Monday, June 30, 2008

You're it!

I was tagged at the start of the month, and therefore it's obviously fitting to actually respond a mere month later. Oops. Still, as it gives me a fabulous opportunity to procrastinate, porque no?

Five Things on My To-Do List for Today:
1) Pick up passport from Mozambican Mission and take to Kenyan Consulate to get a transit visa for the summer trip (DUNZO!)
2) Go to the gym - today is a back & cardio day.
3) Sort out my fantasy baseball team for this week - had a bit of a disaster this week, as lost mucho points and Mags got put on the 15 day DL, the git.
4) Watch an episode of The Wire - we've just started Season 3 and am desperate to get home for it!
5) Do many, many, many practice essays in preparation for Wednesday's mock exam. Done thus far: 1. at 4pm. oops.

What are five snacks you enjoy?
1) Wasabi peas
2) Baby tomatoes - grape, whatever you call them - awesome!
3) Wheat Thins
4) Bagel chips
5) Grapes

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?
1) Buy several aeroplanes' worth of condoms and birth control pills and airdrop them over those countries where they are unavailable thanks to the good old global gag rule.
2) Go to the entire cricket tour when England visit each of Sri Lanka, the West Indies, South Africa, India, NZ and Australia, and take my mum to each - having paid off her mortgage.
3) Buy a house in Covent Garden / Waterloo big enough to have a library with one of those ladders on wheels and built-in shelves. Sigh.
4) Buy holiday homes in Barcelona, Paris and San Sebastian.
5) Fund scholarships for girls who are generally forced to help at home with the younger siblings / household work in Malawi.

What are five of your bad habits?
(I can only have 5? really?)
1) Picking anything I can
2) nailchewing
3) interrupting - constantly
4) snoring, if you believe TOH
5) sleeping like a starfish - again, if you believe TOH

Where are five places you have lived?
1) London
2) Cambridge
3) Barcelona
4) New York
5) San José, Costa Rica

What are five jobs you have held?
1) Merchandise vendor at Wembley Stadium - oh, those acid yellow sweatshirts... such memories
2) Translator for escort ads while in BCN
3) Body Shop Christmas worker - included working on NEW YEAR'S DAY - effers
4) English Language teacher
5) Personal assistant - many, many places for far too much of my life

Five people you'd like to tag
Not sure I have five.
1) Beth
2) Soph
3) Portax
That's about it. I don't know enough bloggers!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Throw Your Hands Up At Me

I'm beginning to think that everyone involved in /commenting on this election is nuts.

From Ralph Nader: Barack Obama is talking "white" to appeal to "white guilt." Now, even if there is a part of the electorate that feels "right on" for voting for a black man, this is absolutely bloody ridiculous - it's clearly not affecting these people. So a good way to cancel it out, perhaps.

But, at least, Mr N has given me a new category for posts: Wankers!

My approach to the election is going to be more along these lines.

Today Now!: How To Pretend You Give A Shit About The Election

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Why? Several reasons:
  • Going for Korean food tonight - bibimbop is my all time favourite-named food
  • Supreme Court strikes down death penalty for child rape - yes, it's a bloody awful thing, but death penalty ≠ solution (and, after a bad period, I feel the Court has made a couple of decent decisions this term - nothing as bad as Ledbetter, for example, including the case that I went to see on the Age Discrimination Act).
  • Yesterday, dropped off the application for a visa to Mozambique - we're really going! Ulp! Yay! And if you're wondering why I'm so excited, click here. And here. And here.
    • NB: less exciting: tetanus jab. Actually had to take painkillers to stop the aching in my arm yesterday. Grim.
    • But more exciting - after Friday, pick up the passport and just need Kenya & Tanzania - yayayayayayayay!
  • Just when I order a magic bullet, we find out that blended drinks are back - yeah baby!
UPDATE: Now I am VERY excited about two more things: Professor Schechter's scheduled return to tell us about domestic issues for the Bar - having a professor who is genuinely funny is a rare change and has been a delight this week - even if it does make the classes an hour longer than they need to be.

But secondly - DGC has introduced me to the onion video - I've known it was there for a while, but I'd never watched it before today - and, aptly, the one I watched was about the Supreme Court and the Death Penalty - enjoy!

Supreme Court Rules Death Penalty Is 'Totally Badass'

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

'Til Death

I listened to a really interesting podcast from PBS this morning - a special, online edition of the newshour about gay marriage from the perspective of two constitutional law scholars.

What really got to me this morning was the blithe assumption that marriage has always been this wonderful institution that benefited all concerned. What really interests me is that every proponent of marriage - for gay or for only heterosexual only - I've heard thus far has been a man. Every time there's a discussion, there's been no concept of a feminist input - that marriage hasn't always been that great for women, that they only belonged to husbands or fathers, that it was a method of transportation of property and titles between men. Not that it is that now predominantly like that in the US or Britain, but it intrigues me given this is the ground we're debating, with gay marriage opponents citing its history and traditional place in society ("that's how it always has been") as the reason why it cannot be expanded to gay couples. Why, therefore, do we never hear a feminist riposte regarding its often oppressive effects on women throughout history?

Anyhoo, my favourite moment in the podcast is when Professor Cruz slaps down Eastman for making the assumption that bisexuals would have to marry one of each sex. I love the "slippery slope" argument that Scalia has made - that somehow bestiality, incest and paedophilia are the same thing as homosexuality. Brilliant. Arseholes.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Random Generator: The Serious Procrastination Edition

  1. Otha Fish - The Pharcyde. It's odd how the general west/east coast divide splits me evenly, really, between the two. For I do love the Wu Tang, and some Jay-Z. And I couldn't give a monkey's for mucho of the West Coast gangsta/heavy nonsense. But I love me some laidback, more lyrically interesting stuff like the Pharcyde or Jurassic 5. I particularly like the Pharcyde because when they talk about sex, it's comical, and they talk about love, break ups, like in this, without expressing the need to humiliate / beat / generally do violence upon women in general. Plus, who couldn't love a song with the line "A manwich is a meal"?
  2. Fuck Knows Blud - Jehst. Jehst produced one unbelievable tune that I absolutely bloody love, called Under The Weather, which is on one of DJ risco's fab mixes that he did us. I haven't listened to this, and while the rapping does have that slightly weird accent that many British rappers adopt, it's distinctive and pretty sweet.
  3. Waters of Nazareth - Justice. One of my favourite albums of last year, this hasn't been one of my favourite tunes thus far, but listening to it now it's got a lot of the stuff I quite like about earlier Daft Punk (such as Rollin' & Scratchin') - harsher sounding, rougher, but with a good disco sensibility underneath. Love it.
  4. Save a Prayer - Duran Duran. Oh, how I love Duran Duran. Awesome pop, ridiculous videos, stupidly self-important, but Simon Le Bon's voice really is a thing of rare beauty, in my opinion. Only highlighted by some horrendous eurodance version a couple of years ago. PLUS Arctic Monkeys reference it in Teddy Picker - what more do you need?
  5. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos - Public Enemy. Is Chuck D guilty of that horror teenage girls are accused of - having a less "talented" friend (Flava Flav) around to show how wonderful he is? Just a question. This song is possibly one of my favourites by Public Enemy, only enhanced by the bizarro Tricky cover version. I also love the fact that the production is so sparse - yes, it was of the time, but it allows him to speak and be heard - it never overshadows him. I fear that these days, it'd be all about samples that tried to compete with him. Which would not be good.*
  6. Summertime - Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. This remains my favourite explicitly-summer-based (i.e. in the title) song of all time, despite strong competition from the Isley Brothers. Love love love it. Even if he is now bff with Tom Cruise.
  7. This Is How It Feels - The Inspiral Carpets. For a brief period, I loved them - and this is one of my favourites, although personally, I think the duet with Mark E. Smith (I Want You) is the best thing they ever did.
  8. A Little Deeper - Ms. Dynamite. Honestly, I listen to nothing on this album except for Dy-Na-Mit-Ee, which I think is genuinely genius, and occasionally It Takes More. She has such a great, smoky, slightly roughened voice, and I think it's really underused on this album. Given that this album was up against Original Pirate Material AND Run Come Save Me, it is really rather ridiculous it won, I think, given that the depth of those and the real lack of depth of this.
  9. Tick - Yeah Yeah Yeahs. A good friend of mine loathes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which I did at first, but this album (Fever to Tell) was MY album in the first year I came to law school, and really reminds me of walking to lectures in the mornings, and just being overwhelmed with being in NYC. I think lots of people who move here have a "NYC" album (often Interpol's latest, apparently), and this is mine. Plus, I absolutely love the video for this.**
  10. There She Goes - The La's. I've never been a big fan of the "Liverpool" sound - I like bits of the Coral, but didn't think the La's were all that. Having said that, this is so sweet and summery, I love it. And that Sixpence None The Richer cover was genuinely horrific, showed up the quality of his voice, and I really think a Christian rock band should probably not cover songs if they're about heroin addiction.

* He is going to be featured in a guardian special on the greatest lyricists of all time, soon, which I am looking forward to greatly. Must get the parentals to save me a copy.
** I looked for an online source, but couldn't find one anywhere. Dammit!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ups & Downs

This week has been a somewhat exhausting one. First, we got jonned this week. TOH's junior sibling was in town as my liver, wallet and expanded paunch know all too well. Still, mucho fun had by all, and I'm slowly starting to catch up on sleep, water and vegetables.

Second, the grind of school got to me a little, it must be said, particularly when TOH, TOH junior and various other friends were off having a simply marvellous time without me. So, it was apt that, to go with my somewhat changeable moods, on Thursday I went to an NJ institution known as "The Great Adventure" - the Garden State's version of Six Flags.* At Six Flags we went on many, many exciting rides, most of which were exhilarating (on the Superman they literally strap you in so you're lying horizontally facing the ground - awesome!), none of which quaked my guts beforehand like the Kingda Ka. If you've never had the fortune to see it, it's the world's tallest and fastest rollercoaster - and it's ridiculous. It's the equivalent of a 45 stories high; it gets up to 128 mph in a mere 3.5 seconds. Holy moly. I was absolutely bricking it beforehand. TOH junior wasn't much comfort, it must be said. We also had to be unsecured and secured three times, because the poor gentleman who must have waited about 45 minutes to get to the front seat was too large to fit under the secure harness. But once it got going - absolutely bloody brilliant. Wundebar. As you can see from the video below (you need to wait to about 53 seconds to see the real action).

* Why is it called Six Flags? Not because it's "more fun," as the adverts claim, but because there are "Six flags over Texas." Or some other such nonsense. But that's what DGC told me, and everything he says is true. And righteous. And awesome.

Now, back down to earth, to practice essays, and being at school at 8.30, and all the stuff I don't like. Still, saving myself up for another visit - and definitely sitting in the front row this time...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I am grumpy, stressed and miserable with Bar/Bri. Fortunately there is relief out there - someone documenting this experience, so I know I am not alone, and he does it in a far funnier and wittier way than I could possibly, ever. Hopefully this post will stop me moaning about it too much.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Belated Catty Friday: 2

Apparently the heat is getting to the cats a little bit, too, as they're coming up with interesting ways to stay cool, as you can see...

Stupidly cute.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


This weather does not bring out the ladylike in me. Well, superficially, I may fool you into thinking that - skirts ahoy (I do not do the shorts thing unless playing footie or at the gym - and trust me, you're grateful for that), dresses, strappy sandals.

Except right now I am sweating like a pig and sitting in the most unladylike of positions to minimise any contact my flesh may have with another part of me.

At least it's working. Sort of. And summer IS definitely here now, even if my earlier proclamations may have been a tad premature.

ps forgot to mention that cannot shower at the mo because our shower has no cold water. Just scorching hot stuff, so I smell particularly sweet, too.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Resolved in May

  1. Dunzo! albeit a bit late
  2. 28.6%. Higher than last month, but given the debauchery of senior week, trips to the Hamptons et al., I'm not feeling too bad about it. Particularly as, thus far, I'm eating a bit better and doing more gym stuff, just to escape bar study.
  3. Big nights out include the clubbing experience (ahem) from the Hamptons, and also during Senior Week. Yay!
  4. Classic movies - well, the Charlie Chaplin movie - City Lights - was during May, so that sort of counts. That's about it, but I did finally see Juno on the plane back from London, which was a lot of fun. Going to see Sex and the City tonight - does that count?
  5. Still reading Crime & Punishment, in theory, but I think I may abandon that for lighter reading during the bar. Such as Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro, which I was supposed to read for book club months ago, and have just started, and also any Alain de Botton I can get my hands on. So "classic" may have to take a backseat for now. I can't take it. Don't hold it against me! (same goes for serious classic movies, too).
  6. Had some flowers a couple of weeks ago, that TOH kindly brought me, but have been neglecting this part of my life. Dammit! Will purchase this weekend and make use of a purloined vase or two.
  7. Cooking - well, this week I've been cooking for myself and experimenting with variations on vegetables with spicy sausage or chicken - do I add white wine, do I add stock, which herbs do I use? No real conclusions other than there is a reason why I follow recipes: because I have no culinary imagination whatsoever.
  8. Cultural? Please. Actually, I did go to an excellent and hilarious staged reading of The Physicists, directed by my dear friend for her theatre ensemble, and it was great. It's about three madmen in a sanitarium, one of whom thinks he's Einstein, another thinks he's Newton, and the other is himself, but mad - Solomon appears to him and asks him to dictate his rules of nature. The subject matter naturally appealed to me - there is an underlying theme of the danger of the misuse of science, and how to use a scientific power for good - but the best part was, in my opinion, the delivery. Somehow the staged reading was funnier for the lack of props, the knowing reading of the stage directions. It made it more absurd, and funnier. Although the Swedish gentleman who had been expecting a production of Ibsen didn't seem too happy about the whole thing.
DUNZO for May. Don't expect much interesting in terms of blogging or my life for the next couple of months...

Monday, June 02, 2008


A follow up to this: made myself angry this morning, as I knew I would, by finally listening to the Woman's Hour podcast on reducing the abortion time limits. Nadine Dorries again arguing for reduction of the upper limits, whereas the gynaecologists and obstetricians - the medical professionals who have studied the science - are arguing against it. To reiterate: the scientists, the trained professionals on one side; and a woman who argues "I believe" constantly, not the science folks. Unsurprising, but always worth noting that science not on her side.

NOTE: I realise I did not explain this fully, because I had been expecting to link to the article on the Woman's Hour website, but I couldn't find it. Essentially, the issue I have with Dorries here is that she was arguing for the science, the medicine, the psychological studies, yet she could not find an obstetrician to argue on her side, whereas every official body argues in fact against her. It wasn't about "saving the innocent babies" but about science - and she's wrong. Again.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Joys of Privilege

PS: (I know, it's at the beginning, so more of a pre-script, but still...) A small disclaimer: I wrote this post in direct response to fairly raw and fresh anger, and this may well not be the experience of many folks out there. It's more about my reaction and learning... so not a generalization. Well, you'll see.


This weekend was spent with booze, cards, friends, barbecues and mucho dancing in the Hamptons. I met lots of new people and generally had a bonza time.

The Hamptons, however... not so impressed. We were going there as a privileged group, all highly educated people, professionals - doctors, bankers, lawyers. Ugh, that makes us sound horrible. Anyway, we're experiencing this privileged lifestyle, but then last night, trying to go out dancing, something occurred which left me with a deeply unpleasant taste in my mouth and made me again realise how fragile that privilege is. It was one of those awakening moments, where one genuinely learns something new, experiences what it's like to walk in another's shoes. We decided to try a club for dancing, and our first attempt was unsuccessful, as the place was only taking those with reservations. It didn't look that great, but it was annoying, as we had to get in another cab. Still, no worries - we'd go to the place a group had gone to the night before.

And that is where the bad thing happened. We did not have a reservation, 'tis true. We were a very big group, that cannot be denied. Still, while members of our group were... discussing the merits of our case with the bouncers, groups of people walked past, strolled in. And there was something clearly distinguishing us from them - lack of white denim, we came by cab, not needing valet... but, mostly, in a group of about 25, there were 2 white folks and everyone else not. Whereas everyone who sauntered in past us was white (other than two extraordinarily beautiful, tall skinny black girls).

It seemed so obviously racially motivated that it was utterly ridiculous last night, and reflecting on it today, it just seems surreal. Now, as I say, maybe it was because we really didn't have a reservation, but that wasn't a problem for the other people, many of whom didn't even seem to be asked about it. It may have been that we were a very large group but, then, well over our number walked in just while we were there. Or, it may have been about race in that not many people of colour live in Southampton, and that would explain why 99% of those who went there were white. The is also no other way to say Eff You than spend a fortune in there, to show you're good enough and you have the cash, but giving them money was the last thing I or any others wanted to do.

Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. But this sort of slight happens often enough to the people who were there that it almost doesn't matter - it's just one more thing in a long line of insults and exclusion. It was a horrible window into a world about which I don't have a clue, just glimpses. It's not just the discrimination, the lack of being able to do exactly what you want to do wherever you want to do it, but the suspicion, the mistrust. And so, a reminder of the privilege I experience by just not having to think about these things on a daily basis.