C'est un blague.

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  • Tuesday, February 28, 2006

    Let's hope you can believe everything you read

    My happy thing for the day: Chocolate Linked to Lower Blood Pressure.

    Okay, so I'm not an elderly Dutch man, but good to hear further evidence of the health benefits of chocolate! Now if only someone could demonstrate the cardiovascular advantages to sitting on the sofa and channel-surfing, I'd be set.

    Bon voyage Ma!

    Mom's off to Australia today... for a ten week jaunt around Australia and New Zealand with a side trip to Tahiti. She's definitely enjoying her retirement. Good for her. Here's wishing her a safe and fun trip. Buy lots of presents for me, Ma! (JK, sorta)

    She and I are both avid travellers. She's been able to do more in the past few years than I because of law school (for me) v. retirement (for her). I do try to take at least one international trip a year. It would have been Trinidad this year but for the bar...

    And she and I also sorta compete to see who gets around the most. She's made it to a bunch of countries where I want to go, but I think I've seen more places. However, Mom definitely does more "in depth" travelling that I do. This is her second three-month trip. I have never taken more than 5 weeks.

    Anyway, in a gratutitous attempt to get more hits, here is the list of countries I've visited in alpha order. I think I may even be missing one. Here also are five "really wanna go" countries. My criteria tends to hinge on what area is most likely to change a great deal in the next ten years and what's realistic to try to see.

    1. Argentina
    2. Austria
    3. Barbados
    4. Belgium
    5. Canada
    6. Chile
    7. China
    8. Croatia
    9. Czech Republic
    10. Egypt
    11. France
    12. Germany
    13. Greece
    14. Guatemala
    15. Honduras
    16. Hong Kong (before and after reversion; I know it’s not technically a country)
    17. Hungary
    18. Israel
    19. Italy
    20. Japan
    21. Jordan
    22. Korea
    23. Luxembourg
    24. Macau (counts as a colony of Portugal)
    25. Macedonia
    26. Malaysia
    27. Mexico
    28. Monaco
    29. Netherlands
    30. Philippines
    31. Poland
    32. Singapore
    33. Slovakia
    34. South Africa
    35. Switzerland
    36. Syria
    37. Taiwan
    38. Thailand
    39. Turkey
    40. United Kingdom
    41. United States
    42. Vietnam
    43. Yugoslavia (Serbia)

    1. Brazil
    2. Cambodia
    3. Laos
    4. Morocco
    5. Russia

    Now if I could only get a job in order to start accruing vacation to take another trip! Oh yea, I guess I do have the time to travel; it's the money I need...

    Her day in court

    I'm really having fun imagining Anna Nicole Smith at the Supreme Court. Seems a bit of a culture clash, but every woman deserves her day in court.

    Certainly the issue -- among other things -- is ripe: When may federal courts hear claims that involve state probate proceedings? Anna Nicole and her stepson are clashing over big bucks in former's deceased husband's rather abundant estate. This battle has been going on for the better part of the past decade.

    Apparently the son is the only named heir in the most recent will, which was prepared prior to the deceased father's marriage to Anna Nicole, and the probate court awarded him the estate. Now, it's been a few years since I took wills and trusts, but I thought that under most state law, it's pretty straight-forward that the surviving spouse could challenge such a will and take half the estate, especially where the will pre-exists the marriage.

    Sure, there are certainly concerns that she's a gold-digger. But isn't the larger policy concern to protect the surviving spouse generally? Not to mention to respect a person's will regarding his/her choice of spouse, whether we agree with that decision or not, whether we find it dignified or not? I mean, the state allowed them to get married, so the court has no place coming in now and making a value judgment on the marriage itself or suitability of the partners. That's a completely unwarranted intrusion, and it's no one's business but the partners to the marriage.

    Of course, one could argue that the state must abide by the deceased's will, but see above policy concerns + the will was drafted prior to the marriage, so who knows what the deceased's most recent intent was? Heck, who would know better than a spouse? Why do we discount her more than we would someone else? Just because she comes across as trashy? On the face of things, the marriage may look like one not necessarily built on eternal love and devotion, but we cannot allow ourselves to be affected by our own private biases. It doesn't matter what we think of her. To the court, it only matters that her husband was competent when he decided to marry her and that the marriage is legal. And she should get anything that any legal spouse would get in the same situation. To do less is to undermine the legal sanctity of marriage and the dignity of each of the partners.

    Hmm... Can you tell that I'm a little annoyed here because I think a lot of people are engaging in cultural discrimination? We think she's a gold-digger, ergo it's permissible to discriminate and accord her fewer legal protections. No. That just doesn't fly with me. We can think whatever we want; the court just can't make any legal decisions based on distaste.


    That aside, one commentator did note: "I'd suspect some justices haven't the slightest idea who Anna Nicole is."

    And I would guess the reverse is true too, that Anna Nicole isn't up on the names of the Justices either.

    Monday, February 27, 2006

    I gotta get out more

    Or else watch where I'm walking.

    I have walked passed past this building more times than I can guess, but I never paid any attention to it or knew what it was. In fact, when I first saw the picture, I didn't even know the building was in DC.

    I can't imagine the countless gems in the city that I've casually ignored for the past... oh, my entire life. So, I've set myself the goal of actually seeing things in my neighborhood, my city. It's so easy to put on the urban shell of indifference, get lost in your thoughts and ignore anything which isn't demanding your attention -- especially the familiar -- without delving beyond the facade, so from now on, I am resolved to notice more than just the traffic!

    Civil Rights photos uncovered, published

    Newspaper releases images that intern found buried in closet.

    Check out these previously unseen, unpublished pictures from the civil rights movement -- a decade's worth of history in black and white, of black and white. Very cool.

    As my mother might remind me, "See what you find when you clean out your closet?"

    Maybe college roommie was just doing the hip Oscar thing?

    Maybe the reason I didn't get "and guest" to the April nuptials is because college roommie has taken cool to a new level. And I am just outta touch with the what's cool.

    According to this article, which details little-known tidbits of Oscar etiquette, "No one cares about spouses, relatives and arm candy at Hollywood parties." Basically, anyone who comes as "plus one" of someone with a hot career can forget having an identity -- independent or otherwise -- separate from the celeb.

    Ahh, so this makes it all clear to me now. College roommie is just ahead of the social curve. She's brought Los Angeles to New Jersey -- taking the "no one cares" phenom to its logical end and thus forestalling the awkwardness of that "plus one" being ignored all night. Now it makes sense. If I had only known before...!

    (okay, don't worry -- I'm done beating this dead horse...)

    High marks for creativity

    But "ick" for the rest of this story. When the story was "news", it was a cringing invocation of the legacy of Lorena Bobbitt. As a hoax, it really is just as bizarre.

    Saturday, February 25, 2006

    It may be premature

    but I started wondering who (else?) has failed the bar in the past yet gone on to success or infamy? I know that I am not the first bar taker to think along these lines. So, of course I googled my question. Google, not suprisingly, had an answer.

    Here's one blog entry from Louisiana. Another by a CA bar taker who passed. The LA Times had an interesting piece on CA bar takers of Feb/2006 -- all 5,260 of them.

    In addition to this little gem:
    Kathleen Sullivan, former dean of Stanford Law School and a former Harvard Law School professor, is considered such a legal superstar that news of her flunking the California bar last year made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Sullivan remains a full law professor at Stanford and is associated with a private law firm.
    See the following:

    Tough testing
    California had the lowest percentage of people passing the bar exam in 2004. Here are the states that had the greatest and smallest percentage of people passing the bar in 2004:

    Top 5
    1. Utah: 87% [but, UT requires the highest MPRE score of any state: 89]
    2. Mississippi: 86%
    3. Minnesota: 83%
    4. Missouri: 81%
    5. Iowa: 80%

    Bottom 5
    47. Wyoming: 60%
    48. Nevada: 56%
    48. New Hampshire: 56%
    49. District of Columbia: 51%
    50. California: 44% [take a look at this about the lawyer who tried 47 times to pass the CA bar -- but he did!]

    And here's an interesting essay by someone who took and passed the CA bar.

    MD isn't nearly as sexy as the CA bar. We only have two days of testing (thank goodness!). The overall passage rate for the exam varies between the mid-60s to about 75% passage. So two-thirds to three-quarters pass. I may very well be in that minority of those who don't... being in the minority? Story of my life!

    UPDATE: Here's a 3L blogger who plans on taking the MD bar without attending a bar review course at all. Self-study. I am incredulous, but wish him/her well.

    A first for me

    I'm going to Texas next month. A cousin is getting married outside of Houston, and I decided that if I could find an aifare for under $300 that I would go (for all of 36 hours). Well, I did and I am.

    I've never been to Texas before. I've been through Texas airports (the Republican direct: DCA to IAH, known to some as Reagan to Bush) on my way to Hawai`i and destinations South. But I've never actually stopped in the Lone Star state and spent a night -- or seen anything beyond the confines of the terminal.

    I'm looking forward to my whole two half days in Houston. I don't want to think about how much it will cost me per hour to be there, but that's okay. It will be fun. And, I got invited with guest. Uh-huh.

    The roommie from college wedding (a.k.a., the "without guest" invitation) is in New Jersey. Turns out that my other roommie was on the list of those to be invited but enfianced roommie didn't have her current address. So instead of being dissed one date, I'll have two. Roommie and her hubby. Now that will make it fun. And, shhhh, I plan on wearing the same dress to both of them (which happens to be the same dress I wore to my friend's wedding in October -- it's just a good "wedding" dress, not too fancy but just fancy enough and comfy enough to eat and still be able to dance).

    International man of...


    Who knew that the latest choice for the infamous James Bond syndicate, Daniel Craig -- a.k.a. "James Blonde" -- would get such bad reviews before his movie has even been shot?

    For me, the James Bond movies lost their appeal when I exited puberty. I guess they were cool when I was 15 (and even then, I had to taste to know that Sean Connery was the hot one), but notsomuchanymore (about James Bond movies; I still think Sir Sean is a hottie). But some really do care. There's even a protest website complaining that Dan just ain't the man, that he's the wrong guy for the job and that all Bond fans of good conscience should boycott the movie:
    An international group of lifelong James Bond fans announced the publication of a new website, www.craignotbond.com, in order to launch a boycott of the upcoming Bond film, Casino Royale. Chief among their concerns is Bond producer Barbara Broccoli's questionable decision to fire popular Bond star Pierce Brosnan and replace him with an unknown with a penchant for oddball roles, Daniel Craig.
    While I can't say that I share these folks' passion of the casting, I do applaud their activism generally.

    Now, I've always thought Ewan McGregor would be a hot choice to wear the tux and play with the guns and gadgets. Just my personal opinion. No attendant protest website.

    But ain't he cute?

    (okay, for some reason, the link to the picture of EM isn't working... but I don't know why -- sorry! hopefully, she of little technological literacy can figure it out soon)

    Friday, February 24, 2006

    Still pooped.

    Wow, I can't believe how the bar took it out of me. I am still dragging my sorry self around. It's taken me two days to unwind from the torture of the bar, and exhaustion wasn't enough to overcome being so wired for so long.

    I am hoping this weekend will herald a return to normalcy -- only problem is that I don't know exactly what that it. I haven't had a "normal" life since before law school. What? No homework? What's a girl to do? Oh, relax, you say? What a concept.

    One good thing about working for a law firm; they all understand the stress and fatigue related to preparing from for and taking the bar. They all urged me to go home today. So I did.

    Will horrors never cease?

    I am so appalled that I don't even know what to say about this. It speaks for itself.

    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    One very happy thing

    A fabulous cup of strong, tasty coffee. After the dreck of the hotel where I stayed (let's just say that they pride themselves on the pre-ground, metal-can coffee of the type that my grandmother might have made, if she had a coupon for it), I am appreciating this little thing.

    Ahhh.... ummm.....


    These webisodes featuring Felicity Huffman in memory dream sequences of classic television shows -- taking her back to the 1970s, 60s and 50s -- are very cute.

    She is hawking a product; yes, they are really just long commercials. But they're entertaining anyway. Especially the Brady Bunch one. Especially if you grew up on these re-runs like I did.

    Now what?

    Now that I have my evenings back -- a luxury I haven't had since last summer and 2002 before that -- I am wondering what I should do with them first?

    Nice dinner?
    Road trip?
    Read a good (non-law) book?

    Obviously, all of the above, but I need suggestions where to start. What movie should I see first? I haven't seen anything in months and months and months. What book? Anything else?

    Please give me suggestions. Or, if anyone has an idea of something else I should to do to celebrate, please give me a shout. I don't want to put any effort into making any decisions -- especially multiple choice ones -- about anything for at least a few weeks.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    I don't wanna talk about it...

    Suffice to say it's over, and I'm exhausted. I had just enough adrenaline to drive back from Baltimore and haul my crap outta the car and park myself on the sofa with the remote control. Whew...

    No confidence that I passed. My essays were crap. Sheer, utter, intelligible ramblings... which were also illegible. I am not being self-effacing here. There was one question for which I had no answer. Nada. Zilch. Oh, I wrote something (reference above comment about sheer, utter crap), but I don't even want to think about how poorly I performed on that one. ::shudder::

    But it's over until May. Our results are supposed to be posted May 5th -- Cinco de Mayo or Children's Day in Japan. That bodes well, right? And I made a friend in the process. We all bonded over the pain of the process. So that's something positive...

    I wonder which is more exhausting, taking the bar or childbirth? I would somehow guess that taking the bar is less rewarding. At least with a kid, you don't usually have to wait for several months to know the outcome.

    Back to work tomorrow!

    Monday, February 20, 2006

    Wish me luck

    The hammer is about to drop. I'll be leaving in a few hours to drive to Baltimore to check into the hotel for tomorrow's disaster (I am more worried about the essays than the multi-state portion).

    I'm not looking forward to going. The drive will be fine; it's just that once I leave for Balto, I can't pretend that this bar thing ain't gonna happen.

    And I know that everyone assumes they are going to fail (myself included). But I really didn't study enough (I know everyone says that too) -- for me, it was a combination of not having enough time because of work and not focusing when I did have time. In other words, I am going to fail because I'm lazy.

    Nothing I can do about it now. Que sera sera.

    So, please send happy wishes for super brainpower tomorrow and Wednesday. Unlike others, I will not be taking my computer with me, nor do I plan to blog until I get back.

    Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts... and lots of luck that I get questions on the essay section that I can handle!!!!!!!!!!!

    Another excrement story out of Australia

    In addition to whale vomit being worth more than its weight in gold, it seems that tiger crap may the latest, greatest in pesticide (to keep domestic animals from eating crops) and worth quite a bundle as the product and the market are developed.

    Talk about green manufacturing! Let's hear it for the Aussies who do know shit from shinola.

    Sunday, February 19, 2006

    A wedding dilemma

    So I got an invitation to the wedding of one of my college roommates the other day. Very exciting stuff because this is a woman who has had maybe two boyfriends her entire life (present fiance not included), and it's fairly clear to all who know her that she wants a family. She's a fantastic aunt, well-established in her career but kind of a social wallflower. I am thrilled for her that she's in love and getting married.

    Here's the conundrum for me: the invitation appears to be for me alone. No "and guest".

    Okay, I can deal with that. It's definitely the couple's prerogative to decide who they want to invite to share their special day, although I am a bit miffed that she never asked if I had a serious "other" in my life whom I'd like to bring. But on top of that, I just found out that my other college roommate (the three of us lived in an apartment) does not appear to have been invited at all. It may be true that her invitation may just be delayed -- but if college roommie #2 and her husband were not invited, then I will not know a soul at this wedding other than the bride and her family (and barely her family). In other words, I'll be completely alone.

    This may sound selfish, but I just don't know how much I want to go to an out-of-state wedding where I won't know a soul and can't bring anyone as a date. It's almost as bad as the high school friend of mine who asked me to run around and get her marriage license for her because she was out-of-state (but her parents were local -- go figure) and then invited me explicitly without a guest (meaning that she clarified that the invitation was without guest) to her wedding. At least there, I knew one or two other people, and she did eventually realize how tacky that was and extended the invitation to my guest.

    I don't want to be snotty about this, nor do I want to do anything to pressure college roommie to extend the invitation to a date. But I also don't want to travel from out-of-state for a wedding where I won't know anyone, can't bring a date and most likely won't have anyone to talk to during the reception.

    Am I completely outta line here? I know the wedding is all about her and not me, but I just don't know how much I'd enjoy myself alone...

    Do I need to just get over myself?

    Starting to feel physically ill

    About the bar. Ugh.

    And I can't seem to stay awake through my studying. Commercial paper is snoozeville. I don't know how I'm going to keep it up (my energy, that is) during the torture of the actual exam.


    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    Bla bla bla?

    UPDATE (2/22): Saw Will Korman (one of the lawyers in the below exchange) on CNN, so not only is this all over the internet and the papers, but it's on cable too. Unreal.

    More lawyers behaving badly... another email to go down in the annals of legal urban legends, which are actually true. Remember that email from the summer associate who bragged about how much he was goofing off (and he got an offer from the firm)? Or the summer who got drunk and jumped off of Chelsea Piers in NYC? Talk about earning your reputation early.

    Well, so does this woman. Apologies for the awful formatting. But scroll way, way down and then read from the bottom up. I've deleted most of the irrelevant forwarding addresses, names and messages. Suffice to say, however, this message has been widely read via email. And it’s all over the blogs (yes, I’m slow in the food chain) -- plus, there were at least three articles on it in Boston-area papers. Those of you with access to the The Boston Globe – that one is particularly… um, interesting? Yikes.

    Lesson in contracts to prep for the bar? How about the First Amendment (possible action in disclosure of private fact)? Or ever important lesson that you should never send an email that you don't want the entire world to read... especially as a lawyer!


    And, her father is a local attorney. How embarrassing.

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------

    In the criminal justice system, this girl is considered especially heinous...

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 9:41 AM
    Subject: Fwd: FW: Lawyers Behaving Badly

    Yes, I know this girl, a Suffolk Law 2004 graduate. Her e-mail messages truly convey her personality. I had two classes with her. In both, she would come to class late, sit in the front row eating and drinking (usually chips and a snapple), and never took notes. Great way to make yourself look good as a young attorney. Amazing how far this has reached since February 3.
    Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 16:47:53 -0500

    Start at the bottom and read up. Go Suffolk! Do any of you know this girl? She should teach a course on networking.


    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 11:16 AM
    Subject: FW: Lawyers Behaving Badly

    OMG. you MUST read from the bottom up. hilarious stuff. Watch out
    for this young gun!

    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 10:57 AM
    Subject: Lawyers Behaving Badly

    This just in from former colleagues at the AG's Office (Bloom and Breen). Will Korman is a rising star in the criminal defense world, and great guy to boot, who was a brand new ADA when I was doing a rotation in Roxbury District Court. He now has a burgeoning solo practice. Start from the bottom and start cringing. Josh

    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 10:05 AM
    Subject: FW: Thank you

    Take a look at what David just forwarded me..read from the bottom....

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 9:54 AM
    Subject: FW: Thank you

    Read from the bottom to the top.there was an intervening exchange of
    voice mails as well.as you can imagine, they were as unprofessional
    as her e-mails.

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 9:55 AM
    Subject: RE: Thank you

    You can e-mail this to whomever you want.

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 9:47 AM
    Subject: RE: Thank you

    OH MY GOD!

    Where to begin?

    First of all, how unprofessional, and secondly, it is "reap what you 'sow,'" now [sic] "sew". If she is going to use a cliche, couldn't she at least spell it right?

    And WTF is with her "bla bla bla"? Does she not read your e-mail about it being a small community?!

    So, finally, can I forward this along to some folks? I am sure they would love to see how the up-and-coming lawyers are comporting themselves!

    (Clearly she did not go to BU!!!) J

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 7:59 AM
    Subject: FW: Thank you

    Did I already forward this to you?

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:29 PM
    To: William A. Korman
    Subject: Re: Thank you

    bla bla bla

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: William A. Korman
    To: 'Dianna Abdala'
    Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:18 PM
    Subject: RE: Thank you

    Thank you for the refresher course on contracts. This is not a bar exam question. You need to realize that this is a very small legal community, especially the criminal defense bar. Do you really want to start pissing off more experienced lawyers at this early stage of your career?

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Dianna Abdala
    Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:01 PM
    To: William A. Korman
    Subject: Re: Thank you

    A real lawyer would have put the contract into writing and not exercised any such reliance until he did so. Again, thank you.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: William A. Korman
    To: 'Dianna Abdala'
    Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 12:15 PM
    Subject: RE: Thank you

    Dianna –

    Given that you had two interviews, were offered and accepted the job (indeed, you had a definite start date), I am surprised that you chose an e-mail and a 9:30 PM voicemail message to convey this information to me. It smacks of immaturity and is quite unprofessional. Indeed, I did rely upon your acceptance by ordering stationery and business cards with your name, reformatting a computer and setting up both internal and external e-mails for you here at the office. While I do not quarrel with your reasoning, I am extremely disappointed in the way this played out. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

    - Will Korman

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Dianna Abdala
    Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 9:23 PM
    To: William A. Korman
    Subject: Thank you

    Dear Attorney Korman,

    At this time, I am writing to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer. After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the pay you are offering would neither fulfill me nor support the lifestyle I am living in light of the work I would be doing for you. I have decided instead to work for myself, and reap 100% of the benefits that I sew.

    Thank you for the interviews.

    Dianna L. Abdala, Esq.

    So much for Brittany...

    There seems to be a trend towards the more traditional in naming kids born in the US these days, at least according to the Social Security Administration's database. Interesting. I wonder if the national political climate and this kind of trend have any relationship?


    The year I was born, a version of my name was #14. But my particular spelling? It peaked at 104 in 1966 and was 105 the year I was born but has since dropped out of the top 1000.

    And who da' thunk it but my brother, whose given name is Warren (but he goes by his middle name), beat me out at 24 in 1921 and still remains in the top 1000. My other brother's name is spelled in a whacky way, so he doesn't get much play in the SSA database.

    No wonder I could never get personalized license plates for my bicycle when I was a kid and we went to souvenir shops at the beach...

    (I also don't show up on the database of popular names by state. Oh well, the price of being unique!)

    Who knew?

    My high school has an entry in Wikipedia. What a surprise -- because, really, who cares about high schools?

    Not surprisingly, my undergrad university is there, as is the university where I did my masters and my law school.

    But high school? Who knew? I guess having Darren Star as an alum helps. (Kristin Davis went to my university, although not the same college... and that's it for my connections to Sex and the City/Beverly Hills 90210 connections.)

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    I figured that someone HAD to have done this

    Which Supreme Court Justice Are You?

    Unfortunately, it's old... from 2003. I was hoping there'd be an updated one with the recent changes in the court, but I guess the two newbies haven't served enough time on the bench to discern exactly what their rulings will be, although we can extrapolate from their years as circuit court judges.

    What result? I'm proud to say (drum roll please)...

    John Paul Stevens
    You're John Paul Stevens! You are the sole remaining true liberal on the court. You stand proudly for what you believe in, and you seem to refuse to slow down. You are strong when you should be weak, and by all accounts, you'll live to be 200, good job!

    Yay! No way Justice JPS failed his bar, right?

    But I wonder what it would have taken to be dubbed Justice Ginsberg?

    BUT then there's this quiz by SelectSmart which tells me that my ideologies match up as follows (again, this is old):
    #1 Breyer
    #2 Ginsburg
    #3 Souter
    #4 Stevens
    #5 O'Connor
    #6 Kennedy
    #7 Rehnquist
    #8 Scalia
    #9 Thomas

    I can absolutely live with that.

    Friends, Romans, countryfolk, anyone... lend me your jeers

    A request to anyone who makes a pit stop at my blog -- please send me links of news from the bizarre. Any truly weird but interesting stories or blog posts you've seen recently...? I function better when I'm multi-tasking, and I need to read something other than law. Just as a minor distraction.

    Anything, please!

    Southern manners maybe?

    Not being from Texas or the South, I don't know... but if anyone could tell me what possible reason Harry Whittington might have to apologize to Dick Cheney for the latter shooting the former, I'd be grateful because I just don't understand.

    Can someone give me directions please?

    I can't find the zone... ya' know the zone where you discover focus and concentration on a subject that makes you invincible against any measley little test. Can anyone help?

    Right before a major exam or finals, I always manage to find my "zone" where everything that previously confused me just clicks into place. Hidden meanings are revealed; the world order is restored, and it all just make sense and sinks into my head.

    I haven't found the zone yet for the bar. And it's three days out.

    Yes, I'm freaked.

    I think I have a decent sense of most of the subjects, but it's all a crap shoot whether what they want to test you on matches what you've studied. While I've been told that you don't need a deep understanding of the law to pass the bar, just a moderate facility with it, I've also been told that most people don't bomb the bar; they fail by ten points or less. Ugh.

    Here focus, focus, focus... here little focus. Come to mama!

    This just ain't no fun. But, one way or another, it's over on Wednesday at 4:00 or so.

    Whether I can imagine it now or not, there is life after the bar. Here are a bunch of things that I need and want to do because I've ignored them for the past several weeks or longer...

    In no particular order:
    * visit my mom and give her her birthday gifties
    * clean my apartment
    * exercise
    * write my holiday greetings (wishing everyone a happy holiday season through St. Patty's day?)
    * get rid of some of my law school crap
    * see a bunch of movies
    * color my roots -- I have some serious skunk action going on with my gray!
    * send out some resumes for a real job
    * go out for a nice dinner to celebrate graduating from law school
    * get outta town for the weekend for fun

    and so much more.

    Thinking about all the things I haven't been able to do is like being on a diet. It's no wonder I can't find my focus. Well, if nothing else, sheer fear will probably jump start it today.


    Thursday, February 16, 2006

    In an attempt to break through the funk

    I just took a walk around the block to clear my head and lungs. I hadn't been outside in at least a day (pathetic, eh?) despite the warm weather. So I put on my fleece and grabbed my iPod (because there are always evidence or criminal law lectures to listen to) and headed out. It turned out that the fleece was too heavy for the weather -- what a gloriously warm and wonderful day. So, I dropped off some dry cleaning, went to the co-op and bought yummy things and headed back just in time to catch the kids being excused from elementary school.

    The shrieking! That laughter! Such happy sounds.

    So now I'm back inside with my tonnage of bar prep books. All of the windows are open to air out the apartment, and I'm in a better mental state to tackle this once more and slay my inner demons (I had a bad, bad, bad dream about the bar this morning...).

    Life is good. I have coffee, chocolate, beautiful weather. If I fail the bar this time, I'll learn my lessons and take another shot at it in July. I guess that's the upside of not yet having a job, eh? The only thing on the line here is pride and not really anything else.

    Back to... eeney, meeny, miney mo... civ pro?

    Okay, now I'm really annoyed

    So, here I am trudging along like a good little law school grad doing more practice questions for the bar (yawn, boring stuff for all concerned), but here's the kicker. One of the questions in the Barbri materials provided an answer that was completely and diametrically opposed to the answer provided by PMBR. Same issue, same law, different answers.

    What's a poor lawyer wannabe to do?

    For me, just not worry about this one particular question. If I get it wrong on the bar, so be it.

    But, then to top it all off, I found an answer in the Barbri materials that is absolutely wrong. Sloppy interpretation of the facts on their part.

    So I figured that these two questions gave me license to quit this particular exercise right now. I'm annoyed and very frustrated and this isn't helping my confidence.

    Time to find the chocolate.

    I have to admit that I am amused by this...

    I am not a huge Conan O'Brien fan. I just don't think he's funny.

    But this, this I think is funny. I know it's old news. But his latest foray into politics, international relations and global concerns:

    Conan does Finland.

    Conan and Tarja Halonen, President of Finland (the first woman, I might add). Separated at birth?

    Conan, Conan... anything for a few ratings points? Publicity or political pandering -- which is worse?. (or me because maybe I'll pull some more global hits for my map with this post...?)

    I'll give him this: it is a good laugh. And good for both of them that they had the sense of humor to play it for all it was worth.

    Confidence waning...

    Did more questions today and scored abysmally poorly. Confidence-shakingly low. Ugh.

    The "good" news from all of this, however, is that I have cured my insomnia (which is one of the less pleasant things I took away with me from law school...). I figured out that if I try to listen, really pay attention, to audio lectures on contracts and other bar subjects, I am asleep instantly. Instantly!

    If only one could learn by osmosis. I'd be set.

    P.S. check out my dots... not only Hawai`i (the big island), but it looks like Oahu too!

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006


    1. Today is the first day that I've actually felt like I have a shot at passing the bar (T-one week, ugh!). I have a decent grip on much of the substantive law, and the areas where my knowledge is less firm are the ones less tested. Yes, I am hedging my bets here and taking a risk. Oh, please, oh please, MD bar folks, do NOT test us on leases under article 2a of the UCC! And I'd be very happy not to have to wax legal on secured transactions, closely held corporations or commercial paper.

    I did learn, however, that most people fail the bar because of their multi-state scores, and I think I'm pretty solid there. (Fingers crossed, knock on wood, salt over the left shoulder, and anything else...) I'm more worried about the essays. But, I've been told that the essays are much more like law school with the b.s. factor, so if I'm a good issue-spotter (which I am) and a good writer (which I think I am), then I should be okay... Fingers crossed some more -- and then back to the books!

    2. The major snowstorm of this past weekend has all but disappeared. In fact, on Sunday afternoon, the evidence of the weather had largely melted. Today there is almost nothing left but that icky, dirty ice and slush in the gutters -- and even not much of that! And, can you believe it? The temps are supposed to hit the 50s this week. The weather in DC is even more changeable than the politics.

    3. Speaking of politics, sorta...Dick Cheney shooting Harry Whittington? WTF? That poor man first had to suffer the indignities of the birdshot and now a heart attack?!?! How awful. Looks like Justice Scalia got off light by comparison.

    4. Kenji Yoshino is going to be at the Law Center today. I'm here, but I really feel like I can't take the time out to attend. I am sure it's going to be a quality discussion. If it were any other week! Gotta support the civil rights angle AND the Japanese American law prof thing... Bummer.

    5. South America was added to my list of continents that have hit my blog. Yay! I still need Africa and Australia to make the set complete (no hopes for Antarctica, I guess). What words should I gratuitiously spew to lure folks from those parts of the world to my corner of it? Hmmm... Canberra, Aswan, tanzanite, Durbin, Soweto, Nelson Mandela, Luxor, pyramids, boomerang, Heath Ledger? Thoughts?

    6. Happy Valentine's Day all! Warm wishes for red fuzzy things, chocolate and sweet smells.

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    Happy Birthday Mom!

    Today is my Mom's birthday. I sent her a card, words of appreciation and wished her a happy and warm celebration... and remained cloistered at the Law Center preparing for the "he-who-shall-not-be-named" impending fiasco.

    But, nevertheless, Happy Birthday Mom!

    Global pox

    That's what my map of hits on the lower left side looks like -- a global pox. Infectious? Spreading? Yup. But it's all good...

    It seems that I have been viewed (I won't presume that they actually read any content) by folks in at least seven countries. Considering how few links I have -- and how narrow the scope of my web activities since I added the map -- that's pretty good, fairly international I would say. Shout out to the folk in Hawai`i who viewed the other day -- hey, bruddah! Same to Indonesia and Canada and everyone else. Bienvenue to you!

    I know who is behind some of the US hits (Hi Denise, Scooter, kristine and my DC pals!!! -- whom I know as regular visitors because they leave comments; apologies to others who drop by but I don't yet know you), but most are probably one-shot drop-bys who find me for some trivial reason.

    I don't have the technology to know how these folks found me, whether through a link or a google search. I'm guessing that my post on women leaders brought some of the clicks from Canada, Indonesia and Europe... but I dunno.

    Can anyone suggest something I can add to this blog so that I can track links or search strings that list me? I know so nothing about this stuff beyond the fact that it can be done, so any suggestions would be really helpful. Thanks!

    Saturday, February 11, 2006


    Sorry so dull.

    I don't have much of a life these days. My posts clearly reflect that... but it will all be over, one way or another, soon enough.

    Um, what's new? It's snowing outside, and we're predicted to get inches and inches more by tomorrow evening (up to a foot?). That probably means more like a coupla' inches because the weatherfolks never underpredict and usually overpredict. However, just the mere sighting of snow will likely scare the heck outta most drivers here.

    Yup, we're wimps.

    And I know I'm bad at math, but help me with this logic. Today's expected accumulation: 4-6 inches. Tomorrow's expected snowfall: 1-3. And the total expected accumulation by the end of tomorrow? The weatherfolks predict 8-12 inches.

    How does 1-3 inches (today) plus an added 4-6 inches (tomorrow) add up to 8-12 inches (total)?

    Just mumbling to myself

    These days I'm walking around mumbling under my breath. Mostly it's incoherent ramblings such as:

    "Upp modd snuui" -or- "I ear".

    Sometimes the words make sense, but the context doesn't:

    "C is BJ" -or- "My legs" -or- "Ping".

    To the uninitiated...
    Upp modd snuui is the definition for a negotiatiable instrument in commercial paper: Unconditional Promise to Pay Money (of a fixed amount) to the Order or bearer on Demand or a Determinable date, Stating No Unauthorized Undertakings or Instructions.

    I ear is how to create/classify an agency relationship: Implied, Express, Apparent or by Ratification.

    C is BJ = the permissible grounds for objections for civil procedure (in Maryland) which may be brought up on the first response or later without losing them: failure to state a Claim, Immunity of government official, Subject matter jurisdiction, Bankruptcy, failure to Join a necessary party.

    My legs? The six types of claims which fall under the statute of frauds for contracts: agreements in anticipation of Marriage, contracts which cannot be completed within one Year, transfer of an interest in Land, Executor of an estate who promises to pay expenses out of personal pockets, Guarantee to pay the debt of another, Sale of goods in excess of $500.

    And lastly: Ping -- the mnemonic for the creation of easements. Prescription, Implication, Necessity, Grant.

    If you think this is boring... oh my, try studying for the bar. Creating the mnemonics is the fun part!

    Ahhh, another added benefit of studying for the bar -- not only do you think you're losing your mind, but so does everyone else!

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    More bar review

    ...this time, it's the multi-state stuff. And my head is going to explode imminently. We just took a practice exam -- all 6 hours of it -- and it is really exhausting. Really.

    But, the good news is that I scored a 102/200.

    Uh, that's good news?

    Yeah, and this has gotta be the only time in my life that 51% is good... but because of all my Pavlovian training throughout my academic life, I'm still disappointed somehow not to have done better. In reality, that score is passing for the multi-state, so I should just take it and run with it.


    Okay, I'll shut up.

    I haven't yet done any work WHATSOEVER on the essay part of the bar, so there's still extreme pressure.

    And it's building, building, building in my head...

    But at least I know I still have my head attached. If not for the headache, I might think I've lost it... all.

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Fascinating stuff

    Everything law school (sorta) -- fascinating, especially when you're being an idiot at night = not sleeping and not studying for the bar.


    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    A new meaning to disciplining lawyers

    This would be funny if it weren't so disturbing. It's another case we learned about in the professional responsibility review yesterday: the case of the spanked secretary. Yes, an attorney allegedly used (I say "alleged" because, really, can that be what's going on here?) corporal punishment to disclipine his secretary for typing mistakes.

    Really. Now I wanna know: how can anyone think that's okay? This case adds a layer of grease to the slimy reputation that some lawyers are cultivating for the profession in general.

    The attorney spanked his personal secretary and a client or two.

    Worse. This all took place in the mid-late 1980s.

    Even worse yet. The secretary claimed she thought the spankings helped her to learn not to make mistakes.

    Still yet. Instead of skulking off to a corner and trying to hide this horror, the attorney challenged in court the "disciplinary action" brought by the bar. I guess he didn't like being on the receiving end of the discipline. Then he claimed that the notoriety from the case had ruined his reputation already so that further discipline wasn't necessary.

    Oh, ick. Ick.

    An excerpt from the case:
    Goldsborough contends that whether Rule 8.4(d) is constitutional or not, his conduct is simply not proscribed by the Rule. The Comment to Rule 8.4 of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct, he notes, provides that “[a]lthough a lawyer is personally answerable to the entire criminal law, a lawyer should be professionally answerable only for offenses that indicate lack of those characteristics relevant to law practice.” (Goldsborough's emphasis). We can only surmise that Goldsborough suggests we should view the nonconsensual kissing of clients and spanking of clients and employees as not “relevant to law practice.” We do not agree. Goldsborough's actions, particularly with respect to his clients [names redacted] are directly relevant to law practice. We need not expound on the centrality of the attorney-client relationship to say that when an attorney compromises the attorney-client relationship as Goldsborough did in this case, such action is indeed “relevant to law practice.”
    He was indefinitely disbarred (although with the right of reapplication after two years), and it wasn't a unanimous decision (although from my brief read of the dissent, it seems to be based largely on procedural concerns).

    For those interested and with access to a legal database: Attorney Grievance Com'n of Maryland v. Goldsborough,624 A.2d 503 (1993).

    Lesson for future lawyers -- as if this weren't obvious enough already: don't spank your clients or administrative assistants.

    Dang it

    Don't you just hate when you remember a mnemonic but not what the heck it stands for?!?!?! I have a number of mnemonics for the bar, but remembering the mnemonics and not the underlying law is worthless. Last night, I couldn't for the life of me remember what this meant:

    L --> L
    E --> E

    Okay, simple enough to remember, but if you don't know what it applies to then it's useless, useless! Grrrr. All of last night, I was plagued by this to the point of extreme irritation and self-beration. Today, I figured it out. PHEW!

    It pertains to the difference between possession and custody for property crimes, which is a very fine distinction for control relative to taking things that don't belong to you. Dullsville, I know -- but very necessary for the bar.

    Low level employees (usually have authorization only for custody of goods of their employer) --> larceny
    Executive level employees (usually have authorization for possession of goods of their employer) --> embezzlement

    L --> L
    E --> E

    Simple enough... if you can remember it.


    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    His classes must be more interesting than the ones I took...

    This post is another reason why I like Eric Muller. He has a sense of humor. I wish some of my law profs had been as amusing and, well, cool.

    I wonder if any of my profs even know what a blog is?

    Actually, at least one of them maintained one and used a great deal technology in his teaching... but he was a visiting prof so he doesn't really count.

    Go MD! (part II)

    So, today in bar review we covered the MD rules for professional responsibility. Fairly straight-forward stuff, not too different from the DC rules, or most other states I would guess.

    There was, however, one newer rule which caught my attention -- and which probably isn't terribly widely adopted. I don't know the rule number, but here is the essence of it:

    An attorney can be disciplined for manifesting by words or conduct when acting in a professional capacity, bias or prejudice based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.

    Yay MD!

    UPDATE (2/9): a thought just occurred to me... I wonder if Ann Coulter is admitted to the MD bar? I doubt it since she went to U of Michigan Law School. But wouldn't it be fun if she were MD barred? Ooohhh...!

    Good, bad and ugly

    Good -- worked on some of the practice essays yesterday in bar review. They weren't bad, and I did pretty well considering my state of study. That boosted my confidence.

    Bad -- overheard others saying they're done and starting re-review. That killed my momentary confidence. I am embarrassed to say how little I've gotten through. I simply have not been organized enough.

    Ugly -- I am increasingly understanding just how screwed I am for this bar.

    Time to learn some magic tricks for pulling something outta nothing.

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    One last thing to procrastinate

    I got tagged by an email pyramid scheme that I actually forwarded. Usually when I get stupid messages and wishes (often from my mother), I read and delete them. If they are particularly annoying, I don't even read through them.

    My roommate from college sent me one that I decided to try. From what I've heard, this has been going around a while. Maybe I got it before but didn't read it. Either way, it will be interesting to see what I get back.

    These were the instructions:
    This is a recipe exchange chain... Please send a recipe to the person whose name is listed in the number 1 position below -- preferably something quick, easy, few ingredients (and bcc me on it, so I can get your recipe too!). Then copy this letter into a new email, move my name to the number 1 position, and put your name in the number 2 position. Only your name and mine should appear in this list when you send out your email. Send this to 10 friends and as your friends forward this around, you should get some interesting recipes back.

    If you cannot do this within 5 days, please let me know. You should receive at least 36 recipes (more if you send it to more friends). It is fun to see where these recipes come from. Seldom does anyone drop out because there's nothing at stake. The turn around is fast because only 2 names are on the list.

    Tag, you're it!
    Here is the recipe I forwarded:
    Sake miso and ginger marinade/glaze

    This works well as a marinade (2 to 6 hours in the fridge covered) for chicken, beef or fish (salmon or a white fish). Try it also with scallops, other seafood as a glaze.

    1/4 c. sake (Japanese rice wine, available in most grocery stores)
    1/4 c. mirin (Japanese cooking sake, also available in most large grocery stores or an Asian market)
    1/3 c. white miso (Japanese fermented bean paste, ditto above for availability)
    2 Tbls. sugar
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 Tbls. fresh grated ginger
    1/4 c. green onions, finely chopped

    1. Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a medium saucepan and reduce to a simmer.
    2. Add the miso paste (make sure it's the white paste, not the darker stuff or else it will be too salty) and the sugar, whisking constantly to dissolve.
    3. Remove from heat and add garlic, ginger and green onions to the mixture.
    4. Stir to combine. Let sit until room temperature before using.

    Yield: 1 cup marinade (enough for 4 chicken breasts or 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of chicken, beef or seafood).

    Use as glaze over chicken, etc. and bake or barbeque or marinade.
    So far, I've received one quiche recipe from a friend... and I'll bet that my mom forwards this!

    Internet hunting?

    Hunting on the internet? Ya' mean more than just googling your old boyfriend/girlfriend or roommate?

    Uh, no... this is a completely different animal.

    Internet hunting allows a computer user to aim and fire a weapon that is mounted on a mechanized tripod at a remote location, often a ranch where animals are penned and then shot at close range. Hunters sign-up online and pay to give it their best shot. Kinda like a video game but with deadly consequences.

    I had never heard of internet hunting before two minutes ago when a local channel broadcast a story about legislative efforts to prohibit it.

    There are a number of reasons why this -- internet hunting, that is -- bothers me... I understand that to many, hunting is a sport or even a necessity, but I don't think it should be reduced essentially to a video game. Gratuitous killing. If one is going to hunt, I think one should deal with all aspects of the experience, including the carcass. I worry about the regulation of this practice -- are there age, training, use restrictions? And if hunting is indeed a sport, how sporting is it when the animals don't even have a fair shot at escape? The bottom line seems to me that internet hunting is nothing more than entertainment, and if that's the case, why not make the entire experience virtual, including the animals?

    I guess this proves that the uses of the internet are only constrained by our collective imaginations -- because if the idea is there, it seems that the technology will soon follow.

    A good laugh

    Snagged from kristine, this sparked an eruption of laughter....

    un blague --


    An alien

    'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com


    Me. I'm buried in the bar review. Good news is that I took a practice Multistate Bar on Sunday under supposed exam conditions (well, a near approximation) -- despite not having yet really hit the books hard on all but one of the subjects -- and I got a score hovering around 60%.

    That may not sound good, but I was SO excited. Above 60% is my target for passing, and I achieved this despite my lack of substantive knowledge. The exam may have been easier than the real one, so no way I'll rest on my laurels, but... there's hope!

    And despite my panic about the bar, I didn't want to let too much time go by without noting the recent and huge losses to the civil rights and women's movements... the passing of Coretta Scott King last month (a pillar of strength in her own right and also because of the strength she gave her husband and family), playwright Wendy Wasserstein and pioneer of the feminist movement Betty Friedan.

    All women of voice -- some louder than others -- leadership, and power. Their work, their messages, their contributions have shaped the experience and opportunities of generations of women, including mine. Thank you.

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    Panic attacks

    Yes, panic is attacking me. I am suffering severe anxiety over the impending bar, which mostly likely will drop squarely on my head leaving me forever and permanently scarred from the experience.

    There is so much to know, most of which I am learning for the first time -- because I either didn't take the course during law school or because I didn't learn it to this level of detail. And the bar is so very different from law school. Analysis and essays I can do. Distinguishing between the common law rule in Shelley's case v. the contemporary rule? I never learned it in the first place. The rule has been mostly abolished! Who cares? Answer: those bastards who administer the Multistate Bar Examination. And that's just the start. Shall we discuss fee simple determinables and the right of reverter, as compared to a reversion, remainder, shifting executory interest or even a springing executory interest...? Noooooooooooooooooo!

    So basically, we're responsible for all the settled law in property, constitutional law, torts, criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, and contracts -- including the archaic and arcane.

    (breathe, breathe...)

    Yes, I am panicking. The amount to memorize is truly daunting. I feel like I'm treading water... no, not surface water under the "common enemy rule", the deep kind.


    I even changed my voice mail on my cell phone to tell people that I am studying for the bar, so leave a message and wishes of good luck (and don't expect to hear from me in a terribly timely manner)...

    Gak! Gak!!

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    What Ann Curry and I have in common

    Well, there isn't much, but Ann Curry and I have at least two things in common: we're both half Japanese and she has been growing out her hair to donate to Locks of Love on March first.

    I had noticed that she had been growing her hair out from the short cut she used to sport, and I thought the longer look, longer locks were quite attractive. But the tresses weren't without purpose. She explained that she promised her daughter that she'd grow the hair to make the donation, and the on-air chop on the Today Show is scheduled for next month.
    The image “http://www.super-hair.net/curry39.JPG” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
    Well, longer term readers of this blog will remember my ridiculous and protracted saga this past summer with getting a salon to donate a cut when I chopped my hair for Locks of Love. I finally got a fabulous cut donated by a fabulous salon.

    I never uploaded a picture of just how long it was. So I thought I would now. I donated 12 inches, but had something more like 15-18" cut. Even with that shearing, it was still below my shoulders then and is plenty long now.

    (hmmm, come to think of it, perhaps more than Ann Curry, in this picture I resemble Cousin It...?)


    House passes cuts to Medicaid, student loans. That hurts.

    Isn't the measure of a civil society how we take care of the least among us?


    My latest fixation

    Sudoku. *

    Which is weird because as any law student will tell you, math ain't our strong suit. But, sudoku isn't about math; it's about logic.

    And I am the type that tenaciously sinks her teeth into a problem until it's solved. This compulsion has made me late for more than one meeting, kept me up later than I should have been on more than one occasion and really annoyed/perplexed/amused numerous friends.

    But the solveability factor is what makes sudoku so great -- and addictive; unlike crossword puzzles which require knowledge of the obtuse, trivial, profane and profound, sudoku puzzles can always be solved. If you're tenacious enough. Which I am.

    *Which various sites unearthed by google tell me comes from "Suji wa dokushin ni kagiru" -- and even though I speak (actually, I eavesdrop) Japanese, I had to look that up too. It essentially means, I am told by the google gods, "the digits must remain single". From what I know about Japanese, I'm not sure that's an exact translation, but I can't do any better.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    This counts as studying for the bar, right?

    Another snag off of Scooter (you know what a sucker for these kinds of things I am, eh Scooter?). The Which Rule of Civil Procedure are You? quiz is a few years old, so others may have already discovered their true identity... but fun for me.
    YOU ARE RULE 20(a)!
    You are Rule 20, an important part of the Federal Rules' policy of permissive joinder. You are designed specifically to allow as many parties in an action as can be tried efficiently, and you'll include someone as long as there is some factual overlap between a claim involving them and the rest of the case at hand. You are popular, out-going, and are never far from friends. However, your overly gregarious nature and magnanimous approach do make things a bit crowded -- you're the reason that lawsuits are often cluttered with innumerable parties and even more numberous claims for relief. Still, despite the crowds that you attract, you can't argue with the efficiency of getting everything done at once!
    This counts as studying for the bar, right?

    BTW, for the record, I do have to object to the test's bias against people who aren't married...

    Okay, I'm over it now.

    No First Amendment Rights in the Capitol?

    Anti-war activist and mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan, was arrested yesterday in the Capitol for wearing words of protest on her t-shirt while attending the State of the Union. ARRESTED.

    Aren't these the very facts of Cohen v. California, the famous F-CK THE DRAFT, STOP THE WAR t-shirt case?

    Seriously, no free speech in the very halls of the seat of our democracy? Apparently there is a rule against protesting, but she didn't utter a word or do anything to disturb the peace.

    Here is what Cindy Sheehan had to say.

    Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida (who is, incidently the chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee), was asked to leave as well (her shirt was even less controversial, with the message "Support the Troops - Defending Our Freedom"), but she wasn't arrested for "unlawful" conduct.

    Apparently, the Capitol Police are asking the US Attorney to drop the charges, but there is an issue of personal dignity here.

    UPDATE (2/2): The Capitol Police did apologize and have the charges dropped as rumored yesterday. While an apology is something, perhaps a start, I think if I were either of the women ejected for the message on their attire, I would want more than that. Specialized training on how to handle such situations with sensitivity, perhaps. It's not like there was any chance that these women were armed or anything. Being dragged out of the Capitol by a police officer the way Sheehan was, creating a spectacle, is a personal indignity. There was no reason why the police could not have had more tact and less attack. And they all say the State of the Union Address is supposed to be a dignified occasion...

    My people

    I've found a community of people to whom I can relate... Hoarders.

    Now, I don't know that I'm such a packrat that I need psychological help, but it is bad enough that I don't invite others to my place anymore. I've been messy (not unclean, but rather cluttered) all my life but it got really bad in the past few years. Combination of too much to do, too little time, too small an apartment, "retail therapy" (especially online, which involves boxes, etc.) and just not caring enough to make eliminating the clutter a priority. Plus, I think I have something of a "depression era" mentality -- partially because of being raised to conserve resources and partially born out of living in Japan (where I developed the habit of saving for reuse because things were either unavailable, hard to get or expensive), among other reasons I'm sure. I save things "just in case" I'll need them later or because I want to recycle them or sell them on eBay or whatever. For the one thing I do reuse, I've probably held onto ten things I haven't yet reused. It's bad. I recognize that.

    After the bar (and here I am procrastinating again), cleaning, exercising and getting a handle on some of the things that are out of control in my life will be a priority. I will address these issues. Not just try, but do it.

    I may look like I've got it together to my friends, but if they saw my messy apartment, they'd know otherwise.

    C = JD

    This is the advice I was given when I started law school -- basically a reminder not to stress over my grades because the minimum GPA needed to graduate is a 2.0 = C. And I don't know of anyone who graduates with a C average.

    As of today, I am a law school grad. For me, the equation reads:
    JD = : )

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