C'est un blague.

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  • Tuesday, October 31, 2006


    You know what's scary? Finding a gray/white hair in your eyebrow!


    Happy Halloween!

    Not dressing up this year. Haven't in a while, but when I do/did, I usually want to do something topical -- ya' know, something like Congressional Pages or the cast of a new TV show (or even an old one)... whatever is in the news.

    I haven't seen any really good, truly inspired costumes this year. Anyone dressing up?

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    An open letter

    This is something that I can't really tell people to their faces, so I'll post it here...

    Dear friends, family and concerned colleagues --

    I know you are genuinely concerned about my well-being. I know that you only wish the best for me. In that spirit, I have a favor to ask: please stop asking me about my job search.

    Please rest very assured that if anything positive does happen that I'll be yelling it from the rooftops. You won't have to wait to ask me about it to know. I will broadcast my good fortune loudly.

    In the meantime, your inquiries of concern just remind me of my failures and force me to discuss a topic which only bruises my self-esteem and ego. Yes, I feel bad when you ask about my job situation, and I have nothing positive to say. Yes, I feel like a failure. Asking about it doesn't help, nor do the usual platitudes -- and boy does it end a conversation quickly. So do me a favor and don't ask.

    I know that you want to be supportive, so here's how to do it: just ask generally how things are going. That way I can decide whether or not I want to talk about it. If I don't broach the topic, then let it drop and figure there's nothing I want to share.

    And, BTW, this applies to any less than happy situation. Don't force me or anyone else to talk about something unfortunate by asking about it specifically (e.g. "Did you get your bar results?" -- another bad question). "How are things going?" lets us know that you are concerned and caring and that you have the sensitivity to allow us to avoid a conversation that we'd rather not have.

    Many thanks. And if anyone has the opportunity to speak with my mother, please do share with her this general etiquette tip.

    She says

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    What a drag!

    Dagnabbit, I missed it again this year... the annual DC Drag Race. It's a great time, and I am in awe, sheer awe of how fast they tear up the asphalt in those heels.
    A heel-uva good time.

    On a colleague's computer

    It cracks me up every time I look at it. Poor thing!

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Go NJ!

    The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled today that denying the legal benefits of marriage to same-sex couples violates the state constitution's equal-protection clause. This decision doesn't mandate same-sex marriage but does guarantee the rights afforded by marriage.

    It's a step in the right direction...

    And, I hope this decision doesn't suffer the same fate as the Boy Scouts ruling, but since the issue was decided based on the state constitution, it should not be taken up by the Supreme Court (at least, that's what I learned in law school/bar review!).

    Find the ruling here.

    Cool feature

    I sometimes use Opera for a browser, especially when some of the other ones aren't behaving.

    The other day, I discovered a cool feature on Opera. If you download the plug-in (or whatever you call it), you can access a reading feature.

    Whatcha do is highlight text on a page which has been opened using the Opera browser and right-click. Hit the "speak" item on the menu, make sure the volume is up on the computer and listen to it read the text.

    Very cool.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Now a break from our regularly scheduled rant

    and instead, some poochie blogging!

    So Gidget is settling in well enough. She still isn't 100% confident that we won't send her back to the shelter and goes absolutely bezerk everytime she sees us. Hopefully she'll calm down a notch.

    She now stays in her bed without trying to escape while we're eating, which gives us a welcome bit of peace from being climbed all over. And she's also okay with going to her crate to sleep at night.

    But just like any kid, she continues to test us and puts on her good manners only when she wants something. Otherwise, she can be unruly. And so far, she doesn't have a great track record of being civil to other pooches we encounter out on our walks.

    So definitely the girl needs some schooling on the finer points of not pulling on a leash, heeling and remembering that WE are in charge.

    But here she is learning about the camera and what exactly the flash is...


    He says/She says

    Rush Limbaugh on Michael J. Fox (re: his commercials supporting candidates who support stem cell research): "This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox," Limbaugh said. "Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting."

    She says on Rush Limbaugh: As a man who knows a thing or two about taking meds and mouthing off, maybe it's that expertise which prompted Rush to make such shameful comments...?

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    This just in...

    A new ABC poll is bad news for the Republicans in the upcoming elections. This excerpt speaks volumes:
    And in a sign that the ill will is aimed at the Republican leadership, 47 percent of registered voters say it would be a good thing if control of Congress switched to the Democrats, twice as many as say it'd be a bad thing. At this time in 1994, substantially less, 36 percent, said it'd be a good thing if the Republicans took control, as they did.
    T-two weeks, likely voters!

    Fantasy Congress?

    No, not new problems with former Rep. Foley or inexcuseable indiscretions and/or breaches of the public trust by others... it's a new online game along the lines of fantasy football or baseball. Read more about it here.

    Apparently the game has been around for a few years and has a bit of a cult following -- but I must admit that as geeky and generally interested in politics as I am, I don't see myself joining the pack. However, I can see how it could be a good civics learning tool, especially in high school or university. Check out the site here.

    Sorta kinda like a contemporary version of my beloved Schoolhouse Rock!?

    Sorta. Kinda.

    Well, throw me a shoehorn and call me "Imelda"

    But I am very excited to learn that I am getting this for a present. My love for shoes + my small apartment + my habit, developed while living in Japan, of removing my shoes at the door = shoes scattered everywhere.

    I've been looking for a cool shoe cabinet, and this is the first nice (read: not cheap particle board or shoddy construction) one I've found. I'd love, LOVE to find an authentic Japanese shoe cabinet, but fat chance... But this one, I like-ee, like-ee!

    In Japan, shoe cabinets are regularly used at home and at school. Shoes are not worn inside the home and there are lots of rules for where slippers can be worn. For example, the Japanese wear special bathroom slippers (only worn in the bathroom) and they take off their shoes when trying on clothes in dressing rooms... They also have "indoor" shoes (usually for offices, schools or the gymnasium but not homes) that are never worn outside, and the average person is putting on and taking off his/her shoes much more often there than here.

    Bottom line: you just don't wanna have any holes in your socks, ever.

    Everyone's a-twitter

    Because Barack Obama said yesterday that he is considering running for president in 2008.

    Well, he is definitely the rock star of the democratic party. And by announcing that he is thinking about it, he distracts the Hillary-haters.

    But is it really a good idea? To run in 2008, that is...?

    I don't think so. Here's why.

    Obama doesn't have enough national political elected experience. Having won only one state-wide election, he has no track record of electibility, despite his affable and appealing persona and resume. That means, no matter how smart he is, he hasn't been around the block yet. Can you say "green" or "inexperienced"? What does he know about foreign policy or national security? It may be a great deal because he's a smart guy, but his resume doesn't indicate that he has the exposure or experience to speak to those issues with authority. We saw what happened with John Edwards in 2004. Remember Edwards? He was THE "Mr. Charisma" before Obama got elected. He was the rock star, sorta. Well, look where he is now... in North Carolina. That isn't to say that his political career has been snuffed, but right now, it's definitely in a holding pattern.

    Also, I think that Obama owes it to his constituents to fulfill his promise to serve the full term to which he was elected. It's his first term in the Senate. In addition to being too green in national politics (see above about Edwards), Obama risks being labelled as too much of an opportunist and a promise-breaker if he runs in 2008. I think that Hillary gained a measure of respect by keeping her promise and being circumspect in the Senate (despite personal and political differences, Hillary is hugely respected by other Senators because of her deferential attitude, coming in and acting like a junior senator rather than a former First Lady). It showed that she was serious about being a senator and didn't see it as just a stepping stone back to the White House. Reasonable minds will differ on whether or not she views the Senate as the path to the White House, but not running in 04 demonstrated that she is more than an opportunist; she's at the very least a strategist. Obama should learn from that. He's got plenty of time to run; he should use that time to his advantage and gain the experience necessary to buttress the inevitable accusations of being "green". A little patience now could reap future benefits.

    So, I hope Obama doesn't run in 2008. That's not because I want to see Hillary become the dem nominee. I have my doubts about her electibility. The lady has very serious baggage.

    But if not Hillary or Obama, then who??? Any thoughts?

    Sunday, October 22, 2006

    Warning: Partisan rhetoric ahead -- proceed slowly

    Shocking... partisan rhetoric from me? So close to the elections? Well, I'm not producing it, just pushing it. Innocent, like your friendly neighborhood dope dealer.

    Oh wait, bad analogy. Think of me instead like the ice cream truck driver, spreading good humor (rim shot, please!).

    Anyway, I thought these bits were cute, especially since I'm a Mac user.

    and I almost missed this one:

    Saturday, October 21, 2006

    R-U rah rah! R-U rah, rah! Whooh-rah, whooh-rah, Rutgers rah!

    I can't believe the Rutgers football team, the Scarlet Knights, are undefeated this year. And ranked nationally?!?

    Wow. Whodathunkit?

    Not me, certainly not based on how the team (never) performed when I went to school on the banks of the Raritan. Kinda gives me some school spirit for my undergrad alma mater.

    Sure, they still have several tougher games still remaining on their schedule, but... whooh-rah!

    R-U, Rah, Rah;
    R-U, Rah, Rah,
    Whoo-Rah, Whoo-Rah;
    Rutgers Rah

    Up Stream Red Team
    Red Team Up Stream
    Rah, Rah, Rutgers Rah!

    I'm sure I still have a 20 year-old sweatshirt around here somewhere...

    Almost famous

    Today's WaPo Metro section featured an article on the shelter from which we adopted Gidget. Front and center was a picture of a pup that could have been her... but upon closer inspection, we realized it wasn't. She doesn't have white paws or a white chest. But the picture is exactly how we met her. And we wonder if the pooch is a relative since it seems to be the same Beagle/Doxie mix.

    Check out the story about the animal rescue. And even if you aren't so interested in the history and current work of this wonderful shelter -- which just underwent a massive multimillion dollar renovation -- check out the pictures of the animals (picture #2 is the one we thought was Gidget, at first). They will have you "awwwwww"ing. Guaranteed.

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    This made me laugh


    (Check out more stuff from the Capitol Steps here.)

    "It's my party, and I'll lie if I want to, lie if I want to..."

    You know your campaign is in trouble when your own party doesn't believe you and is calling for you to drop out of the race.

    Tan Nguyen, a Vietnamese American challenger to Loretta Sanchez (D) for the 47th District in California, is now under investigation for implementing dirty tactics to keep democrats away from the polls next month.

    His campaign sent this letter, which is in Spanish, to Latino voters telling them that if they are an immigrant, voting could result in jail time.

    Now, my Spanish isn't that good, so I'll have to rely on the reports on this one, but if the letter simply told them that immigrants (as opposed to non-citizens) can't vote , then it's voter intimidation -- and really dispicable considering that Nguyen himself is probably a refugee and definitely an immigrant himself.

    And here's the kicker:
    Nguyen, a Republican, said Thursday that a campaign worker helped put out the letter without his knowledge and that she had been fired. He called the letter, which targeted immigrant voters, "flawed and ill-conceived."

    But Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh didn't believe Nguyen's denial and continued to call for him to bow out of the race.

    "I've learned that Mr. Nguyen was involved in expediting that mailer," Baugh said. "I've had conversations with the attorney general and folks involved with the mail house. He called the mail house himself and told them to expedite the mailing."
    Props to the OC Republican Party Chair for trying to salvage some integrity in this race. But isn't Nguyen just a tool? What a stand-up kinda guy! Admitting that his campaign did it in the face of overwhelming evidence and then blaming some poor staffer... Doesn't he remember the old adage "the buck stops here"?

    Oh wait, that's right... a democrat said that.

    Thursday, October 19, 2006

    As amusing as it is annoying

    But fairly effective either way (got me to post it on my blog, after all).

    Nothing like a good pop culture reference to push a political agenda. Heh.

    Sign of the times?

    Moderates in Kansas Decide They're Not in GOP Anymore, reads the headline of the WaPo article.

    Hmmm... Maybe they read the book?

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Insult to injury

    Imagine losing your life partner and then your financial security -- not because of poor planning but because you were stripped of a pension plan due to homophobic nastiness. Tragedy and then travesty.

    File this one under WTF!?!

    What good does taking away pension benefits to a surviving dependent have -- for anyone? Seriously, what possible explanation is there for denying a vested benefit to a loved one? He earned it, so what right does Congress have to take it away? It is a vested benefit, dammit. Denying survivor benefits only undermines that spouse's financial security, as well as policy goals (society doesn't need another person in an unstable financial situation). The only possible reason to do this is to make life harder on same sex couples. And that's just wrong. Sounds like good grounds for a legal challenge to me.

    Those who say that defining "marriage" as only between a man and a woman is to protect "traditional" values -- not to hurt same sex couples -- is both willfully ignorant and mean.

    Yes, mean.

    A new sensory experience

    Doggy farts.

    Haven't been graced with this odor since I had a dog (in high school). Oh goodie. But my other dog only did it when he was nervous (which wasn't too often) and since he was a medium-large pooch, we didn't have him right in our faces. But this Gidget girl is such a cuddler that you can't miss them when she dishes them. And she does it in her sleep. Good thing she's not so nervous that she's constantly gassing us.

    But, on a related note, we did give her a bath last night and most of the stank is gone. Yay. She was very good about being bathed, too.

    One thing at a time; one stink at a time.

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    It's a girl!

    We've adopted a pooch into our home. And she's a girl after my own heart: highly motivated by food, always putting her body in your lap, likes to sleep, won't listen to anyone. Just like me.

    We picked her up on Sunday from the most beautiful rescue facility I've ever visited (and we've seen quite a few recently) -- the Washington Animal Rescue League. They take good care of their animals, and we were glad to make room for one more there.

    And, notice, just one pooch. The application for the other adoption didn't go through. I guess we're unfit. Too bad. Actually, I don't know what the deal was. That rescue never even bothered to respond to our email, so I am not impressed.

    Our new girl is an adult, about 5 years old. We think she's a Beagle/Daschaund mix with the doxie color and head but the Beagle body (longer legs and a bit broader). She weighs about 28 lbs., mostly because she's sturdy, not so tall. She's very, very active and needs some training on the leash as well as the crate. But she doesn't really bark and seems to be very trainable. And she loves to cuddle (high level of separation anxiety), so we smell very poochy now. I don't remember my other dog being smelly this way, but the shelter said that she had a skin irritation, so that may be why. Hopefully, it will go away with a few treatments 'cuz she really is stanky!

    But cute and sweet.

    So Ladies and Gents... introducing our super happy, lively new girl.
    Gidget! (formerly known as Katie)

    And yes, we may still adopt again in a few months to find her a pal to keep her company. Can you guess what we'll name pooch #2?

    (If you guessed "Moondoggy", you got it right! Groovy, dude!)

    Saturday, October 14, 2006

    To win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right.

    That's not me saying that; it's the The Johnson County (Kansas) Sun in their recent message from the chair.

    According to Chairman Steve Rose, "In the 56 years we have been publishing in Johnson County, this basically has been a Republican newspaper." But this year, they are endorsing more Democrats than ever before.

    Why, all the readers may ask...?

    Rose says, "The Republican Party has changed, and it has changed monumentally." And apparently he doesn't think those changes reflect the traditional Republican values of his home county.

    According to his column, "to win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right." Notice, it's not a shift to "more traditional family values"; it's a shift to the "right", more conservative and by definition, more exclusionary (okay, that's by my definition).

    But what does "to-the-right" mean according to Rose? Here I quote from the column...
    It means anti-public education, though claiming to support it.
    It means weak support of our universities, while praising them.
    It means anti-stem cell research.
    It means ridiculing global warming.
    It means gay bashing. Not so much gay marriage, but just bashing gays.
    It means immigrant bashing. I'm talking about the viciousness.
    It means putting religion in public schools. Not just prayer.
    It means mocking evolution and claiming it is not science.
    It means denigrating even abstinence-based sex education.
    Sounds like he wants to draw the clear distinction between the Republican right wing and Republican traditional values. So he and the paper are putting their money where their mouths are by endorsing centrist Dems. Because of their values.

    And I think that's a position of integrity and what elections are supposed to be all about -- supporting someone because of their views, not their labels.

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Glunk and bitey

    Gold star to pinkletterlaw for her guess on "glunk", my family's made-up word.

    "Glunk" is primarily a verb, but is also an onomatopoeia. It means to hit someone with a pillow, as in "MOM! He just glunked me in the face!" Wham, pillow smacks head.

    It's also the sound of the impact of a pillow on something, usually a sibling. ::glunk:: Pillow meets head.

    A very heavily used word in the She Says childhood household. Very useful.

    "Bitey", my friend's family's word, refers generally to the not-quite-yet-ripe flavor of fruit... ya' know, when it leaves a bit of an aftertaste in your mouth. Like it has a bit of a bite. Bitey. This one hasn't made it into my vernacular.

    Time flies

    when you're unemployed.

    But I'm still alive. Just lying low. I feel like the more excited I get about stuff and the more I talk about it, the less likely it will happen and the more disappointed I'll be. This has happened with a few things recently, so I decided to just shut my trap for a while.

    And not jinx things.


    I know I'm way late on this, but the picture in the post below is from Dubrovnik, Croatia. A beautiful city and world heritage site. It's been restored back to its former glory (from being shelled in the 1990s) and was a highlight of the trip. My mother and I visited there in 2004, started in Dubrovnik in the South and worked our way North to Zagreb. Mom is third generation Croatian, so it was pretty cool to visit places she had heard about and were referenced in her family history. She even made it to the area where my great grandparents left and met a few distant cousins. Fun!

    Now I've been to both my heritage homelands.

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    It's Wednesday... now where was I?


    In today's mail

    Nothing first class. But no evil envelopes either. Basically all junk mail.

    Remember when the mail was actually used for correspondence? For sending cards? For communication? Now it's all been replaced with e-mail, e-cards and even e-bills. I used to look forward to getting the mail. Now it's just a chore to sift through the dreck, shred what I need to shred and chuck the rest.

    Here's what my mailbox contained today. Look familiar?

    * cell phone service "special offer"
    * postcard from the Post Office about their services
    * credit card offer
    * another phone service offer, disguised as a "message from the president" (of that particular company)
    * ACLU "invitation" (probably a save-the-date for a fundraiser/gala dinner)
    * Smithsonian Institution holiday card offer
    * Interfaith Alliance solicitation
    * Washington Post offer
    * another credit card offer
    * catalog
    * bank statement -- the only "real" mail in the entire pile!

    I did get a brief respite from all the political ads and campaign solicitations (and I get tons of them!) -- but I'm sure that it's just a blip and I'll get more tomorrow or later this week.

    Nothing fun or interesting. Heck, none of it even survives the 1-second-glance rule (i.e., I flip through it and determine immediately that it should be tossed without opening -- don't even give it more than a one-second glance).

    But at least there were no bills.

    Does your mailbox look like this too? Or I am just on everyone's junk mail list?

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Made-up words

    Growing up, my brothers and I used words that we all understood -- but then learned as an adult that these words were actually not real, find-'em-in-the-dictionary words. Nor were they foreign words or even babytalk. They were simply made-up, words that we created because we didn't have the vocabulary we needed. But we all understood them.

    I found out when I was living in Japan that my roommate (who is American and grew up in Rochester, NY) also had a few made-up family words. We discovered this when she used one of them in a conversation and the other two of us (who shared a house together) just stared at her with a "Huh?" expression on our faces. We didn't understand her, and she didn't until just that moment know that the word she had used didn't actually exist. Her mother had made it up.

    So here are the two "words" made up by my family and my friend's mother. Can you guess what they mean?



    Best definition gets... everlasting fame and a gold star?

    The dems should franchise this ad

    Oh wait, they did!

    Looking around YouTube, that ad is being used against a bunch of Rs in California but also against Musgrave (CO), Tancredo (CO), Hastert (IL), Foxx (NC), Schmidt (OH)... and more soon, I'm sure.

    A toe-tapping tune. Makes a progressive girl smile!

    (but the lawyer in me makes me wonder if that "NBC" label on the mike in one of the shots is going to be a problem... hope they did their IP homework!)

    Now I ask you...

    Is it really all that wrong to have coffee and a candy bar for breakfast? It worked for me. My fave forms of caffeine all together in bundle of happy! But don't tell my mom!


    So I had the interview at the temp agency. I was a little off my game because I hadn't actually had my coffee then, but I don't think it mattered to them.

    It was interesting to learn a bit more about the temp game.

    First, I am registering with several firms, both large and small. Today was the small firm. They have a smaller registry of clients, but they also can make more personalized recommendations. I think they'll do a better job "selling" me with a personal touch because I'm not just another attorney in their database. Plus, two of the clients where they may try and place me were big (I mean huge) names, so they do get some good business.

    Also, they kept raving -- and I mean practically jumping up and down -- about my credentials. That really helped to prop me up after all the bad news I've had lately. My ego needed that. They were very excited about me, and I was introduced to all of the principals in the agency (all three of them) who just beamed at my resume. It was very reassuring to hear that I should be marketable.

    But all of the enthusiasm made me wonder what kind of attorneys they usually have coming in the door looking for work. Who is the legal temp workforce? So I asked about it. I asked the woman I'm working with if she would tell me if she thought my credentials weren't impressive. She said that she would; that they often get law school grads who have taken the bar many times but not yet passed or who don't have very good GPAs from so-so schools; and that they don't even call in to interview a significant number of applicants who send resumes.


    So, I hope this means that they'll be eager to get my credentials "on the street" as it were. The more people I have working on my behalf, touting my wonderful qualities and looking to get me a job, the better.

    And even better to get a paycheck. So we'll see.

    Another temp agency interview on Friday. This is a much larger agency, so it will make for an interesting comparison.

    Gotta pay the bills

    So it looks like it's temping for me. If I can get some assignments.

    I have interviews with two legal temp agencies this week, the first one this morning. Let's hope that something -- anything -- comes out of this. I need the cash.

    All of the job-hunting literature says that the resume opens the door, but the interview gets the job.

    I've had so many interviews, but no job. I've got to figure out what I'm doing wrong here... It's very demoralizing because I've never before had problems getting a job.

    Wish me luck one way or another!

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Getting our hopes up!

    We've put in an application to adopt two young adult beagles (mom and daughter) from a private rescue organization which saves pooches from shelters and from being put down. This organization has the philosophy that they'll keep the rescued dogs until they are adopted or forever, whichever comes first.

    Like any private adoption, the process is a bit pricier than from a municipal shelter, but the fees go towards the care of the dogs so we're totally okay with paying more.

    If you promise not to put in an application yourself, I'll share pix of the pooches. I hope that announcing our intentions doesn't jinx us!!! Fingers crossed that we're approved!

    Here they are. Too sweet, eh?

    Verdict #2 (for last week)

    The photo was taken at Pololu Valley, Hawai`i (the Big Island) -- the north shore. I was there in 2004. Basically, you drive to the end of this narrow road where there is parking for maybe half a dozen cars. From there, there is a steep footpath that takes you down, down, down to the beach below.

    The hike down looks a bit intimidating, but it's so worth it to see the black sand and the pristine views along the way.

    This was the first vacation I have ever taken by myself that involved driving around. Usually, I fly into one place and out of another and travel in between by plane, train and bus. I almost never do a circuit (in and out of the same airport) and rent a car. But basically, this is the only way to easily get around on the Big Island. It was a solitary, driving vacation, but it gave me lots of time to think. And even though it was not my typical vacation, I really enjoyed it.

    I mean, who wouldn't enjoy being in Hawai`i?

    One of the highlights of that particular trip was hiking up to see the lava floes at night. It was spectacular. And this suburban/city girl has never seen so many stars as were visible that night in the darkness and nature on Hawai`i. The memories of both are so vivid. Too bad I couldn't take pictures of either to share, though.

    So if you have the chance to get to Hawai`i, try to get beyond the touristy spots. Some truly spectacular vistas await.

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