It's the end of the world as we know it...

Politics, philosophy, the law, current events, left leaning debates, religion, baseball, football, pop culture, growing up Greek, random events in my life...whatever hits my mind at the time.


From Goose comes this truly disturbing post about an Oregon McDonald's outsourcing it's drive thru positions to North Dakota.

"When a customer drives through, they'll be patched through to Grand Forks, North Dakota to place the order. Why? Because the minimum wage in North Dakota is $5.15, compared to Oregon's $7.25."

This is awful. First, even if the federal minimum wage isn't increased, which, for the record, I think it should be (as
it hasn't been since 1997), to outsource drive thru fast food, we-make-minimum-wage-anyway, is pure corporate greed. The amount you are saving - $2.10 an hour, and let's say that McDonalds is open 18 hours (doubtful, but let's pretend), that is $37.80 a day. Now let's multiply that by 362 days a year (McDonalds is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and one other day. Maybe New Years? Either way, three days a year.) About $13,600 a year that McDonalds is saving. At most. And it's not exactly as if McDonalds is hurting.



In America, 50% of the American adult population can't even be bothered to go vote once a year on election day. (Or even once every four years for the presidential elections.) Millions don't even bother to register to vote. Millions others simply can't be bothered to drive the mile it may be to their polling place and take fifteen minutes out of their Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, those who choose to vote will have to worry about violence, bombings, kidnappings, being shot, being killed, and threats to their family.

If Americans had to endure THAT type of opposition, there probably isn't a single spoiled American who would risk their own life to vote. It is no surprise that thousands or millions of Iraqis have expressed that they are planning to sit out the alleged historic vote. (Or that those who are voting are exiles safe in the United States, in France, Ireland, or Spain.)

One (such as myself) might wonder why the hell the elections are going forth now, when American forces clearly can't contain or control the violence, and we are forcing any Iraqis interested in voting to the original timetable and subjecting them to violence. Probably because Bush has declared that the elections will be held now, in his usual tradition of, "come hell or high water." After all, HE doesn't have to endure the hell, and to cancel them looks bad for his administration.

And what exactly is the goal of the election? Iraqis have already expressed doubt that the political process will work. They seem to believe that the United States will merely annoint the government that it wants. Of course, with our history, who can blame them??

And on a not-really-at-all-related note, I read with interest this commentary in the Toronto Star:

I first sensed the characteristics that made America great in the past: an incredible work ethic, optimism, pride, respect, and independence.

But something is happening in the America I knew. It's morphing from the intended republic to somewhat of a quasi-monarchy; ironic really when the catalyst for nationhood was a rebellion against a monarchy. The suspension of critical thought, the public lynching of those who provide alternative views to the current administration, the labelling of White House policy dissenters as "traitors" and "freedom haters," the suspension of objective media, the word "liberal" now being the greatest insult.

To embrace and accept these practices is a violation of the founding principles for which America stands. The U.S. must return to the principles that led to success and admiration in the past. Not doing so may result in the death of a great republic.

It's truly frightening when our own problems are so obvious that outsiders can shine the light on them and point them out, while we here intimately involved are so oblivious. I think it's like a bad relationship: Your friends all know that it is wrong and needs to change. If you weren't so invested or involved in it, had you any objectivity at all, you'd realize how wrong it is as well. In fact, if your friend was going through what you are, you could point out the problems to them. We always seems to have insight into those we care about, and lack it in ourselves. So goes our country right least for 51% of the population who actually chose to vote.


From Mac is this test. A personality test. Fun...

Wackiness: 54/100
Rationality: 24/100
Constructiveness: 50/100
Leadership: 64/100

You are a WEDL--Wacky Emotional Destructive Leader. This makes you a Anarchist. (Note: The first time I read that - quickly and late and night - I thought it said "Antichrist" and I immediately was irritated that I was being compared to Bush...

You don't give a damn. When push comes to shove, you just forget about it--it's just not worth the heartache. What this means for others is that dealing with you can be aggravating, because they find they can't get you motivated about things they care about. What this means for you is that you are happier, calmer, and saner then they are on their best days.

You are near-immune to criticism, and those who know you well acknowledge and respect that. You may come across as lazy, but the truth is that you find little to get worked up about. Regardless, you have slews of friends, because they are fascinated by your world view, jealous of your lifestyle, and drawn to the fact that you are hilarious to be around.

You are a pillar in a sea of hot-bloodedness. You have a sweet tooth.

Of the 83483 people who have taken this quiz since tracking began (8/17/2004), 2.9 % are this type.

I have to say, this is somewhat accurate. Of course, I love these online personality tests. I learn what type of car I am, alcohol I am, it's all life would otherwise be incomplete.


The latest on Bin Laden. Check this out.

He's wanted (wanted)...Dead or Alive...

(Sorry. Couldn't resist).

I’ve been a lawyer for almost four years. I don’t have a problem with the law part of it most days, the research and writing part of it. I get that. I have problems with interacting with other attorneys (not the ones I work with, but opposing counsel) because I feel completely out of my league, like these people are REAL attorneys and I am just a pretend attorney playing dress up. It’s intimidating. I know I'm good at what I do, or at least decent at what I do, but I know that when it comes to the interaction part, the "appearing" like a lawyer, that I suck. Hardcore.

But I digress. What I mostly have problems with is balancing. Balancing being a lawyer with being a person. Specifically, a person with a personal life. With making time to see family and friends. With taking the time to do things that I want to do. Even my "extra curriculars" are because of work. They are "professional" organizations. Networking events. If I had the time, and didn't have to spend my free time doing that, then I'd take history and philosophy grad college classes, and I'd play soccer. But alas, neither lend themself to networking. So even my personal time is taken for work. And I love to read, but by the time I finish with work, the last thing I want to do is read more. Even read something I’d like to read. (And perhaps I’d even be a better cook if I’d try it more than once a month or so. Ok, now I'm just being ridiculous…)

I’ve been told by other attorneys that after a few years, you begin to learn that balance, that you start to read for fun again and the personal life becomes less-important-than-your-professional-life-but-at-least-not-nonexistent-anymore. Hmm…we’ll see. I’m not exactly holding my breath. (Though to be honest, the reading over the last few months has increased).

My problem is that I spent much of my time NOT concentrating that I have to spend way more time than other attorneys on simple tasks. It’s frustrating. I can work 15 hours, and bill 7 hours. Which means I'm incredibly ineffective and spend more time at work getting less accomplished. Which of course makes it harder for me to have the aforementioned personal life...

What is frustrating is that the only other attorney with ADHD at our office is leaving tomorrow. This attorney is someone who I genuinely liked, who I felt somewhat of a kinship with because of the ADHD. When I asked the attorney was brought about the decision to leave, I was told that it had to do with him feeling that his way of doing law -- focus on minute things, not aways the most efficient -- was not the way the firm marketed itself and he has known that. This worried me. We are similar in a lot of ways, the way our minds work, the way that we work. I'll stay late to make up my time that I'm inefficient. He's got a family; he won't. Will it come to that point for me? I expressed this concern to a partner, but I was pretty much brushed off. I don't know. I'm not making much sense, am I?

(And in related stuff, STILL no review. LAST Tuesday they said it was either last week or this week. It's Friday of this week - almost - and I'm not going to work tomorrow (just don't feel like it). So when are they doing this review stuff??)


What First Amendment

From Pimme comes a troubling article about the First Amendment (if it still exists) under attack. Check out this article:

Officer Threatens To Arrest Woman For Anti-Bush Sticker
POSTED: 1:42 pm EST January 25, 2005

DENVER -- Some people are angry when they see Shasta Bates' derogatory bumper sticker about President George W. Bush -- but she didn't think she'd be threatened with arrest because of it.

The Denver Police Department is investigating a sergeant who allegedly threatened to arrest the 26-year-old for displaying the [anti-Bush] bumper sticker.

Bates said she was told by the sergeant Tuesday that her bumper sticker was illegal because it was profane. She said he told her he'd arrest her if she didn't remove it.

But City Attorney Cole Finegan said he doesn't believe there's any city ordinance against displaying a profane bumper sticker.

Colorado ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein said the alleged threat of arrest clearly violates First Amendment protection.

First, I'm dying to know what the bumper sticker said, and wondering if it's one of the 11 ones that I have and rotate on and off my car. If not, where did she get it. ;-) Seriously, what is wrong with the world? And Denver, Colorado isn't what I'd think of as super conservative. My gosh, remember those "Shit Happens" bumper stickers a while back? (Did I totally show my age?) Was this cop arresting people for those? Or just political messages that he doesn't appreciate? I knew the Patriot Act did some damage, but COME ON already!!

The World Through Someone Else's Eyes

Last night I went out to dinner with a friend. We ended up at the mall because she wanted to pick up a new shirt rather than do laundry (as I’ve done that before, I cannot mock...) We ended up at some makeup counter, where I was promptly ambushed and the next thing I knew, I was sitting in the chair while my friend was demanding that makeup be placed on me.

Anyway, the makeup woman starts taking out stuff I’ve never seen before. I try to stop her. “I don’t do eye makeup.” My friend says, “yes, you are.” Now, my friends can attest to the fact that I don’t wear eye makeup. If I put on mascara, then I’ve gone overboard. My eyes get enough attention just being the size that the are; I don’t want makeup to make them look larger or in any way call more attention to them than they get on their own. And I hate people messing around near my eyes. (While I have contacts and can put them in myself, I can’t have anyone else near my eyes. My lack of depth perception really freaks me out when things are going on that close to my eyes, at least if it’s not me. It’s literally a panic where I can have problems breathing.) So you can imagine how comfortable I felt during this entire procedure. I kept asking my friend, “what did I do to make you hate me so much?”

Anyway, this woman clearly doesn’t care about my opinion, because the next thing I know, this woman has put concealer underneath my eyes (“you have dark shadows” - I wanted to snap, “yeah, they came from my dad. I like them.”) and white eyeshadow on my eyelid (your eyelid is darker than the rest of your skin). THEN, in a bit of logic that I just don’t get, she puts BROWN eyeshadow over the white eyeshadow to "give my lids some color." (So you *want* it to be darker -- please explain why the fuck you didn't just go with the friggin' natural darker color then??) Then she pulls out black eyeliner. (I have *never* had eyeliner on before and, quite truthfully, it scared the living shit out of me.) Then she piles on mascara (“you have extremely long eyelashes, did they ever get tangled when you were a child?” -- HUH??) The end result - there were NOT MY eyes staring back at me. These eyes were more foreign to me than my eyes were when I was 15 and had blue contacts. Or when I was 16 and had green contacts. These eyes were someone else’s eyes completely. It was so weird. It was like for a moment, I had no idea who I was anymore.

Then she tries selling me this junk that she put on. As if I’d EVER do that to my eyes myself, willfully...


From Caren come these fantastic tests that are designed to show ones inherent bias. I've only take three so far, but I want to get home so that I can take the rest.

Things I've learned about me:

-- Your data suggest little or no automatic preference for African American relative to European American.

-- Your data suggest little or no gender association with Career or Family. (I wouldn't have guessed that, actually. I would have said that I have at least SOME traditional gender association. What do I know).

-- Your data suggest a moderate automatic preference for GAY PEOPLE relative to STRAIGHT PEOPLE. (I'm not sure why this is capitalized either.)

-- Your data suggest a slight automatic preference for THIN PEOPLE relative to FAT PEOPLE. (for the record, I think this test is flawed b/c there is one person they called thin that I kept calling fat. In my opinion, this girl was thin. Probably not fat either, but my finger every time her picture came said otherwise...)

These tests are interesting, but I'm not sure how accurate they are. But interesting, nonetheless. As I said, I plan to take more when I get home.
So maybe that depression guy was onto something. When I got home last night, and my credit card statement was in the mail. I spent four thousand dollars and fifty cents the month before. That's excessive, even for me. Oh, well. It gave me a start, but I guess it didn't depress me. After all, it's really the only credit card I use - other may have a few dollars on it every other month or so, but it really is my primary card. So that's not bad overall, with Christmas in there, and plane tickets to visit friends, and whatnot.

My dad's side of the family is...different from my mom's. Probably because it's small (my paternal grandfather died before I was born, my paternal grandmother died when I was in high school, my father is one of two; he doesn't keep in touch with any cousins or anything.) They are also spread out. His brother lives in another state, and his brothers two kids live in two other states. So it's just different.

My Uncle and one of his son's are fighting. I'm not quite sure what it's about, because my Uncle doesn't like to talk about it, though my Aunt has mentioned enough that I probably see the forest. So my Aunt and Uncle have a grandchild that they never get to see. Ever. My Uncle last saw his grandchild in September of 2001. My Aunt in February 2002. She last spoke with her grandchild on the telephone in March 2002. And their son has refused to speak to them since November 2003. That is more than three years that their grandchild is out of their lives. I don't understand how that is even possible. And during that time, my Aunt's father (my cousin's grandfather!) died, and he never even returned my Aunt's calls, sent anything, or attended the funeral. Something like that just breaks my heart. It just kills my aunt. I didn't realize that they weren't even getting Christmas cards (I get a Christmas card with a picture of my cousin) until I mentioned it in passing, and my Aunt begged me to send her a copy of the picture. She let me know that I completely made her entire year. They haven't seen a picture of my cousin since 2002. 2002!! That's awful. And you are depriving your child of a relationship with her grandparents. (They are also estranged from my cousin's wife's parents. But they were from before their wedding.) So this poor child has no grandparents. And I think of how much the three grandparents I knew added (and continue to add, with my maternal grandparents) to my life, and that relationship that I have with them, and how I wish that I had the opportunity to get to know my paternal grandfather, and I feel for my cousin. And I don't understand how that just doesn't matter. (If you want my opinion, which I know you don't but I'll give anyway, my cousin is completely in the wrong. And if he didn't have a grandchild, he is so in the wrong that my Uncle may have cut him out of his life anyway. Of course, had there not been a grandchild, a comment wouldn't have been made that led to the fight in the first place.) Alas, broken families...

Still no word on our reviews. The anticipation is quite awful...I'd so much rather have it now and get it over with already. It's pretty hard to concentrate, just waiting for something to happen. If it happens on, say, Friday, it's just going to ruin my weekend. Which would suck. I mean, one of my friends is having a cooking party this weekend. I'm not sure what a cooking party is, but she assured me that I didn't have to cook anything and I could just watch. I thikn it's an excuse to drink. She has planned this since the week between Christmas and New Years. Something about cookies. Maybe we are planning for a bake sale?? I also have whirleyball this weekend. Which involves driving in a bumper car. There is a strategy to the game, but I'm bad at it.

But I do love to crash into things, and it's so less expensive to do it in these cars than in my car...


Mathmatical Equation - It will get better...

Dr. Cliff Arnalls, an English pyschologist, has determined that today is the MOST DEPRESSING DAY OF THE YEAR.

He makes this determination based on a formula, taking into account seven factors:

--montly salary;
--time since Christmas;
--time since last tried to quit and failed;
--motivation levels; and
--need to take action.

The mathmatical equation is Weather + Debt - Monthly salary x Time since Christmas X Time since last tried to quit and failed / Motivation levels + Need to take action.

So the mathmatical equation (in geekland) is W+ (D-d)] x TQ M x NA (I failed my last math class, so I have no idea what that means.) ;-)

The best news - I'm in a good mood today. Bodes well for the year, no? ;-)


Alternet had this interesting article advocating that the Democratic presidential candidate should not essentially come from onlyNew Hampshire and Iowa, as they do not adequately represent the Democratic party.

"Democrats cannot continue to have two almost-all-white states – Iowa and New Hampshire – determine their presidential nominees. The next nominee must be able to activate and inspire a multi-racial, multi-cultural base. . . . The Democratic Party, however, has not carried the white vote since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. . . . I firmly believe the nomination process must incorporate more diverse states into the early part of the voting – and by early, I mean the very same days as Iowa and New Hampshire, if not before. There are several smaller states with large Latino populations that would be good choices – states like New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado. These states have the added bonus of being swing states, which connects with an interesting idea put forward by Steve Rosenthal of ACT, to hold our early primaries in states which were close in the previous election. . . . The point is, our next nominee needs to be able to activate and inspire a multi-racial, multi-cultural base."

This is part of the problem. Perhaps voters in swing states should have an effective say. By the time I got to vote in Ohio, Kerry had already won. Everyone else had already dropped out. That makes little sense. It also makes it almost a waste to bother voting, if it's already been decided. So basically, Ohio chose the president, but not the Democratic nominee. The entire electoral system is basically pretty dumb.

There is a pungent smell of candles in my house. I lit every single candle that I have in my family room, which is twenty-two of them right now, by the way. And apologizing in advance to those with a Y chromosome, I have serious PMS today. Yesterday, I had a serious chocolate cravings (and I generally hate chocolate). Then I cried watching 50 First Dates on HBO, which is billed as a comedy. Today, I'm all nostalgic over - get this - the television show Greatest American Hero (I couldn't figure out why, but then it occurred to me that we were talking about it on Friday night at the bar. And on that vein, my coat still smells like cigarette smoke. I wish that Ohio would become like NY and not allow smoking in bars. My two cents.)
Goodbye Johnny.

Oh, and to quickly change comments, YAY for McNabb and the Eagles for FINALLY winning the NFC Championship game. Speaking of that game, I think my favorite part, other than the end, was the Star Spangled Banner, sung by Timmy Kelly, who is blind (when he was born, both retinas were detached) and suffers from cerebral palsy. He was the first blind student mainstreamed in kindergarten in the School District of Philadelphia. How touching is that? Everyone was crying. OK, just the servicemen were crying; most of the athletes didn't seem as if they were moved all all. One was, but the rest were stony faced. Either way. *I* found it touching.


Via Eden:

What color is most reflective of you? Hmm...I would say that either black or red. It depends on whether I am in a typical mood, or a vibrant mood. It's about half and half, actually.

How did you get the idea for your journal name? Actually, I didn't.
Jen started the blog for me and wrote the very first entry. She choose it because it's my favorite song in the entire universe.

What time were you born? Either 8:04 AM or 8:34 AM, I don't recall.

What song are you playing now, or wish you were pl8aying? See question two. ;-)

Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry? Not that I can recall.

What color underwear are you wearing? Teal

Do you want a baby? Like immediately? Or ever? No to the first, probably yes to the second.

What does your dad do for a living? Hmmm...that might give away too much. I'll just say he's in media.

What does your mom do for a living? A bookkeeper or something with payday and stuff like that.

What is your pet's name? I have multiple pets. That's all you get.

What color are your bedsheets? This icky pale yellow color; please don't inquire why.

What are the last 3 digits of your phone number? 244

What was the last concert you attended? The Vote for Change one, I think.

Who was with you? My sister.

What was the last movie you saw? I don't even recall. Nothing lately.

Who do you dislike most at this moment? I'll agree with Eden, Bush.

What food are you craving right now? Squash. Mmmm...

Did you dream last night? Yes. And I actually remembered it. Unusual for me.

What was the last tv show you watched? CSI

What is your fave piece of jewelry? My crystal

What is to the left of you? A red pillow

What was the last thing you ate? Umm....does Simply Orange Orange Juice count?

Who is your best friend of the opposite sex? I am not sure. I have several friends who are male, but my best friend is female.

Write a song lyric that's in your head? "I've dealt with my ghosts and I've faced all my demons, finally content with a path I regret."

Who last imed you? I don't really do IM much.

Where is your signifigant other right now? Don't have one, so I'd guess he's blissfully unaware of the hurricane force that is otherwise known as me.

Do you have a crush? Maybe...

What shampoo do you use? Actually, I don't. Wait, that didn't sound right. Not that I don't use shampoo, I mean I don't use the same shampoo regularly. I will randomly buy whatever I see, but I don't like to have the same shampoo for more than a month or so at a time.

When was the last time you cut your hair? You don't want to know. Umm...let me think. Beginning of April maybe? I don't have split ends yet (I've been watching). Maybe it's because I took 13 inches off then. I keep it one length, so no problems with layers. But even this is long for me.

Are you on any meds? No...but I'm taking opinions on whether I should go back on my ADHD medication. Anyone?

Do you have a mental disease? Other than ADHD? I have tendencies of OCD, but I think that's just part of my ADHD. And my type A personality. No washing hands constantly or stuff like that, but, for example, when I am editing a brief, and I write something and change my mind and cross it out, I have to get my white out and erase the editing. Can't use black pens. Random things like that.

What shirt are you wearing? A college sweatshirt - it's friggin cold here. Damn snowstorm in the midwest.

What time is it? 1:04 PM

What color is your razor? I don't even know. It's the Venus one.

What is your fave frozen treat? Mudslides. Yum...

Are you sexy? What type of question is that?

What's your favorite shopping store? I don't have a favorite store, actually. I hate shopping.

Are you thirsty? Not really - I just had orange juice.

Can you imagine yourself ever getting married? Someone willing to put up with ME? Unlikely.


So next week is our evaluations. Yikes. I was all nervous when all they were doing was handing me money. I hate the evaluations. It doesn't help that this is the ONLY chance we have to hear when we are going something wrong (we are really bad with feedback here) and so you may find out something you've been doing for 11 months or so is completely wrong and everyone hates you because of it. Our firm isn't very big on communication. We are expected to have our notaries. Of course, no one TELLS you this, they just get mad when you aren't one. I know some of the things I'll hear. I take things too seriously, I get too involved, I am not emotionally detached enough (right now I hear all the people who actually know me saying, "I am not emotionally detached enough? Is that even possible? Gee, thanks.) Either way, it's never a fun experience, and I'm not really looking forward to this.

Then, there is also some training session that is for associates only. The one partner was in my office, and he pointed to the "Appearance, Poise and Business Etiquette" and he said, "POISE." D'oh. He recommended that I join this little training session. I am so hesitant. First, it's limited to 6 people. 4 people have signed up so far, and they are the biggest (associate) proponents of the "boys club" that is pervasive around here. So is this just going to be them talking about the firm basketball team and firm softball team? (Both are limited to men, by the way. Females are not allowed to play. However, I was told that for softball, I could go to the games and be the cheerleader. I am not even kidding. Ahhh...bite me.) The second reason why I don't want to be involved is that I am not at all comfortable with the partner leading it. (Who happens to be my mentor, which, in case anyone was curious, is most inconvenient.)

I just don't know. They talk about the leaders of the firm, but I have no desire to be a leader. When I ran for Senate in law school, my campaign was, "She's not a leader, she's a follower. But she's a really really good follower." Sigh.

Sometimes, I wonder why I became a lawyer anyway. I constantly feel like I'm playing dress up as an adult. I thought about it at work, and I get along with more of the secretaries than the lawyers. That may be a slight exaggeration, but not much of one.

I'm torn on football this week. I don't want to root for the Patriots, because I hate dynasties in sports. Even when they are coached by one of the greatest football minds of our generation. Which also pains me. And if a team is gonna win, they might as well be in my division. But to make matters worse, none of my teams that I've rooted for have won, and intellectually, it seems like the Patriots are the better team. So I'm rooting for the Steelers, but expect the Patriots to win.

In the NFC, I want to go with Philly. Even without TO. I'm a huge McNabb fan. I like Vick too, but a huge McNabb fan. Not sure how the weather will affect Vick - if it's slippery, it takes away his ability to run. Logic says that Philly can't ever win this game and to go with Atlanta, but I'll take Philly.

There you have it folks. I want to see Pittsburgh/Philly in the Superbowl (which I think will actually hurt, to have two Pennsylvania teams in it. Like the NY World Series a few years back. Oh my gosh, that was LOTS of years back by now. Last century even.) ;-) Which means that the Superbowl will be NE and Atlanta.

Finally, dude...chill. The rest of us have to work over the summer; you can read a damn book...


So who's all wearing black today??


So, I have a question about chemistry. Not the science subject, but the feeling. YOU KNOW, chemistry.

Can you sense it in a two minute meeting? Or more importantly, in a telephone conversation?

There is some guy who is pushing to go out. He's attractive enough. Brown hair (meaning it's not my anti-blonde bias here). Blue eyes. Nice smile, dimples. Intelligent. We seem to have several things in common. Plenty to talk about.

The problem is, when I'm actually talking to him, my attention is EVERYWHERE else. I mean, I'm making a grocery shopping list, thinking about all the errands I need to run, etc...And all I can think is, this can't make for a positive thing. I mean, I'm listening and responding and even talking myself, but I'm not actively involved in the conversation. I don't really care if it goes on. I don't care if we talk again, or when we talk again, or if we ever manage to coincide our schedules. I just can't work up the emotion to care one way or the other. It won't be awful, like cocoa guy, but it's not like it's important or I am expecting great things or anything.

So my question - do I agree to the pushing and see if there is actual chemistry in person when we are together for longer than 2 minutes (I think it was closer to 5...but it was clearly less than 5)? Or should I assume that such chemistry could be observed through the telephone??


I live on the east side of Cleveland. I grew up on the (south) West side. I went away for college, law school, and my first job. When I returned, unlike many, I had absolutely no desire to go back to my old stomping grounds. The reasons are personal and complext. But the easiest, and the most easily accepted by those around me, is that the East Side reminded me more of the good things about living in New York City than the West Side did. No one, not even my family still on the West Side, questioned that.

As Steve Gleydura wrote in the December 2004 issue of Cleveland Magazine, "We all know the refrain. The East side is blue blood, cultured, liberal and diverse. The West side is blue collar, new money, conservative, ethnic, white. East Side streets are impossible to navigate. The West Side has no character. East Side means shopping, good school, and high society. West Side means bowling, neighborhood bars and big hair."

Those stereotypes make people accept it when I state my reasons for choosing the east side, even though a few friends who live on the west side won't visit me. In fact Gleydura hit the nail on the head when he wrote: "The wide Cuyahoga Valley - with its steep slopes, sheltered lowlands, and narrow river - run deep, both topographically and pyschologically. As the transition betwen the Allegheny Plateau and the Great Plains, it puts some teeth in the old saw that the West Side is really the Midwest and the East Side is the East Coast. But all too often I've heard, 'It's just different over there,' as if a trip across I-480 transports you into a foreign country, compete with passport jokes."

And the interesting thing is, he's not exaggerating. I hear the passport jokes when I'll invite people over. All of my current friends are East siders. It seems that the only place that the people agree are right in downtown Cleveland. Of course, no one other than young professionals actually live IN downtown Cleveland. Bad schools, no grocery shopping, no parking. Close (within walking distance) to all the office buildings downtown and the warehouse district bars, but that's about it. But when you meet someone, one of the very first questions to ask is where they live. Sometimes, it seems like a relationship with someone from another state is more stable than one with someone from the other side of town. I'm not sure why this great divide in Cleveland, separated by the river. We all hate the weather, obsess about our sports. It's actually quite amusing to other cities, because while it is to a certain degree, the division is not merely by race.

While I bought a house on the East Side, I'm not opposed to crossing the river again back to the West Side. Only a few neighborhoods would I consider though. Most of it is a bunch of conservative, new money yuppy...I guess I'm part of the problem...

I got dropped...

I got a call on my cell phone from a friend from law school yesterday. "Oh my God, can you believe what she is wearing?!" she shrieked. In my ear. Loudly.

Now while I don't mind mocking people, she lives in another state and I'm sitting on my couch watching the Indy/Pats game surrounded by a bunch of interesting legal case research to incorporate into a brief. (I'm actually not being sarcastic for once. I truly did find the issues I was researching complex and interesting.)

So my problem with this conversation: we aren't together looking at anyone. So I'm confusd. (I'm also confuses as to why I call Indy by the city name (instead of the Colts) yet call the Pats by the team name (instead of the location, NE). Or, rather, why I'm not consistent with one or the other. But I digress.)

So I say what any confused person would say. "Huh?? Did you mean to call ME??"

"The Golden Globes, The Golden Globes, The Golden Globes, The Golden Globes" she chants. It sounded like those monks that were popular a while back. I was somewhat frightened at what her response would be to my next comment...

"Oh, are those on today?" I ask her. Genuinely clueless.

She hung up on me.

How the hell was I supposed to know?? I'm still writing 2004 on my checks...


I had to actually wear a suit to work yesterday because I had witness interviews/fact finding investigation. Every once in a while, I have to play "lawyer." Professional tongue ring, suit, manners, etc. It involves a lot of trying to bond with people so that they will open up to you, as you try to figure out whether they are lying or discriminate or something. It's all about reading people. It was about 2 1/2 hours away, so it involved a lot of driving. But at least I got dinner and presents out of it, as my best friend lives in Columbus. We went for Mexican. Unfortunately, the decor, food and sevice all sucked. The worse part is, when the people I was interviewing heard me make dinner plans and say I wanted Mexican, this was the place that they both recommended...Obviously, our definition of "good Mexican food" differs.

The waitor walked over and asked us if we'd like to start with a drink, maybe a coke or a iced tea. My best friend asked how old he thought we were, he said, "20...Maybe early 20s." Other than not looking like I'm in my early 20s, I'm in a friggin' suit. How many 20 year olds wear suits? Grr...

THEN I missed my 12 meeting today b/c I couldn't find a parking place and I was 15 minutes late (which is only 10 minutes late for me). So I just went to work (which I had to do afterwards anyway.) Hell, it wasn't an important meeting, it was only the annual voting on officers one, right? Oh well, what can you do?

In other news, if anyone lives in the Cleveland area (or, as they say on game shows at the end of game shows, is planning to visit the Cleveland area) and has $130 that they don't know what to do with, may I suggest that you attend
this on February 26th (and not just because I'm helping to build the set for the party...) Seriously, I went last year, I'm going this year, and it's a really fun time. (My best friend, for some reason, laughed at me when I told her she should come...)

And because
Dern asked so nicely, a couple of discussions.

First, the evolutionary sticker banning issue in Georgia. As most people know unless they watch Faux news, in which case what they do and don't know is questionable, down in Cobb County, Georgia, the school board decided to put stickers on biology textbooks declaring "Evolution is a theory, not a fact." Ok, as
I said earlier this week, I guess technically, they are right, as I learned about "the theory of evolution" in high school.'s a pretty damn good, scientific theory, based on all sorts of objective scientific data. (This of course gets into my rant about how ID can't be a "science" because it wholly unable to be tested in any scientific sort of realm.) So calling it a "theory" as they meant the stickers to be taken is a bit (a bit?!) misleading.

Now, despite the obvious disadvantage to being in a red state, Judge Clarence Cooper (a Clinton nominee) was intelligent enough to rule just this week that the stickers violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. "Adopted by the school board, funded by the money of taxpayers, and inserted by school personnel, the sticker conveys an impermissible message of endorsement and tells some citizens that they are political outsiders while telling others they are political insiders ... [which send] a message that the school board agrees with the beliefs of Christian fundamentalists and creationists. The school board has effectively improperly entangled itself with religion by appearing to take a position. Therefore, the sticker must be removed from all of the textbooks into which it has been placed." Ultimately, this (along with an ID debate) will get appealed, it will go to the Eleventh Circuit, and ultimately the Supreme Court. How the USSC will rule depends on a variety of things, including whether Bush has appointed any Justices, and whether they replace Rehnquist, or an older Justice like Stevens. We know that Scalia supports creationism being taught in schools. And we are moving back to the 50s...we may not WANT the Supreme Court deciding this case. But alas...

Second, Randy Moss's touchdown antics thing: I hate Joe Buck. Not as much as I hate Tim McCarver, granted, but I find the two of them completely partial. It's disgusting. (In fact, for Tim McCarver I even signed the petition to
remove him as Fox announcer during baseball season. I hate him.) So perhaps it's more because I don't want to agree with Joe Buck EVER (who was just so disturbed by Randy Moss's fake mooning of the Green Bay Packers fans that he exclaimed, "That's a disgusting act by Randy Moss" and then complained because it was live. Poor baby.) But like some others, I don't see what the big deal was. Last time I checked, mimicking a mooning didn't actually show anything. I really hate that every time they do something inventive, something that the FANS love (and let's get real, football fans aren't usually easily offended), the players get fined. Remember the Terrell Owens and the Sharpie? Did anything (other than the NFL) not find it hysterical??

And let's look at the world. 150,000+ dead in Asia, the California mudslide killed 10, more than 1300 are dead in Iraq, we are at war in Afghanistan, Bush was reelected...and we are getting all worked up over a pretend mooning?? We are concerned that "children are watching." Do they really think that children haven't mooned each other in the schoolyard? Are we really so shortsignted? Give me a break. Coupled with the fact that Moss is an entertainer. An athletic entertainer, yes, not an entertainer nonetheless. Give me a break. His actions were harmless. I laughed. Finally, as Tony Dungy noted, "The fans in Green Bay have a tradition in the parking lot after the game where they moon the visiting team's bus. It's kind of a unique sendoff." No one has ever done anything about that. Said anything about that. Not the Packers. not the NFL, not the police, not the outraged media. So take your hypocritical outrage and stuff it up your...


Some Assholes Make Us All Look Bad

Via email...

Pair arrested outside Long Island courthouse
The Associated Press
Updated: 3:03 p.m. ET

Jan. 12, 2005

Did you hear the one about the two guys arrested for telling lawyer jokes?

It happened this week to the founders of a group called Americans for Legal Reform, who were waiting in line to get into a Long Island courthouse.

“How do you tell when a lawyer is lying?” Harvey Kash reportedly asked Carl Lanzisera.

“His lips are moving,” they said in unison.

While some waiting to get into the courthouse giggled, a lawyer farther up the line Monday was not laughing.

He told them to pipe down, and when they did not, the lawyer reported the pair to court personnel, who charged them with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

“They just can’t take it,” Kash said of lawyers in general. “This violates our First Amendment rights.”

Dan Bagnuola, a spokesman for the Nassau County courts, said the men were “being abusive and they were causing a disturbance.” He said he did not have the name of the lawyer who complained.

Americans for Legal Reform monitors the courts and uses confrontational tactics to push for greater access for the public. The pair said that for years they have stood outside courthouses on Long Island and mocked lawyers.

On Monday, however, Kash said he was due in court to answer a drunken driving charge from a year and a half ago. The men are due back in court on the disorderly conduct charge next month.


Welcome to 2005

So it's about 4:45 pm. A partner walks in and says, "can I see you in the fishbowl." (Big glass conference room.) I go in, it's a pow wow with another partner and two other associates about a case that the partner want to file summary judgment on. On the 19th. A week. Hmm...that means we have until Monday or Tuesday to get a draft done. Sweet...

Does anyone else find this truly disturbing. Oh, not that another celebrity spoiled couple broke up. That CNN uses words like "frenzy" and compares the news to the fall of the Berlin Wall. THAT is disturbing. Shame.

And I own a home. This is no real surprise to those who have heard my trials and tribulations over simple things like mowing the lawn, cooking, changing light bulbs, and painting. But it really hit me last night: it's my home. I was about to go on upstairs to bed, turned off all the lights, and navigated my way through the house in the dark when it hit me. It's my home...


From Howard Dean and Democracy At America:

Dear Supporter,

As I have traveled across our country, I have talked to thousands of people who are working for change in their own communities about the power of politics to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. Every group I have spoken to, I encouraged them to stand up for what they believe and to get involved in the electoral process -- because the only sure way to make difference is to step up and run for office yourself.

Today, I'm announcing my candidacy for the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

The Democratic Party needs a vibrant, forward-thinking, long-term presence in every single state and we must be willing to contest every race at every level. We will only win when we show up and fight for the issues important to all of us.

Another integral part of our strategy must be cultivating the party's grassroots. Our long term success depends on all of us taking an active role in our party and in the political process, by volunteering, going door to door and taking the Democratic message into every community, and by organizing at the local level. After all, new ideas and new leaders don't come from consultants; they come from communities.

As important as organization is, it alone can no longer win us elections. Offering a new choice means making Democrats the party of reform -- reforming America's financial situation, reforming our electoral process, reforming health care, reforming education and putting morality back in our foreign policy. The Democratic Party will not win elections or build a lasting majority solely by changing its rhetoric, nor will we win by adopting the other side's positions. We must say what we mean -- and mean real change when we say it.

But most of all, together, we have to rebuild the American community. We will never succeed by treating our nation as a collection of separate regions or separate groups. There are no red states or blues states, only American states. And we must talk to the people in all of these states as members of one community.

That word -- 'values' -- has lately become a codeword for appeasement of the right-wing fringe. But when political calculations make us soften our opposition to bigotry, or sign on to policies that add to the burden of ordinary Americans, we have abandoned our true values.

We cannot let that happen. And we cannot just mouth the words. Our party must speak plainly and our agenda must clearly reflect the socially progressive, fiscally responsible values that bring our party -- and the vast majority of Americans -- together.

All of this will require both national perspective and local experience. I know what it's like to lead hands-on at the state level and I know what it's like to run for national office.

With your help, this past election season, Democracy for America, already started creating the kind of organization the Democratic Party can be. This past election cycle, we endorsed over 100 candidates at all levels of government -- from school board to U.S. Senate. We contributed almost a million dollars to nearly 750 candidates around the country and raised millions of dollars for many more candidates.

Together, we helped elect a Democratic governor in Montana, a Democratic mayor of Salt Lake County, Utah and an African American woman to the bench in Alabama. Fifteen of the candidates we endorsed had never run for office before -- and won.

I also have experience building and managing a local party organization. My career started as Democratic Party chair in Chittenden County, Vermont. I then ran successful campaigns: for state legislature, lieutenant governor and then governor. In my 11-year tenure as governor, I balanced the state's budget every year.

I served as chair of both the National Governors' Association and the Democratic Governors' Association (DGA). And as chair of the DGA, I helped recruit nearly 20 governors that won -- even in states like Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi.

All of these experiences have only reaffirmed what I know to be true. There is only one party that speaks to the hopes and dreams of all Americans. It is the party you have already given so much to. It is the Democratic Party.

We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe.

Thank you and I look forward to listening to your concerns in the weeks ahead.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D

I've made absolutely no secret about the fact that I really like Dean as DNC Chair. I think that his passion is contagious. I don't mind the fact that he's not polished, and I think that people respond to him because he's *not* polished. I think that he's not going to try to make the Democrats the Republican-lite. If anything, he's going to push them further left in giving them identity. I can't think of anything better for the Democrats. He is unquestionable anti-war (a position which I think we are seeing the majority of the American public solely turn towards, as the deaths pile up. Keeping the coffins from view isn't making the public blind to the mounting death toll. It's just making it take a bit longer to sink in.) I think that Dean understands that the Democrats problems are, and I think that he has an idea of how to change things. I also think that the youth responds to Dean in a way that they don't respond to other Democrats. The Democrats need to increase participation at local levels, and I think that the younger generation is imperative for this. The Democrats need change. What represents "CHANGE" more than Dean?? We don't need more of the same. The only part that would make me sad is, by serving as DNC chair, he is giving up the option of '08. And I was a Dean supporter in '04 and was hoping to see him in '08. I'll admit it. The scream didn't faze me at all. That's the passion that I do so love.
So I got a telephone call on Friday night/Saturday morning around 2:30 or 2:45. My friend says, "Were you sleeping? I'm in big trouble, I need help."

Immediately, my mind goes to one of the two reasons why people *usually* call me at that time. Since we don't have any mutual friends or relatives, no one is dead. Thus, it's the latter. So I remind my friend that I don't do criminal law.

My friend says, "What? No I need advice. I have options. Should I do cocaine, or should I go home?"

I can honestly say, that's the first time I've had that conversation since I was 19...And it somewhat disturbs me that I'm having the same conversations I did almost ten years ago...And with different people. Some people are addicted to gambling, others alcohol or drugs. Me, I'm obviously addicted to personality types.

But I jest. I was actually extremly worried about my friend. (I'm a worrier. Which is most inconvenient.) So after being worried for a two days, my friend assured me today that all was well in the universe, it was a drunken thing, and no drugs were ingested. With instructions not to worry. Sure...let me turn off the worry button. But having made drunk telephone calls (though usually I send drunk emails) myself, I understand.

Then one of the girls at work had a party Saturday night and she had a psychic there. The psychic told my friend that the only one (of the 8 of us) who might be disappointed in their reading was me because it's hard to read for people who read cards themselves. The reading is taped, so I can relive it anytime I want. Which made me want to relive some of my other psychics, so I went to the "junk" room (room where I put all the stuff I don't know where to unpack) and found another 4 tapes, so I've been listening to past psychics to see how accurate they were. These are people from 1999, 2000, and 2001. Interesting. I'm still digesting all of it, but know that I may discuss it later.

At dinner, my father got mad at me. My father considers himself middle of the road - everyone who knows my dad consider him conservative. He considers me so far left that he's actually called me a communist before. So tonight, the show 24 was on, my sister's favorite show. In it, an American girl is dating a Muslim boy. And my dad makes some sort of joke about what she thought that she was doing dating a...well, you get the idea. I don't need to repeat his comments. He thinks it's a funny joke. I don't. So I expressed my belief. He told me that if I took a joking comment like that seriously, I had a problem. I told him that if he found a comment like that, serious or not, funny, then he had a problem. He didn't speak to me for the rest of the evening. But he made snide remarks. My brother made a comment about another character on the show - who happens to be black - and how he hates her. (I'm not a fan of her character either; I suspect that she is bad.) Anyway, my father mades a remark about how we can't dislike any minorities around me. Hmm...making a comment based on a person's character, I don't care what religion, ethnicity, race, etc they are. That is all fair game. Making a comment like my father made, and he doesn't see the difference? I remember another time, when I was living there, I made him so mad that he left the house for the night. I mean, he flat out got out and walked out. It was a similar comment that he made, and I told him that he was racist, and he got so mad he left. Gee, and I wonder why he thinks I'm a communist??

Finally, I found this article about similarities between McCarthyism and the Patriot Act extremely interesting. The reason I was so intrigued is that I've been arguing that our conduct is no different from that, from Japanese detainment, for a long long time now. Spitting against the wind, it seems. I can repeat things I've said a million times. But I'll just leave it with my oft repeated - history will not be kind.


Maura at Democracy for Virginia posted this about a proposed law (Fetal death; report by mother, penalty) pending in the legislature that makes it a misdemeanor if a woman who suffered a miscarriage (at home) does not report the death to the police within 12 hours after the miscarriage. Resulting in up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

It's not enough that conservatives attack abortion, but now they want to go after women who involuntarily loses a child? Many women haven't even told their friends and family that they are pregnant in the first trimester because of the possibility of a miscarriage. But now they have to tell the police? How much more of an invasion of privacy can you get? Moreover, in a genuine time of grief and crisis, and a miscarriage is, is this really going to be the first thought in your mind. "Must report my miscarriage." Give me a break.

Realistically, miscarraiges occur. What is the purpose of this proposed law? Is it to keep track of the women who seem to have an unusual number of miscarriages. That often runs in the family. It would *often* be the same women having miscarriages, through no fault of their own. Sometimes, their bodies just have problems carrying a child to term. My mother had two miscarriages before she had me. My one cousin had countless miscarriages and ultimately had to resort to expensive in vitro (several of which still miscarried) and was in the process of adopting before she finally had a pregnancy last beyond the first trimester (and was on 6 MONTHS bedrest after that!) before she had her first - and only - child. One of my closest friends had a miscarriage in college. Unfortunately, it's not unusual, otherwise, in vitro wouldn't be the money maker that it is. Now you want to punish the woman if she is so much in shock, in so much pain, that she doesn't call the police to answer questions (such as, as Maura details:

--place of occurrence
--usual residence of patient (mother)
--full maiden name of patient
--medical record number and social security number of patient
--Hispanic origin, if any, and race of patient
--age of patient
--education of patient
--sex of fetus
--patient married to father
--previous deliveries to patient
--single or plural delivery and order of plural delivery
--date of delivery
--date of last normal menses and physician's estimate of gestation
--weight of fetus in grams
--month of pregnancy care began
--number of prenatal visits
--when fetus died
--congenital malformations, if any
--events of labor and delivery
--medical history for this pregnancy
--other history for this pregnancy
--obstetric procedures and method of delivery
--medical certification for cause of spontaneous fetal death
--signature of attending physician or medical examiner including title, address and date signed
--method of disposal of fetus
--signature and address of funeral director or hospital representative
--date received by registrar
--registrar's signature
--registration area and report numbers

I would be too emotionally upset to deal with some stranger asking me all these questions. The experience is bad enough, now I'm being questioned about it?? And why is it relevant if the mother is married to the father? The mother's education?? The sex of the child??? (Would they even necessarily know? Miscarriages often occur early in the pregnancy before you could even possibily find out.) What possible relevance do some of those questions have?? None. They are solely to harass a women who has just suffered a miscarraige.

Something else interesting Maura listed - other misdemeanours in Virginia (you know, so you get an idea what type of crime not reporting a miscarriage within 12 hours is similar to). You ready?

--Statutory Rape (a person 18 years or older engaging in consensual intercourse with a child 15 or older not his spouse, child or grandchild
--Arson Burning or destroying a building or structure where the property is valued less than $200
--A bomb threat made by someone younger than 15
--Carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
--Possession or distribution of fraudulent drivers’ licenses or official identification
--Threatening any public school employee while on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity
--Purchasing or providing alcohol to minors

I am utterly disgusted right now. You are turning a tragedy into a crime. There is something really wrong with that. (Not surprisingly, if the woman miscarries, there is no burden for the father to report toe miscarriage, or penalty for his refusal to do so.)


Intelligent Design

I'll admit, I have little problem with the Pledge of allegiance. I guess I just don't think about it that much.

Way back in June of 2002, the Ninth Circuit (California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands) ruled that the Pledge was unconstitutional because it said, "I pledge allegiance to the Flag...One nation, under god." Then, of course, the 9th Circuit, amid heavy pressure, heard the case en banc. It ultimately ended up before the Supreme Court, which dodged the issue based on standing. So technically, the issue is still out there, just waiting. Apparently.

In 1943, the Supreme Court decided that the Pledge was constitutional, as people could refuse to say it, even though the Plaintiff (a Jehovah's Witness I think, but don't quote me on that) had religious objections to the Pledge. However, back in 1943, the challenged phrase didn't even exist. The 'under God' was not added until 1954, in an act that specifically stated that 'this is not an act establishing a religion.' So technically, the 1943 decision doesn't deal with what is at issue now.

However, the Supreme Court (while ducking the issue, a few justices discussed it) compared it to the phrase "In God We Trust" on our money. I would agree that few believe that we are endorsing religion every time we make a purchase. (Though there is a movement to
get rid of the phrase.) The Supreme Court opens with, "God save this honorable Court" (the rest of this sentence is "from these psycho, right wing judges") Even our NATIONAL ANTHEM, the Star-Spangled Banner, concludes, "Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!/Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,/And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"/And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave/O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!" (Though we usually one sing one verse, actually has several verses). History books discuss the American concept of Manifest Destiny. And all these things, very few people give any thought to at all. So in that same spirit, I am probably ok with all of these things.

Now, after losing the first time based on standing, the father in this case has
refiled the lawsuit, along with a eight other parents (who are the custodial parents, taking care of the standing issue). (Cynical me notes that he is his own attorney, and I think he just wants to argue before the Supreme Court. Then again, who can blame him.)

This comes on the tail of the decision by a Pennsylvania school board's decision to start teaching "
Intelligent Design." (ID has its own website here.) First, how exactly can a school board vote on what constitutes "science." Aren't there standards on how much time teachers much spend on specific subjects? (Even home schooled kids have to meet those). If the state doesn't find ID to be science, do the students not have enough hours to receive science credit for the year? That's just a practical question.

I find fault with the entire theory. Much like Descartes "proved" the existence of God ("God exists because I can conceive of a God existing, which means that he must have put the concept of God in my mind"), ID argues that God must exist. ("Life is so complex that only an intelligent designer must have created it." They conclude the odds of DNA assembling by change are 1040 (I would type the rest of the 0s here, but there are 40,000 of them. 40,000!)) I need more than: because "it's imaginable" or "it's complicated."

Now, I see teaching evolution: Here's the theory, here's the proof that supports this theory. But for ID...Here's the theory. It's cause it's complicated. No proof other than complexity? Cavemen would say all sorts of things were complex because of their lack of understanding; that didn't mean that their explanations were right.

Those favoring ID discuss the holes in the theory of evolution (because there *are* no holes in the "God created us" theory). Now in theory, this doesn't seem like it establishes a religion - just some random deity, whether he is the Christian's god or the Jew's god or Muslim's Allah. In fact, since it doesn't signify that there is only one god, even those with multiple gods could technically be included (i.e. Hindu, Paganism, or Wicca). Those with no god (like Buddhists and Taoists) are unlucky. But techically, it's just any divine being who created the universe. (However the school board who passed it made comments like" Jesus died on the cross and someone has to take a stand for Him, and that "If the Bible is right, God created us. If God did it, it's history and it's also science.") But even if you could argue with a straight face that this doesn't establish a particular religion, this clearly it is a complete melding of church and state. I thought that was a no no??

And ID isn't even real. It's creationism under a different name (because in 1987, the Supreme Court said that it was illegal to make creationism a part of the science curriculum. Of course, my beloved Justice Brennan (the author of that particular opinion) is no longer on the bench, while Scalia, who in dissent argued that creationism was "valuable scientific data" that an "embarrassed scientific establishment" (how exactly sure how) "censored from the classrooms," is still on the bench. Nevertheless, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit. I sent them $50 yesterday.

Anyway, this goes well beyond the Cobb County, Georgia school that plastered stickers inside the front cover of science textbooks stating: "Evolution is a theory, not a fact." Technically, that is correct. Evolution *is* a theory. A damn good theory, a likely theory, but technically a theory, nonetheless. Science class teaches us the LAW of gravity, and the THEORY of evolution. (Of course, I still maintain that gravity is a theory, and an untrue one at that.) But ok, I think you all are ridiculous, but I'll give that one to you. But intelligent design?? Does renaming it change what it is?

And now the point here (took me long enough, I know): why is it that I'm ok with the Pledge (and money and whatnot) and not ok with intelligent design? Isn't that a bit hypocritical of me? Aren't they essentially the same thing?


Winter weather advisory. My three least favorite words together. Well, maybe "lake effect snow" is worse. They so often go hand in hand. Out my office window, I can't tell what is the lake, what is fog, what is clouds, and what is snow. I can't even see the building across the street. It's all...icky. (That, I believe, is the scientific term to describe it.)

So a major criticism of myself as the attorney (as will be developed at my review later this month) is that I take everything personally. I get overly invested in each one of my cases. Go figure. So a partner today tells me that there is a case that he wants to put me on because opposing counsel used to work here and was fired (by the partner on the case), and then went to another firm and was fired (and we recently bought that firm...) So he's essentially been fired twice by us. Anyway, he is opposing counsel, and doesn't like us. The partner told me he wants to put me on the case because it will be "a good growing lesson for me," to learn not to take it seriously when opposing counsel is mean to me...I don't see that working. But it will cause me sleepless nights and anxiety...

Now I shall draft some discovery. Interrogatory #1 - why are you suing us? Request for Document #1 - Produce all documents supporting that. Interrogatory #2 - how often have you slept with your mother? Request for Document #2 - Produce all photos supporting that. Or not...


I'm on a strike team. I'm not 100% sure what this means because I try to avoid labor law like I do my worthless piece of an uncle, but sure enough, someone is going on strike tomorrow at midnight, and I am on the five person strike team. The reasonable question might be why I'm scare of strikers and unions. Well, the answer is simple. When I was an impressionable summer associate in New York City, who was already too friendly for the likes of NYC and called "midwest" all summer long, our firm took us to MoMA for a social event. The museum was closed and we had a reception, etc. Meanwhile, the employees at the museum were on strike. When they learned that my lawfirm was going to MoMA for a reception, they were out in full gear. They had squirt guns (not a major issue, but they weren't filled with water. Not piss either, so get your mind out of there. I wasn't sprayed by them, but I was told that it was vinegar) and a huge inflatable rat named "Ratterman" (a play on the lead partner's name). That was all ok. The screaming, the chants and the blowhorns and noisemakers and their little kids out there holding signs were intimidating, but ok. No, the part that scarred me forever from unions and strikes was that as the 84 summer associates walked on by, they starting throwing EGGS at us. EGGS. We were just a bunch of law students, all dressed up for this event, getting eggs thrown at us. It was disgusting. So I am scared of unions. Especially with me as the person taking affidavits to go file with the court? What am I going to get thrown at me when I'm actually working? Ugh! (You can read about our event here (second story down) but they (for some crazy reason) don't mention the eggs...)

(Remind me to later tell the rest of the story, where we ended up at some bar and prostitutes stole my purse.)

Other points of interets to me this evening,
Matthew is writing a article on "the recent proliferation of laws that allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense contraception if they find that morally or religiously objectionable." This troubling subject caused Matt to ponder the subject as well. Both have made excellent points. As have those commenting about the subject. Go on and give them a read. It's quite possibly the most interesting intellectual discourse I've seen in a while. I won't sum it up for you; go read their posts and comments. You'll learn a lot, I promise.

And speaking of learning a lot, Angry Girl has posted
20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA, WITH citations, that are guaranteed to raise your blood pressure. It starts with the fact that 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S and ends with the fact that serious voting anomalies in Florida -- always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation. The other 18 are just as irritating. Important. Check it out. I think what it comes down to is a feeling that it can't be trusted. When people can't trust that their votes are being properly counted or are not subject to fraud, there is a problem. I'll post the 20 Facts here but go check out her original one for all the supporting citations:

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.

13. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of General Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.

14. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (There is a movie of it actually occurring).

17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.

19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.

20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.

Finally, on The Amazing Race (yes, I'm addicted), I'll just repeat my weekly mantra that Jonathan is the most evil person ever. I liked the father/daughter, but they weren't able to really compete. But seriously, Jonathan just has to leave. If he wins I'll be disgusted. He so abuses his wife, Victoria. I'm worried that one of these times he's going to go off and hit her on camera.

Oh! Speaking of reality tv shows, the big news at our office today is that one of the plaintiff's lawyers in town that we deal with a lot is on the next edition of Survivor. Some are guessing that she is the first of the 20 booted off. I've never actually dealt with her, but I've heard stories. Though what she is as opposing counsel may not have anything to do with what she would be on Survivor. I will say this though: she is friends with Bitch Counsel from this past summer. Still, it's kinda cool, so I do actually wish her luck.
Today was my first day back at work in 2 weeks. But in some ways, it was even more than that because I was so ahead of my billable hours last year, it will be the first time since August that I really have to work work. I've gotten three and a half months where I was treating my job as less than a 40 hour a week job because, well, I could.

Now, it's January, and all of a sudden, I have to actually work. I can't rely on the fact that I had a month where I billed 252 hours, and another two months where I biled 230 hours, and I'm way ahead. (For most of the year, I had either the most or, more often, the second most hours of all associates. I'm sure after December, where I didn't even hit 100 hours, I'm not, but for 11 months of the year, I was.) So now it's really hard to get back into the grindstone. It's been so long since I had to work work. Depressing, actually. Luckily, the lottery is 67 million tomorrow, and so I figured I have nothing else to do, I might as well win it.

I also think that for some reason, 2005 makes me feel old. In a way that none of my birthdays ever have. (Except maybe 24, which really sucked because I wasn't in my early 20s anymore. I think it was psychological.) AS for this 2005 thing, maybe because it's halfway through the decade? Meanwhile, I still feel like I'm an irresponsible transient in college. But I've come to realize, over the last few days, that I'm all directionless. Without a "next goal" to attain. It was so easy for a while. I had college. Check. Then law school. Check. Clerkship. Check. Law Firm. Check. House. Check. Now the hell what?? What is the next goal to attain? Where am I going with this life I've created? Or more aptly put, "What exactly am I doing here and more importantly, why has no one caught me impersonating an adult?"

When I was in college, a friend warned me that this would happen. She was a year old then I was, and unlike me, she had no idea what she wanted to do after she graduated. I had this nice little coccoon of "law school" to protect me as graduation neared, that all of the "adulthood is coming" fears just brushed past me on their way to someone else. She warned me that I was just as amorphous as she was, I just would take longer to realize it. It turns out that she was right...

Finally, Jen reports that I, as a "brainy woman," am destined to never marry.
Brainy women face handicap in marriage stakes: British survey

LONDON (AFP) - A high IQ is a hindrance for women wanting to get married while it is an asset for men, according to a study by four British universities published in The Sunday Times newspaper. The study found the likelihood of marriage increased by 35 percent for boys for each 16-point increase in IQ. But for girls, there is a 40-percent drop for each 16-point rise, according to the survey by the universities of Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh and Glasgow. "Women in their late 30s who have gone for careers after the first flush of university and who are among the brightest of their generation are finding that men are just not interesting enough" said psychologist and professor at Nottingham University Paul Brown in The Sunday Times.

Claire Rayner, writer and broadcaster, said in the article that intelligent men often prefered a less brainy partner."A chap with a high IQ is going to get a demanding job that is going to take up a lot of his energy and time. In many ways he wants a woman who is an old-fashioned wife and looks after the home, a copy of his mum in a way."
So...if the average IQ is 100, and there is a 40% drop for every 16 points your IQ is above that, it is more than 100% likely that I'm never getting married. Hey, I might as well get a few more cats then, huh? I guess the good news is, no one else will be irritated that I can't cook. The bad news, I was really hoping to marry a chef...


Mother Nature

Just a few notable problems for the environment:

--Congress has authorized drilling in the protected Yukon Wildlife Refuge in Alaska
--Congress has opened up the East Coast's largest undeveloped island for commercial exploration
--Congress has slashed clean water spending by $242 million
--The Kyoto Protocol (enough said - but I'd point out that the US is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases)
--On that subject, refusing to even utter the words "climate change," and insisting that it is "climate variability," whatever the hell that means.

--Rejecting mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases (Bush claims that they would have a "negative economic impact.")
--2004 was the 4th hottest year on record. And actually, the top ten hottest years have all occurred since 1990 (ok, maybe not here in Ohio. Though all 3 feet of my snow from Christmas week has melted)

Just a few noteworthy enivornmental miscues. Sucks to be Mother Nature. No wonder she is pissed off.

Happy New Year everyone! Everyone is full of "year in review" and "new year's resolutions." And while I see the value of both...I just don't know. I'm already one of those people who struggles against living in the past. Because the best part of the past is that you are able to forget all the bad things and only remember the god things. So then you are all nostalgic over something that, realistically, sucked at the time. Ain't memory grand? And as for New Year's resolutions, I don't like starting things that I know that I will not finish. It's a failure complex I guess.

So then, what does a new year even mean? Let alone 2005. It seems so...I don't know. I know that 2000 was the big year, but that didn't strike me as how fast time was changing. This 2005 does. I have to start being an adult soon, don't I? Probably this year. Maybe that should be my New Year's Resolution...

I was out of town for the last few days, and my cats are really annoying right now. I can't so much as walk into the bathroom without them following me. I feel smothered. It's only been about 12 hours of this. This is was makes me worried about relationships. I'm feeling smothered by my cats. I have had a talk with one of them about how cats are independent, but to no avail. My kitchen is finally painted; I'll take a picture of it, but it will take me forever to finish the roll and develop it. (I didn't take any pictures over the holidays. Not sure why. I'm generally a picture type girl.)

I also am not inspired right now. I should talk about the ultimate devestation of the tsunami, how the number missing/dead are just mind numbing. (What is the quote: a single death is a tragedy, a million a statistic.) Thanksfully, all of my friends in the affected areas - all seven of them - have been accounted for. It's amazing how something so tragic can happen, and not personally affect me. Not that I'm not affected by the devestation, because I am in my "denial" mode where I stop listening/reading the news. I am just overloaded right now on tragedy. Does anyone else get like this?

Surprise, surprise. The last 6 months were the deadliest in Iraq. It's like, the longer we stay, the worse the war is getting.
  • December 75
  • November 141
  • October 67
  • September 87
  • August 75
  • July 58
These are also becoming numbing. Even though we aren't allowed to see the caskets with the flags draped returned. (A restriction, by the way, which doesn't get the attention that it deserves. The alleged "liberal" media just accepts it.

Moreover, the frightening part is, the deaths in Iraq are actually HIGHER than they were in Vietnam at this stage of the war. Yes, 58,000 died in Vietnam, a war where there was no exit stragety (sound familiar) over many years (give us time...). At the height of the war, there were more monthly deaths in Vietnam. But at this stage of the war, the deaths per month in the war in Iraq drarfs the number of deaths per month in the Vietnam War. Scary.

More death
Bob Matsui (Cal.) died over the weekend. He spent time in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II. He later served 26 years in Congress. I think of all of the Muslim / Arabs that we are detaining now and wonder if any of them could one day serve in Congress. It seems so hard to conceive. Especially because, we we keep being told, this is a different type of war. There isn't a clear "victory" in the war on terrorism. I don't know. I just don't know. It's hard.

Some Sports Stuff
The Buffalo/Pittsburgh game is good. A lot on the line. Cleveland is actually trying to WIN the game. What is up with that. They did the same last season, winning the final game and then losing draft picks. Actually, the Cavs did that in 2002 as well. They could have just lost the last game and had the worst record and gotten all the lottery balls. They won the last game and tied for the worst record. Of course, we got LeBron anyway, so all is well that ends well. But still.

I know. A real uplifting post, huh?
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