now clogging the internet elsewhere

30 November 2006


In a lovely coincidence, today, the last day of NaBloPoMo, is also my last day of classes for the term. On the last day of class, we have a nice tradition where everyone gives the professor a hearty round of applause, which usually causes the professor to blush and say Aw Shucks and causes everyone else to feel all warm and fuzzy. There was one class, back when we were 1Ls, where this traditional applause didn't happen. This collective applause ball-dropping was the result of a combination of factors: there was a general sense of non-love for the professor's teaching style, plus the professor sort of weirdly petered off mid-sentence and we didn't realize class had ended until after the professor had already left the room. I hope in this month of non-stop navel-gazing, that I haven't caused you to not love my teaching style, and that I haven't petered off mid-sentence in a way that has caused you any confusion. And with that, I formally announce my intent to hibernate until my exams are over in a week. Have a good one!

29 November 2006

31 Years is a Long Time

Today is my parents' thirty-first wedding anniversary. Whoa. I couldn't imagine being married to either of them, (they are my parents, after all- it's my job to identify their foibles) but I also couldn't imagine any two people being happier with their choice of each other, which is pretty great. Happy Anniversary, mom and dad!

28 November 2006

I was very nervous about going into my meeting after reading this

I happened to be at a law firm (The Firm) for a meeting yesterday. I got there a little early and sat in their waiting area, where The Firm had a prominently displayed "media binder," full of news articles that mentioned the firm or its lawyers. Right on top was an article about associate/partner relations at firms. It was from a legal magazine, and it was about how many young associates now balk at the traditional "be on call for your partner 24 hours a day 365 days a year" mentality. (stupid associates and their wanting to have a "life"). As an example of this shocking decline in associate ass-kissing, the article told an anecdote about a student at "an Ivy League law school" who was interviewing with someone from The Firm. "About halfway through the interview, the student had the gall to ask me what the lifestyle was like at The Firm," said hiring attorney. "I told him he was not going to get very far in the legal world with an attitude like that. No way was I giving a kid like that a callback interview." So the attitude of hiring attorney is sort of annoying, but what is truly astonishing to me is that someone from The Firm decided this story should be prominently featured in the media binder. Because nothing says "welcome young associates" like "we're not even going to pretend that we give a shit about you," right?

27 November 2006

A slightly embarrassing moment

Some book suggested that a cool thing to do with your blog is show your readers a little bit about you by taking pictures of things in your closet. That's a nifty idea, but since no one is really that interested in looking at pictures of 2 pairs of jeans, 52 tshirts, and 3 ratty old black sweaters, it didn't seem like a good idea for my blog. But then I had an idea. I spent a lot of time in my childhood room at my parents' house this weekend, supposedly studying for finals but actually marveling at how, exactly, a relatively successful adult came out of such a vast collection of kitschy crap. And because I was inspired by the phototour idea, and because it's the holiday season and I'm in a sharing mood, I thought I'd take you on a tour of my room, so you can laugh (with me! with me! not at me!) along as we comb through the wilds of pseudo's childhood and adolescence. Meet the penguins. They're our tourguides. They're also what I used to teach myself how to juggle, because apparently juggling balls like a normal person would have been too, well, normal: I tried to juggle them this weekend. I seem to have lost my touch. My bedroom decor was an homage to the 1980s love of all things Laura Ashley. I also liked green. I also liked pigs. Sometime in elementary school (maybe 1990?) I learned that pigs are smart, and it was also around this time that potbellied pigs were popular pets, and I decided that I liked pigs and collecting pig stuff. By about 1992 I was pretty much over this phase, but as often happens, once word got out that I was a pig collector, EVERY SINGLE GIFT that I ever received until approximately 1997 was somehow pig themed. Which is my explanation for this shelf: But my life was about more than pigs. It was also about an incredibly random assortment of cassettes: My room is also the place where I keep things that don't fit into my adult life. Like my baby blanket, which I slept with much longer than I'd care to admit: Since I don't live there anymore, the room is mostly a time capsule. But there are some more recent additions- the gifts I get from my crazy aunt that are so odd I have no use for them, so I just leave them. Like this: Though it's a lovely curious george tshirt, it's a sort of strange thing to give a twenty-five year old for Christmas, no? I could have showed you some dolls, or the truly astonishing number of posters, notes, photos, and other doo-dads from high school that I affixed to my wall with stick'em gum, but they didn't photograph all that well. So that's it. Hope you've enjoyed our tour.

26 November 2006

and also cheese

We're off to Wisconsin for the day. There will be some art, some football, some PBR and some live music. It promises to be such a good time that I'm unlikely to get back before midnight. We are wild and crazy kids, staying out past midnight on a school night, aren't we?

25 November 2006


My life is officially too boring to merit posting every day. Probably shouldn't have taken me 25 days to realize that. But in the interest of seeing things through, I am reduced to giving you a joke and calling it a post. Q: Why didn't anyone want to be friends with the lobster? A: because he was so shellfish! (That one was big with elementary school students, I promise. Yeah, I give up now.)

24 November 2006

Must be nuts

Today I got so tired of studying voting rights law that I went to the mall. Voluntarily. On the busiest shopping day of the year. (In my defense, I was visiting my only friend who was having a worse day than I was, as she works in retail, which makes Black Friday particularly wretched.) And may I say, to the CHARMING woman who gunned around me in the parking lot to veer into the space I was signaling for at approximately 40 miles an hour? You are lacking in holiday spirit! (At the time I wasn't quite so zen about this. There might have been some angry gesturing, if you catch my drift. Those malls at the holidays! What fun!)

23 November 2006


My sister has pretty serious health problems that lead to various food restrictions- no salt, no wheat, no sugar, no oats, pretty much no dairy- you might as well call us "dietary restrictions R us." But, as we enjoy our stuffing free, unsweetened, unsalted Thanksgiving dinner, I'll be giving thanks for the fact that despite all her health weirdness, her illness has been diagnosed and, with these restictions, she's living a happy and healthy life- it took a long time to get to this place. (That said, if you're having some amazing spread with stuffing and homemade pies, maybe you could spare me all the delicious details, mmmmmmmmkay?) Happy Thanksgiving!

22 November 2006

Better late than never

Welcome, friends, to Foot in your Mouth Mondays Wednesdays, Volume III

Murphy reminded me that all of two weeks into my new tradition of posting stupid stuff I say every Monday, I forgot this week. Oops. But hey! I’m a good sport! I’ll just move it to Wednesday

[note: some details have been changed to protect the innocent.]

The scene: Casa de pseudo, friends over to watch the game. The people: a couple law school people, a couple teaching friends, John

Teacher Friend of Pseudo (who teaches at a big urban high school): Dude, we had the ROTC people in school at parent-teacher night. They were in their uniforms, encouraging people to sign up for ROTC. Pseudo: What were they saying? “come join us and be brainwashed, and- if you’re lucky!- in a few years we’ll send your ass to Iraq and you might not come back!” Geez. Why would anyone do that? Law School Friend of Pseudo: Um, my dad teaches ROTC.

Awesome! Thanks! I’ll be here all week!

21 November 2006

The best-laid plans?

Law school, for me, happened kind of by accident. There were several reasons I didn’t want to keep teaching where I was teaching, and I was looking for other options- maybe different teaching jobs, maybe something in nonprofits, maybe grad school. I’d like to tell you that I did a lot of research and some soul searching and decided law was really the right career for me, but it was nothing so well-thought-out. The fact was, three of my four roommates were taking the LSAT and with all the study books lying around I thought “huh- I wonder what that’s all about. I’m a pretty good test taker and I bet I could use some of these books and not have to buy my own. Yeah! Free books!”

Once I started thinking about it seriously, law school seemed like a pretty good idea, so I registered for the LSAT about 23 minutes before the deadline (which is how I came to take the LSAT in Sacramento, because the Bay Area slots were all filled. Sacramento. Where I knew no one. Except my ex-boyfriend’s mother, in whose house I spent the night because I was too poor/cheap to spring for a hotel room. Because staying in your ex-boyfriend’s mother’s house and having her cook for you and making idle chit chat about what you’ve been up to since that nuclear break up you had with her son? That’s not awkward.)

Now, after two and a half years in law school, I feel really really lucky that such an imprecise process of career selection has worked out so well- I like law school (blasphemy!) I’m excited to practice law, and I’ve found just the right combination of public interest work and intellectual snottiness- in short, it’s a perfect fit. What luck!

I had the odd experience of being on a conference call yesterday with a bunch of teachers who are considering law school and wanted to get some more information. I was expecting people like me, with questions like those I had at this time three years ago. Like this:

“hm, I’m thinking about leaving the classroom and considering some stuff can you tell me more about this whole “law school” gig because I really don’t know thing one about it.”

Instead, there were a lot of questions like this:

“I took the LSAT as a junior in college and planned to go straight into law school but then the opportunity to do TFA came up and it was too good to miss and now I’m concerned that with the upward trend in application rates my once-good score is no longer going to look so impressive so do I need to retake the LSAT?”


“I was looking recently on one of the law school application message boards and people were comparing GPAs and saying what GPAs had gotten into what schools and my GPA is .1 below what is the average at your school, do you think I should file an addendum to my application to explain why my grades are slightly lower?”

Honest to god, it’s a good thing I didn’t encounter any of these people when I was considering whether to apply to law school or I’m pretty sure I never would have applied. And if I’d found these crazy law school application message boards? I might have just retired to my bed and started sucking my thumb.

My gut instinct was to laugh and mock these people whose lives are planned out to the very minute, who have had the “TFA then law school then federal clerkship then partner track at a law firm” plan since they were fifteen. Because when I was fifteen I wanted to be a translator for the UN. Or an architect. Or a candy bar taster. Definitely not a lawyer. And for me, the process of trial and error, doing whatever seemed right at the time and then making the next step when the time felt right, has been great. But I don’t want to sit in judgment of people who have more self-awareness than I do and have just known, the way you know some things, that they want to be lawyers. Is it possible to just know this from the time you’re a kid? Or are these people all going to be the total numbskulls that make law school, even for a law-school-lover like me, a total pain in the ass sometimes? My money’s on the latter.

20 November 2006

I would be the worst Atkins dieter EVER.

What do you do when the flu shot you got gives you the flu and even though you should be studying for your fast-approaching finals you feel like you want to die? You bake bread, of course. And then, like a total freakazoid, you take pictures of it. Because your spouse will think it's totally normal for you to say "no! you can't eat it yet! hands off until I take pictures!" Or maybe he'll say you're a total weirdo. Either way. Seriously, though- homebaked bread? Has healing properties. Totally. You should try it.

19 November 2006

Almost too easy
It appears that every weekend now I'm going to be posting something about advertisers appealing to the "stupid women!" demographic. Seriously? "I totally don't know what that means but I want it?" With the faux-hick accent? Argh.

18 November 2006


When two of your alma mater's rivals are playing each other, who do you cheer for? The team that is, technically, considered your team's classic "rival," with a storied history of hard-fought games and insults slurred back and forth, but towards which you've never really felt all that much animosity? Or the team that's only kind of a rival, with less of the history, but whose students are so goddamned annoying you sort of want them to lose just so you can enjoy the looks of shocked surprise on their cute, perfectly-made-up faces?

17 November 2006

oy to the vey

I have officially reached the level of "white guilt neurosis." Walking out of school this afternoon, I crossed the street in the middle of the block to get to my car, which was on the other side of the street and a little further down. As I started to cross I noticed, walking toward me, a young thugged-out black man, and even though I hadn't seen him before I started crossing the street, and even though I had to cross the street to get to my car, I seriously considered NOT walking across the street so he wouldn't take me for one of the stereotypical people affiliated with my university who cross the street to avoid contact with the neighborhood's residents. Sigh.

16 November 2006

Eat your heart out, Persephone

I spend a fair amount of time cooking, and I really love it, but unlike some people, it's not an endeavor that typically creates beautifully creative and photogenic food so much as an exercise in trying to make dinner taste okay. But pomegranates, when they come in season, inspire me a bit. They're a bit too fancy pants for an everyday food, and yet when they're sitting there in the grocery store, all magenta and shiny and tempting, I find myself buying them over and over and over again. Why? To make this: This, my friends, is pomegranate salsa and it is the most delicious part of late fall early winter. (Except for maybe molasses spice cookies. I'll call it a toss up.) It couldn't be simpler to make- a pomegranate, an onion, and a sprinkling of cilantro and lime- but put together it tastes so good that you might as well just dispense with the chips and eat it with a spoon. It also tastes delicious scattered over a salad. Look, isn't it pretty? I've never put a recipe on here before, so I'm a little intimidated, but it's pretty easy so I think I can get it right: Pomegranate Salsa * seeds from one pomegranate (for instructions on how to get the seeds out without looking like you've just butchered an animal, look here) * one half of a white or yellow onion, chopped fine * one small bunch of cilantro, chopped * juice from one half lime * one half diced jalapeno (optional) Step 1: Mix all the ingredients together. Step 2: Eat See? That's not too hard. It tastes even better after it's sat in the fridge for a while and all the flavors have had a chance to mix together. It also makes a really excellent Christmas potluck dish. You'll look all fancypants and everything.

15 November 2006

If it doesn't fit....

Yuck. Just yuck. OJ Simpson is releasing the "definitive last chapter in the Trial of the Century" by doing an "exclusive interview" to coincide with the release of his new book: "If I Did It," which "hypothetically describes how the murders would have been committed." Come on, dude. If you get away with murdering two people- causing their deaths, ending their lives, forcing their families to endure pain and grief- maybe you could stop being so freaking smug and just keep your trap shut about it, huh? I understand that money may be getting a little tight and that you're kind of a fame junkie, but come ON. Given that the Bronco chase has also just been memorialized in a truly odd and maybe kind of brilliant pop-up book, it's been kind of a big week for the Juice. On an interesting personal note, though, the OJ Simpson car chase and the verdict in his trial are both moments I remember vividly, those kind of "where were you when..." moments. (Like "where were you when the Challenger exploded?" to which the answer is "watching it live on tv in my second grade classroom.") So, I ask you internets: Where were you when the OJ Simpson Bronco chase went live on every tv in America?

14 November 2006

Wow! Pictures!

So after owning a new camera for, oh, three months? I finally installed the software that goes with it so I can stop downloading pictures to John's computer and emailing them to myself whenever I want to use one in here. What precipitated this sudden bout of productivity, you ask? The burning, overwhelming need to show you this: This perfect storm of kitsch, angel, and Longhorn pride. It is a folk art painted ceramic laquer angel Longhorn clock. Please note the "UT" painted on her wings, and the inspirational scroll bearing the message "We Believe in Longhorns" held in her hands. I found it in the UT Co-op, a place that is so filled with burnt orange crap that it looks rather like a large whale vomited a large portion of butternut squash soup all over it. Truly. An amazing spectacle. I wish I could tell you that this was only one of many amazing pictures I took while in Austin, but I'd be lying. I took only 5 pictures total and two are backlit and one is out of focus. I will try to be better. In the meantime, please entertain yourselves with this picture of a banana slug, taken at Science Camp with my old craptastic camera, circa February 2004. If you're really lucky, maybe someday I'll teach you the Banana Slug Song. I'm a woman of many talents, I tell you.

13 November 2006

Foot In Your Mouth Mondays: Volume II

So in keeping with our new Monday theme, here I am again to regale you with a tale of me being a total freaking idiot who cannot keep her trap shut. Excitement! Last week was the annual law school first term party, affectionately dubbed by one classmate “nerds in heat.” (Worst expression ever. Just try to get the image of “nerds in heat” out of your head. Gross, isn’t it? Yeah.) Though I usually don’t go to these things, I went, and I was immediately reminded that I should not be allowed out in public where there is beer. See, as evidence, the following exchange:

Pseudo: Hey Friend of Pseudo (FOP!) FOP: Hey Pseudo: So, I haven’t really seen you since Halloween. You looked pretty drunk that night. FOP: True Pseudo: In fact, you were so drunk that it looked like you were at risk of hooking up with your ex. His costume was really lame, too. Glad you sidestepped that disaster. FOP: If by “disaster” you mean “am now dating him again,” then yes. Pseudo: [cue blushing so intense it can be seen even in the dark of the bar] Cool! You two are really great together!
Note to self: learn to drink in moderation.

12 November 2006

Hook 'em horns

I am always apprehensive about things that everyone else assumes are a given. Call me superstitious, but last week when EVERY SINGLE ESPN predictor picked the Bears to win, I got nervous- and sure enough, loss #1. Similarly, when we went to Austin this week and learned that the famed Longhorns were playing the relatively unimpressive Kansas State and were virtually assured a cakewalk victory, I got a little nervous for the boys in burnt orange- and sure enough, they lost. There's a lesson here: if you really really want something that you think has a decent chance of happening, don't tell me about it. Which puts me in the uncomfortable position of hoping I don't get a job in the hopes that reverse psychology will kick in and I will actually get one. Figure that one out.

11 November 2006

Austin City Limits

Advertisement seen in the bathroom of a beer bar tonight: "Raise your GPA.....Flirt with your TA!" It was for tampons. Holy Hell. Back tomorrow, with pictures!

10 November 2006

Does this count as Friday?

2:20 a.m counts as Friday, right? I don't know why I'm so focused on posting everyday, but that was the challenge and I'm trying my best. Headed to Austin in the morning for anniversary trip (paper anniversary = plane tickets. Did I mention how cool my husband is?) I can only hope the Marriot courtyard in Austin has internet so I can stay on the NaBloPoMo bandwagon tomorrow. Yours in TexMex, pseudo

09 November 2006

Who knew it was this hard to get into jail?

Last week marked Client’s one year anniversary in jail. Roll that over in your brain for a moment. Client, who has yet to be tried for anything, will get to remember his 15th year as “the year I spent in jail waiting for something to happen on that case I caught.” I remember my 15th year as being something like “the year I really really really hoped Andrew Brennan would notice me and ask me to homecoming,” and also “the year I was perhaps overly fond of chenille sweaters.” (It was the mid-90s, people. Chenille was cool.) It was definitely never on my radar screen to think that some people spend their 15th year locked up.

And let me tell you: from the looks of things at the detention center, a LOT of kids are spending their 15th year locked up. I know this because my friend Bird and I, who are both working on Client’s case, went to visit him last week, to talk to him about what’s been going on at these hearings, make sure he understands it, and to update him on his expected trial date (February.)

It went something like this:

9:00 a.m.: Pull into detention center parking lot. 9:05 a.m.: Hand IDs to lady behind glass window who gives out visitor passes; sign visitor log. 9:06 a.m.: Told by lady behind glass window who gives out visitor passes (“The Lady”) that we can’t go in. 9:07 a.m.: Tell The Lady that yes, we can go in, she should check the letter on file listing the students who are allowed to visit clients and we’ll be on it. 9:09 a.m.: The Lady retrieves list of names. 9:11 a.m.: Opens list of names. Gets distracted by friend at adjacent desk. Laughs at unfunny joke told by friend at adjacent desk. 9:15 a.m.: looks at first page. 9:19 a.m.: Flips page to look at second page. Bird and pseudo estimate that there are 20 pages in the book, realize at this rate it will take her EIGHTY MINUTES to go through the thing. Begin to despair. 9:25 a.m.: As The Lady flips to the third page, I call a secretary at clinic office to beg her to fax over another copy of the letter saying we are students allowed to visit clients. No answer. 9:26 a.m.: Call again. Answer. She agrees to fax over another copy of the letter. Hallelujah! 9:27 a.m.: Tell The Lady that our clinic has faxed over another copy of the letter for her review. 9:45 a.m.: The Lady lumbers over to the fax machine to retrieve the fax. 9:51 a.m.: The Lady returns from the fax machine with the fax. 9:52 a.m.: The Lady becomes very confused by the fact that the letter says “pseudo” and my ID says the full “pseudostoops,” saying “you aren’t on here” approximately 35 times before I convince her that “pseudo” is, in fact, a nickname for “pseudostoops.” 9:55 a.m.: The Lady gives us passes to get into the jail.

Nearly an hour after arriving, we were giddy that we were finally going into the jail. Because it was the middle of the day at this point, the kids in the jail were in school, so we went to the school wing, went to Client’s classroom, and said “Hi, we’re here for a lawyer visit with Client.”

“Who?” said the teacher. “Client. He’s our client? About 5’8”, male, 15 years old?” “Never heard of him.” “Any suggestions where we should go to find him?” “You sure he’s in jail?” “Positive.” “No idea. Good luck!”

It took over an hour to find Client after that. No classroom teacher had ever heard of him. The guards radioed and walkie-talkied back and forth- no one knew him, or where he was, or where he should be. (This was not that comforting, by the way. Bird and I were getting a little worried that maybe he was hiding out somewhere or doing some other trouble-making and that we were drawing attention to it by looking for him. Turns out they’re just incompetent and had no idea that his classroom assignment had recently changed.) By the time we finally tracked Client down, got a conference room, and started talking with him, it was almost noon.

I have come to conclude that if there were ever an emergency and I really really needed to talk to my client, I would get into the jail faster if I just went out and committed an offense and got booked and thrown in jail. Though my ability to represent him might be compromised somewhat by my own incarceration. Sigh.

08 November 2006


Sigh. Amidst all the democratic celebrating and the “hey, the new voting procedures didn’t go as badly as we’d feared,” it’s nice to see that corruption and insanity persists in Chicago elections. The cook county board president’s race, which had a long and sordid history even before election day, turned out to be predictably off the wall. My favorite part of this story? Is this:

Cook County Clerk David Orr said "hooligans" from at least one of the campaigns tried to wrestle away vote-counting materials from people trying to bring them into the county administration building.
Awesome. No election is complete without some good hooligans. Though I’d have been even more psyched if there were also some shenanigans, and perhaps also tomfoolery.

07 November 2006


The most encouraging sign I've seen so far that people are taking the election at least sort of seriously? The news of Britney's divorce is at the very bottom of the news stories on, instead of the lead story like it would be on any other day. I love celebrity gossip and all, but some things are just more important. Happy voting!

06 November 2006

Foot In Your Mouth Mondays, Volume I

Inspired by dear Johanna, I have decided to start a special feature here at casa de pseudo (which hopefully will help give me enough new material to keep me writing every day in November): I’m calling it “Foot in Your Mouth Mondays.”

That’s right. Every Monday this month I will regale you with a fabulous tale of a time when I just stepped right into it and stuck my foot so far into my mouth that there was no way to make it better. (I do this kind of a lot. I have a filter problem.)

But Foot In Your Mouth Mondays is not just for laughing AT me, dear readers. Foot In Your Mouth Mondays is your opportunity to cringe WITH me, to share, via comments or on your own blog, things that you have done- gaffes from the past, if you will- that still cause you to cringe months or even years later. That’s right, let’s all scrape through our collective memories and purge ourselves of our most embarrassing missteps. It’ll be liberating!

To get things rolling, I will give you my personal favorite from distant history:

The scene: 5th grade. I am with my lab partner Erik, on whom I have a TREMENDOUS crush, and we are observing our chameleon for science class. We are debating what to name said chameleon. I would really like to name it “Erik I Love You Let’s Go Get French Fries Together After School,” but that seems too forward, so I say “I’ll name it anything you want to name it.”

“I dunno,” he says. “It’s a chameleon. Who cares?”

“Well,” I say, “we wouldn’t want to give it some awful, horrible name that would make all the other chameleons make fun of it and turn it into a chameleon outcast. We wouldn’t want to name it like Gertrude or something- that would be awful. I mean can you imagine how awful it would be to be named Gertrude?”

“What’s wrong with Gertrude? My mother is named Gertrude!” he said, angrily, and with a little quiver in his voice.

“Oh! Um! Nothing wrong with Gertrude, really! I mean, does she go by ‘Trudy’? Trudy is a pretty cool name! Let’s name her Gertrude!”

Needless to say, Erik and I never went on that after-school french fry date.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how we remember some things so vividly, even if they happened almost 20 years ago, when I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast most mornings? I remember the fucking chameleon incident SO WELL, even though I don't think I even remember Erik's last name. I'm still embarrassed about it, and if I ran into Erik at an elementary school reunion (side note: THANK GOD such things do not exist) I probably would feel compelled to offer some sort of apology for that time I made fun of his mom's name because I AM RIDICULOUS. For me, my most vivid memories are of the times when I did really embarrassing things, which makes my life look in retrospect like one big protracted page of Say Anything. Gah.

What about you? Any foibles from your distant past that can still make you blush with embarrassment at having said them? It's okay, if you're too embarrassed to share, I'll be back next week with another edition of Foot in Your Mouth Mondays.

05 November 2006


A year ago today, I woke up at 6am, unable to go back to sleep, even though it was a Saturday and I could have used the rest. I was at my parents’ house, and I went downstairs to make some coffee and found my parents already awake, coffee already brewing. (I guess the early rising runs in the family.) For the first few hours of the morning, things were normal- my dad and I went and got pastries, my mom and I went for a walk, I lingered over the paper- and then, suddenly, it was eleven o’clock and it was time to go to the hairdresser and then get makeup and after that I didn’t come up for air again or get a moment to think until 2am, and we were married. I remember little snippets of that day really clearly: John calling to say the car that was supposed to take them to the church was nowhere to be found so they might be late (AWESOME); walking down the aisle out of the church; running in the pouring rain from the reception to the hotel next door and arriving soaking wet at the hotel bar we’d invaded to keep the party going. But for the most part it’s a big blur of happy and excited tempered by the tug of knowing I didn’t have time to sit down and really catch up with the people there who I hadn’t seen in ages, these people who had traveled so far to be with us, and the urgent sense that I had to drink it all in, enjoy every moment of it, because it was going to be over faster than I could imagine. I am pretty bad at sappy “what this person means to me” writing. I tend to lapse into trite predictability, and can’t seem to find a way to capture, in words, the way someone’s presence has changed my life. People seem to expect a good moment, a story of “My wedding was the best moment of my life because….” but that’s not really the way I think of it. Our wedding was a great party, which was important to us- we wanted everyone to have a great time, to drink, to dance. And it was amazing to stand up in front of the people who are most important in our lives and say, officially, “see? This one who I told you was different, was better? I was right. This is right. This is what we’re choosing for ourselves, to commit ourselves to each other for life. How great is that?” But the truth is that it didn’t take a wedding to make our relationship permanent. Shortly after I first met John my life shifted, settled, got better. It’s not that there was a magic spark moment when I knew I’d found “the one,” but more of a jointly-understood realization that this was something bigger, and a growing into that together. From very early on, John and I started living our lives as a “we.” We didn’t stop doing the things we wanted, or become attached at the hip- heck, I moved to Massachusetts in the very first months of our relationship and we lived apart for a year- but it was just always there, we always knew in that sort of heart of hearts way, that we would end up together, sharing our lives, permanently. When we got engaged, I insisted that I didn’t want a long drawn-out engagement. Though my mom probably would have preferred waiting longer, would have loved a late spring wedding on the patio at the country club, we chose a date seven months away, in November, the tail end of fall, when the warmer air is giving way to the colder and the last of the leaves are clinging to the trees. As excited as I was to have a wedding, I was much more excited to just be married already, to get on with the business of building our lives together. Planning a wedding felt like being on hold- waiting for the real life to start. We’ve spent a year in the real life now, made our way through a winter into a spring, survived a summer of living apart and back into my favorite season, fall- and it’s hard to believe, frankly, that a year has gone by already. But it has, and tonight we’ll crack a $20 bottle of wine and eat the year-old hunk of our awesome wedding cake that’s been hanging out in our freezer and our etiquette-book defined tenure as “newlyweds” will expire and we’ll keep on living, together, as we’ve known we were meant to do since we first met six years ago. It’s shaping up to be pretty great. Happy Anniversary, John. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

04 November 2006

Like a million tiny clothespins tugging at your face

Here, in graphical form, is my impression of today's MPRE: The only thing worse than taking the test is waiting for five weeks to see if I passed it. So far, in the first week of December I am scheduled to:

(a) take finals (b) find out whether I have a job next year or not (c) find out whether we won our motion or not, and (d) find out whether the state bar association considers me ethical enough to become a lawyer.
I'm really looking forward to that week. If you need me, I'll be laying in bed and watching season one of Lost on DVD while I feel sorry for myself.

03 November 2006

Set for Status

Every time I go to court, I am struck all over again by how flipping long it takes for anything to get done in our local court system. Take our current motion: we filed the motion in June, it was set for hearing in September, was then postponed to October, when we presented half of it, then was continued to today, when we presented the other half, then the state said it was going to need a month (a MONTH) to write a reply to our memorandum of law in favor of our motion (which we filed IN JUNE) so we are not set to actually do argument on this motion until December 15, at which point the judge can rule. December. From June. Not for trial, for a single motion. My head? It spins. One of the key factors in this epidemic of feet-dragging is the status hearing. At a status hearing, all the parties and the lawyers gather in the court to update the judge on what's been happening. Around here, any time you want to do anything, it requires a status hearing. Need to receive your copy of the discovery? Needs a status hearing. Want to give opposing counsel a memorandum of law? Status! Want to sneeze? We should probably schedule that for status. Seriously, these meetings often go something like this:

Judge: What case is next? Docket Clerk: Client McClient Judge: Counsel? Defense Counsel: Judge, we've just handed the state a copy of the map they asked for, and the state has given us a memo one of their interns wrote. State's attorney: Judge, we're going to need some time to analyze and respond to that map, so we'd ask at this time that this matter be continued until we've had a chance to do that. Judge: How long do you need, counselor? State's attorney: Eight weeks should do it, judge. Judge: Hearing is set for February 21st, 2007. State's attorney: Thank you your honor. Defense counsel: Thank you your honor.
Applying the concept of the status hearing to this here weblog, I offer the following:
Reader: Pseudo? Pseudo: Reader, I'm currently cramming my head full of ethics rules and regulations in preparation for tomorrow's MPRE. I'm going to need some time to analyze and respond to these stupid hypotheticals so I don't fail and have to take it again. Taking it again would suck. Plus, I'm pretty sure everyone would find out if I failed, and that would be kind of embarrassing. Reader: How long are going to need, pseudo? Pseudo: 24 hours should do it, reader. Reader: Resumption of previously-scheduled NaBloPoMo activities is hereby set for after 11:30 a.m. on November 4, 2006. Pseudo: Thank you, reader.
Please god do not let me fail the MPRE. Amen.

02 November 2006

Real thoughts about the actual law and stuff

When I decided to give this whole writing-a-post-per-day thing a whirl, I sketched out a rough outline of the kinds of things I would talk about each day (Mondays: weekend recap, Tuesdays: why "plumbing" has become my least favorite word, Wednesdays: "knitting patterns for tea cozies" and so on.) In this preliminary plan, Thursdays was "law stuff." So hey! Law stuff! Initially I was going to talk about my first Streetlaw meeting with my new class of high school students, during which Doughbri and I asked them what kinds of things they want to know about the law (my favorite response? "Why are all cops such jerkoffs?") But then I read this story and my eyes rolled back into my head and I started muttering under my breath because Alberto Gonzales makes me so frustrated sometimes that I lose my ability to speak coherently. Basically, the story is about "Operation Falcon III," a sweep of some of the "worst of the worst" criminals that led to almost 11,000 arrests over the past week, ending yesterday. Apparently, apprehending fugitives as soon as you find them is boring- you should wait until you can arrest over ten thousand at once because then you can get a nice press release out of it. I think my favorite part is this:

"America's neighborhoods are safer today, thanks to Operation Falcon III," Gonzales said. Two earlier stings -- Falcons I and II -- were held in April over the last two years. Gonzales and Clark denied that next week's elections played any part in scheduling the latest crackdown."
Um, sure. Your decision to wrangle 11,000 sex offenders and other "worst of the worst" criminals all at once has absolutely nothing to do with what's happening next Tuesday. And our civil liberties are totally intact and not at all threatened. And pigs fly. Thanks, Alberto. I'm deeply comforted.

01 November 2006


So Eden at Fussy has thrown down and challenged people to post every day in November and because I'm a sucker for a good, um, down-throwing (?), I've decided to give it a shot. Mostly, my goal is to try to incorporate more pictures in here to give myself some practice using my cool new camera and to try to stop being such a freaking disaster with picture-taking. No, really, I suck. Don't believe me? I present to you Exhibit A: Blurry! Off center! And with glare! It's a bad photography trifecta! I took this at a museum when I was teaching my students a unit on Egypt, and I was going to put it in a slide show designed to wow them with pictures of actual mummies. They were understandably underwhelmed. So yeah, I'm going to try to post every day, and to incorporate some more pictures, and also maybe use some of Maggie's ideas, and this is all going to be just so much fun especially since I STILL DON'T HAVE INTERNET AT HOME, GOD HELP ME. Yeah, this is going to be awesome.