Thursday, April 26, 2007


We have commemoration books for Virginia Tech at school. They're beautiful - gold and brown bound leather. I walk past them every time I go into the library (which to be fair, is not often, as it's not my workplace of choice).

I consider writing things.

But I don't know what to put.

Partly it's a religious thing. Or, rather, an irreligious thing. In that I do not want to put something I do not believe in. Yet, maybe somewhere at VT there is someone, like me, who would feel comforted by my agnosticism rather than prayers.

I don't know.

What I do know is it is pretty despicable to blame it on sexual frustration due to women's behaviour being "confusing."

Monday, April 23, 2007


There's something extraordinarily glorious about wandering through NYC when the sun is out and toasty on my skin, the sky is blue, and I have What's Going On* blasting through my headphones.

*Scroll down to number 6.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mannish Hands

One of the wonderful classes I'm taking this semester is Anti-Discrimination Law. It's with an extraordinarily gifted and intelligent professor, and I am learning a lot about how I view society's structure. I possibly have taken it on too much, at least from the perspective of the people who have borne the wrath I have expressed recently due to indignities, stigma and discrimination. Not that I have indignant white middle-class girl's rage, or anything.

Anyway, this is all leading up to the test I just did with my writing at this website. Sent to me by the ever-reliable (and ever-procrastinating, hence a woman after my own heart) WUB, she revealed that the test thought her writing was done by a man. When I entered my blog text, it thought I was a woman, just about. However, interestingly, every piece of legal writing I did was overwhelmingly "male" - with a male:female word ratio of nearly 2:1. This is intriguing, given that so many qualities for "good lawyering" are considered to be masculine - logic, single-mindedness, adversarial bearing (i.e. competitive bastard disease, which I have in spades). As such, one hundred and twenty four years ago Justice Bradley wrote:

It certainly cannot be affirmed, as an historical fact, that this [right to practice law] has ever been established as one of the fundamental privileges and immunities of the sex. On the contrary, the civil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destinies of man and woman. Man is, or should be, woman's protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits if for many of the occupations of civil life. The constitution of the family organization, which is founded in the divine ordinance, as well as in the nature of things, indicates the domestic sphere as that which properly belongs to the domain and functions of womanhood. The harmony, not to say identity, of interests and views which belong, or should belong, to the family institution is repugnant to the idea of a woman adopting a distinct and independent career from that of her husband. So firmly fixed was this sentiment in the founders of the common law that it became a maxim of that system of jurisprudence that a woman had no legal existence separate from her husband, who was regarded as her head and representative in the social state; and, notwithstanding some recent modifications of this civil status, many of the special rules of law flowing from and dependent upon this cardinal principle still exist in full force in most States. One of these is, that a married woman is incapable, without her husband's consent, of making contracts which shall be binding on her or him. This very incapacity was one circumstance which the Supreme Court of Illinois deemed important in rendering a married woman incompetent fully to perform the duties and trusts that belong to the office of an attorney and counsellor.

It is true that many women are unmarried and not affected by any of the duties, complications, and incapacities arising out of the married state, but these are exceptions to the general rule. The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfil the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator. And the rules of civil society must be adapted to the general constitution of things, and cannot be based upon exceptional cases.

The humane movements of modern society, which have for their object the multiplication of avenues for woman's advancement, and of occupations adapted to her condition and sex, have my heartiest concurrence. But I am not prepared to say that it is one of her fundamental rights and privileges to be admitted into every office and position, including those which require highly special qualifications and demanding special responsibilities. In the nature of things it is not every citizen of every age, sex, and condition that is qualified for every calling and position. It is the prerogative of the legislator to prescribe regulations founded on nature, reason, and experience for the due admission of qualified persons to professions and callings demanding special skill and confidence. This fairly belongs to the police power of the State; and, in my opinion, in view of the peculiar characteristics, destiny, and mission of woman, it is within the province of the legislature to ordain what offices, positions, and callings shall be filled and discharged by men, and shall receive the benefit of those energies and responsibilities, and that decision and firmness which are presumed to predominate in the sterner sex.

Bradwell v. Illinois, 83 U.S. 130, 139 (1873).

This was quoted, in part, by Justice Ginsburg in her dissent this week to the legal disgrace that is Gonzales v. Carhart. That was to illustrate that paternalism towards women on the basis of their is an abhorrent and outdated thing, an abomination, a monstrosity. And so it all links back, and is connected, paternalism and sexism and gender stereotyping and the denial of abortion rights. But I was particularly interested because, according to this website, successful legal argument (in that it comes from papers I have written with reasonable modica of success) is inherently masculine.

And that gave me pause, today.

Friday, April 20, 2007


For those of you who have been somewhat surprised at the lack of discussion of Gonzales v. Carhart on these pages, it is due to my sheer rage this week. As I pointed out yesterday to friends, if I had Jedi powers (midi-chlorians, obviously) then this would be the point where I become Darth Vader. The rage is strong with this one.

Plus, there are far more people who can articulate this eloquently, legally, analytically and just better than I...
There was an article by Stanley Fish a couple of weeks ago that pointed out that the true measure of governance is who the governing executive puts into positions of power that affect our everyday lives. And now we understand why they vote for Bush, and we should have done everything in our power to overcome that.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


It's been a horrible week, for various reasons - awful things happening in the world, in the judicial system here...

but what has pushed me over the edge? I really, really, really hate Grey's Fricking Anatomy and now they've used my favourite Amy Winehouse song and now tons of heinous people are going to buy that album and pretend they like her.

I am a scarily shallow human being.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Soggy, damp, moist, drenched, saturated, sopping, soaked, clammy, dank, teeming, soused.

What a lot of rather fabulous words there are to describe being wet.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Plungers Please

I am feeling extremely mentally limited right now.

When dear friends, who I have not seen for what feels like ages, ask me how I feel, I find it hard to even articulate a response.

When I want to blog, I cannot, because I honestly have nothing of interest to say. (Plus ça change, plus ça rien, yes I know)

Hence an even lower calibre blog will be coming your way. Fortunately, however, it will also be more sporadic due to work levels or, more likely, guilt that I am obviously procrastinating. Whereas if I obsessively check dlisted, you won't know.


Friday, April 13, 2007

So Far From Me

I had one of those flashes of inspiration this morning that really isn't, in fact, original or anywhere near approaching genius. Namely, listening to an old compilation album I haven't heard for a while, I "realised" (and this is an epiphany, folks) that the Neptunes are absolute fricking genius producers. Truly extraordinary. They're not as dominant as they once were, but nonetheless, they had an unbelievable run. Admittedly, they've done some pants stuff too, but that's by the by. In terms of stuff that makes you want to shake your behind, that makes you feel that there is no way you cannot be on the floor right now... there was no one better.

Anyway, once I'd realised that in fact this is not a novel concept, I started thinking about the patterns of producers' success. For example, where is Nellee Hooper or David Arnold these days? Why is it all about Mark Ronson right now? This I find interesting simply because creativity is not something I find I understand. I don't get its waves and troughs; nor how it appears to be "used up" - why do you suddenly run out of ideas? This is all mainly because, regardless of the intellectual strengths I may have, creativity is not one of them. I am good at solving others' puzzles, but I couldn't set a crossword (incidentally, I am on the verge of completing an entire crossword, just three clues to go for Quantum's this week - it appears that practice really is necessary but the knack comes back despite lack of use).

Nonetheless, I really feel my cognitive processes have changed for the sharper and better at law school (although maybe not for the more left-wing or moral, but that's another story). I think "better" in terms of linking things together, being able to argue or critique another's argument. But, alas, I'm still not about to write that bestseller--although of course the world is crying out for a female John Grisham, with a thrusting young lawyer falling into all sorts of trouble... hmm... maybe that's the way to make my fortune.

When The Neptunes Ruled The World
  • Like I Love You - JT
  • I'm a Slave 4 U - The Spears
  • Girlfriend (remix) - *N-sync (or however they blooming well punctuate that)
  • Good Stuff - Kelis
  • Milkshake - Kelis
  • Got Your Money - ODB
  • Light Your Ass on Fire - Busta Rhymes
  • Signs - Snoop Dogg
  • Beautiful - Snoop Dogg
  • Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
  • Last Night - JT
  • Señorita - JT
  • Lap Dance - N*E*R*D feat. Lee Harvey
  • Boys - The Spears
  • Shake Ya Ass - Mystikal - shame he's a nasty piece of work. No more love for you, Mystikal.
  • Frontin' - Pharrell
  • I Just Wanna Love You (Give it to me) - Jay-Z
  • Blaze of Glory - Clipse
You see? That's some some shaking material there.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Holy Java, Batman!

Yesterday was of course Easter Sunday, and therefore my longed-for return to caffeine. As I've been supping the decaf, it wasn't the explosion of joy I'd been expecting, really, because it tasted like normal. I didn't really notice an effect yesterday, but I suspect that the kick of being unexposed to caffeine may come in handy in the forthcoming weeks, what with the frantic paper-writing I shall have to indulge in.

Despite the huge amounts of work this weekend, it was actually incredible enjoyable - particularly as I could watch the snow flutter around the courtyard (which seems to have an eddying effect, which is rather pretty). We went to our new cafe, which is utterly sweet and has absolutely outstanding croissants (WUB, that reminds me - whatever happened to the new bakery?) and serves nutella-equivalent on its tables. Now that's a neighbourhood place I can get behind.

You see, beforehand, it was a bar that was, frankly, quite scary. Not scary as in "I can't go in there, I'll get knifed," but more "The landlord's a bit of a nutter and I don't want to spend all night talking to him." Which seems harsh, as I think he fell quite ill. However, my real problem with it was the seeming lack of effort - the tables, chairs, all seemed as if they were an afterthought--and I got offended that this lack of effort was directed at what my neighbourhood deserves... whereas the new place is sweet, light, airy and, best of all has a big table where you can sit and just chat with others, as at another lovely restaurant near us (which is not only extremely nice but has also been frequented by rather famous politicians...). At the latter, we bumped into a very lovely German woman who lives in Zurich and is compiling a photo encyclopaedia of the street junctions of Manhattan. As you do. I wish I'd got her card, so we could see the results. She's been doing it for years, and is nearing the completion. I imagine that would leave a serious gap in your life, quite frankly.

The gentrification around us is really starting, I feel. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it's lovely to know that there is a sweet cafe near us, not just diners; it's good to be able to walk ten blocks and go to a genuinely nice wine bar, not just be grateful for somewhere vaguely ok to drink (and it is lovely, much nicer than most in Morningside Heights, for example). On the other hand, I find it worrying that families really are being displaced: Every removal van has taken away Dominican families, and their replacements have been young white students / professionals, often English. That is to say, people like us. Hmm.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bush Seeks Iraq Funding...

... and Cheney hangs out in the bushes...


I'm sorry to fulfil so many stereotypes about British obsession with weather, but... it's snowing. On the FIFTH OF APRIL.

Bloody ridiculous.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Yet more decaffeinated fun

Here's a year 'round valentine for everyone who really loves lemon. With its delightfully refreshing lemon flavor, this tea-hot or iced-will add a little sunshine to your day.
Thanks again to David & Eunice for that one. I just can't handle that punctuation at all. So not very sunny here.

All Bets Are Off

I must offer a heartfelt apology to the women of Rutgers and the gents of Ohio State. Because in the next two days, you will both lose in the finales to March Madness.

The only reason I have to offer is that I would favour your victory--and given the fate of those who have been my preference thus far, that means you will lose. Both the women and men of UNC had leads, to then be painfully beaten. Even after switching to UCLA and Georgetown--both due to friends and, of course, jesuit loyalty--they both lost. Every team I have expressed a vague preference for, be it out loud or merely in my head, has lost.

So sorry folks, I have tried to be neutral for tonight, but it's just not possible...

At least the poison has not yet spread to the baseball, as the Mets gave the Cardinals a stuffing last night.

And for those who have no sporting interest whatsoever, I apologise, too, but until October it's all about the cricket (starting very very soon in England) and the baseball.

I love summer. Not that it's evident right now. I am never going to believe Weather on the 1s again, given that it told me this morning that temperatures would reach 67F today, hence no tights (of course, it has subsequently modified its prediction). It's currently 48F. Damn you Pat Buchanan!

Sunday, April 01, 2007


This week I have been forced into discovering the joys of a swiffer. Mainly because we are now the proud (adoptive) owners of two mightily hairy beasts. We should have called them Esau and Esau.

It has been, not to make too frivolous the trevails of those actual parents we know, like allowing two small, troublesome and attention-seeking toddlers into the home. Although I'm not convinced that toddlers would desperately jump into the shower after we've got out in the attempt to drink from the tap. Which is what they are doing, as demonstrated here:

It's all very odd.

Sort of grown-up.

But great.

I have, however, become one of those horrible people who talk about their cats in the way that people talk about their own progeny. So I shall stop, forthwith, unless solicited, after this week. I promise.