen to other people do the same. Where I fall shamefully short is in what I do for others. And THAT is where I wish the focus of modern Christianity was.

In my opinion, Christians should just stop trying to get everything right on paper, whether it be their views on gay marriage, abortion, or whatever. The corollary of this is to stop trying to get everyone to believe everything you believe. I know some people are dead-set against picking and choosing what you believe, but that's exactly what I do. I figure God gave me a brain so I can use it, and I figure He's big enough to be something a little different to everyone. Once we all get over ourselves and accept that we're okay, maybe we can move onto the more important stuff and start helping others.

Revelations: Relationships and Singleness

Second up: being single.

This has been such a sticking point for me for years. I just let it completely destroy my self-confidence, which is stupid. But it's one of those instances of your logical brain being unable to convince your emotional brain of the truth. This manifests itself in a number of ways in me, which I'm sure regular blog readers can spot. I'm not sure why, but in the last month or so, something seems to have clicked, and I feel like I finally get it.

One thing that has helped is my realization that there are a LOT of things about men that I just don't like. (At least, men of my generation. I notice a marked improvement in the older men I know.) Most of my friends are female for a reason, and I just like spending time with women more than men. (Generally.)

I don't think I'm unique in this at all. Women have been complaining about men for centuries, I'd guess. (And visa versa.) But I think that most women can just deal with it better than I can. I'm too impatient. Is it a character flaw? Undoubtedly. But that's the way it is. Once I accepted that about myself, it made my perpetual singlehood easier to accept. I'd probably be miserable with most men. Honestly, I look at some women and just think, "Why in the hell are you with him?" I'm currently thinking that about a friend. I guess I'm just more like Liz Lemon than I thought; I have a lot (a lot) of dealbreakers. And I'm okay with that. I genuinely like being by myself most of the time. It also means that on the slight chance that I actually every do meet the perfect man for me, I'll probably be free.

Revelations: Feminism

First up, feminism.

I'm a feminist. I like what feminists like, generally. But I've come to realize that one must enter cyber feminist communities with caution. It's very easy to get sucked in. It reminds me of my own personal first-wave feminism my sophomore year in college when I read The Feminine Mystique and Woman: An Intimate Geography and wrote my research writing paper on Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. (To this day you cannot mention Jamie Lee Curtis to me while I'm drunk without getting an impromptu presentation on that paper. Some friends take cruel advantage of this to embarrass me.) I found it all so new and interesting that I just wanted to jump in.

But eventually the enthusiasm wears off and, to be honest, I think that's a good thing. Otherwise I think you just get a little too... everything that people say when they ridicule feminists. That sounds really harsh, but it can be true. I see it in the comments on my favorite feminist website all the time.

Usually this happens because of over-analysis. Feminists want to analyze EVERYTHING to DEATH. I understand that tendency, because when you become aware of the subversive messages in society you start to see them everywhere. But sometimes it's better just to let go and accept that not everything someone says has to have a deeper meaning. It took the ridiculous criticism of Tina Fey's SNL appearance (and the questioning of her feminism in general) and the constant picking-apart of Glee for that to really become clear to me. I mean, I saw it a while back with the whole Twilight and Taylor Swift thing, but Glee is just ripe for over-analysis. I think that when someone gets so focused in on the little things and what "message" is being sent, they lose the ability to just look back and enjoy the book/television show/music. Hence the "feminists are humorless" charge. Don't get me wrong, I think there are a LOT of things worth getting worked up about that feminists do get worked up about. But I think damage is done to the name of feminism when feminists over-analyze entertainment sources.

The other thing that was turned me off from the online feminist communities is the drastic pendulum swift that has occurred regarding sexual activity. Usually I find that people in those communities are tolerant to the extreme of anyone who engages in any kind of (legal) sexual activity. Their anger at Tina Fey for going after Bombshell McGee is evidence of that. (Sorry, but I just don't buy that non-married people who sleep with married people bear no moral responsibility.) But there is still one group they are decidedly NOT tolerant towards: virgins. It boggles my mind the things that are said on those sites about virgins and virginity. (Once again, Glee is providing lots of fodder for this topic.) I will never understand why they care so much that some people are not having sex.

So that is one thing that I am learning to let go of. I can see now that I just can't agree on a lot of issues, so I'm weaning myself off and not letting myself get upset over what I see in the comments. It's a step.

The Wait Is Over

You didn't really think I could stay away forever, did you? I thought maybe I could, but as it turns out, I really need a place to publicly vent in some form of anonymity in more than 140 characters.

But you should all be proud of me. I have kept A LOT of stuff in. And it's been good for me. Not having a place to run and complain every time something happens helps me realize the unimportance of such things. Also, I have not had a my-life-is-horrible crying fit in a whole month. Progress!

But seriously, I have been doing some deep thinking over the past month. I've come to realize a lot of things that are making me a [more] happier/peaceful/accepting person. So naturally I must blog about them.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fade To Black

This blog has gone black, in observance of the proper mourning procedures.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Back (For Just A Sec)

So remember when I said I was going to take up old-fashioned journaling? Check out what I bought today:




This. Is. PERFECT.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hiatus

I think I will take a hiatus from blogging and take up old-fashioned journaling. Maybe then my parents won't send me emails telling me I lack common sense and am impolite regarding what I post. Oh, and tell me that I should stick to funny stuff from now on.

Sorry my blog is so offensive and boring, readers. I think I have overstayed my welcome in cyberspace.

Adios, amigos, until we meet again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Petty Jealousies

Would I be revealing too much of my pathetic nature if I confessed that I'm jealous that my friend is getting not one, not two, but at least three baby showers?

I'm not jealous about the baby aspect. Not yet anyway, I think I have some years left before that clock starts ticking. Mainly I'm just jealous that so many people want to throw her parties and buy her nice things. It's tough being the only single gal amongst your friends; no one throws parties for me. Boo hoo, woe is me. But that's not surprising given that, among that particular party-throwing crowd, the two most exciting things you will ever do in your life as a woman is get married and get pregnant.

Do you think I could fake a pregnancy and tell everyone the fetus (1) is a girl, and (2) has been diagnosed with Benjamin Button disease? Therefore, they should all buy adult women's clothes, say, size 10 pants and medium tops? It might work...

Snippets From The Day

Family of three at Starbucks

Mom: (Carrying shopping bag) We're going to have to have another kid to justify this expense.

Dad: (Mumbling) Spend $150 to justify a kid that will cost $10,000.


I don't know that amused me enough to post, but it did. They're a cute family. Little kids in glasses get me every time.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Glenn Beck and Social Justice

I've been a little busy with finals and papers and stuff, so I haven't really been paying attention to Glenn Beck's recent comments until now. If you haven't heard, Glenn Beck urged his listeners to leave any church that preaches social justice.

It's incredibly offensive that this asshole thinks he has the right to direct (not just state his opinion, but direct) anyone how or where they should worship. But what is even more disheartening is the support that he's getting from a lot of Christians. I know, I know, Internet comments as a rule feature the absolute worst of humanity, but the comments after post at Christianity Today are incredibly depressing. (If you look for it, though, someone named Deborah Dessaso has a great comment in response to Beck's supporters.)

It is people like Beck and those "Christians" who are supporting his recent comments that drove me away from churches years ago. I still consider myself a Christian, but as my own personal beliefs evolved it became more and more clear that I did not fit in to any particular denomination. Personally, I think one of Christianity's biggest problems is the way that those of us who don't fit a particular belief mold are basically left to wander around on our own. At least in my experience, there's not a lot of room for dissent at church, unless you want to feel judged. (And as a Christian who drinks alcohol and doesn't keep the Sabbath, I feel plenty judged.)

What is particularly frustrating for me is how I have often felt like I didn't fit the mold, not because of what I didn't believe, but what I did. Every time I start to question if I really should continue to call myself a Christian, I remind myself of Micah 6:8--"He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" This is what I do believe. And to me, that includes "social justice."

I get very disillusioned with weekly churchgoers who do not (from outward appearances) adhere to this. In my view, every Christian should stop worrying about gay marriage, alcohol consumption, etc, and start trying to live up to Micah 6:8. If we all did that, I think the public perception of Christians would improve.

Which finally brings me around to my ultimate point here: public relations. I think that many Christians do not realize the damage they do to the Christian brand when they support ridiculous statements like the ones Glenn Beck recently made. Outsiders aren't paying attention to your finely-drawn distinction between the duties of the individual and the duties of a government. All they see are a lot of so-called Christians raising a ruckus over the radical notion that we are called to help those who are less fortunate than us. For a religion that holds evangelism as a fundamental tenant, this to me is absurd. Let's get our heads out of our asses, Christians, and stop letting Glenn Beck prove to non-Christians that we are just a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sha la la la la la

I'm sure no one cares about my feminism rants, but I'm back with another one. Remember when I said that if you f*ck with The Little Mermaid I'll f*ck with you? Round Two!

I'm sorry, but calling "Kiss the Girl" "one of the most disturbing anti-consent songs I've ever heard" is just plain ridiculous. It completely removes the song from its context. The entire point of the song is to get Eric to kiss Ariel so she can break Ursela's curse. Ariel wants him to kiss her. Sebastian is working on Ariel's behalf to try to get Eric to do what Ariel wants him to do! If there's any anti-consent going on, Eric is the one who is being violated!

Stuff like this seriously hurts the credibility of modern feminists, in my opinion. They are so caught up looking for the deeper meaning that they end up alienating people! I could find issues in almost every single movie or song out there if I completely remove it from its context, but that would be ridiculous! Come on, people.

I am also a little pissed that my comment on that post was (as of yet) not accepted for publication. Yes, that's right, Feministing moderates comments. I can understand why they do it because they get a lot of nasty comments from really awful sexists. But now I'm concerned that the moderating is being abused. If you don't agree, you're silenced.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Regretsy

This is not the movie to watch when trying to transition out of indigent criminal defense.

Damn it.

Gross Stuff

After classes this morning, I went to the little cafe area at my law school to buy a bagel and cream cheese for a late breakfast.

Half an hour after I finished eating it, the bagel and I were almost reacquainted with each other.

This guy came and sat down at the table I was at. Not a big deal as there is limited seating in the cafe area and I was taking up a four-person table all by myself. This guy caught my attention for a number of reasons: first, he smelled awful. Why is it so hard for some people to bathe on a regular basis? ESPECIALLY if you really, really stink? Second, he had what looked like cigarette burns all up and down the inside of his forearms. Third, he was carrying what looked like his groceries in plastic sacks. Just hanging out with his groceries. At the law school.

As if that wasn't weird enough, he goes to the microwave area and returns with this:

(Something very similar to that anyway.)

He had microwaved an ENTIRE package of Italian sausages for lunch. You guys, I seriously almost vomited right then and there. Not only did they smell gross, but I'm a former vegetarian who still does not (really CANNOT) eat red meat. I can't stomach the thought of it. I had to quickly get my things and get out of there before I ralphed all over the place.

Is that not seriously disgusting? One guy! FIVE big sausages! And he had some side dish he was going to eat, too! I still feel queasy just thinking about it...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why Feminism Gets A Bad Rep Part III

There are some things in life that I hold sacred. Like Keanu Reeves. Or Sandra Brown category romance novels from the 1980s. Or The Little Mermaid. You f*ck with The Little Mermaid and I will f*ck with you.

Enter the comments to this post at Feministing. Now, I don't really have a problem with the original post. Yes, you don't have to look too hard at The Little Mermaid to find some feminist concerns. But I would suggest not looking too hard BECAUSE IT'S A CARTOON FOR KIDS. I would definitely suggest not looking this hard:

I always bring this up whenever we discuss the little Mermaid, but there was another 'click' moment for me in that movie, which is especially awful in the aftermath of the Haitian disaster -- the role of Sebastian, the miniature Haitian helper "crab." Disney has had trouble depicting issues of race and ethnicity all over the place, but in this specific instance, we see a French "chef" (i.e., colonial forces) trying to cook Sebastian, even going so far as to puff some flour on his face so that he turns white. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Disney for some reason wanted to make a mockery of the French colonization of Haiti, and I don't think it's any more of a stretch to say, good gorgeous that's awful.

Um, what? This is straight-up crazy talk.

This kind of thinking always reminds me of the people who are willing to believe wild and crazy conspiracies to explain something that has a much simpler answer. It's like the saying, "If you hear hoof beats, chances are it's a horse, not a zebra." I.e., Disney just wanted the cute little crab to have a funny accent (as many other comments pointed out).

Oscar Stuff

You guys! The Hurt Locker won Best Picture! That's so exciting, particularly for me since that was one of the only Oscar-nominated movies I saw. Guess I picked the right one to see, huh? (I can't really take credit for that, though. I didn't want to see it because I thought it looked too dark and depressing for the kind of movie I wanted to see that day, but I agreed to go with my friend who picked it out.) I was so pleasantly surprised by that movie; it is really good. I haven't seen Avatar (mostly because I have absolutely no desire to see it whatsoever, which I suppose was kind of true for The Hurt Locker, too) but I was really hoping that it didn't win. I know the Oscars really don't matter in the long run. But I'm still pissed about Crash beating Brokeback Mountain, what, five years ago? It's pretty rare for me to leave a movie theater (or finish a DVD) and think, "Wow, what a really great film." So when I do feel that way, I like for them to win. (Because it's all about me, obviously.)

As for the red carpet, I don't really know. There wasn't anything I particularly loved or hated. I thought Sigourney Weaver looked pretty hot, and the photos I've seen of Rachel McAdams were lovely, too. I love her.

What about you guys?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Morning Musings

Kind of an odd morning at Starbucks so far. First I saw fifty-some year old lady with (1) thighs so skinny and non-touching and (2) wearing workout pants so tight that (3) I could actually see her labia. Ew.

Then I just glanced up from my computer and made eye contact with this girl that, though attractive, bears a striking resemblence to the albino in "The Princess Bride."* Her eyes were really wide open like the albino's when he's in The Pit of Despair. It was a little jarring.

And yes, my time would be better served working on my copyright paper rather than people watching.


*In all fairness, this is probably because I just watched "Twelfth Night" and the actor who played Sir Toby was the same one who played the albino.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Hate Technology

Dear Internet Explorer,

When I type "www.napster.com" into the address bar on my browser, that means I want to go to the Napster site. It does NOT mean that I want the Bing results of a "napster.com" search.

I don't know if this is just a fluke I'm experiencing today or a bigger problem. I suspect it's the former, because it's never happened before. And yes, I'm sure that I didn't accidentally type it into the Bing search box.

If it is the latter, however, I'm gonna be pissed. That's got to some kind of trademark misuse. Definitely domain name abuse.

I hate Internet Explorer. I really, really do. (Yes, I have Firefox.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Umm...

I haven't listened to the radio in a while, but my mom got me a nice new alarm clock, iHome, for my birthday, so lately I've had the radio on at night for a few minutes.

One of the stations I was listening to for a bit tonight features Delilah's syndicated show. Apparently Delilah wants to know what her listeners are up to because she just asked them to send her a video of "what you do at night with Delilah."

Do I have my mind in the gutter, or does anyone else think this miiiight not be the best idea?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Foreign Perspective

Ho-lee shit. I'm watching this British miniseries called The State Within starring Jason Isaacs. If this movie isn't evidence of how the rest of the world must have viewed the U.S. during the Bush Administration, I don't know what is.

Example: a British Muslim detonates a bomb on a U.S. airplane, and in response, the governor of Virginia rounds up and detains every British Muslim in the state. The President, Congress, and the Secretary of Defense all support that action.

Wow.

No Regrets

After doing a project on diagnostic method patents, I've decided that I'm glad I never really seriously considered going into medicine. Between insurance companies telling doctors what they can and can't do, patents limiting (some of) what doctors can do, and pharmacists that decide not to fill a doctor's prescription because of their own moral objections, being a doctor must really suck sometimes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

STFU Potheads

Jezebel is a website that often features articles that I find interesting but features comments that drive me bonkers. The other day an article about anti-obesity advocate Meme Roth was posted. Apparently this wacky lady says that the number of calories a person eats should be equal to ten times their goal weight. So, if I want to weight 135 pounds, I should eat 1350 calories a day. In the comments someone posted that they were 234 pounds and eat around 1500 calories a day but are not losing weight.

And then it begins.

"Just a heads up - we don't post stats here (weight, BMI, hip size) as for some people, they can be triggering."

Seriously? So we're all supposed to be comfortable with our bodies, but we're not supposed to ever mention our weight because it might cause some people mental distress? Get a grip, you fucking wimps.

This is just one example of how Jezebel commenters like to remind everyone that they are way more socially sensitive and PC than the average person. More often that not, I find Jezebel commenters to be really annoying and incredibly fond of themselves. "Smug" comes to mind.

That's why the comments after this post on women who smoke marijuana annoy me so much. The tone of the comments is clearly "smoking pot is sooooo cool!" (Same goes for this older article.)

I am so fucking sick of people being all self-righteous about how socially aware they are and then bragging about how awesome they are because they smoke pot. I liken it to the kind of people who can't let a picture or mention of a diamond go by without making sure the world knows that they would never own a diamond because they don't want the blood of Africans on their hands. Conflict diamonds! Anyone who wears a diamond is soooo socially unconscious!

Guess what, assholes? Marijuana doesn't just materialize out of thin air. There are a lot of people whose lives have been destroyed because of the illegal market for marijuana. I've met them. I've sat in a small jail room across from Mexican immigrants who came to this country hoping for a better life, got down on their luck, and were taken advantage of by those who run marijuana operations. These are the little guys, the ones who are approached and asked to water and guard the marijuana grow that's up in the forest. These are the little guys who camp out in the forest, surviving on jars of mayonaise when the person who is supposed to bring them supplies doesn't show up. And these little guys are the ones that get caught. They're the ones who are charged with conspiracy, trafficking, etc. They're the one who, even after they've served their time and are deported, face exponentially higher sentences on illegal re-entry charges after they come back on account of that prior conviction. Their wives and children are the ones that suffer because their husbands and fathers were enticed by the chance to make good money for watching a patch of plants on the forest. I know that marijuana can come from many sources, but this kind of thing wouldn't happen if there weren't such a demand for an illegal substance.

Yes, chemically marijuana may be a "harmless" drug, but it's not harmless. It's not illegal because it's harmful, but it is harmful because it's illegal. So stop with the double standards, already. Smoking pot doesn't make you cool, it makes you partially responsible for the lives that are destroyed on account of the illegal marijuana business. I'm sick and tired of entitled, middle-class white people bitching about how marijuana doesn't hurt anyone and then getting their panties in a wad over conflict diamonds.

Friday, February 19, 2010

MEN'S FIGURE SKATING EXTRAVAGANZA!!!

If any of my blog readers follow me on Twitter, then you know that I got pretty excited about men's figure skating at the Olympics this year. I don't know what happened to me. Usually I'm all about the women's figure skating and couldn't care less about the men. NOT SO THIS YEAR

First off, Johnny Weir. Why, WHY have I not been following him all along? He captured my heart. I love this guy. He's good at what he does, athletically, but he makes it fun enough that you don't feel like a dork for watching men's figure skating. Have you seen this?:

You're welcome.

I mean really, what is not to love? JUST LOOK AT HIM.



Hearts. (UPDATE: It appears the abiliy to think to that pic has been removed. So here is the link to the site where the pic came from. Adorbs.)

As for Evan Lysacek, I'm glad he won. Nothing brings out my fierce nationalism like the Olympics. But there's just something about him that does NOT appeal to me. As someone on Twitter pointed out, he looks like he just stepped off the cover of a romance novel. That's not really a compliment...

But did you see his post-win interview with Bob Costas? What a classy guy. He had not one negative thing to say about Plushenko. In fact, he took every opportunity to say something nice. And you know what? I honestly think it was genuine.

What a nice thing to see. It made me think of Paul Hamm back in Athens when he won gold, and then everyone realized that a South Korean gymnast had been given the wrong start value, etc. I remember how Hamm pretty much just said "I won, I won" over and over again. I don't recall ever hearing him give props to the other guy. (Maybe I just didn't hear it.) I know this is a different situation, but still. For Lysacek to go out there and (credibly) say that he would have been happy no matter what happened and to compliment the guy that has pretty much been talking shit about him, well, it made me like him despite the orange skin and greasy hair.