Mixtape Marathon

"In vacant or in pensive mood..." I am: Bekah; 24; Law Student / Favorite Things: Carbs (so there!), Johnny Damon, Smiling at babies, Grilled cheese, Comfortable silence / Favorite Supreme Court Justice: Brennan / Favorite Wilson: Owen by an inch / Today's Special: Song: Elliott Smith, "Bled White"; Quote: "You know, there's like a butt-load of gangs at this school. This one gang kept wanting me to join because I'm pretty good with a bowstaff." Please love me: mmbekah@yahoo.com

February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 September 2005
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
I Wish We'd Known Each Other, That Was a Little Awkward

Ok, I wasn't going to write about this because it's a little personal, but what the hell. I have officially been asked for my hand in marriage. This proposal was as romantic as it was unexpected. It all began when I went to pick up my friend from the airport, and had to wait for him in the pickup area where UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU ALLOWED TO STOP YOUR VEHICLE even when there are no other cars around. So of course, I pushed my luck and tried to wait there. After about three minutes, a young man with a bright orange official-looking vest sauntered over, tapped on my window, and began the following conversation, recorded here word for word:

Orange vest man: Girl, you are lookin' so pretty sittin' here [t-shirt and scrubs, he was clearly on crack]. I hate to do this, but my boss over there (points vaguely behind him) is crazy. I hate to do this to you now, but she's makin' me tell you to move.

Me: Oh, well...ok. There aren't any other cars here though...whatever, I'll loop around.

Orange vest man: Yeah, sorry. Hey, hold on a minute. Are you married?

Me: Um, no. No I'm not.

Orange vest man: Do you want to be married?

Me: Uh, eventually, I guess...

Orange vest man: Ooo-wee, you've got some pretty brown eyes.

Me: Yeah, thanks. I'll just loop around.
Me (alternate response): Oh my God, that is the sweetest, most original thing anyone has ever said to me! Now that you have mentioned my eyes, how can I refuse you? I mean, not many women have brown eyes or anything! Please, get into my car and we will run away together, you smooth talker you. I cannot wait to become Mrs. Airport Freak!

The next day, still glowing from my proposal, I went to the grocery, and the bag boy handed me my one (1) bag, winked, and asked, "You sure you don't need help getting that out to your car?" No thanks dude, I'll manage. Yes, I am apparently irresistible to bag boys and airport personnel. But don't worry, I'm not naive enough to think I'm alone here. I'm pretty sure all women, and possibly somewhat androgynous men, are irresistible to any guy who would propose to a total stranger in an airport pick-up lane. But something good did come of this airport experience. It is now one of my very favorite instances of male stupidity (not that I'm counting, for that would be impossible), surpassing the time in Florence when a guy on a moped rode by my friend Devon and me yelling "Ciao bitches!!" Ah, Italians really know how to treat the ladies.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Movin' on Up

My roommate is moving away this summer, so I had to decide whether to get a cheaper one-bedroom place or another roommate. I decided on option one, mostly because my friends are all set with their housing and I absolutely refuse to relive first year with a poor, sweet, clueless 1L. When I started searching for a place, I initially thought everything was taken. But today something incredible happened. I signed a lease for Mike Seaver's apartment above the garage! Fine, not really, but my friend Julia does like to joke that she got that place when she moved back home after college. I like to remind her that she didn't move above the garage--she moved back into her actual bedroom. But these are just details. Anyway, my new place is much cooler than the Seavers'. Not only is this apartment an ultra-bohemian, artsy efficiency place that has a freestanding stove and a cool brick partition between the "cooking area" and the "living area," it is also (get ready) next door to a little neighborhood bookstore, one block from a dry cleaner, one block from a great bar (with video poker and a courtyard), and three blocks from a coffeehouse. The street also has lots of restaurants and cool shops. And it's in walking distance of school. I'm just waiting for my landlord to tell me (the day I move in) about the alligator that lives in my refrigerator and the drummer who practices next door from 4-6 a.m.

Happiness is a Warm...Marsupial Pouch

I have always had a weakness for anything with lots of pockets, secret pouches, or other compartments. When I was younger I would hyperventilate with joy when I got a new school backpack with all of the cool pen holders and hidden zipper pouches. I also liked those Velcro shoes with the pockets on the sides. I liked and still like planners with spaces for business cards (as if I have any), credit cards, and household expenses (like I'd take the time to record those in a planner). Some might say that this is my pathetic and futile subconscious attempt at imposing order on the chaos of the universe, but I assure you that it really is just a simple love for all things compartmentalized. I just got a travel backpack for my adventures abroad this summer, and I almost fainted when I saw all of the pockets. This thing has more zippers, clips, snaps, and Velcro strips than I can count. It has a retractable rain cover and an optional flap that you can zip over the shoulder straps to convert it into a suitcase. It has a detachable small backpack for day trips which also has an obscene number of pouches. Hours and hours of pure blissful entertainment, and I haven't even left my own home! Perhaps I don't need to go to Amsterdam after all.

Monday, May 26, 2003
Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged for Table-dancing, Spouting Ethnic Slurs, and Hitting on Jurors

I knew it would only be a matter of time before my research started getting good. In working on my current project, I've been coming across some seriously disturbing stuff that trial judges get away with. Judges can be almost as bad as prosecutors when it comes to misconduct during trials. Sometimes this misconduct is only at the expense of the life or liberty of an individual criminal defendant (whew, good thing no harm was done there), but most often it's at the expense of a little thing called the credibility of our entire justice system. I read about one case where, during the defense witnesses' testimony, the judge kept huffing and sighing and saying "there's nothing happening here!" One judge refused to feed the jury. One decided to chat up a few African American jurors, thanking them for participating and explaining that the judicial system needed more people like them. How can they get away with it, you ask? Well, the problem of course is that judges are supposed to be judging cases, not on trial themselves, so objections based on judicial misconduct are pretty tough to make during a trial. Law clerk Mary Ann Fenicato has written: "...judicial misconduct is distinguishable from ordinary evidence objections which merely suggest trial court error, but do not question the propriety and totality of the presiding judge's behavior. Indeed, the appellate Court humorously questioned how counsel could possibly have phrased such an objection: "I object to your honor speaking on the phone while my witness is testifying," or "Let the record reflect that the court is standing on a table adjusting a heating vent." Judicial Misconduct Warrants Jury Verdict Reversal, Lawyer's Journal, June 2000. Good lord. It's so annoying that I have to get through two more years of law school when there is so much real stuff that needs fixing right now.

I received a link to a computer program that generates poems based on the contents of any website you desire. The following is what the computer "wrote" by manipulating the contents of this site. I cleaned it up a little (deleted a few lines that had technical html-type code stuff in them, put it into stanzas, and fixed a little bit of punctuation), but every line was written by a computer. Honestly, it's kind of creeping me out.

A lot more than I
need is locked in the tough
stuff. When
Up was in the
game…Translation: No high school.
He thinks he
is enveloped by
myself and
I have served
as nice supplements
to dress up with
malevolent human
beings, and see how surreal that it was.

Not in North
Carolina, where
I have toilets and
my memories to appreciate
a Lonely Hunter.
Truth in the summer
a little bit
of the coffeehouse who

was ever heard
that she has anyone
who should just

Saturday, May 24, 2003
We've Got to Move These Color TVs...

Now that school's out for summer I've been catching up on some TV and some pop culture trivia. Here are the top five pop culture revelations I've had since law school gave me my life back:

1. I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore. I don't want Jon Stewart, Orlando Bloom, or the brothers Wilson to get jealous or anything, but I have an uncharacteristic love for Mark McGrath. I can't really explain my feelings, but isn't that how true love goes? When I see him on TV, I have this strange desire to sit down with him and talk about important issues. He is a rare mixture of really cool and really smart. (My sister and I both saw him on Rock and Roll Jeopardy at different times, and we were both impressed with how sharp he was. He knew a lot more than I did, and a hell of a lot more than the other stupid contestants). I think it goes without saying that I'm not a fan of his music, but I would be willing to pretend. Let's see...that "Fly" song was kind of catchy. Ok, more like a contagious deadly disease. I don't ever listen to the radio, and I managed to hear that song all the time. But I can forgive. We all make mistakes. So anyway, I wanted to provide a nice link to a Mark McGrath site or something to help profess my love, but I came upon this instead. Just so we're all on the same page, my love is for Mark McGrath the singer, not the actor, although the actor is quite dapper in his own way. On the subject of famous rock and roll people, I also have a little bit of a thing for Dave Grohl. He's funny and stuff. But Jakob Dylan is still in a class by himself.

UPDATE: My friend Melissa has informed me that Mark McGrath is not in fact cool. Apparently, he's rude and annoying. I am such a good judge of character.

2. American I-dull. I'm sorry, I gave it a chance, but I have to say that the show is really, really boring to watch. Also, it's just ridiculous looking: a 400 pound guy, a 90 pound guy, and Paula Abdul with a 10 foot ponytail extension. Do people not see how surreal that is? Some of my friends and I went to a bar the other night, and the finals were playing. The talent is undeniable, but I seriously don't think I've ever heard that much shitty music in one sitting ever before. And I've gone on road trips with Dave Matthews fans!

3. "Lil Kim--she's Phat. With a 'ph.'" If you're ever watching MTV and you see Lil Kim's episode of this show called Duets, please watch it. The point of the show is for Lil Kim and her brother to pick someone to sing a duet with her. They narrow it down to four finalists, and for some unknown reason the show is really cute and funny. One of the contestants tells Lil Kim, in a video testimonial, that she thinks she is so strong and such a great role model because she's been through so much and hasn't let anything stop her. So Kim turns to her brother and says, "She understands my struggle," or something like that, and it was so cute. And when she's watching some of the other testimonials her facial expressions are great. I don't know, just watch the show.

4. I'm Super, thanks for asking! Super Troopers is the best movie ever made. If you haven't seen it, you haven't lived. I defy you to tell me anything different.

5. Damn, Gina! My sister Hannah is a movie buff (not to mention a fantastic actress in her own right), and a true pop culture guru. (She has a nervous breakdown if anyone reads her Entertainment Weekly before she has gotten a chance to peruse it at her leisure). But Hannah, despite her impeccable taste, is also unpretentious enough to appreciate some films that other educated film lovers might dismiss. We have spent many a night together enjoying such classics as Blue Streak, Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, and Undercover Blues. The latest movie we saw together, at which some might scoff, was Daddy Day Care. When I say to see this movie for the children, I actually mean to see the movie for the children. Eddie Murphy's son in the movie might be the cutest child who was ever born. He can, of course, expect to lose that title as soon as Jon Stewart and I make the requisite plans.

Friday, May 23, 2003
Casebook Writers are Pervs

Um, I don't want to be crude here, but has anyone else noticed that there are an inordinate number of case names involving variations on the word "semen"? Siemans, Seamen, Seman...I mean, please. Are these people just abnormally prone to lawsuits? I guess when you think about it that makes sense. If your name was Semen, you'd probably start getting into some fights in middle school and stuff. In high school you'd probably be either made fun of a lot or idolized (depending on your gender), and you'd soon learn to despise your parents for procreating and forcing you to take on such an unfortunate name. You'd grow up really bitter and prone to altercations. And then when you got old enough to sue people, you'd do it all the time. Or because you were such a malevolent human being, you'd get sued a lot. This is all conjecture of course, but I do know one thing for sure: I had about 5 cases last semester alone dealing with members of this cursed family, and in my research right now I just came across another one. I honestly think casebook writers might pick cases with Semen-themed names just for fun. But then again, if you were a casebook writer, you'd probably get your thrills however you could.

Thursday, May 22, 2003
I've Been Wondering...

Why is it that no matter where I go to school, I am always right in the middle of a massive construction project? The hammering. The orange tape. The ugliness. And the worst part is, when I complain, everyone always says "Oh, but the new building is going to be so beautiful. Have you seen the plans?" And I remind them that law school is 3 years long, one of which is over for me (!), and it would take a miracle for me to even begin to appreciate the new building. Also, and more disturbingly, the yogurt lady is going to be evicted (actually evicted, anyone? Eh? Eh? Little bit of Property Law? You like that?) from the student center, and I am just not sure I can make it without her.

Why does your Legal Research and Writing professor take your appellate brief, make all kinds of scratches and marks, checks and x's, etc., and then write "very well written" at the end? Woman, don't toy with my emotions that way.

How does one become a "fitness celebrity"?

Here's a question from 4th grade that still rings true: Why are boys so gross? What I'm about to report is not a work of fiction. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent because I don't know the dude's name. All I know is I was minding my own business yesterday, driving along, when I came to a stoplight. As I waited for green, my eyes wandered, and I noticed a young man get out of a red pickup truck and stand suspiciously by the open door with his back to the road. He proceeded to drain the lizard right next to his truck, while looking over his shoulder at the traffic. This was in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. Then he just hopped back in his car, thinking nothing of the huge pool of urine in the parking lot. So, children, what have we learned today? 1) Boys are gross, and 2) Never, ever, eat off of the ground in a parking lot.

Where have all the cowboys gone? Seriously.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003
I See Cynicism in Your Future

Today's Horoscope (Aquarius):
Whatever is happening now is part of the bigger plan.
Tap into your tremendous capacity for learning; be a sponge around ultra-intelligent people.
Singles meet prospects while patronizing the arts or learning a new game

No matter what is actually happening to you, be it good or bad, it is part of the bigger plan, which could ultimately be good or bad. Basically, you're screwed, but at least now you know that it was planned that way.
You are a moron who can't think for yourself, and instead likes to suck the ideas and original thoughts out of people around you. Also, you are fat. You have the brain capacity of a kitchen cleaning apparatus, so act that way around smart people and show them how much of an imbecile you really are. Don't attempt to put yourself on the same level with ultra-intelligent people by engaging them in conversation. Be silent, wet, porous, and, ideally, yellow with a green scratchy surface for the tough stuff. If you are around ultra-intelligent and high class people, be a loofah.
Talk to "the arts" as if it they are far, far beneath your spongy self and you might meet someone. Say things like, "Oh, yeah, I reeeallly liked that show at that small and under-funded community theater. It was so quaint! Nothing like the big productions I saw when I lived in London and Paris." Then you'll meet someone really special. Also, throw caution to the wind and finally do it. Learn Parcheesi.

Monday, May 19, 2003
Some Assistance, Please

This summer I'm going to be working as a research assistant for my Criminal Law prof, and I'm really excited. I met with her today, and just got the best feeling about my decision for the summer. We talked about the research topics for a while and then ended up chatting for over an hour about her family and my plans for the future and men and running and law professors. (Note: Being a research assistant is going to place me deep inside the dark underbelly of law school. I'm going to be one of the only students around the building, and the profs do interesting things like hang out in shorts and t-shirts and chat around the water cooler (yes, we actually have one). I must take notes on the strange summertime rituals of the species). The topic I'm starting out with is a pretty complicated issue, and I have to do a lot of background reading before I'll even be able to start the research. But I am actually looking forward to doing the work. It's really liberating to have all of this research that you have to do really well, not because of a grade, but because someone is depending on you to help them with something. For once I'm working for a person instead of a letter on a transcript. There are also a lot of other perks. I get to work closely with a prof (these "personal relationships" they speak of seem to be a good thing, not to mention the benefits of instant contacts), I don't have to dress up for work (glorious, glorious flip-flops, I couldn't bear to leave you), and I can pace myself so that I work at night sometimes and during the day other times. And I can work wherever I want, since all I need is a computer. Basically this means that the people at the coffeehouse who were so sure they wouldn't have to see my face (or retrieve the cot they keep in the back for me) this summer are going to have to think again.

Saturday, May 17, 2003
On the Road Again

When you're stuck inside studying all the time, it's easy to forget all of the beautiful sights and sounds going on around you. That's why all of the highway driving I've been doing since the end of the semester is so good for me. It gets me back in the game and puts a little bit of perspective on things. Before I continue, I want to make something clear. I was raised in the South, and I will be the first to say that some of the stereotypes are just not fair. I have never seen a gun, much less supported the right to bear one, I am a Democrat, I am a Jew, I am Pro Choice, I am not a bigot, I shower daily, I do not drive a pickup truck or chew on hay, I do not drink mint juleps (I don't even know what they're made of!) or Jack Daniels from a mysterious paper bag, and I do not have a farmer's tan. And more importantly, I am not anomolous in this respect: I know tons and tons of people, just like me, who populate the various Southern states. (I do say y'all, but I will be happy at another time to fully defend that word. It is very useful, and is much less irritating than a constant, whiny "you guys...you guys...")

But all of this is beside the point. Although I did grow up in the South, I never got a real taste of the roadside establishments that populate all of that lost space between actual cities. Now that I have, I have come to one important conclusion. The South seriously knows how to do gas stations. (Incidentally, they also do a mean billboard. My personal favorite is: "I Miss You, Let's Talk Soon. Love, God." That one really made me question my faith and my life choices). When you go to a gas station in the South, you're not just getting petroleum and the usual pre-packaged food. You're getting any or all of the following: home-cooked food (there's usually a "kitchen" in the back for fixing up 99 cent breakfast biscuits, ribs (from baby's backs?!), or hot wings; none of which did I sample, but all of which were certainly completely sanitary and not cooked anywhere near the restrooms), a State-themed clothing line, dishware, home security devices, hunting gear, musical birthday cards, furry toilet seat covers, and the best selection of bumper stickers your heart could desire. I purchased one of the latter that featured a simple drawing of a beer can bearing a Rebel flag and a label reading "Whoop Ass," with a caption alongside proclaiming in no uncertain terms, "DON'T MAKE ME OPEN THIS!" I really, really want to put it on my car, but I am resisting the urge (for now). I searched for the old favorite, "My Kid Can Beat Up Your Honor Roll Student," but those appeared to be out of stock.

I don't know if this is a Southern thing, but I have a weakness for the old $1.99 tapes that they keep up by the register in gas stations. I looked at one rack and spotted, to my extreme elation, Kool and the Gang's greatest hits, including (gasp) "Ladies' Night"! I also grabbed a Rick Springfield tape because, really, who doesn't like "Jessie's Girl" now and then on a long drive? In my car right now I have tapes by Styx, Pat Benetar, The Sex Pistols, and Nanci Griffith. They serve as nice supplements to my cd collection. But I was a little bit ashamed of the B music I was purchasing this time, especially because of the skeptical look I got from the woman at the register. I got a little flustered, and was going to explain to her that my purchases were kind of ironic--that I thought it was cool to have a few old cheesy tapes around in my car for fun. But I looked into her disapproving eyes and all the eloquence was reduced to: "I like tapes." She said nothing, and I felt like an ass. But when I got on the open road and popped in Kool and the Gang as the wind blew through my hair, I knew it was all worthwhile.

Friday, May 16, 2003
Warning: I went almost a week without writing or being in contact with other human beings, and it kind of made me antsy. Now I seem to have vomited an extremely long entry for your reading pleasure (or exasperation). I apologize. Feel free to take this one in small doses. From now on, I promise to be more regular with the updates. But not in a Metamucil sort of way. Crap-tastic, that is.

Purple Mountain Majesty

Ah, the mountains. I am rejuvenated and revivified. My family (along with a variety of my aunts, uncles, and third cousins eight times removed) owns an old mountain house in North Carolina where we usually go for a few weeks in the summer. It has no television or heat. It has no high speed internet, no sound system (ack!), and is outside of the Sprint PCS service area (what isn’t?). It does, however, have toilets and a shower, and it is one of my very favorite places in the world. The smell of that house and the surrounding woods is locked in my brain. The memory lies dormant during the year until those final moments when I’m driving up the winding road to the house, windows down, and all of my childhood summers come rushing back. It smells equally of fresh rain, fireplaces, wildflowers, and the pages of old books. Rain on the tin roof in that house is one of the most comforting sounds I know. The clink-clanking makes me feel almost like I’m outside in the cold rain, but reminds me at the same instant that I’m safely tucked under three blankets and the rain is just noise. Sometimes in the morning the house is enveloped by a cloud, and everything looks a little spooky in the heavy mist. You can look out of the kitchen window and see rabbits darting across the road or little baby foxes with heads too big for their bodies prancing around by the woodshed. When I was little, my family used to go in late summer during blackberry season, and my sister and I would tromp through the blackberry bushes around the house with our little pails. Then we’d take bubble baths in the claw-footed bathtub and decorate each others’ hair with the bubbles.

This all might sound a little too idyllic, and maybe it is, but that’s one luxury of memory. Just be glad you’re getting this selective view, without the bickering or complaining of adolescent sisters. My memories of fighting over who should get the firewood and complaining about long hikes will have to wait for another day. One quick story though. We always go on a variety of hikes while we’re in North Carolina, and I remember one particularly long one that my sister and I weren’t too pleased about. We were pretty young, and pretty prone to complaining. So my Dad pointed up to the tree branches above us and said, “See the light through the trees? That means we’re almost there.” So Hannah and I kept staring up at the light through the trees…and kept staring…until we got to the top about two hours later. Good one, Dad.

During the past few summers, my family’s schedule hasn’t allowed for a simultaneous visit. So this year I drove to the house by myself and spent 5 days curled up in my pajama pants with an electric blanket, instant oatmeal, hot chocolate, and piles of books. When I’m reading or studying, I like to stack all of my books around me, like a little fort. It reminds me of how much there is to read, which is a great thing if I’m reading for pleasure, and a terrifying thing if I’m studying for exams. During the past week, I didn’t do much else besides read, nap, and go for walks on the paths around the house and in the town. When Hannah and I were younger, “town” was our favorite place. We’d spend hours in the candy store or the little shops browsing for various worthless (though expensive) trinkets. I think I still have a small figurine of a pajama-clad walrus reading in bed. Yeah, I have no idea either.

When I ventured into town this year, I couldn’t stay long. And it wasn’t just because I’d grown extremely attached to the electric blanket. As I walked innocently along the main shopping street, I saw it: A Thomas Kincaid monstrosity of a store was glaringly situated in the center of town, with a huge golden cross set up among the fluorescent gazebos and luminous Christ-Gardens in the window. Since my last visit, the store had apparently crept in from its offensive but less presumptuous location on a side street. Or maybe, lord help us, this was a second store. When the nausea passed, I decided that “town” and everything it stood for would be best left to my childhood imaginings.

America’s Favorite Pastime

Resuming the baseball-themed description of my literary aspirations, I have to report that I didn’t get all the way through the lineup. Unfortunately, my ambitious reading list didn’t really account for sleep time. Truth in Context is still in the dugout, as is the biography of Wittgenstein and Fever Pitch. There were, however, a few pinch hitters, no strikeouts, and one glorious homerun. During breaks between other books, I read large chunks of The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, which is extremely readable and entertaining. Unfortunately, I only managed to read from the 1870’s through the Negro Leagues so far. Becoming a baseball expert is going to be a little harder than I thought. Maybe my goal for the time being should just be baseball competence. At least until I’m out of law school.

The leadoff hitter this week was The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Carson McCullers made a strong showing, hitting a solid double. It would have been a triple if not for the slightly heavy-handed Southern symbolism that slowed her down on the base path: Yes, the town deaf-mute was named Singer, and, yes, he was the one person everyone in town wanted to talk to. Why don’t you just beat me over the head with the devastating isolation of the human condition! But all in all, it was a good book, with intriguing and well-developed characters, and it even made me cry once (I won’t spoil it and tell you when).

Up next was The Sirens of Titan. As a Vonnegut connoisseur (“Em, yes Jeeves, I believe Cat’s Cradle will do very nicely today, with a smidge of caviar and a drop of that delightful sherry, mmthankyou”), I must say this was one of his greatest showings. Simply put, it was a homerun. After reading a Vonnegut novel, everything else just seems forced. As they always say (and by they, I mean me), “Once you go Vonnegut, you never go back.” I think it’s worth a slight digression to give you a few examples of the man’s sheer brilliance. One of the earliest passages in the novel describes the skeleton of a dog: “The skeleton was symbolic—a prop, a conversation piece installed by a woman who spoke to almost no one.” Um! Brilliant! But my very favorite line is a description of the protagonist waking up from a night of drunken debauchery: “His eyes felt like cinders. His mouth tasted like horseblanket puree.” I don’t care how many times you’ve been hungover, you could never come up with a description that vivid or that true. It makes me cringe and yearn desperately for a big glass of water and some Ibuprofen. Give that man the Pulitzer! Or have they already?

Third up was a pinch hitter, The Neon Bible, a little known work by John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces. The Neon Bible wasn’t published until 1989, twenty years after Toole committed suicide. It was written when the author was only 16, was discovered after his death, and became the subject of a big ownership war among his family members. But it was finally published, and worth the trouble. In some ways it’s a basic specimen of Southern fiction (Dad smacks Mom around, town preacher derides anyone who is insane/homosexual/foreign/poor, kid gets terrorized by bullies, etc.), but with a twist of the writer’s youth that makes it great. Base hit, with a nice little slap on the butt from the first base coach for the star effort.

At cleanup was Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. I don’t really feel comfortable talking about this book. I liked it though. A lot. In fact, it might be the absolute funniest book I’ve ever read, even though the hero is a very callous and judgmental person (just to scratch the surface of his faults). Still, as a former camp counselor, and as a former 12 year old girl, I just have to be disturbed. Mr. Nabokov, I’m going to peg you in the head with a curve ball and allow you to take your base.

That’s where we are in the order right now. The game will probably slow down as my research assistant responsibilities pick up (more on that to come). But I definitely hope to get some more good reading done this summer. In the meantime, I have a few months worth of movies to catch up on…what should I see first?

Saturday, May 10, 2003
First year is over, and the celebration was all I hoped it would be. Two days later, and I've still got a headache. But it's the best hangover I've ever had. It is with deepest regret that I must inform you that I'll be missing in action for a week or so. I'm driving to North Carolina today, and the house there is not 21st century-friendly. It's not even really 20th century-friendly. But it is very conducive to curling up on the sofa and reading 500 books that have nothing to do with sales or equitable servitudes. Several books are on deck, including: a history of baseball (my priority this summer is to become an expert in the field...or the diamond, ha), The Sirens of Titan, Lolita, Fever Pitch, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Truth in Context (one of my philosophy prof's books), and a biography of Wittgenstein. We'll see how many of those I can knock off. In the meantime, hang on because I'm going to be a research assistant this summer and will therefore be glued to the computer every day. Lots of memories to be made, friends. And then in July I'm heading to Amsterdam, which will be all kinds of exciting for you and me. So hang on for a bit while I recuperate. Love and miss.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003
I always knew Property Law was funny. My professor, though almost impossible to hear, did manage to convey one important phrase: "Get off my damn land." For my professor, that phrase encapsulated the essence of Property Law. No matter what the issue, or how subtle the concept, the entire discipline could be reduced to that one concise sentiment. Today, my friend Greg took the humor of Property to a new level. This will be entirely lost on most, but for first year law students, I think it might be amusing. Especially if you're as delerious/overworked as I am. Greg, upon observing a wayward coffehouse patron, remarked: "That guy's one life estate short of a fee simple." Oh my lord, how we all laughed. And laughed. And then cried because we were so freaking pathetic. Other words/concepts that have served as sources of immeasurable amusement during the hell that is exams include: disengorgement (heh), owelty (really random word), vigorous zeal, fiduciary (sound it out: fi-doosh-iary; heh) Fiandaca (hilarious case name), and the fact that the Maine Rule for hostility in adverse possession is not observed in Maine. Someone seriously needs to save us.

In the meantime, I have one more exam. One 3 hour torture session between me and uperclassdom. Thursday night better watch out.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003
So on Monday morning before my exam I went to the coffeehouse to study at around 7:30. My exam was at 1:30. By around 10:00, the sight of future interests and easements was beginning to make me physically ill. I had to get away. So I did what any normal person would do under the circumstances. I got a haircut. And I'm telling you, it is the perfect thing to do before an exam. (Note that it's clearly not the perfect thing to do if you often have severely traumatic experiences with haircuts. I generally have a pretty nonchalant attitude toward my hair, since it does tend to grow back and stuff). Anyway, there's something very satisfying about having someone maintain your personal hygeine for you. Especially at a point when you haven't been doing a good job of that yourself (um, did I shower today? I can't remember, because I can't tell the difference between today and last Wednesday, or Saturday, or any day really. There are no weeks, there are no weekends. There is only "exam period," which feels like an eternity). The hair is pretty short (chin length maybe?), and I think it kind of threw people off at the exam. Which was actually my master plan all along...wahaha. Kidding, but I kind of wish I really thought that way. That sort of manipulative attitude is why people succeed in law school.

Kate and I studied for Legal Profession this morning, and it was quite a scene. I took it upon myself to walk across the street to the Rite Aid to buy tabs (because tabbing rule books is essential to studying),and bought a straw hat ($4.99) that was hanging on the stand by the checkout line. It's basically a cross between Indiana Jones and Martha Stewart. Or Panama Jack, as Kate observed. Either way, it looked damn good. Especially with the new haircut. You know, I don't think I'm allowed to make fun of people at the coffeehouse for being weird ever again. I am no better than the psycho Looney Toons tanktop guy or the freak with the No Fear baseball hat and the phlegm problem.

Friday, May 02, 2003
It is disturbing when you begin to dream at the meta level. Two nights ago, I dreamed that I had a really strange dream. As in, while I was actually dreaming, I dreamed that I went to sleep and had another dream. And then, in my dream, I woke up from a dream and had to tell people about how weird that dream was (it involved wrapping myself in a sheet and driving my car into a bale of hay). If you're not following this, don't worry. I've already lost it myself. It kind of reminds me of a line from a poem by Edgar Allen Poe: "All we see and all we seem, is but a dream within a dream." So in my case, it's a dream within a dream within a dream. Probably to infinity. Whatever, all I know is my subconscious is a lot smarter than my conscious mind, seeing as when I'm sleeping I can think on all of these complex levels and everything. I think I should probably look into taking exams in my sleep...

A quick related note about dreaming: it seems to be a big topic of conversation among law schoolers during exams. I think it's because our days are so packed with studying that any residual thoughts/feelings get relegated to sleep time. So my friend Kate starts dreaming about law professors named after cases we've studied, and my friend LaCosta starts dreaming about being burned with cigarettes (yeah, don't know where that one came from). And anyone who doesn't have traumatic dreams has insomnia. Oh, a fun time is had by all.

Mmyeah, I don't think my Con Law professor got the memo.