Saturday, June 27, 2009

affairs, MJ and pep talks, oh my!

I. John Dickerson had an interesting piece in Slate this week about South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. I'm as jaded as anybody when it comes to politicians and least, I thought I was, until the John Edwards story broke a while back. Call me naive but I was genuinely shocked and sincerely sad/disappointed. Sure, everyone else in national politics cheats on their wife, but JOHN EDWARDS? The handsome, polite, every-soccer-mom-had-a-swoony-celeb-crush-on-him advocate for the poor who lost his son in a car accident and has a smart, normal, not-size-2 wife and now has a couple of cute little kids and came from really humble beginnings? It really surprised me a) that he had an affair and b) that I was so affected by it.
Anyway, with the recent Sens. Ensign and Sanford (and everyone else) stuff it's easy to make jokes about politicians and affairs and the bizarre number of "family values" spokespeople who keep being destroyed by personal scandal. And I definitely like to make mean jokes. But this piece just made me think a bit about how people are people, even if they're famous. A relevant excerpt from the Slate article:
The snap judgments failed to acknowledge a grain of the fundamental human carnage we were witnessing. You can laugh at Sanford, as you can laugh at a video of a wrecked Amy Winehouse falling all over her house. But at some point, even though they did it to themselves, you have to feel sorry for them as human beings. You can do that, I think, and not be a fan of adultery or drug use.
Sometimes I just want to take a second and feel bad for people, even famous people who are obviously vulnerable and human and maybe slightly crazy. I mean, I'm crazy too, it's just not in the tabloids and I don't have to give a press conference explaining my crazy to the unforgiving masses waiting to twitter about it. Aren't you kind of crazy too? Maybe it's partially that I have the public figure/private figure NYT v. Sullivan defamation and libel stuff on my mind (thanks, First Amendment). Maybe it's that with the scandals and the King-o-Pop, there are a lot of (often hilarious) harsh jokes about those whose lives just ended or are falling apart. But on some level the bleeding heart in me thinks geez, we ARE all brothers and sisters, and I can and do and should feel bad for the poor Sanford family (even the dad who caused this mess) just like I can feel bad for poor crazy Michael and his nightmare of a childhood.
But really, I appreciated John Dickerson's article and the fact that a regular reporter would say "Back the train up, this is a PERSON," which is probably not easy in the world of journalism when it's about juicy headlines and skewering the vulnerable and the flawed. Anyway, I'm glad I ran into it and it caused me to really reflect on that for a while and want to hug everyone.

II. On a completely unrelated note, I ran into this article about supporting your kids' dreams a while ago. Maybe it was even on your blog! I can't remember. But it's given me a lot to think about, and I like it. Here's how it starts:
"I've changed my mind," said my 13-year-old daughter, Francie. "I don't want to be a lawyer anymore. I want to be in the FBI." I tried to imagine my daughter's bespectacled face staring back at me from the climbing wall at Quantico, but the image didn't come easily.
Still, I replied, "How cool is that?"
"Yeah," Francie said, arms folded in satisfaction. "It's going to be good."
I hope it is. I hope that her life turns out absolutely according to her dreams. If she doesn't quite hit the bull's-eye, then she'll still have aimed in the right direction.
Go read it and come back and tell me what you think, okay? We can have an internet book, I mean, article club about it. I like the idea of just being in someone's corner, not just with your kid but in life. If my kid wants to be an astronaut, she can be an astronaut. If my buddy sincerely wants to be a trash collector, she'll be the best damn trash collector around. Seriously. Who am I to pee on someone else's dreams!? There are plenty of Debbie Downers in the world and the last thing any of us need is a PARENT or FRIEND to be our Debbie. I like that when I think up something ("I want to start my own firm! No, I want to go back to school! No, I want to be a corporate bastard! No, I want to start an on-ramping program! No, I want to work on immigration! No, I want to build a barn and save up for a pony!"), my hub or mother or friend will often say, "Ooh, now you're thinking. You'd be good at that. We could make it work." If it's a dumb unworkable idea, I'll figure it out soon enough. It's just really nice and important to have someone that says "Hell yeah!" when you have an idea. What do you think?

p.s. If you need a pep talk from me, just let me know. I will happily counteract the bummer patrols in your life because guess what? You can do whatever you want.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


"I like fry sauce. Those people who don't like fry sauce? I don't trust them."
--my dear friend Rachel W. at JCWs today

Monday, June 22, 2009


There are certain things that baffle me. As a people-watcher, I like to analyze behavior, and even when I disagree with someone, most of the time I can figure out where they're coming from. But there are a few things that confuse me and I just can't get to the bottom of them despite my constant ponderings between bouts of shouting at my property law review (if there is something more ridiculous than property law, whatever it is, I hate it) and scheduling lunch dates for my last week in Utah. If you do any of these things, or know and love someone who does, will you tell me why? Enlighten me! All of these puzzle me and I desperately need some insight.

  • Grow as a transitive verb. ACK! As in, "Don't you want to grow your business?" or "Grow your audience." I cringe just typing it! WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?? It sounds like weener-enhancement spam mixed with business school douchebaggery. For some reason, "Grow your business" sounds so much more barfy than "help your business grow." Why is this? And do you think "grow your business" is more or less aggravating than the surprisingly popular and grammatically baffling "Want to come with?"
  • Taking pictures of food and blogging about it. I don't mean a pretty cake you made or a special occasion dinner. I mean, lifting fork to mouth with mouth wide open or an "mmm mmm" smile. WHY? WHY? WHY? I recently saw a blog post with a picture of just a plate with some smushy pancakes on it all gross and swimming in syrup and beneath it, all it said was "Breakfast." Why do people document their average meals? WHY!? I see posts like these at least weekly and remain totally stumped. Several questions: a) do people who take these pictures personally love that meal enough to want a record of it forever? We've each had a thousand meals just in the last year. Recording each one is both nonsensical and totally unsustainable. b) do people posting said pictures think their audience enjoys pictures of breakfast? Is there some sort of positive feedback that perpetuates this bizarre cycle? What is the motivation behind these pictures of half-eaten cheeseburgers and melted ice cream on some squished brownie? I'm just so confused by it. Also the drinking out of a straw pose. What IS that!?
  • Homeschooling. Why does it happen? I'm not for it and I am not against it. I don't really have an opinion on it yet (shocked? I know!). I just don't really get it. Is it generally bc of pro-home feelings, or anti-public school feelings, or a combination of both? Did the parents have a bummer of a public school experience themselves so now they don't want to inflict it on their children? Or do they just think their kids are gifted? Or that regular teachers wouldn't teach their kids enough? And for parents (generally moms) who conduct the homeschooling, aren't you just pooped? Do you ever get 5 seconds for yourself? And once you homeschool, how do you decide when to make the switch to other-people school? And what if you don't remember how to do whatever you're supposed to be teaching them? It blows my mind. I am also baffled at the generational shift occuring: I only know weirdos who WERE homeschooled, but I only know normals that DO the homeschooling now, as parents. Of course, the kids my age who were homeschooled, welp, that was all like 20 years ago, and probably not a representative sample. Have the types of parents who homeschool gotten cooler? So it was the socially inept crowd in the last generation but in our generation, it's hip? Does this reflect your experience?
  • Shops/boutiques that sell little girl hair bows. Seriously, do they make any money or is it a fakeout? There is NO WAY there is a market for TEN BILLION $2 hair bow businesses. Is there???
  • I'm thinking a lot about cloth diapers. Landfills aside (and I fully support reducing waste), is it a pain in the butt? Is it really that much cheaper?
  • Did I think in bullet points before law school or is this something I should thank J. Reuben for?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

things on my mind and therefore my blog:

Hi everyone! Still aliving, still thriving, still word-vomiting on the internet from time to time. Ready?
  • Today's bar studies brought me this unfortunate phrase: "...which are taxes in the state where the sale was consummated." CONSUMMATED? Ew! When I told hub he said it sounded "fiduciarily erotic."
  • Sometimes I forget about odd little things, and when I see them, there is a brief flash of recognition. One example: when I see a bumper sticker for Peter Corroon, like I did when parking at the library today, I think "Oh yeah! Peter Corroon! I forgot about him." Same with Blanche from Golden Girls. Kind of.
  • Sometimes I get a lot of feminist rage when people act like I have mush for brains bc I'm a female and a parent. Grumble grumble.
  • I like it when people share real stories about real problems, particularly in church settings. A few weeks ago we had one of those 5th-week-Sunday joint men/women meetings at church and guess what it was about? Not food storage, not gossip, not dutch oven cooking. Drug addiction. Several recovering addicts shared their stories and they passed out a sheet with meeting info (location, time, place) of various addiction meetings around the area. It was one of the more intense church meetings I've attended, but really refreshing to see concrete gospel-in-action stuff. Not "I had to learn to...(sniffle)...forgive the meanie teacher who said something bad about my perfect 10-year-old at parent-teacher conference! SAD!" but legit, full-fledged, raw and honest "I hit rock bottom in more ways than you can imagine and today I'm putting the pieces together with God's help and here's where you can show up if you have the same problem." To the whole congregation. I like it.
  • I prefer living in the same state as my husband. While we're only apart for a week or two, it is not my favorite thing and I salute those that survive it.
  • I also prefer spending time with my kid over studying. She is way more hilarious and interesting than trying to figure out what rights vest when and if it matters that one party's not a merchant and who has the burden of proof when and (did your eyes glaze over? MINE TOO!). Anyway, our cute one-year-old does a lot of awesome things. For example, she dresses up like an old lady lately. Yesterday she started walking around with assorted necklaces on, a bright orange visor, my mom's keys on one of those long teacher key chains (what are they called?), holding a neon yellow container in one hand and a Reader's Digest in the other. She looked like she was heading to the RV to play a bit of bridge and/or canasta. I love that kid.
  • You know those long key chains? What are they called? Lanyards? Anyway, you're allowed to have them, you really are, especially if you're a school teacher or a referree or something. But can you think of ANYTHING more annoying than people spinning them around and around mindlessly in public places!? Ack!
  • What preposition do you use after forbidden? Are you forbidden TO do something? Are you forbidden FROM doing something? Not sure. Turns out 20 years of school still leaves you wondering about (or should i say wondering through) these pressing matters.
Welllp, that's about it. What's on YOUR mind?

Friday, June 05, 2009

tartly torts

Studying for the multi-state portion of the bar exam is a serious flashback to my 1L year. I can even hear the unforgettable voice of a certain professor whom I adore and who also happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Velma from Scooby Doo.

I think you know who I mean.

Anyway, many of these quotes are readily available on my sidebar, but for your more convenient/immediate pleasure and because of my stroll down memory lane today as I re-pour into my brain information about assault, battery, false imprisonment, strict liability, res ipsa loquitor and let's not forget good old-fashioned negligence, I give you....

tidbits from my torts class.

The year: 2006.

My status: unmarried (engaged) and shellshocked (post-mission awkwardness at an all-time high).

My mood: awesome (by nature) and overwhelmed (by school).

"Punitive damages are un-freaking-predictable, but it's the consumer's way of saying 'corporate America, you can't screw me over.'" -- Prof

Prof: "And what did the court say about that?"
Student: "They didn't mention it."
(awkward pause)
Prof: "Actually, it's italicized. Hahaha!"
(as any classmate present will verify, it's the nelson-type pointing and laughing that really made this experience memorable).

"I don't know if any of you have neighbors with vicious boars, but if you do, you should probably move." --Prof

Student: “I would think so.”

Prof, incredulously: “You would THINK so?”

(awkward pause)

Student: “But I would obviously be wrong.”

“Companies respond! Hello! Why did Fisher Price make little people bigger? Because children eat them.” --Prof

Prof, when another law school class was scheduled to take place in our classroom during our classtime:
“No, we will not get up and leave, we will fight them. TORTS IN ACTION.”

Prof to student: "What, you can't write this down? You don't have hands??"
(long awkward pause) "Well, I guess you do have one arm in a sling. Never mind."

“Assuming you have a head, you should be able to write like the whole time.” --Prof's advice on taking finals

Student A:
The thing speaks for itself, don't you think?
Student B: Then I want to know what the hell it's saying.

Student: I give up.
Prof: Actually, only I get to decide when you give up.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

freudian or weirdian?


While reviewing some criminal procedure notes as part of today's less-than-diligent bar review studies, I just realized that I had typed

"the defendant's right to childbirth."

instead of

"the defendant's right to trial by jury."

Whooops. Easy mistake right...childbirth, trial by jury. Childbirth, trial by jury. Understandable mix-up?

And what does that even mean?? Pregnant women are screaming, "I HAVE A RIGHT TO BIRTH THIS BABY! YOU CAN'T STOP ME! THE CONSTITUTION SAYS IT HAS TO COME OUT EVENTUALLY!"

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

the latest

Isn't packing a pain!? Stuff multiplies exponentially in closets and it freaks me out. Good news: we did it! We got out of our place (thanks to my husband's dedication, his absurd physical exertion and the spacial sense of loved ones, oh and a little company called PODS) and are now relaxing. Well, not exactly. These days, I study for the bar while husband and cute baby play in the sun as we wait a couple weeks for the midwest expedition to begin. Some good things about moving:
  • you get rid of a bunch of junk.
  • you get to feel suicidal panic and triumphant relief on the same day.
  • You feel like you make a fortune when you find all these clothes you forgot you had. Guess what else we found? $18.47 in change (thank you Coinstar), $20 in an old purse, $100 in mystery giftcards lying around (presumably from our wedding?)! So basically bc we moved out, we got $138.47! Does anyone know how many snow cones that is?! Or, more responsibly, how much of a future student loan payment that makes? ((celebratory shimmy))
In other news, studying for the bar is fun for the topics I had interesting and dynamic teachers for and enjoyed, but maddening for topics I either didn't take or may as well not have taken. Whoooooops.

Welp, in OTHER other news, I just want everyone to know that if you have a pet, that is great, but it is not your child, and when you buy a pet, it's not okay to announce "We're PARENTS!" and then complain to actual parents of young children about how hard it is to get up during the night. Unless you're nursing your new puppy, then maybe. But speaking of kids, if you're wondering if our daughter gets cuter and funnier every day, the answer is yes. In fact, right now she's swinging a baby doll around her head by its neck and cackling, and if that's not a sign of an awesome toddler I don't know what is.

Also, sometimes I eat at Del Taco and I LIKE IT. Can we still be friends?