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  • Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    She says... debunked

    Thanks to the faithful who had enough curiosity to guess at my Monday meme. I heart you all.

    To refresh everyones' memories, here are the statements I threw out there:
    1. I read every Harry Potter book as soon as it comes out.
    2. I got my ears pierced when I was 7, after begging my mother incessantly until she caved.
    3. I have climbed up the stairs and walked around the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
    4. I have met President Clinton but not President Bush.
    5. I didn't start drinking coffee until after college.
    And, as promised, here is the answer... the one that no one picked as the lie is truthfully the untruth.

    In other words, #1 is not true. I do read the Harry Potter books, but I always wait until the paperback edition comes out (they're hefty enough in paperback -- who can lug around the hardcovers?). And even then, I don't get to them right away. In fact, I still have #5 (HP and the Order of the Phoenix) and #6 (HP and the Half-Blood Prince) on my bookshelf, unfinished. I started #5 (good catch, Scooter) but I haven't yet finished it. Coincidentally (or not!), these were the two books that came out while I was in law school.

    Did putting the lie first in the line-up mess with everything you've been told about multiple-guess quizzies?

    #2 -- piercing my ears. I absolutely begged my mother to get my ears pierced, and she made me wait until I was 7. I think she was worried that I was too young, and kinda afraid herself. She didn't have pierced ears -- and it took until my father bought her diamond and emerald earrings (pierced, of course) for her to do it. I was a veteran by that time ... it was probably 4 or so years after I had mine done. I still have some of my first earrings. I was given some dangling ones early on after the piercing, but my mom didn't want me wearing dangling earrings (sports, etc.), so I never wore them and hence, never lost them. They feature Snoopy dressed in colonial garb to celebrate the bicentennial. Yup. 1976. Styling, eh?

    #3 -- Leaning Tower of Pisa. Sorry guys, but yes I have walked up the stairs and around the outside of the upper storeys of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And it was really scary because the stone was worn slick and smooth and that angle had me wondering if I would slide off the side. There weren't railings. I was hugging the wall of the Tower. Back flat against it. And I'm not afraid of heights. But that lean was mean. This was in 1989. I understand that the LToP closed to the public in 1990 for stabilization and re-opened in 2001. I hope there are railings now.

    #4 -- met the Prez. I had the opportunity to meet Prez. Clinton on several occasions in my former job. He even complimented me on a pin I was wearing once -- which was very nice but then made me immediately think "What was he doing looking at my chest?" (this was immediately after the Monica scandal...). But it was pretty cool to get a nice compliment from the most powerful man in the world. And, everything they say about Clinton's charisma is 1000% correct. The man is riveting. It's unbelievable. I have never met anyone who had magnetism anywhere approaching what Mr. Bill has. As for W., no, I have not had the opportunity to meet him. He must know I'm not a fan, which is why I don't get the invites or the holiday Christmas cards. If I did get the chance, though, yes, I would go for the photo-op with him (but I wouldn't put it on display).

    #5 -- coffee after college. I was a tea-drinker until I lived in Japan. In fact, I couldn't stand even the smell of coffee back then. Sounds backwards, doesn't it since Japan is a tea-drinking country? Well, when I lived in Japan, people would invite me to dinner and because I'm American, many assumed that I would want coffee. I guess Americans have a reputation as coffee-drinkers (and this was pre-Starbucks empire). Because coffee is ridiculously expensive in Japan (as is everything, but coffee especially so), I didn't want to offend anyone or be wasteful, so I drank it. With tons of sugar and milk. And I was hooked. My teeth rot just thinking about how sweet I used to take my coffee. Eeeuw. I was weaned off of the sugar about ten years ago, and now I take my java with milk only. But I still drink tea, too. I swing both ways on that.

    So there ya' have it, Ladies and Gents. Nothing too exciting. Just another glimpse into the chaos of She says.

    Thanks for tuning in!

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    Survey says...!

    From the National Journal:

    GALLUP: HRC May Not Be Liked The Most, But Can Lead The Best

    Conducted 1/25-28; surveyed 1008 adults; margin of error +/- 4% (release, 1/31). Subsample of 504 Dems/Dem leaners; margin of error +/- 5%. Party ID breakdown: 37%D, 32%R, 30%I. Tested: Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL), and ex-Sen. John Edwards (D-NC).

    Who ___? 
    (Dems/Dem leaners only) 
                                                Clinton Edwards Obama 
    Is the best public speaker                    41%     11%     44% 
    Is the most likeable                          31      24      41 
    Is the most qualified to be pres.             61      21      13 
    Has best chance of winning the Dem nod        58      22      16 
    Has best chance of beating the GOP nominee    44      27      21 
    Would run the most positive campaign          36      22      39 
    Would perform the best in debates             57      10      29 
    Has the highest ethical standards             28      24      39 
    Would work the best with Congress             46      25      25 
    Would do the most to unite the country        33      21      41 
    Would manage the gov't most effectively       53      21      21 
    Would be the best in a crisis                 54      20      20 
    Best understands the problems faced by 
    ordinary Americans                            36      20      40 
    Would be respected most by leaders of 
    other countries                               37      28      31 
    Is the strongest leader                       59      15      22 
    Who would do the best job on ___ as pres.? 
    (Dems and Dem leaners only) 
    Terr.                                         49%     21%     23% 
    Economy                                       57      19      19 
    Situation in Iraq                             47      19      26 
    Education                                     63      10      24 
    Health care                                   67      13      17 
    Moral values issues                           32      26      37 
    Taxes                                         44      23      27 
    Relations with other countries                45      19      33 
    Energy and the enviro                         52      21      21 
    Crime                                         42      21      28 

    Interesting, eh? If nothing else, it shows that someone believes Clinton, Edwards and Obama to be the front-runners for the Democratic nomination... or else that these are the only three with any kind of name-recognition. Poor Edwards... he doesn't even win the "best understands the problems faced by ordinary Americans" category -- and isn't that kinda the basis of his platform?

    I guess Yale beats Harvard Law.

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    Monday, January 29, 2007

    Monday meme... last chance

    I am pretty sure that I have more than 4 readers, so if anyone else wants a last crack at last Monday's meme before I post the answers, here is fair warning.

    Then again, maybe I only have 4 interested readers... either way, I'll post the answers in a day or so.


    Sad news

    Father Robert Drinan, Jesuit priest, former member of Congress, GULC law professor and human rights hero, passed away yesterday.

    I never took a class with him, but I had met him on several occasions -- because of my work and through school -- and I respected and admired him greatly. I first became aware of his name because he was appointed to The Commission on the Wartime Relocation of Civilians. Beyond this, Father Drinan's achievements were epic, an inspiration. At the same time, however, he was a very down to earth and approachable man -- and always willing to talk or lend himself to a worthy cause.
    Drinan recently told the Legal Times that he had given no thought to retirement, saying there was too much left to do: “Jesuits don’t ordinarily retire. You just do what you do.”

    In October, the Law Center honored him with the establishment of the Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Chair in Human Rights for his half century of involvement in the cause. Drinan was a founder of the Lawyers’ Alliance for Nuclear Arms Control and the National Interreligious Task Force on Soviet Jewry. He was also the vice chair of the National Advisory Council of the ACLU and a member of the Helsinki Watch Committee.

    He served on numerous committees devoted to the furtherance of human rights and was on the board of directors of the International League for Human Rights, Human Rights First, Bread for the World, the Council for a Livable World Educational Fund, Americans for Democratic Action, People for the American Way and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
    And the list goes on. And on. And on.

    We have lost a great man, and even though I barely knew him, I am very saddened that he is gone.

    P.S. The Washington Post has a nice piece about Father Drinan too.

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    Saturday, January 27, 2007

    Potentially big news

    In a little bit, SM and I are going to drop in at an open house in the neighborhood. No, it's not a friend inviting us over. Yes, it's a house for sale. Yes, we're thinking about buying a place together.

    We have pre-qualified for a mortgage, and tomorrow, an agent is coming to SM's place to talk to us about selling it before she takes us around to see other places that we have identified as "having potential".

    I'm looking forward to it, but I can't help feel a bit nervous, too.


    Friday, January 26, 2007

    I guess they taught him too well...

    The anti-trust lawsuit against BAR/BRI moves forward.

    Anthony Park, a Manhattan-based attorney admitted to practice in 2003, sued BAR/BRI in March 2005, accusing the company of unlawful tying, monopoly leveraging and unjust enrichment. U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III of the Southern District of New York has ruled the antitrust claims can proceed. Park v. Thomson Corp., No. 05 Civ. 2931 (Jan. 11).
    I think this the class action suit that I got a postcard about some time ago. Even if Park prevails in the suit, what kind of damage award would make sense? Free highlighters for every person who took a BAR/BRI class?

    What do you think Scooter?

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    Thursday, January 25, 2007


    Thank goodness for small favors. With this already crowded field (on both sides), I don't think Kerry would help the Dems. If I had my druthers, he would have never gotten the nomination in 04. I don't think he helped last go-round; I think he was the "anybody but Bush" candidate. I think he'd only be a distraction if he ran again. Alas.

    For 08, I actually really like Bill "the resume" Richardson. He brings a lot of experience to the table, but I wonder about his charisma? I've actually met him (once), and while he's quite personable, I don't know if he can sway a large crowd the way the Bill Clinton or Obama can. Of course, Hillary is damned smart, too, but she is an incredibly polarizing individual. People either like her or can't stand her. There are no swing voters to be convinced. And sadly, I really think this country is not ready to elect a woman.* Obama looks promising, but I wish he'd hold off a few years.

    And I want to see what happens with Romney, Guiliani and McCain (the self-declared "conservative Republican"...!).

    Any way you look at it, though, the next year is gonna be interesting.

    *SM has observed that women are more likely to say that this country's voting population is more prejudiced against a woman as president than a black man as president, but that blacks are more likely, in his experience, to believe that we would elect a woman before a black man. His point is basically, that our beliefs are colored (pardon the pun) by our personal histories and experiences -- so that I, as a woman, perceive the gender bias to be stronger than the race bias. And this makes logical sense, although I definitely do recognize that racial prejudice and stereotypes are a huge societal problem. But consider that it's still perfectly okay to make PMS jokes about a woman (to somehow "explain" her behavior), yet we would never consider it acceptable to use racial stereotypes. Women just get short shrift when it comes to leadership attributes. We aren't recognized as having them. You know... that old comparison that an aggressive, demanding woman is a "shrill bitch" but the same qualities in a man are seen as positive. Too many people believe that women think with their emotions (exclusively) while men think with their brains (well, Bill Clinton proved that's not true). And that's part of the reason why I think we're still not there. Sad, sad, sad.

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    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    Wahoo, that's two!

    This morning -- really early! -- I got a call from an agency asking me to come in for an interview. I told them that while the job interested me immensely, I had already accepted another position. Thank you, but no thank you.

    That's the second interview I've declined in the last month since starting this job.

    I guess it's really true that it's easier to get a job when you already have one! To be honest, though, the first job interview I had to decline -- it would have been really interesting, but I think it would have been heavy on the policy and politics, plus there was a residency requirement (and that would have been quite restrictive). The second job would have even more interesting because I would have been exposed to a wider variety of legal issues. But then again, one of the things that I like about my current job is that the work is intensely focused on the law that I want to develop expertise in and practice.

    So, all is good. It's nice that my resume got the attention, though.

    (In the interests of complete disclosure, however, I also got a rejection letter from the other job that I really wanted and interviewed for in late November. It's much easier to get a rejection letter after a long day of work than after a long day of nothing -- and when it's the only thing that happens to you all day.)


    Monday, January 22, 2007

    Yes, please.

    But I'm not holding my breath.

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    Office politics...

    So today is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, in recognition of which, many bloggers are blogging for choice, but it is also being commemorated with the "Right to Life" march on the Mall.

    Another attorney in my office just mentioned the march to me -- since it's going on now -- and that led to a quick office discussion about the march. A few folks put on coats and went out. But I don't know if they were just getting their lunches or joining the crowd to march. I found myself quite perturbed that I couldn't tell which side of the debate they are on. Eeek. I guess I'm just too used to hanging with like-minded folks (coming from a civil rights career).

    Don't get me wrong, I fully believe that everyone is free to their own views and opinions. Perhaps it's best that I don't know which side of the debate they support? This is, after all, a work environment, and I think that discussion would be inappropriate here.

    But, if anyone reading this hasn't figured it out, I am most definitely a pro-choice kinda gal. I believe that all people have a right to self-determination, autonomy, privacy and control over their bodies. If a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy, then I trust that she has made the right decision for herself. Ditto if she decides to have the baby or give it up for adoption. I would not want her to impose her personal decision on another woman, and I do not trust the government to make that decision for her.

    As an aside, I'd like to ask some of the hardliners -- how can you be "pro-life" and also support the death penalty? Why are you against big government when it comes to taxes and regulatory measures but you'll have the government interfere with such a personal choice as this? Why is it that the states with the most stringent controls over access to abortions provide so little welfare support for single mothers?

    So, there you have it.

    BTW, I once saw a sign being carried by a man at a DC rally (back when I was in college) which read:
    Men who don't support a woman's right to choose should f*ck themselves!

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    Another Monday meme

    This one snagged from Blonde Justice... 4 Things You Don't Know About Me.

    Here I post 5 things that you don't know about me -- but only 4 are true, and 1 is false. You guess which is false in the comments below. Ladies and gents, the factoids about She Says:

    1. I read every Harry Potter book as soon as it comes out.
    2. I got my ears pierced when I was 7, after begging my mother incessantly until she caved.
    3. I have climbed up the stairs and walked around the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
    4. I have met President Clinton but not President Bush.
    5. I didn't start drinking coffee until after college.

    If you choose to do the same on your blog, let me know and I will do my best to guess what isn't true about you.

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    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    Good news and bad news

    The bad news is that both of the teams I was rooting for in the playoffs lost. Not a surprise -- I kinda figured they would -- although there was a glimmer of hope for the Patriots. That game went back and forth and back again until the last minutes of the game and was definitely tense to watch for SM. Too bad, it was in those last minutes of the game that they gave the lead away to the Colts and lost in spectacular style with an interception. Oh well.

    The good news is that history is in making. Not only will an African American coach go to the Super Bowl, but an African American coach will win it too. Lovie Smith is the first African American coach to make it to the Super Bowl (the Bears having beat the Saints in the early game), but with the Colts' victory, Tony Dungy will join him on the other sideline.

    And I think that's pretty cool.

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    Banners at football games

    So I'm watching the Saints-Bears game right now. (BTW, the Saints was ROBBED on that fumble call; his knee was clearly down.) I just saw a very amusing sign, which read:
    Ditka is a GOD, not a Saint
    To which I had to laugh because Mike Ditka coached both teams but, despite that, he will always be considered da' man for da' Bears. Clearly.

    But I have to say, the best sign I ever saw was at a football game between the Vikings and the Seahawks (in the 1990s). It read:
    Show us your Moon and we'll show you our Johnson!
    What a great sign. Clearly a Vikings fan.

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    Yay, snow!

    Gently falling and actually sticking to the ground. That's a first this winter.

    It cheers me. I love a view of a snow scene, from the warmth of inside. So pretty.

    Sadly, by tomorrow it will have all melted.


    Pats v. Colts

    As much as I would like the Pats to win -- after all SM is a huge, huge fan -- I think this is the year that Peyton prevails.

    The Pats aren't dominating this year the way they have in the past, and Manning has to prove himself -- to himself and the fans who pay that mighty paycheck -- against his perennial nemesis, the Patriots defense.

    So I think this is the year he gets past the Pats. I hope I'm wrong, but I just have a feeling...

    P.S. And I have to root for the Saints because of their severe underdog status. Underdog because of what happened to the city and not having a home dome for a season; underdog because their coach is a rookie; underdog because damn, they're a team from the South playing outside in Chicago in January. Despite this, Geaux Saints!


    Scooter's challenge

    Scooter wrote this meme just for me and has challenged me with a the lion-hearted taunt of "I'll do it if you do it... you go first! "

    Brave, Scooter. Brave man.

    Especially since this is a meme about materialism.

    Okay, just what are you trying to say about me? Hmmm? Hmmm? But I have to admit, subject aside, it's kinda fun to be targeted with a meme... and also that by question #4, I was cracking up.

    So here goes. I'm not the kinda girl to turn down a challenge.

    Scooter's Materialism meme

    1.) What's your most cherished item, the one item you would save if you couldn't save anything else (and not a cat or dog, a thing)?
    It may be tough to believe, but I'm not actually all that materialistic in terms of needing to have designer this and that or the latest, greatest whatever. But I do like nice things (I just don't need them per se), and I am sentimental about a number of things I do own. So what's the answer here? Probably the ring my grandmother (now deceased) gave me. It's our birthstone, aquamarine, and according to her, the most precious thing she ever owned. My grandmother didn't have more than one or two luxury items during her life, and the ring comes with a very interesting history. So it's a family heirloom. Probably not worth all that much. Except to me.

    2.) Only for cat and dog owners - save the item in #1, or save the cat/dog?
    The dog, of course. And hope that the ring survived the fire!

    3.) Can I buy #1 for $10? $100? $1000? $10,000? $100,000? $1,000,000? What's your lowest price? Does it have a price?
    Nah. Not your birthstone anyway. If I really needed the cash, maybe for a cool million. Maybe.

    4.) If it doesn't have a price, have you sought therapy about your sentimental attachment to materialistic goods? And on a related note, do you hold your own garage sales?
    LMAO. No to the therapy (unless PTW has an opening?). And I don't have a garage, so no on that point too. Although I have sold things on eBay.

    5.) Favorite precious substance?
    What do you mean by "precious substance"? Coffee? That's mighty precious first thing in the morning. I don't have favorite anythings, so I can't really answer this question. Sorry.

    6.) Every had an item blessed that really shouldn't have been blessed?
    Um, me? At my baptism?

    7.) What personal item has surprised you with its durability?
    Is there innuendo in this question, Mr. Scooter? Hmmm... Well, I do have a clock radio that I received in the 6th grade, and it's still going strong.

    8.) What's the most expensive thing you've ever purchased (other than primary residence and vehicle)?
    My law school education -- which cost a whole lot more than my car and my apartment together. Other than education? I think the most I've ever spent on a single item is about $2K on various laptops over the years. After that, the answer would probably be plane tickets to/from Asia (when I lived in Japan, travelled to Hong Kong, Vietnam, etc.) or health insurance. Surprised?

    9.) What do you feel is the appropriate % of your income to give to charity? Do you donate something other than money (and what)?
    I don't donate based on % calculations (no tithing here); I donate based on impulse. Recently, however, I have myself have been in the category of needing charity. But when I donate, I do give money as well as my time and effort.

    10.) Do you shop at garage sales? How often (and how much do you buy)?
    Yes, especially if you consider eBay the world's largest flea market. I don't make it a plan to attend garage sales, and when I do, it's because I saw a sign and followed an impulse. I rarely buy much though, unless I need something. For example, when I moved back from Japan, I hit garage sales to buy stuff I needed for my apartment. Since then, not-so-much.

    11.) If you said yes in #10, what's the best thing you ever bought at a garage sale?
    Best... hmmm. I don't do superlatives, so I don't know what the best thing would be. I have gotten some great deals though. I bought a Coach leather purse for $4 at a garage sale. I was pretty happy about that. I've bought lots of cool things on eBay, too.

    12.) What item do you constantly find yourself upgrading?
    Nothing. Seriously. Nothing. My car is a 1988. I got my television in 1997, used (a hand-me-some from someone else). I only buy a new computer when my old one dies. I may upgrade my iPod with a video model, but I haven't done it.

    13.) Day to yourself. Shopping or chores?
    Shopping. I can't stand chores.

    14.) Day to yourself. Shopping or reading?
    Oooh, that's hard. Flip a coin. The answer depends on my mood and the weather outside. But I'm not a big fan of malls, so I avoid them when I think they'll be crowded.

    15.) Day to yourself. Shopping or some sort of event (movie, play, sports event).
    The event.

    16.) Let's press the issue. Shopping or sex?
    C'mon Scooter, do you really think I'm this much of a material girl? Sheesh. Sex. On the other hand, the shopping would last longer. And it might fire more endorphins.

    17.) Your boss gives you an award. Do you want the public acknowledgement, or a private $25 gift certificate.
    Public acknowledgment. But if it's $50, I'd take that instead.

    18.) If you could only carry an armload (let's say one to five) things out of your burning abode, not including the cherished item in #1, what would they be?
    My jewelry box (other sentimental pieces there), maybe one or two of my masks, my laptop, some photos.

    19.) What does another friend have that you want?
    I envy anyone that has a house. I want more living space.

    20.) Every get nicked (arrested, detained) or confronted for taking something you wanted?
    Nope. Unless you count the time I took some change from my mother's cache of cash. But it was something on the order of 50 cents (which could actually buy something when I was a kid) or taking candy from the pantry. But not stealing from a store or anything.

    21.) Do you get a magazine that's primarily devoted to acquisition or reviews of material goods? Which one?

    22.) Ever take a job just so you could get a discount on something?

    23.) Where do you buy most of your stuff? And why there?
    Online. Ebay. I am the ultimate bargain shopper. I like things cheap. It's like that old saying... that a woman will spend $5 on something worth $20, even if she doesn't need it, but a man will spend $20 on something worth $5 if he does. For me, it's the thrill of the hunt and kill to find a good bargain and buy it. A good purchase is like a prize, an accomplishment of some sort. That's why when women come home after shopping, they have to take out what they've bought and inspect it and show it to you. See the game we've bagged? Men just tend to throw the purchase in the corner until they need it. It's just an economic transaction for them; no hunt/kill.

    24.) Where would you buy most of your stuff, if you could? Why there?
    Online. Because I don't like dealing with parking at the malls. Because it's convenient to have things delivered directly to me.

    25.) What do you consistently buy for yourself that you really (really) don't need?
    Shoes on sale. Campaign pins for Asian American politicians.

    26.) Did you meet any of your friends through a shared appreciation of certain materialistic goods? Did the friendship last?
    Nope. See? I'm not really addicted to acquisition. I do admit to being a bargain-shopper however (see #23). Heck, that's why I do eBay... it's a bad combination which preys on my weaknesses: impulse purchasing, bargain prices and competitive bidding. I. must. win. this. auction! (only to later think, "WTF was I thinking?") But I digress... this question sounds like it's written for you, Scooter and that ever effervescent chase of the hops...

    TAG, Scooter -- you're it! But I'm adding two questions: What do you collect? What one thing do you have that will most likely make it on some future version of Antiques Roadshow because it's rare, unusual, collectible, etc.?

    And since I've been really meme-y lately, I won't tag anyone else, but everyone else should feel free to wax eloquent on their materialism if they've got a hankerin'.

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    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Some observations made on the way to work this morning...

  • There's always a line practically out the door from Starbucks from about 8:45 to 9:30 but no one at Cosi, despite their being about a block or so apart. Location, location, location!
  • I saw a woman with hair such a bright red that I thought she was wearing a knit hat. She wasn't. It was just a fancy dye and do.

  • Cosi is now offering a 5-cheese melt. More like a cholesterol sandwich. But it does look yummy!
  • Most people's expressions this morning reflected the weather: cold, gray and grim. I guess it's hard to be really cheerful when you're shivering.

    And I am definitely getting a cold. I can feel it in the back of my throat. Oh yay.

  • Labels:

    I think I'm coming down with a cold

    So SM suggested that I stay home today to fight it off.

    I told him, "I only have 4 hours of sick leave accrued."

    Oh well.

    Actually, I think I have 8 hours accrued (4 per pay period). Tuesday was the 30-day mark of my employment. But since I started mid-pay period, I didn't accrue anything for the first week.

    I can't wait to go to sleep tonight.


    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Yay me!

    I actually gave real legal advice in a real meeting today -- and it was the right advice, meaning I actually knew the law.


    It's a really great to enjoy this presumption of competence. I'm not used to it, but I like-y, like-y, like-y it!


    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    A record.

    For most folks, this is nothing. For me, it's huge.

    Yes, ladies and gents, my current phone has lasted more than a year (knock on wood). I got it around Christmas 2005, and it's still working (although there seem to be issues with the volume, but I wonder if that may just be my ears...?).

    Past history dictates that I will drop my phone multiple times or bust the hinge within six months of getting it. In fact, I have never had an "issue-free" phone for longer than about 9 months. But this time I got smart... I got a phone that isn't a clamshell and that you can dial without opening it. This has spared the wear and tear (and my usual problem with the hinge).

    And I haven't yet dropped it (knock loudly on wood).


    It's a small thing, but it's a big deal. For me.



    Winter has finally arrived and settled in DC, leaving us to hunker down and shiver after all of the spring-like weather. The past few days have started out -- and ended -- below freezing. Now my body has to adjust to the cold temperatures; usually, this acclimatization takes place in, oh, October or November, not mid-January.

    But at least this is a return to normal for this area, unlike the craziness that is hitting Texas and parts of the South.

    Mother Nature sure is cranky. She must be annoyed with us.


    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Living in Japan

    A reader asked me in an email to talk about my experience living in Japan -- which I am more than happy to do.

    I just haven't done it yet.

    So I wanted to let that reader know that I will definitely write a post or a few about it. And if you have any specific questions, feel free to drop me another email or leave a comment.


    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Good eatin' meme

    Scooter has accused me of being really meme-y lately, and he's right. I've posted a bunch. Maybe it's because I can't (and won't) post anything about work and my life otherwise is pretty static? Dunno. But here's another one to celebrate restaurant week and the fact that I love food and am a big eater.

    1. If you were stuck on an island and could only eat one cuisine (e.g., French, Italian, etc.) for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?
    This is very difficult for me because I love, love, love food, and different cuisines are literally the spice of life. I think I might have to choose Indian food or Middle Eastern/Israeli food. Both have very good options for people like me who don't eat mammals and they have a variety of flavors. Or maybe Hawaiian food... hmmm, hard choices! As much as I love Japanese food, I wouldn't choose it because the cuisine is so rice-based and lacking in spiciness. Indian, yummmmmm, Indian...

    2. What is the most unusual food you've eaten?
    Uni (sea anemone) or tongue or octopus? I've never had eyeballs or chicken feet or blowfish or Rocky Mountain oysters... um, no thanks.

    3. What is the most unusual food you've eaten and liked?
    Tongue. This was before I cut the mammals out of my menu. It was very good. I didn't and don't like uni.

    4. What foods will you avoid eating (either because of a dietary choice or allergies or just plain don't like)?
    Mammals. Any mammals. I don't eat 'em. I also don't drink because I'm allergic to alcohol (missing the enzyme to process it -- that's why many Asians turn bright red when they drink).

    5. Do you cook (and by that, I mean prepare a meal that you'd serve to friends)?
    Yes. I can pull together a pretty decent, but not necessarily top chef-worthy, meal that wouldn't be an embarrassment to serve. I'm also pretty good at inventing recipes -- ya' know, throwing together ingredients you have on hand to come up with something yummy? I have a decent sense for what tastes good together and how to prepare it.

    6. If yes, what is your favorite dish to prepare to impress someone?
    Japanese food. Not that it's hard to make (it's really not -- just time-consuming), but most folks don't know how to make it so people are usually impressed.

    7. When you go to a restaurant, what's your ordering strategy/preference?
    I tend to order things which I would never make at home, which gives me a pretty wide range of potentials, even when you eliminate the mammal dishes. Anything that sounds like it uses ingredients that I wouldn't buy or sounds too complex for me to pull together would be a top choice for me to get when eating out.

    8. Have you ever returned a dish or wine to the kitchen at a restaurant? Why?
    No. I have never been served a meal that was that bad that I would return it and risk the wrath of the kitchen. But there have been many disappointments along the way.

    9. How many cookbooks do you own?
    Gosh, I don't know. A lot. I like buying them and looking through them, but most of them collect dust. I probably have a good core of 6 books that I actually use fairly regularly.

    10. What is one food that you wouldn't want to live without?
    Um, all of it? That list is way, way too long. Lox, creamed cheese and bagels on a weekend morning. Chocolate anytime. Seafood.

    Okay, this is a short one because I want people to add to it with their own questions. I know that Kristine is a foodie, so I'll tag her and zuska (to send it on to her beloved).

    And now, I've worked up a very good growling stomach, so off to find something to chow on...

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    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Restaurant week in DC

    Every year, DC hosts two restaurant weeks -- one in the beginning of the year (now) and one over the summer. Every year, I use the occasion to try out new places. For those of you who don't have a restaurant week or have never been, it's a marketing tool to get folks out to try new places and spend some money. The way it works is you get 3 courses for a fixed price -- $20.07 (for lunch) or $30.07 (for dinner). Usually you get to choose among several different selections for each course.

    This go-round, I made it to four different restaurants. Here are my quick reviews.

    21P at, you guessed it, 21st and P. They serve a fusion Southern cuisine, and it was fantastic! Definitely open that belt a notch. I ate there tonight, and I have literally already made another reservation for next Sunday because they are generously continuing restaurant week through the end of the month. SM had the crabcake appetizer, blackened prime rib (which cost an extra $10), and the white chocolate bread pudding for dessert. I nabbed a bit of the crabcake, and it was quite yummy. His steak was a very large slab o' meat with a nice crawfish/shrimp sauce and dirty mashed potatoes on the side. It looked great. I ordered the Curry Crusted Scallops (with coconut grits & pineapple chutney) to start and my entree was Seared Ahi Loin (with wasabi aioli, seasame-scallion sticky sushi rice & Asian herb salad). I also had the bread pudding for dessert. My taste buds did a happy dance all the way through dinner and dessert -- it was THAT good. And like I said, we've already got a reservation to go back next week. AWESOME. I definitely recommend this.

    The other place we ate dinner this week (er, yesterday) was Restaurant Kolumbia on K at 18th. I thought the food here was quite nice, and the restaurant week menu had a good selection, including a veal dish. I ate their soup du jour, the wild mushroom lasagna and homemade ice cream. And their bread -- very yummy bread. Others had the meat, and it was definitely a tasty menu. I don't know if I would make quite the effort to go back there because it wasn't such a "stand out" that I would forego other DC venues for this menu... but it was quite nice. It's worth a visit, especially during restaurant week.

    For lunch, we had two reservations this past week. The first was The Prime Rib on K at 20th. What can I say? The place is a cut above in pretty much every way. Very classy. And they most definitely did not skimp on their menu for restaurant week. End even though I am not a mammal-eater, I did enjoy my chicken dish (as well as the tomato basil bisque and the key lime pie). And I have to say that my lunch companions got some nice cuts of meat and seemed to enjoy them very much. This is one of the restaurants in DC that you must try to get into during restaurant week. I don't think anyone would be disappointed. The set the standard in DC for the lobbying crowd.

    Last and definitely least here is our other attempt at lunch, Poste Moderne Brasserie at E and 8th. Don't waste your time with this place. The setting is lovely, but the menu for restaurant week was appalling. I was disgusted. In fact, we didn't stay to eat. We walked out because this place clearly did the "bait and switch". Their restaurant week lunch menu was so pathetic that it wasn't worth the $20.07 (literally) -- and with such a sad selection, many might be inclined to order off of the regular menu, but not us. We left. With a bad taste in our mouths. Here is what we had to choose from for our three courses for restaurant week:
    course 1: mimosa or coffee or juice or some other luncheon-y alcoholic drink

    course 2: fruit plate (no other options)

    course 3: cheese/bacon quiche (although I'm sure it had a very fancy name); a cheese burger (ditto the fancy name) or French toast
    Those were the three courses that we'd get for our $20.07.

    We looked up the prices of those selections on the menu, and they basically added up to $20... so what's the point? And also, I don't drink or eat mammals, so my choices would have been coffee (or juice), a pathetic fruit plate and French toast. For $20.07! I don't think so. What a waste of our time and anticipation. This restaurant has ensured that neither SM nor I will ever, ever go there. And we'll be sure to tell everyone of this ridiculousness. Ugh. Booo, Poste, booo to you!

    We left and went to the District Chophouse instead and ate extremely well for the same $20 each. SM particularly likes this place because they have a good selection of beer -- including a beer tasting menu where you can get tastes of six different selections.


    So we did our best to participate well in restaurant week this time. 21P, The Prime Rib and Restaurant Kolumbia are good bets for delivering a tasty meal. Skip Poste -- based on their restaurant week menu, the management there values their profit margin more than developing a clientele.


    And I thought I had lots of 'splaining to do

    Ya' know... because of the Japanese last name and the Italian-looking face?

    But then I saw Scott Fujita, a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints. And I thought how cool it was that a Japanese American was a linebacker.

    And then I thought, "A Japanese American big enough to be a linebacker? In the NFL?"

    Well, it turns out that Scott Fujita is indeed part of the Japanese American community. His father is Japanese American and his mother is not (sound familiar? Yup, that's my recipe too). But Scott himself is adopted. So he's Japanese American culturally but not by birth.

    Which brings up an issue that the JA community is increasingly facing. While there are lots of Asian Americans out there with non-Asian names due to adoption, marriage, etc. But there aren't too many white faces with Asian names, especially by birth or adoption rather than marriage.

    But Scott's situation is one rare example of how it could happen, but not too many white kids go to Asian couples (for a number of reasons). In vitro fertilization is allowing more and more Asian couples to have kids of mixed racial backgrounds. And of course, there are children of multi-racial heritage, such as your truly.

    And my brothers.

    And one of my brothers -- the one who looks most like my mother's side of the family out of the three of us -- married a woman who isn't Asian American. So, if he and his wife have kids, they'll be 1/4 Japanese American. Presumably, those kids will also have the Asian last name. But they probably won't have a very Asian face (since my brother doesn't either).

    This is already the case with a friend of mine who is 1/2 Japanese American and 1/2 Dutch. His wife is not Asian, but she has taken his name. And all three (or is it four now?) of their sons have his (very long) Japanese last name. And those kids are blond. With that whopper of a Japanese last name.
    I love that folks like Scott and my friend, pictured above, make people question their assumptions.

    It's a good reminder for all of us that

    a Lee

    is a Lee

    is a Lee.

    Or something like that.

    (The gallery above of famous Americans named "B. Lee" includes Robert E. Lee, Bruce Lee and Congresswoman Barbara Lee.)

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    Friday, January 12, 2007


    A pizza chain has been hit with death threats and hate mail after offering to accept Mexican pesos.

    To be clear, I'm incredulous about the death threat part, not the peso part.

    Are the folks sending the menacing missives so insecure -- or hateful or stupid -- that a simple marketing strategy has them acting like thugs? Would these people react the same way towards the Vermont B&Bs or upstate New York restaurants that accept Canadian dollars? (Heck, I've even seen places around here, Washington DC, that accept Japanese yen.) Hmmm, I think not.

    Racist a**holes.


    Maybe not the best idea.

    So, I'm thinking it may not be the best idea for the receptionist -- whose computer can seen by all who pass by -- to have the "USAJobs.gov" site open on her desktop and filling her computer screen.

    Or maybe she's trying to deliver a message to all who pass by?

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    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Times, they are a-changin'...

    No more old boys' network. To wit -- Pelosi kicks butts near House floor: No smoking.

    I gotta wonder if that's a direct smack-down of nicotine-addicted former Majority and now Minority Leader John Boehner? Of course, she cites health reasons:

    "The days of smoke-filled rooms in the United States Capitol are over," Pelosi said. "Medical science has unquestionably established the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke, including an increased risk of cancer and respiratory diseases. I am a firm believer that Congress should lead by example."

    I guess it takes a grandma.

    You go, girl! (Or "Go grandma! Go grandma!")


    The dangers of being a lawyer

    You're not just the target of bad jokes; you can be just a target.

    Hope the victims heal well and the shooter gets the help he needs.


    The war of the Rosie

    Anyone else sick of this Trump/Rosie O'Donnell bickering? All of you?

    Yeah, I thought so. Me too.

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    Tuesday, January 09, 2007


    So, remember how Gidget was having a bad allergic reaction to something? She was breaking out all over her body with huge, scabby bumps and was going nuts scratching so much. We took her to the vet, and the doctor confirmed that it was an allergy (not critters) and prescribed steroids.

    Well, that took care of the symptoms but didn't solve the problem of what was causing her misery.

    We thought and thought and thought about what had changed since we brought her home from the shelter. The outbreak didn't occur right away (took a few weeks), so we figured it probably wasn't something environmental but dietary. Her dog food was the same. We had given her a few treats, but that seemed unlikely.

    Then we realized... we use peanut butter to seal her Kong (toy that you stuff with food to keep the dog occupied). And we gave her her medicine inside a glob of peanut butter on a spoon. Ooops! Peanuts are a common allergen, so this seemed like a likely culprit.

    And guess what? We got her more steroids and threw away the peanut butter, and her skin has almost completely cleared up. She scratches no more.

    So there it is. Our dog is allergic to peanuts.

    Now we give her her medication inside a glob of creamed cheese. She loves that too. And no allergic reaction.



    Marking my calendar: January 18th

    O'Reilly, Colbert to appear on each other's shows

    Heh. Should be amusing. That is, if O'Reilly has a sense of humor, which I doubt.

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    Attention followers of the Cult of Mac!

    Ohh, but this looks like a fun toy.

    Update: see CNN's coverage here. And, according to this article:

    Cingular, a unit of AT&T, will be Apple's sole U.S. partner. It's an exclusive multiyear agreement, which means no other carrier will be able to sell the iPhone through 2009.
    Hmmm, I do have Cingular... Hmmmm...


    Monday, January 08, 2007

    Working stiff meme

    1. What was your first job ever (not including babysitting, mowing the lawn, paper routes and the like – I mean a job = where they took taxes out of your paycheck kinda thing)? My very first job was working at a pizza place, making subs and salads. I always came home smelling and feeling greasy. But it was big bucks – minimum wage ($3.65/hour!).

    2. How old were you? 15 when I started.

    3. What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Why do you consider it the worst? Telemarketing. Because I cannot bring myself to ask people for money. Can’t do it with my parents; can’t do it with strangers. Can’t do it for a good cause; can’t even do telephone banking during election season. I felt slimy and like I was invading someone’s privacy when I have done it… probably because I was invading their privacy. ::shudder:: No thanks.

    4. What is the best job you’ve ever had? Why do you consider it the best? Best? Gosh, I dunno. Maybe it was my summer associate position last year. It was good because it was short (so I didn’t get sucked into the politics and other crap), and it paid $2400 per week. Su-weet!

    5. What’s the oddest job you’ve held? Nothing too strange. I have had friends who worked in poultry factories or had to wear large animal outfits and schlock fast food, but not me. I’ve had a number of random jobs – like painting, cleaning, doing insurance claims – but nothing interestingly strange.

    6. What is your “dream job”? And it has to be an actual job that exists somewhere… I wanna be one of the people on those educational programs who travel to different, unusual and isolated places to give those places exposure and tell you all about their history/culture… you know, on the PBS channels? Globe Trekker and the like… that is one job I would love, love, love to have.

    7. How long is the longest you’ve worked for one organization? 5 years 7 months.

    8. What is the shortest period you’ve held a job? About a week. See #3 about telemarketing. Sorry NJPIRG.

    9. Have you worked in food service, retail sales, telemarketing or any other job that required that either be nice to people and/or stand on your feet most of the time or both (for notsomuch money)? Uh-huh. All of the above. Food service (first job ever, hostess at a restaurant, Starbucks barista chick), retail sales (several different places over several years, PT) and telemarketing. Hard work. I think everyone should be required to do a “service” job like one of those, just so they get perspective on just how hard it is and how much people bust their butts for next to no money.

    10. How many states have you worked in? Have you worked in any other country? Three states, one district and two countries (US and Japan).

    11. Have you ever dated or otherwise “gotten involved” (defined as loosely as you are… I mean, as you’d like) with a co-worker? No, but I definitely had teenage crushes during the pizza place years. And I did get involved with someone after the job ended, but not while we were both still working there.

    12. Ever worked as a camp counselor in the summer? No but I was a resident assistant for two years in college (you know, dorm cop?), which is pretty much the same as being a camp counselor except that the kids could drive and get a hold of booze.

    13. Any embarrassing on-the-job anecdotes? Do share! Many, I am sure. I remember one time at the pizza place… the wife of one of the owners just got a new car. (I think her name was Mimi.) In fact, she got a VW convertible Rabbit. Yes, this was the 1980s. It was also a stick shift, and she was just learning how to drive standard. Everyone was so excited to see the new car, so she brought it around to the pizza place to show it off. Well, Mimi hadn’t quite mastered the clutch yet and couldn’t shift smoothly, so when she drove by, I, in my excitement to see the new car, exclaimed for the entire place to hear, “Look, there’s Mimi, jerking off across the parking lot!!!” I was, I think, 16 and mortified once I realized what I had said. Good thing it a woman driving the car.

    14. If you won the lottery for uber big bucks, would you continue working? Hell no.

    15. If no, what would you do? Buy a nice house or three and travel everywhere between them and then some.

    16. Ever have a job that required you to wear a uniform? Yes, sorta -- pizza place and Starbucks.

    17. Ever worked for a boss who was younger than you? Yes, at my last law job, my supervisor was a few years younger than I am.

    18. What’s the longest commute you’ve had? The shortest? The longest took me about 45 minutes driving to metro station and riding the train downtown… which isn’t bad at all. The shortest was walking 3 blocks.

    19. Any “worst boss ever” anecdotes? Not really. I have had bosses who micromanaged, were shrill and never satisfied and/or passive-aggressive. Luckily, however (knock on wood), none were so impossible that I couldn’t deal. But several of those bosses definitely allowed me to leave the jobs without a stitch of regret or guilt.

    20. Ever work in an organization where one of your co-workers was caught in a scandal (e.g., caught in the act, caught stealing/lying, sued for something, etc.)? Not that I can think of. Not yet anyway… just give me a chance!

    I’ll tag Denise because I’d love to hear her answers… but I wonder if she’ll have time to do this? Also Dave!, Betty Joan and Scooter.

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    Another "huh" for the day...

    Fortune Magazine has come out with its survey of 100 best companies to work for, and of the top rated employers in Washington, DC, several of them are law firms. Who knew?

    I know I don't have a chance at a job at Arnold & Porter, but maybe the Whole Foods Market has an appropriate opening...?

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    The things you learn...

    So, all of the years that I've been living in and around the DC area and seeing that gecko on television... I didn't know that "Geico" stood for anything -- other than it was the name of an insurance company. And it was supposed to have better rates than other companies, if you believe the Australian lizard.

    Well, whaddya' know, but "Geico" actually stands for something: Government Employees Insurance Company.

    (A little factoid brought to you courtesy of She Says for the next time you get that question on Jeopardy! or during a drinking game or something...)



    To read this later.


    Round three?

    Or is it more? I've lost count. But this time it's the Department of Education v. the American Bar Association. At issue? You guessed it. The standards for using race and ethnicity as factors in law school admissions.

    U.S. Education Officials Question Diversity Standard: Critics Say the American Bar Association's New Criterion Promotes Racial Quotas at Law Schools

    You say "quota"; I say "diversity"... but let's not call the whole thing off.

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    Sunday, January 07, 2007


    It's a full work week with no holidays and everyone back from them (which means a full office with no excuses for taking those long lunches). Time to start taking the job seriously.



    Saturday, January 06, 2007

    Seahawks vs. Cowboys

    Poor Romo.


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    Help me, I'm melting!

    It's freakin' 70 degrees outside now. It's also freakin' January in Washington, DC.

    We have all the windows open and are airing out the apartment. The emotional part of me loves, loves, loves this weather. It is gorgeous. Mild and sunny. The perfect spring day.

    Did you hear me, George Bush? I said, SPRING DAY.

    The intellectual part of me is shrieking, "We're all gonna drown next week when the polar ice caps melt...!" We haven't had an appropriately cold day since November. It's really kinda worrisome.

    Holy global warming, Al Gore!


    Gidget the girl

    Gidget thinks she's a person. I swear she does.

    Okay, maybe she doesn't, but she certainly acts like a kid sometimes.

    One of my favorite antics of hers (to watch, not participate in) is when SM calls her to put her in the back bedroom before we go out -- and she knows we're about to lock her up -- so she takes one look at him and runs in the other direction, usually looking to find cover next to me. She then gives me this look like, "Aren't I cute? Protect me!" as she cuddles up next to me. This deliberate disobedience ('cuz she knows exactly what she's doing) annoys the crap out of SM (as it does me when I'm trying to get her to do something and she takes off in the other direction), but it's hard not to laugh. Because it is cute. And funny.

    Another thing she did tonight -- SM and I were lying on the sofa, which left no room for her whatsoever. Well, she started to get the idea that she was being left out (especially when some smooching action started), so she climbed up on top of us and tried to wiggle in between the two of us to get some attention.

    Just like a kid.

    In fact, I remember doing that as a kid.

    Indeed, I believe there is some evidence to that effect in the form of Super 8 home movies. Heh.

    Well, I guess it's fair enough. I do refer to SM as her poochy papa or doggie dad. Just don't call me "mom" -- no way!


    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Life in the bus lane tour*

    So I've been experimenting on the best way for me to get to work in the morning... what is the fastest, cheapest, most convenient, etc. mode of mass transit.

    My office is within a block of one metro stop (which is on a line that is not a very convenient to my house) and a few minutes to another (major) line. There are also a number of buses that run up and down the avenue...

    So I've been taking the bus lately, and for the most part, it's actually the best mode of transportation. Of course, when the weather stinks or traffic is particularly bad, it's a nightmare. But otherwise, buses are best because they are the most direct route between my apartment and my office. No transfers and no long walk on either end. Good stuff.

    But sometimes when I tell folks that I ride the bus, I get a reaction like "Really?" -- because DC buses aren't known for their timeliness, cleanliness or, frankly, friendliness. And in DC, busriders tend to be more working class. And frequently, people of color.

    Now I don't say this to sound like an ass. It's largely true that folks of more modest means frequent the bus, for several reasons.

    1. Because the buses are cheaper -- it's a flat fare, not based on distance like the metro fare is, and the bus base fare is cheaper than the metro fare;

    2. Also, the transfer system can be exploited -- pay for one ride, get a transfer and try to use it all day to ride numerous times; it's also a very common practice for folks to get a transfer whether they need it or not and then give it to someone else or leave it at a bus stop so someone else can get a free ride;

    3. Lastly, the buses service parts of the District that are not on the metro line. Housing along the metro lines costs a premium; the closer to the metro you, the higher the rent, generally. So buses are the only mass transit for those off the metro line.

    So, many metro riders are white professionals (many coming in from the 'burbs) and many metro city bus riders are working class people of color. I don't want to over-generalize, but that's my observation.

    Except the route that I take. The bus starts in Northwest DC and goes down Wisconsin Avenue. This means the bus goes through Glover Park (yuppydom) and Georgetown (big bucks to live there). There is no metro stop in that part of the city because the rich folks in Georgetown did not want a stop in their neighborhood and actually prevented it from being put in (seems they didn't want the riff raff that a metro stop would bring). So folks who live up the Wisconsin Avenue corridor who don't drive to work have to take the bus. My bus.

    So when I get on the bus, the riders are almost completely white professionals. Somewhere about half way through downtown, the ridership starts to change as the professionals get off for work and the bus continues through the city, picking up folks on their way to Southeast (a predominantly black part of the city). It's a very interesting dynamic, and you can pretty much see it play out.

    I'm also willing to bet that this is one of the only metro bus lines in the city where the ridership has this profile. Maybe it also happens in Adams Morgan, maybe but I doubt it.

    *Anyone get this reference? Maybe it's too obscure, but this was the name of a Squeeze tour back in 1987 or so. I saw them in Philly when they opened for David Bowie (his Glass Spider tour). Bowie and Squeeze on one ticket. Ahh, the best bargain ever in 80s rock concerts!


    Book club...

    The First Thursday Book Club met last night because it was, you guessed it, the first Thursday of the month!

    For the first time in several months, I actually finished the book selection (although it did take me cramming it the night before). And we had a very interesting chat about the book. Usually we digress and wander off on multiple tangents (which are also interesting chats) and don't spend that much time on the book, but we were able to be a bit more focused last night.

    Musta been the wine.

    Naaaah. It's more likely the fact that most of actually read this one, so each person made a greater contribution.

    Anyway, we chose next month's selection: Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. It's a memoir by a white woman who grew up in Africa in the 1970s/80s amid civil war, racism and other less than pleasant conditions. You may wonder why the heck we'd want to read about such horrible things, but it's supposed to be quite good. I'll let you know.

    And Dave! will be excited to know that I bought an English Stilton with blueberries (at Trader Joe's) to bring with me and it was delish! Very nice combination of pungent (although not that pungent) and sweet. Yum!

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    Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Because that is indeed why I went to law school!

    I was just informed that, as a relatively junior person in the office, I would be required from time to time to fill in at the reception desk in the front of the office.


    Now, I don't mind pitching in once in a while -- and I hope this doesn't sound incredibly elitist or snobby -- but I wonder if being a backstop for the receptionist wouldn't maybe a little undermine others' perceptions of my lawyerlyness?

    Not that I don't wanna be a team player... I do. But I didn't really know that "other duties as assigned" included being the receptionist.

    Sorry, but I just had to get this snark out... Snarky, snarky, snarky, snark.


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    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    Tagged back!

    I was tagged back on the movie meme by PTW. She added four more questions and sent it back at me.

    I've never been tagged back on my own meme! Excellent!

    And these additional questions are hard... but here we go:

    21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?
    Kazaam starring Shaquille O'Neal. You can just imagine what a thespian treat that was. Uh-huh. I was babysitting my cousins, and they wanted to see it. So I took them. It was an hour and a half of my life that I'll never get back. Oh well. At least I didn't have to pay for it.

    22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
    I don't think this movie would qualify as weird, but it wouldn't appeal to everyone so some might say it's weird. Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki. It's Japanese anime, and the story is probably geared more towards kids, but it's a really great movie on so many levels.

    23. What is the scariest movie you've seen?
    Gosh, I'm not so much into thrillers or slasher films, so my answer here is kinda unoriginal: The Shining or the parts of Deliverance that I have seen (I haven't seen the entire movie). Da-da-da-dun-da-da-da-duh.

    24. What is the funniest movie you've seen?
    I don't know if these are the funniest overall movies, but I remember shrieking, shrieking with laughter at parts of both. American Pie and Something About Mary. Yes, it was the adolescent sex jokes and potty humor which got me. You know which scenes I'm talking about...

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    Year of the Boar

    So, I emailed out my New Year's cards yesterday with the brief explanation that it was a traditional Japanese greeting for the new year, but I didn't explain what the various components were for non-Japanese recipients... and so I got a few questions about the card.

    So here's an explanation:

    The text here (in the blue circle) is your basic traditional Japanese New Year greeting. Literally (or as literally as I can manage) it translates to "Thank you for all you did to take care of me last year. Please continue to give me your favor for this year." Basically it's a fancy way to express gratitude and hope for continued good relations. That sounds like an awkward explanation because the language is very formal, but this greeting is very common, especially since these New Year cards are often used in a business context -- to keep up with your network of contacts.
    The pig. People have asked if a pig signifies good luck or anything, and while it may, the reason it's on this card is because 2007 is the year of the pig/boar under the Chinese (Japanese adopted) zodiac. It's very common to use the "year of..." animal on New Year cards. Last year, I blew it on sending any kind of greetings, but had I managed to produce a card, it would have had a dog on it (because, you guessed it, 2006 was the year of the dog). The zodiac is 12 years, and the boar is the last animal in the cycle. So 2008 will be the year of the rat and the beginning of a new 12 year cycle. Check here to find out what animal represents the year you were born. If you were born in February, make sure to check the date of the year because the Chinese new year is a lunar-based date, so its exact date differs year to year. Also, the Japanese certainly recognize the lunar new year, but they celebrate January 1st as the beginning of the new year. As with other zodiac calendars, your birth year also suggests certain traits about you. People born in the year of the boar (preferable to call people "boars" than "pigs") -- 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, etc. -- reputedly have these character traits.

    I was born in the year of the monkey (yes, 1968), and this is what Wikipedia has to say about my character:
    The Monkey is the most versatile sign of the Chinese zodiac. Such people are often inventors, plotters, entertainers and the creative geniuses behind anything ingenious, including mischief. They have natural quick-wittedness which enables them to understand what is happening and then make a right decision. Even during a conversation a person born in this year is aware of what is going on around him/her, and then makes a mental note of who said what and stores it away for future reference. In general, with their agile minds and multiple talents, monkey type of people can master any subject. They are reliable and honest people so that any secret is safe in their hands. These people are also honest in their dealings. Monkey people are very good at problem-solving. Wherever you are, whoever you may be, if you've got a problem pick up the phone and dial-a-Monkey. Monkeys know how to listen closely and work out solutions at the same time.

    Although these people are trustworthy and unlikely to hurt someone out of spite, they would never let people escape if they have behaved badly or damaged monkey's reputation. Their stamina and determination to achieve their main goals can make these people appear vain or manipulative. It means that monkey type of people should be careful so not to damage their friendships. It is important to remember for this type of people that it would be wiser sometimes not to pursue their goals and simply let things pass.

    Monkeys have flexible principles and serene self-confidence so they are completely content; but they usually manage to complicate the lives of others. After yet another plan or project has gone wrong, they are seldom there to help clean up the disorder and confusion that they leave in their wake. Monkeys can handle that too; with their charm and persuasiveness they can make people believe that just knowing them is a privilege!
    Okay, I admit that I put that up that because it's such a complimentary profile -- don't I just sound like a great gal? Anyway, take it all with a grain of salt... but I do definitely identify with some of that.

    But back to my explanation of the card -- so sorry for the detour.

    Lastly, the two Chinese (Japanese) characters on the card... The one in the upper right hand corner (in black) is simply the word/character for "pig" in both Chinese and Japanese, written in calligraphy so it's purty. The character on the upper left corner with the blue arrow pointing to it, well, it's a stylized Chinese character, but I don't know what it means. I presume it is a New Year greeting, but I can't confirm that. If anyone knows for certain, please leave a comment!

    So there you have it! Off to eat my bagels and lox...

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    Deja vu all over again?

    So it's Day Two of the bright and shiny new year, and today is looking better than yesterday, for two reasons. First (and apologies for the details), yesterday I was woken up in the middle of the night by cramps. Yes, the cramps were so bad that they actually woke me out of my sleep. Now those are bad cramps. And after that rude awakening, I slept only fitfully. When morning rolled around, I was still the most miserable person, and it took several hours and copious amounts of drugs (of the "over the counter" variety, of course) to allow me to feel human. And it was raining outside.

    That's how yesterday started. Today, it's sunny and I slept and slept and slept. I guess I had to catch up from the night before. When SM got up for work, I double checked with him that I didn't have to go into work today (because today was deemed a day of mourning for President Ford). He confirmed that I wasn't confused in my half-awake state, and I felt a brief flashback to my unemployed status (when I slept in to double-digit time every day)... then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

    So today is off to a much better start than yesterday. SM bought bagels, lox and creamed cheese for us (although I felt too crappy yesterday to eat them... which is saying a whole lot!), so I'm looking forward to chowing on that. Also, it looks beautiful out, so I will take Gidget for a nice walk. And that will be good for both of us.

    I feel really cheerful and chipper. Far cry from my state of being 24 hours ago!

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    Monday, January 01, 2007

    Happy New Year!

    This is my 2007 nengajyou, which will be sent by email to friends and family all over the world today.

    Happy New Year -- and best wishes for every happiness in 2007, the year of the boar!

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