Wednesday, December 28, 2005


i'm bored. i'm gonna harper's-index this little post. here goes nothing:

number of goats my aunt has on her property: 5

number of times my step-mother has asked me if the size 9 i specified for a new pair of chuck taylors is in men's or women's sizes: 6 (at least)

number of distinct drives up and down beach boulevard i've made so far, trying to make sense of the hurricane damage: 4

number of uncomfortable stories i was just told about my step-mother finding condoms in my step-brother's tool box: 1

number of political debates that i've managed to avoid with family members: 3

number of comments i've gotten that can't objectively be construed as compliments about my hair color: 4

number of trips i reluctantly and scowlingly had to make to wal-mart this week: 1

number of times any given CD in my sister's car will skip when played: thousands

number of stars that are visible in the nighttime sky above my dad's house: billions!

number of hours of sleep i got last night: 12

number of minutes of naptime i was intending to get last night when i laid down on the bed: 30

number of beers my step-brother drank while driving my brother and me to get dinner last night: 1.5

number of times my step-sister and i have been made fun of for suggesting that my dad and step-mom plant a garden in the giant pile of dirt that was used to fill in the swimming pool after hurricane katrina: too many to count

number of times that the sound of a southern accent has made me feel simultaneously homesick, ostracized, baffled, and amused: too many to count

number of stupid fights my sister and i have gotten into which ended in hugs and her saying "i'm sorry, i got my period for christmas" and me saying "i'm sorry, i just want life to be perfect for you": 3

number of hall and oates songs that my brother and i sang while sitting on the front porch earlier in the week: 8, give or take a couple

number of decimal places that my step-sister has memorized for pi, so she can recite it for the talent show at the camp where she's a counselor this week: 100!!!

number of blog posts i've written since being home, including this one: 13

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

blown away, part three...

(or, more of the same)

i've been compulsively, obsessively driving to the beach to survey the scene. i can't stay away. it's like making some sort of pilgrimage. and it's not just me, either. the place is like a funeral procession -- cars driving by slowly, folks staring at the damage, hands covering their mouths. many of them have cameras, some have video cameras. and here's what we see, what we can't tear our eyes from:

blown away, part two...

here's what's left of the pier at beach park.

this used to be where the bosios lived. dr. bosio delivered my sister. he and his wife were good friends of my parents. when i was a teenager, i had a crush on their oldest son. they would have parties at their home on the fourth of july, during the fireworks.

this was where the hornes lived. mrs. horne was one of my mom's best friends. when i ran for student council president (don't laugh!) i filmed a campaign ad from the roofdeck of their house. at the end of the ad, the camera panned down to the beach where "emily for president" had been written in giant letters in the sand.

here was the keenes' house. their daughter was a friend of mine. when i was 15, while standing near my car in their driveway, i kissed a boy who came from biloxi to hang out with me. it was a silly girly high school moment, one that i remember well and happily.

the yacht club used to be here. we were never members, because my parents thought it was a waste of money (see where i get it?), but we had friends who were and sometimes in the summertime my brother and i would go and swim at the pool there.

red states...

i just got back from a visit with my aunt and her kids. it was actually a very nice visit and i'm glad to have had the chance to see them, even though i did get a pseudo lecture about the merits of bee venom and B-12 injections for multiple sclerosis treatment... my aunt means well. she means well. she means well. or at least that's what i kept telling myself as i sat and nodded and smiled and made noncommittal comments about looking into her suggestions.

but here's where things got funny, in the oh-my-where-did-i-come-from sense... my cousins--my aunt's kids--are all great kids; very bright, creative, sweet. they're also very sheltered and very catholic. VERY catholic. and the oldest of the brood was old enough to vote for the first time in the 2004 presidential election. he was very very proud to have cast his vote for george w. bush.

so, i'm sitting around the dining room table with my cousins, and for some reason we're talking about names that we like and don't like. and as the conversation moves along, we discuss how sometimes knowing someone with a certain name can cause you to like or dislike the name. and my one cousin says, "i met this man named alan and he was very nice and it made me like the name alan. i hadn't liked that name before because the only alan i knew of was alan colmes and i don't like him because he's a liberal."

friends, i have NO POKER FACE! i can only imagine how my expression must have been interpreted. i literally flinched and shuddered a bit. but regardless, i wasn't asked about it, which is very good, because i honestly don't know what i would have said. i can hold my tongue about a lot of things, but a generalized attack on all liberals? and a citing of alan colmes, that fox news patsy, as a legitimate liberal??? man oh man!

mr pibb + red vines = crazy delicious...

i have to put up this link, to the awesomest SNL rap of all times!

it's the chronic (what?) cles of narnia!

hat tip to dice, for keepin' it real.

fun with christmas presents...

my dad, erm, i mean, santa gave me a digital camera for christmas! rad! i totally wasn't expecting this at all. this means that i can now fully actualize my blog with pictures from my boring life! hooray!!!

so, with no real relevance other than just because i can, here are some really lame christmas day photos:

this is the first picture i took with my camera. yes, i look like ghostface killah -- gotta figure out how to work the features on this damn thing. and yes, those are brass knuckles that my brother has.

here are (from left to right) daniel, caitlin, me, cousin meghan, step-brother mark, cousin matt. this was one of those moments where my dad and step-mom and my aunt and uncle are all posing us and flashing a billion cameras in our faces. IT WAS NOT MY IDEA TO USE MY NEW CAMERA!!! that was all my dad. look at us! we look like a fucking high school yearbook photo!

and this is the living room after the christmas melee. compared to years past, this is way tame.

just you guys wait until i get back to pittsburgh and can take pictures of milo and kenobi!!! meow!

Monday, December 26, 2005

ich bin ein...

you know how they say that in a seven year period the body essentially re-grows itself? new cells and all? if we take that as truth, by some assessment, i am an entirely different person now compared to who i was seven years ago.

this is on my mind because it was seven years ago that i moved away from the south. i graduated from college in may of 1998, moved that summer to boston. and that was that. no more mississippi driver's license. no more permanent address at my dad's. no more. all mine. my bills, my space, my mistakes. my life.

last night, dad, daniel, caitlin, and i went to see "the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe". before we left the house, while dad and i were waiting in the car for my brother and sister, dad said to me, because he knew that i had already seen the movie, "hey, please don't tell me what's coming up next the whole time, okay?" and i said, "come on, dad -- i wouldn't and i don't do that." he gave me this look that suggested that i was full of crap.

and i lost it. maybe because i had just woken from a nap. maybe because i feel so icky-out-of-place-out-of-sorts when i'm at home, but i responded with, "you know, you spend maybe 100 hours a YEAR with me anymore -- don't pretend that you know who i am or how i'm going to react to things!"

was i out of line? perhaps. he is, after all, my father. but i am, after all, in some sense, no longer his "child".

why is it that being with family -- those people who have known me longest, who love me most, on whom i will always be able to depend -- brings out the worst in me?

perhaps because they really don't know who i am anymore? or the me that they know is an earlier version of me.

this has been an odd trip home. the katrina damage has a lot to do with that. i still can't properly express how disjointed things are, how foreign things look, how unnatural it seems, how unsettled and uprooted i feel. and yet, this storm was the most natural thing to have happened. this town is on the gulf of mexico. hurricanes happen every year. it's an assumption of risk, to some degree. you buy a home on the beach, you pay the price of prime property with an amazing view. but you also pay the price that comes with being so exposed.

shit happens. life changes itself. something that i've been very profoundly reminded of as i've seen what this hurricane has done to so many lives here is that sometimes we truly have no control.

when i think of pascagoula, i think of all of the reasons why i left -- the things i want to do with my life aren't here; the people with whom i feel i fit in aren't here; it gets really hot and humid in the summertime. unfortunately, the majority of my associations with this place aren't so great.

and yet, there are some truly amazing people here. my dad knows so many good families, people with beautiful hearts. the community here has pulled together in so many fantastic ways since this storm. how can i lose sight of that? how am i so foolish as to forget that for as many reasons as i had for leaving and as important as those reasons are to me, the people who have stayed have reasons that are every bit as legitimate?

so, there. looks like i'm just as guilty. my 100 hours per year of connections to this place are just as inadequate. i've taken those little snapshots and have combined them with bad recollections of teen angst and a sick mother and the nagging desire for my own independence and have converted them into some mottled history of what my hometown is supposed to be.

and just like anybody's history, mine is full of slant, informed by subsequent experience, inevitably subjective.

pascagoula is no longer mine. realistically, it hasn't belonged to me since i belonged to it. and back then i was a whole different emily. and back then it was a whole different pascagoula.

enough of this for now. the house is quiet. i'm the only one here. it's a gorgeous day outside (i can't believe i was complaining about the weather! i can actually be out in the sunshine without fifteen layers of clothing on!) and i want to be here right now. it's important for me to be here right now.

i'm a silly girl. a foolish girl, sometimes. i think i'll go visit my mom at the cemetery. take her some flowers. and then i want to go back to the beach. by myself this time. figure out where this place and i fit with each other now.

deep breath.

change in plans...

so, that whole my-little-brother-is-coming-to-pittsburgh thing? well, it's still happening, but it's being postponed for a month. you see, it became glaringly apparent to daniel and me, once we actually sat down to discuss the realities of this move, that sharing my one-bedroom apartment for two months would cause one or more of the following:
(a) we would kill each other,
(b) we would kill each other, or
(c) we would almost kill each other, and daniel would get so fed up that he would move back to hattiesburg.

so we've adopted a middle ground. daniel is moving to pittsburgh at the beginning of february. this still gives us time to find a new place together with a march 1 lease (because i really don't want to have to look for a new home by myself), and it gives him some time to get oriented to the burgh before the new lease starts, and it means i still get to live alone in my little apartment for a bit.

so, friends, i'm flying back home to PA this thursday! it will be new year's in pittsburgh for me! but i may already have plans...

my brother is currently playing "(you make me feel like a) natural woman" on the guitar. (because for some reason the sheet music, complete with tablature, is on the piano?!?) i seriously can't wait to live with this kid!

but now? now he's playing "land of confusion" by genesis (is it genesis? phil collins? i dunno...). this song he seems to know by heart... oh my...

Sunday, December 25, 2005

my brother, my roommate...

so, daniel is home. we've been together for one hour and i'm already seeing roommate challenges. here's the conversation we just had:

d: so, i'm going to get you one of those FM transmitters for your ipod, so when we set up the sound system in our place you can be hooked in to that.
e: yeah, see, we listen to a lot of NPR in my house.
d: that's great, but in _our_ house we don't.
e: we're going to need to talk. this isn't going to be the daniel show all the time.
d: oh yeah we're going to need to talk...

what the hell am i thinking?

i'll tell you what i'm thinking -- i'm thinking that i'll have this kid converted to the ways of public radio within a matter of weeks. excellent.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

happy christmas!!!

it's 6 pm in mississippi on christmas eve. my dad is watching the colts/seahawks game, my step-mom and step-siblings are clanging about in the kitchen. my sister is at work. my brother will be home in a few hours.

and i'm sitting at the computer, thinking about how wonderful all of my friends are, and how grateful i am to have such incredible people in my life!

so, dear friends, who are spending this break all over the world, have a fantastic christmas or hanukkah or whatever brings joy to your hearts!



the other night i went out in knoxville with paul and his friends. knoxville's a good town, and paul's crowd is fantastic, much cooler than he is, but don't tell him i said so.

his best friend has this cat, a little egg-shaped black and white girl, named pickles. do you guys remember that story "the fire cat"? it's a kids' book, about pickles, a cat that was not a good cat and not a bad cat, but was a mix of bad and good, and pickles liked to chase the little cats. well, real-life pickles apparently likes to chase rabbits, and not little cats, but she's way way cool and made me miss milo and kenobi, who are spending christmas alone together, and hopefully will not tear up my apartment having wild parties with all of their cat-friends.

but, sandy is catsitting, and since she's got lots of experience dealing with, erm, difficult kids who throw parties and get into trouble when their parents are out of town, i trust that milo and kenobi will be fine.

your friendly neighborhood crazy cat lady

blown away, part one...

i. am. speechless.

today dad and i went for a drive through pascagoula, so i could see how things have changed post-katrina. i don't think it's possible to accurately articulate what's going on in my head and heart right now.

parts of the city look okay. parts look much the same. the sky has been emptied of a lot of trees, so things have a general look of shallowness, and yards are pretty much dotted with FEMA trailers. but most of the city is okay. well, it's okay now. this is almost four months later.

but market street, pascagoula street, washington avenue, martin road, beach boulevard -- gone. totally different. homes have been leveled. neighborhoods look macabre, ghostly. houses are skeletal, wall-less, see-through. i saw pictures of all of this in the news, photographs that family members e-mailed me. but pictures don't do justice to how truly overwhelming it is...

dad drove slowly. i sat in the passenger seat as we rode down the beach and cried. cried for several reasons... first, and most powerfully, because what i saw wasn't the remains of houses, it was the remains of homes -- memories, investments, loves, struggles, morning cups of coffee, evening dinners. houses now wear their addresses in spray paint, alongside names of insurance companies or FEMA identification numbers. front steps lead to barren foundations. it's a wasteland, a demolition site, a clusterfuck.

another reason i cried is because i honestly can't remember how it used to look. my memory has lost the details, the intricacies. i know the beach by its landmarks. i know the houses in relation to each other. well, when all of the houses are gone, it becomes pretty easy to lose your bearing. how many times have i driven down that beach? hundreds? thousands? how many nights did i sneak a cigarette while driving alongside the water, car windows down all the way, radio up loud? never again. it will never be the same drive. it can't be. i cried because i can't remember how it used to look. i cried because this is how it looks now.

dad said, "this looks like some sort of forest out of harry potter." it does -- it's a fantasy, unreal, dark, spectral. the trees are full of stuff that used to be in living rooms; curtains, sheets, clothes, upholstery -- dragged by the wind through limbs, caught on branches. dad said, "some of these areas are likely never going to be cleared completely."

he told me where some folks have gone. many are living in trailers, many have moved away. what do you do when something so natural destroys all that you have? where do you go? how do you even begin to rebuild?

yet, people go on. the resillience in this town also caused my tears today. people go on. you can already see signs of construction. families have decorated their trailers with christmas lights. people work in their yards. dad told me that things are already much better than they were before.

my uncle and his family live a few blocks from the beach. they lost the entire first floor of their home. we stopped by to say hello. people go on. life doesn't stop. at this point, their living room and kitchen are whole again, they just put in a new fireplace. they're healthy, happy, hopeful.

so many things in my head about this, but i must stop for now. it's christmas eve. it seems selfish to be blogging, especially in light of all i've seen today. but there will be more. i'll have more to say soon...


look away, look away, look away, dixieland...

consistently, inevitably, i am convinced that the south is just plain weird. weird, friends! i've now been back in mississippi for about eighteen hours, and this place blows my mind. ain't nowhere like this on earth.

okay, to be fair, it's not my hometown per se, but the south, writ large. for example...

a) stopped to get coffee at a gas station somewhere in central alabama yesterday and the guy at the cash register wished me a merry christmas. merry christmas? but what if i were jewish? oh, right... there are no jews in the south. they know better.
b) wal-marts are EVERYWHERE! i can't even get worked up about sprawl in places like this, because capitalism just doesn't function the same way here. it's all big ol' pickup trucks and fast food restaurants and rebel flags and oversized steeples on baptist churches and roadside fireworks stands. fireworks stands!!!
c) the radio stations = classic rock, christian radio, bad top 40, public radio that leaves much to be desired.

i went to a blockbuster video last night with my sister to rent a movie. i got so overwhelmed that i had to insist that we leave. how many goddamn copies of "mr and mrs smith" does one video store need?

yet, this is home. it's where i started. and there's sky here, and stars and grass and the gulf of mexico. and the trees? i love the trees! moss-covered and twisty and climbable and gorgeous. and, i've bitched about this, but it is kinda nice that i haven't needed to wear a coat since i left pittsburgh.

there will be more about this, i'm sure...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

almost as good as being there... almost.

i'm currently listening to a really really good cd that was made for me by someone who may or may not have been at dirty frank's during that one eagles playoff game a couple of years ago...

this whole scenario -- everything about it -- makes me smile.

i heart the fourth amendment...

i'm putting that on a t-shirt. because i do. i truly truly love the fourth amendment! here it is, in all its glory:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

effing fantastic! three cheers for the fourth amendment! now somebody please go and tell the bush administration.

and for good measure, tell them again.


hooray for randy and paul and chris and rachel and jess and all of my other 1L friends for having successfully finished their first semester of law school!

bit by bit...

this time tomorrow, i'll be on my way to knoxville, tennessee.

this time the day after tomorrow, i'll be on my way to pascagoula, mississippi.

this time the day after the day after tomorrow, i'll be in my dad's house, with the crazy brood of folks who most closely share my genetic material.


it honestly never ceases to amaze me that i live in a world where it's commonplace for a person to travel significant distances in insignificant amounts of time.

i'm really looking forward to making this trip on the road. i've flown home for christmas every year since i lived in boston, because it always made more sense to do so. but driving this year seems reasonable. besides, i love the eisenhower interstate system and i love watching the trees blur by along the side of the road and i love the parade of different cars with different license plates and all of the stories contained inside, all of the reasons for travelling.

although, i may fall apart a bit when i get home. i may need to just curl up with some blankets and catch my breath. i'm definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. so many things... finals, grades, finding a job, finding a new place to live with my brother, how badly i need to re-dye my hair because the roots look awful, how i've chewed my cuticles and fingernails to bits in the midst of the messed up sleep/study/paper-writing schedule. you know what i really want right now, more than just about anything? i want a hug from my dad and my brother and sister. a nice, welcome-home, it's-so-good-to-see-you hug. i want to be in a room with a christmas tree. i want to eat a meal that doesn't first need to be re-hydrated with boiling water.

tonight i'll pack my things in preparation for a two week stint away from home. must remember...glasses, cell phone charger, camera, bike helmet, clothes to wear to the obligatory christmas eve mass with the family, the good conditioner that makes my over-dyed hair feel like soft, normal hair... must not forget...water the plants, get cat litter and cat food, make sure alarm clock and coffee pot are not left on.

but first, finish this paper. finish this paper and then the world is mine. almost there -- so close. one, two, three, go!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

dreaming of a white christmas...

just checked to find out what to expect for my upcoming mississippi christmas. here's what the long-term forecast had to say (starting with friday, when i'll actually be at home):

friday, 12/23 -- mostly sunny, 62/47
saturday, 12/24 -- showers, 65/47
sunday, 12/25 -- partly cloudy, 58/41
monday, 12/26 -- sunny, 62/45
tuesday, 12/27 -- sunny, 62/45
wednesday, 12/28 -- sunny, 62/47
thursday, 12/29 -- sunny, 62/43

you know something, friends? i left the bloody south because it's hot there. t-shirts at christmastime just isn't cool. blech... i'm keeping my fingers crossed for some sort of freak new year's cold front...

it's not just unconstitutional, it's "breathtaking inanity"!

when i got to school today and checked my e-mail, i had three messages -- one from krista, one from paul r., and one from the pittsburgh ACLU office -- making sure that i knew the very very very fantastic news that the plaintiffs in the kitzmiller v. dover area school board case have won!

that's right -- the big case over whether high schools in dover, pa can issue a disclaimer about intelligent design as part of the biology curriculum has gone the way of the first amendment! no creationism in the classroom! i'm a happy girl about this. here are some excerpts from judge jones's opinion:
The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board's ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents. ...

Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID. We will also issue a declaratory judgment that Plaintiffs' rights under the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been violated by Defendants' actions. Defendants' actions in violation of Plaintiffs' civil rights as guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the United States and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 subject Defendants to liability with respect to injunctive and declaratory relief, but also for nominal damages and the reasonable value of Plaintiffs' attorneys' services and costs incurred in vindicating Plaintiffs' constitutional rights.
i haven't had a chance (and probably won't until this weekend) to read the full opinion, but based on having skimmed it, it looks like a 139-page piece of poetry! this is all very important in the crazy world of establishment clause jurisprudence. i'm very very proud right now, of the legal system, of the bill of rights, of all that is good and just in the world.

merry christmas, indeed!

five days before christmas...

after lunch today, andrew dragged me with him to some stupid novelty store in shadyside. he's in search of an anti-george bush t-shirt that he can wear at his family's christmas dinner. this was one of those stores with lots of overpriced greeting cards and stupid little schtick-y type things, and the whole place was very cramped with display cases and shoppers. and there i was, already feeling mobility-impaired because of multiple layers of bundled up-ness, but all the worse off because i had a full cup of coffee in one hand and my giant bag filled with my computer and about an eight-inch stack of research that i think is somehow going to morph on its own into my completed seminar paper. oy.

there we are, walking into this store. i'm complaining already, because i need to be working, and andrew's telling me to suck it up. and then we walk by a bunch of books and we both stop and here's what happens:

andrew: oh my god! look at this! eighty years of the new yorker! and it's got a DVD!

two friends. similar paths. totally different worlds.

and because i'm (a) crazy (blogger), i had to write down some of the names of the recipes in the star wars cookbook so that i could include them in this post. here were my favorites:

hoth chocolate
tusken raider taters
obi-wan kebabs
greedo's burritos
boba fett-uccine
wookiee cookies

and as if the whole experience wasn't good enough, as we were leaving, there was this tiny old white-haired lady standing at the door. just standing. at the door. or more like in the doorway. standing there. i said, "excuse me", and she responded with, "oh, go ahead on by. i'm just waiting for my ride." and then she continued standing there. in the doorway. so i kinda had to squeeze by her, hoping to hell that i didn't knock her out with my stupid bag o' research... man, do i love the holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2005

all i want for christmas is...

i have a cavity. at least one. maybe more. but one that i can definitely that i just spent way too long looking at in horror. i can feel it. the feeling was what sent me to the bathroom mirror, where the light is harsh and honest, where i could lean way close to the glass, my mouth open as wide as possible, head held at an angle that would permit me to see the reflection of my back teeth, that one last molar on the left side bottom, where there's a little black hole.

i. am. completely. grossed. out.

not infrequently i have dreams that my teeth fall out. they get loose, drop out one by one, leave me looking snaggled and repulsive. awful awful awful! these are horrible horrible tricks my mind plays on me while i'm trying to sleep. i've lost all of my teeth so many times that it's a wonder my dreaming brain hasn't completely gotten bored with the storyline. vivid, ugly, gruesome, teeth falling out. they, along with drawbridges and tornados, make up my top three most recurring dream images.

if you really wanted to waste your time, you could go find an online dream dictionary to try and decode what my unconscious is saying. apparently i have issues with loss and am afraid of deceit and a bunch of blahblahblah. i don't really buy it. i never really buy those things. but i still read them. because someday maybe they'll tell me what i want to hear...

never let it be said that i have yet learned to make peace with my anxieties...

and want to know what one of my most profound fears is? i'm damn near mortified of losing my teeth. how predictable.

today. it's wintertime. the sidewalks get icy. if i lose my footing, and my brain jerks into panic mode, my first thought more often than not is an image of me falling and knocking my teeth out. i see myself the way i look in my dreams, teeth all over the place, clicking on the ground like little pieces of glass; my face pale and dumbstruck, not a goddamn thing i can do to stop it.

and now for the really stupid part: i haven't been to a dentist since my early days in philly. that was years ago. YEARS! i haven't been to a dentist in years, says the girl with the fear of losing her teeth. years. what am i doing? why is it that i'll bend over backwards to go to a neurologist or to keep my annual appointments with my gynecologist, but i've gotten really damn good at pretending that if i don't go to a dentist, that means that my teeth are all a-okay?

oh, let the psychoanalysis begin... i'm going back to cleaning my apartment.

how do you make time fly?

i think the proper punchline to this joke is something like "throw a clock out the window", but you know what works just as well? any combination of the following:

1. take a few finals,
2. try to finish up a seminar paper,
3. fit in quality time with friends,
4. have a few amazing phone conversations with a certain boy,
5. wrap up loose ends before going away for 2 weeks

yesterday it hit me like a ton of bricks that christmas is in, like, six days! i'm leaving for home on thursday morning. between now and then i've got to do laundry; clean my apartment; make sure i've got food and litter on hand for milo and kenobi, since sandy and michael and steph are looking after the little guys for me; and pack for my trip. oh! and there's that whole finish-up-a-seminar-paper thing... better get on that... like now.

but the good news is that i'll be bored out of my mind when i'm in mississippi for two weeks, so i'll have plenty of time for fun-filled blog posts of all my shenanigans. whoop. big whoop.

and i'm making a list (and checking it twice) of books (real books!) to read while i'm home. if anybody's got some good suggestions, bring them on.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

embarrassing admission...

had a really good night with a good friend last night, a friend who is an important person in my life and it had been too long since i had spent quality time with him.

towards the end of the night, we had gone through a bottle of wine and were watching saturday night live* and during one of the commercial breaks, a preview for a movie with eugene levy comes on. and the following conversation ensues:

e: so, can i admit something really embarrassing to you?
j: sure.
e: i find eugene levy strangely attractive.
j: (*pause*) wow, emily. you might as well have just taken me into the bathroom with you while you were taking a shit. i mean, that's the kind of thing that you preface by saying that you have something you need to say out loud but everyone should cover their ears.

best. response. ever.

and of course i did my best to convince my friend that by saying i find eugene levy strangely attractive, i don't mean that i necessarily want to sleep with him or see him naked (um, ew!). i just mean that i have a weird little brain crush on him, the way i develop crushes on professors or bartenders. but despite my attempts, i was unable to convince him that i hadn't just revealed something horrifying about myself.

and so now, friends, i pass that admission along to you all. merry christmas!

*for all those who caught SNL last night, that bit with the spelling bee? UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE! and not just because i love spelling bees, either -- it was brilliant!

brand new...

want to know the best news i've heard in a long long time? yesterday at about 12:30, my friends dave and jessica welcomed their daughter into the world! apparently, a friday night viewing of _ben hur_ and the threat of induced labor finally made little charlotte realize that it was time to be born. so she came into the world the old fashioned way -- with an epidural!

i cried on the phone when i heard the news. yes. cried. why, you ask? well, probably because i've just gotten my period and i'm a little emotional, but it also could be because i'm really really really really glad that this little family exists. brilliant!

Friday, December 16, 2005

just because...

i'm blogging from one of the e-mail kiosks at the law school right now. why? um, i dunno... i just met up with krista and tom and oliver... and the yuenglings were $1 each, so i had to have several, right? right! i should really be keeping all the typos in this, but i'm way too much of a perfectionist, even a drunken perfectionist, to allow such mayhem to prevail!

um, okay. this is dumb. i need a nap... like, for real...

for all intents and purposes...

i'm all done! about fifteen minutes ago i finished and printed out my take-home final for reproduction, sexuality, and the law! and this one i'm pretty damn sure i passed! so, even if i failed admin and evidence, i still managed 10 credits for the semester, and i can totally make up the extra few i need to be done with this mess in the usual three years.

all i have left now is to finish up my final draft for my seminar paper. and i have until next wednesday to get that completed. feels like all the time in the world!

i'm off to school now to turn this bastard in to the registrar's office and try to catch up with krista and tom and oliver and elizabeth and grant and the rest of the post-environmental law and post-tax finals crowd for a drink.

did i mention i didn't sleep last night? man, am i gonna be fun to hang around today! i just had an extended conversation with kenobi about how she's the smallest one in this whole house. sheesh. extra special. that's me.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

long overdue...

last saturday i took a little study break to go see one of my classmates give an, erm, poetry reading at the carnegie museum of art.

i ran into this classmate of mine the other day, while i was walking down the street and he was waiting for a bus, and i was justly chastised for not having blogged about the experience. so here're some kudos for george, my favorite law student/photographer/poet triple-threat!

(whoa -- if you think about it, george is like the pitt law beyonce knowles!)

george did a masterful job with his two poems. and most importantly, he looked sharp. and since he was the last of the group to read, he got all the applause (and deserved as much!). i'm actually really proud of george (and i don't know if i've told him this) for actively pursuing interests outside of school. it's way too easy to just get consumed by all that this degree requires. he's kind of a hero of mine for making the time to do things that are important to him. i'm glad i got the chance to see some of that manifest itself! hooray!

and george, thanks for autographing that program for me -- once you're rich and famous, that thing's gonna come in handy on ebay!


here's what my fortune cookie told me, after that boring-a-riffic dinner with g and a:
"a new environment makes all the difference in the world."
erm... okay. there are several ways this can be interpreted:

a. fuck! i'm going to fail out of law school and be forced to sell vaccuum cleaners over the phone to old ladies in north dakota! damn that evidence final!!! damn it to hell!!!

b. hey -- the fortune knows that daniel is moving up here and i'm going to have to find a new place to live. and my "new environment" is going to make everything better!

c. hey -- the fortune knows that daniel is moving up here and i'm going to have to find a new place to live. but things aren't really bad right now. things are pretty good these days, actually (failure of the evidence final notwithstanding). so this "all the difference in the world" thing could really mean that my life is about to take a big ol' turn for the worse... fuck!

d. the literal interpretation of this fortune is that it is in fact a true statement -- a new environment does indeed make all the difference in the world.

e. my lucky numbers are apparently 12, 34, 42, 11, 5, and 9. and the word "august" in chinese is "Ba-yue".

and the award for "most boring dinner companions" goes to...

andrew, grant, and emily!!!


i'd like to thank the academy, erm, the law school, for so overwhelming me with mind-numbing crap as to render me incapable of enjoying or engaging the company of my good friends andrew and grant. seriously, law school -- this one's for you! i couldn't have done it without you!


yep. grabbed dinner tonight with grant, who's got federal income tax at 0900, and andrew, who was running a fever of 102 earlier today. we were a barrel o' monkeys! man! fun has never been had like the fun shared between the three of us at dinner. and by fun i mean the complete lack thereof. we were pathetic. conversation went like this:

emily: so, um, yeah...
andrew: what?
grant: (stares at food)

if i didn't know those two so well i'd swear that we had nothing in common. unfortunately, it's our current common experience (i.e., law school and finals) that has directly resulted in our worthlessness to each other right now.

good times!

books make great gifts...

just talked to dave, my college best friend and one of today's birthday boys. he and his wife are due to have a little baby very soon (she's already stubborn -- was supposed to be here last week). maybe today? maybe tomorrow? not soon enough for dave and jessica, though. not soon enough, either, for the world -- the world will be a better place once this little one is part of it.

but i'm putting this post up because i want to include a link to dave's book which is coming out in february. it's been mentioned here before, but it's pre-order for the holiday season time and plugging my friend's work seems like a good thing to do. so, here you go:

order dave's book, "a good war is hard to find"!!!

and i found out today that david foster wallace, the number one person on whom i have a braincrush, has a new book of essays out! merry christmas to me!

best wishes to me!

i totally should have put this up before finals started and not right in the middle of them, but nonetheless...

thanks, will!

and yet more happy returns...

happy b'day also to joshua, one of my favorite 2005 additions to my collection of friends! i wish i could partake in this evening's celebration. instead i'll be working on a take-home final about abortion rights and due process. good times all around.


many happy returns...


so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

happy 30th! when the hell is your baby gonna be born?!?!


another thought on the evidence final...

one of my favorite people sent andrew and me the following e-mail yesterday, re-printed in its entirety:

"he's a drunk, he's a slut, he's a tuition stealin' kind of a guy."

because our evidence prof would say stuff in his hypotheticals like "wendy's a slut! and her brother is a drunk!" to illustrate how the fed. rulz deal with character evidence. and since evidence for character has to go to truthfulness/untruthfulness of the witness, our prof would phrase this as whether so-and-so was "a lyin' kind of a guy."

see, folks? i TOLD you that our evidence professor is a jackass.

so anyway, this e-mail did get me thinking about how, regardless of whether the final itself was fair or unfair, there are personal economic considerations with which to contend here...

like, i'm not in law school for my health (quite possibly, being here contributes to my lack thereof), and ain't nobody giving me this education out of pure goodness. this degree is expensive and i'm paying out the nose for it. so, should i be pissed about this evidence final because i basically purchased three credits of evidence this semester and got a bum deal?

maybe... not sure what i think of this, in light of yesterday's post...

wonders never cease...

a certain someone in my life, who will remain nameless to protect this person's anonymity, has a total hopeless romantic side! and this certain someone, who is a dear dear dear friend and whom i love so much, is totally supportive of a crazy distraction i've been maintaining in a boy from far away who makes me smile a lot.

this makes emily a happy girl.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted...

this morning, after a semester's worth of ego and mania (and sometimes some egomania) our tumultuous experience with evidence culminated in our final exam. this exam left all of us feeling pretty bruised and a bit broken and totally unsure of what to expect when grades are posted.

yet, something ugly has happened; something that i feel warrants some sort of response, yet i'm not sure what the appropriate response should be. i don't mean an official response, either. i mean my own personal response. the situation goes like this:

the evidence final was literally the sloppiest, most carelessly-written test i've ever taken. it was full of typographical errors, full of negligently omitted words, full of nonsense. one of the fact patterns started out by telling us that william was on trial for having murdered his wife, then in one of the questions, we were asked about spousal privileges as it pertained to a phone call he made to his wife while he was in jail. um, wha?

aside from that, the final itself was in a user-unfriendly format -- 100 questions, multiple choice, no opportunity to explain our choices (scantron only -- yuck!), 2 1/2 hours, closed book. we were allowed an un-marked-up copy of the federal rules of evidence, but that was it.

the problem with the federal rules of evidence (actually, this can be said about a lot of the law) is that they're not really meant to be applied in a black-and-white, this-answer-but-not-that-one manner. some of the concepts get pretty abstract and nuanced and a lot of it can get downright frustrating.

added to this is that our professor, the guy from tulane, the guy whom i thought was a jerkbag from day one, didn't really give us much guidance in what to expect from the final, other than to tell us that he didn't expect any of us to finish, that it would graded on a curve, and that he'd be subtracting some fraction of a point for incorrect answers.

and so, after this morning's exam, when approximately 160 2Ls and 3Ls were milling about talking over the test (ALWAYS a bad idea, mind you, unless these chats can be limited to procedural comments, not substantive ones), folks started to decide that the exam was not just a kick-in-the-pants, but that the test was flawed to an extent that made it unfair. and so, being the law students that we all are, folks started to speculate as to how best to resolve the injustice.

meanwhile, i was getting sauced with my friends at fuel and fuddle, at a big table on the downstairs level, right across from a really REALLY lame office holiday party (including the exchange of such forgettable gifts as dry erase markers and candle holders).

later in the day, a friend of mine called me to ask if i had read the e-mail that went out to the whole 2L student list from one of our classmates who volunteered to organize student feedback for the administration regarding concerns people had with the evidence final. i hadn't read the e-mail, not at that point, but now, having read it, i have this to say...

i took that test, too. was it poorly written? yes. was it difficult? absolutely. did i feel that it adequately allowed me to demonstrate my knowledge of evidence? no way. but was it so egregiously deficient and unfair as to warrant intervention by the administration?

um, not a chance.

over the past couple of days, when in the throes of anxiety over not knowing what to expect from my evidence final, i kept reassuring myself that all of us in both sections of evidence were at least in the same boat -- none of us knew what to expect, no one was better prepared than was anyone else, nobody had been given any information to which the rest of us weren't privy.

thus, in the way i look at it, if the test had some inadequacies (and it certainly did) at least all of us who were to be graded on the same curve had experienced the same test and would be held to the same standard.

i.e., what's unfair for all becomes, by definition, fair. because it was equally and uniformly applied.

the evidence final, while a total kick in the teeth (and, for the record, i'm convinced i failed) was NOT patently unfair.

my friend who called me to ask if i had seen the e-mail from our classmate made a really good point, which is that bitching and moaning about the exam before we actually see what the grade distribution looks like is a little premature.

and speaking of immature, i'm a little displeased with how my classmates have decided to respond to a final that they found exceptionally inaccessible. because really, what's the administration going to do? throw out the exams? i'll be goddamned if i'm taking that horrible test again. give us all As? hardly! issue grades as pass/fail? eh, seems like a big ol' mess of arbitrariness and capriciousness...

remember, i'm probably the last one in the class who would rush to defend anything our arrogant prick of a professor did w/r/t the evidence course, but i just can't, in good conscience, say that the final was so grossly erroneous as to warrant the crybaby treatment.

disagree if you will. that's my two cents.


happy 30th birthday today to joe, the physician half of my favorite lawyer/doctor power couple in philly!

happy 56th birthday today to dad, the best guy ever!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


(i just went in search of an internet kiosk in this godforsaken classroom building so that i could post the following...)

the undergrad girls who are studying at the table near where i'm sitting and working on evidence stuff are EATING PACKETS OF SUGAR!!! are you EFFING KIDDING ME?!?!

you can't make this stuff up, folks.

federal rulz...

am currently at hogwarts, in the greek room. i'm supposed to be learning the federal rules of evidence for tomorrow's 9:00 a.m. final. but first, i just wanted to say...

krista and i now officially have a song. and that song is "hold the line" by toto. and here's why...

we were walking down forbes on our way to the cathedral to work on evidence, and who do we see sitting at the window inside the crappy bar across the street from the law school but tom and oliver. they had just finished their business organizations final and were having a beer. so we went in to say hello. and the song that was playing was, well, "hold the line" by toto. so krista and i are standing at the table where tom and oliver are sitting, and the chorus comes up and things go like this:

emily: hold the line
krista: (makes guitar noises)
emily: love isn't always on time
krista: no no no

and yes, there was dancing. and then, right about when the song ended, we left. and now we're studying evidence. and that was one of the happiest silliest little moments i've had in a while.

and what it really makes me realize is that, sure, maybe by the end i will have blown $100K on this two-bit law degree and will have nothing but a crummy GPA to show for it, but jesus! i know some absolutely phenomenal people as a result. and i really couldn't be happier.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

cathedral of learning, finals time...

coffee cup vending machines are seriously depressing. i can't think of a single happy or relaxed circumstance in which one would make use of them. in my own life, they've come into play in hospital waiting rooms or interstate rest stops or fluorescent-lit library basements and academic buildings. it's worst-case-scenario coffee; desperation coffee; coffee for when you're somewhere that it doesn't make sense to leave; coffee for when you're already bleary-eyed and numb.

krista and i are at the cathedral of learning (most. pretentious. name. for. a. building. ever.), studying for tomorrow's 9:00 a.m. administrative law final. the cathedral is all decked out for the holidays. the building is old and gothic (that might not be the right word -- i'm completely ignorant when it comes to architectural design) and the ceilings look like ribs and vertebrae. i feel like i'm at hogwarts, studying for my O.W.L.s... god, what i would give for a magic wand and a final with a practical element to it!!!

it's that time of year...

...when i start to choose my clothing based on how much luck and/or comfort i think it will bring me.

case in point: today i'm wearing this gigantic, itchy, unflattering sweater that used to belong to my dad. it's got giant stripes on it, that make me look like i should be a character on sesame street, and more than a couple of holes. but i LOVE it because it's warm and makes me feel like the world is gonna be okay.

okay. back to administrative law...

finals start tomorrow. barf.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

thinking ahead, or, the light at the end of the tunnel...



wednesday, december 21st -- mark your calendars. we're going out, like we used to back when we were 1Ls (only we're not going to make jokes about pendent jurisdiction or anticipatory repudiation). to celebrate being halfway done. or just to celebrate having made it this far. or just to celebrate the holidays.


couple of narnia thoughts...

here are some things that made me chuckle to myself in the theater while watching "the lion, the witch, & the wardrobe"...

1. the actor who played the white witch's dwarf was also one of the hobbit scale doubles in the LOTR series. while i was watching the movie, i thought he was also that guy who played the oompa loompas (as in, all of them) in "charlie and the chocolate factory". just did an search and i'm totally wrong about that one -- they're different actors. which makes me feel kinda like a horrible person who is incapable of distinguishing between little people... god! and i call myself a liberal!

2. tilda swinson, who plays the white witch? yeah. kinda hot. AND, she's been cast as nico in a film version of nico's life! (thank you again,

3. peter jackson has totally ruined fantasy war scenes for me. i seriously cannot imagine a movie doing better what "the two towers" or "return of the king" did for battles amongst strange creatures. unbelievable! i guess i wasn't blogging at the time that the LOTR movies came out, but for a while there i was seriously obsessed with that trilogy. not only are tolkien's books phenomenal (yes, i own _the silmarillion_, and nobody should find that surprising), but the adaptation of those movies just filled my soul with glee! and viggo mortensen makes me weak in the knees...

4. liam neeson is the voice of aslan. so, every time aslan spoke in TLTW&TW, all i could think
of was qui-gon jinn, oskar schindler, and alfred kinsey... i love liam neeson -- i think he's fantastic. but as aslan? nope. just didn't buy it.

5. that alanis morissette song that accompanies the rolling of the credits? lame. alanis morissette makes me feel icky. if you had lived in an all-girls college dorm in the mid-90s, when out of every room stereos blared either "jagged little pill" or some crappy dave matthews band song, you'd feel icky about it, too...

6. i haven't conducted any research on this matter, but common sense tells me that beavers -- even talking beavers -- cannot climb trees, even to escape a pack of crazy talking wolves.

"how do you _not_ like cher?!?"

that's what andrew just said to me, his voice full of judgment and disgust. he's making me listen to some crappy cher song right now. and it's doing nothing for me. nothing. at all.

cher does kinda sound like a horse.

the song is still playing. andrew thinks it must be the sound quality on his computer that explains why i don't like the song. yep. that must be it.

Friday, December 09, 2005

the tale of sag the snowbot...

in case there was any doubt of my supreme nerdity, paul and i decided to catch a midnight showing of “the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe” last night. that’s right – a midnight showing. as in, we were among the first people in the country to see it. why? because i heart narnia. we even drove out to mt. lebanon in a snowstorm to see the movie. i told joshua about this today. his response was to very disdainfully, albeit lovingly, call me a dork and to make some comment about christian dogma, to which i said, “you can shove your christian dogma up your ass! this is about magic and kids who save the world and animals that can talk!!!"

i have some thoughts about the movie that i want to post here, but i’m going to hold off until my friends have had a chance to see it. the short version is that i was a little disappointed. but i can’t tell if my disappointment is because of how much i’ve loved the chronicles of narnia since i was a wee girl and thus i had unreasonably high expectations for the movie, or if there were legitimate things that let me down… hmmm…

anyway, as if it weren't late enough, while driving back home, i said to paul, my fellow southerner, because pittsburgh got a big ol’ dumping of snow earlier in the evening, “wanna make a snowman???” and he said, reluctantly, because it was about 2:30 a.m. and we both have finals for which we should be studying, “um, maybe a small one?” well, that small snowman turned into the single greatest most fantastic snow creature EVER made!

objectively, the whole scene was ridiculous – it involved two almost-30-year-olds in the middle of the night in shadyside, forming this five foot tall robot-looking snowman (hence the “snowbot”) with pointy horns and a sideways-crooked mouth and big eyebrows. and one of the snowbot’s hands was giving a thumbs-up and the other was making the metal sign! awesome. absolutely awesome!

his name is “sag”. sag the snowbot. because in his early formative stages he was rolled over a gas main on the sidewalk and the little pothole left an impression on his belly. and it says “SAG” (as in gas spelled backwards. paul put an on/off switch on the back of his head, but really it’s a no/ffo switch.) but he looks kinda like a snowkemon because he has a pointy cartoon-like face. and he’s fantastic!!!

i was thinking about sag the snowbot this morning and a thought occurred to me! not long ago i lost my favorite item of winter clothing, this rad orange hat with a pompomball on top and flaps that covered my ears… the hat, with whom i’ve had many an enjoyable wintertime, decided that it was time to move on. and i can respect that. but I do miss it terribly…

but as it happened in my thoughts this morning, the orange hat has magical powers, not unlike the hat that made frosty the snowman come to life! so, in its travels, the orange hat will surely encounter sag the snowbot and will come to rest atop sag’s pointy-horned head and sag will come to life and bring joy and madness to many a wintry pittsburgher!

my wish is that sag the snowbot will bring a smile to the face of many, yet strike fear in the hearts of a few.*

*in particular, I hope fear strikes the hearts of the kids participating in the high school make-out fest that’s happening directly in my line of vision where I’m studying. don’t these kids have after school activities they should be participating in? shouldn’t they get jobs? god, when did I get so old?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

just desserts...

ta da! today my friend grant was elected editor-in-chief of the pitt law review! this is big stuff and he totally deserves it. i'm so proud!


i could post VOLUMES on narnia, but for now i'll just say this...

it would be incredibly beneficial to get into narnia right now because of that whole time-doesn't-pass-in-our-world-when-you're-in-narnia thing. this means that i could take my books with me and study study study and totally know evidence, admin, and sex law cold so that when i came back into our world, i'd be all set for straight As!

oh, and the animals talk in narnia. is there anything cooler?


it's official, and i'm officially remiss in putting this on the blog -- notre dame will play crappy ohio state in the fiesta bowl!

final appeal to agency authority...

this is it, folks. last day of class. last day for the evidence power row of donny, greg, andrew, me. last day for the int'l law power corner of tony, michael, me, andrew, regina, oliver, tom, carrie. last day for the administrative law power row of michael, krista, me, tom, oliver, chris, laura, kelly. last day for the reproduction, sexuality, and the law power row of michael, katy, kelly, andrew, me, krista. last day for blogging during administrative law and thinking that my prof sounds like david sedaris. last day for passing notes in class to krista (oh, wait -- that's probably not true at all).

i got my international law final grade today. was i happy with it? nope. but did i feel that it was fair? yeah, probably... oh well...

the good news, though, is that my friends are starting to get As! like, real As -- not A minuses. and a certain brilliant friend of mine even got an A+! yes, folks -- they do exist in law school. so, hooray for friends' successful GPAs! remember me, guys, when i'm unemployed and homeless...

i saw my fave 3L girls before class. can i just say i think they're both fantastic and i'm determined to integrate myself into their social circle next semester? um, i hope that doesn't seem like a threat...

thanks for the schosspitality!

(oh, and right as a liz phair song comes up on the ipod, too!)

happy birthday to you
happy birthday to you
happy birthday dear schossy
happy birthday to you!

actually, schoss, i can't remember if your b'day is today or tomorrow... shit! i remember now! it's the 9th! because i remember how you used to say that in catholic grade school you would get the 8th off for the feast of the immaculate conception and you would tell your friends it was so they could get some b'day shopping done for you.

so, i'm a day early. or maybe i'm just trying to extend the celebration, since i won't be back in pittsburgh when you and nick are around for the holidays?

i love you, dear! you're fantastic! it occurred to me the other day that we've been friends for a really long time (and that you're one of my only friends-with-whom-i'm-still-close who actually got to meet my mom). pretty damn cool. pretty damn cool.

many happy returns!


end of the semester character wrap-up...

the following is a list of the made-up names for the ridiculous characters who have been my classmates this semester. i'm not gonna describe them, because the innocents should be protected (i'm talking about me and my friends; not them!), and all of my people know who they are anyway. this is just to be a little reminder, so that i can come back at some point and remember that i will be a better lawyer than some of my schoolmates.

so, here you go. much entertainment has occurred as a result of the following individuals:

1. dates-outside-of-my-race
2. assumes-the-risk
3. turd sandwich
4. pig

aaarrghhh! why can't i think of anybody else right now??? andrew, sandy, elizabeth, krista, grant, tom, michael, greg -- help me out! who am i forgetting?

last class...

this afternoon was the last meeting for my seminar class. my professors had us over to their home for the session. in theory, this sounded great. but there was one little glitch that totally made me chuckle...

i got a ride with a classmate of mine (of course -- insert joke here about how emily is a whore for getting rides with people. but not _that_ kind of whore. i totally don't put out. there's a whole derrick bell-ian interest convergence argument i could make about the terms under which i actually put out, but that would be misplaced in this post) and when we got to our professors' house, we immediately saw that just inside the doorway (the foyer? is that what the bourgeoisie call it?*) was a pile of shoes. i.e., this was one of those stocking-feet kind of homes.

now, i'm not totally opposed to this. my brother and i had some awesome friends growing up whose parents had the kind of house in which you couldn't wear shoes. in their defense, the house was gorgeous and old and amazing and you really didn't want your dirty shoes scuffing the place up.

and, in my own home, the first thing i do when i walk in my door is take off my shoes.

but, this was CLASS! and there was NO WARNING AT ALL!!! and i'm a girl with a lot of socks that have holes in them! reasonable notice, people! reasonable notice! we're lawyers, for chrissakes!

and as luck would have it, there was (of course) a hole in my right sock, on the heel. perhaps this was the great evener -- all 14 of us, plus professors, in our unshoed feet -- but i'm down to the bottom of the barrel in the dirty laundry hierarchy of socks these days and it would have been nice to have been able to plan ahead.

good god. why am i thinking so much about socks?!?

*did i seriously just use the term bourgeoisie? i'm so rage-against-the-machine.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

easily amused...

the following are some excerpts from folks who made me laugh today:

"so, do you ever talk to yourself, like out loud? because the other day i caught myself _actually_ saying out loud, 'well, if i were you -- and i am me...'"

me: are you going to that evidence review session tomorrow?
AML: um, yes, because some people will actually have studied, and they'll ask good questions.

(w/r/t the "A team":)
I mean it always looked like they'd never make it out of some jam, like they're trapped inside a monster robot underwater laser jail...and then they come up with a plan...and presto! Next scene they're all sitting there giggling and smoking big cigars.

living under a rock...

i used to be really informed. like, we're talking only months ago. i used to read the NYT and the post and listen to "morning edition". the BBC and i weren't long-lost friends. jurist and i were more to each other than ships passing in the night.


sheesh... i don't have a clue about what's going on in the world. i've kept up with notre dame football, for chrissakes! why the hell can't i keep up with real news?

maybe the brain works like the stomach... maybe there's only so much it can take in before it gets too full to function. and so you have to wait for what's already there to digest before there's room made for anything new?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

expatriation! or, the last goonie weekend...

okay, i've hinted at this, but haven't made the official announcement to the blogosphere -- daniel, my little brother, is moving to pittsburgh!

i have so much stuff in my head about this i couldn't possibly get it all down right now. but it's going to happen -- he's put in for a transfer through work, he's making plans to get a moving truck, he's my ride back to pittsburgh at the end of winter break.

this is kinda shaking up my little world a bit (not as much as my brother's, of course), but i'm quite sure that the end result will be good (because i'm quite sure, as a general matter, that end results are always good). and, it means some really good stuff for me, including, but not limited to the following:

a) i get a roommate with a car! this is also possibly very good news for andrew, krista, and paul r., my primary modes of non-port authority transportation.

b) i can live in a bigger place, and pay less in rent. although, i do love my little apartment now... and i'll miss things about living alone. but since daniel is bringing his drum kit, we'd better find ourselves a house, and having a house means having a yard. and having a yard means having a garden!

c) there will no longer be more cats than humans where i live.

d) oh, and, duh! i get to live with my brother! it will be just like the good old days, when we were kids. except now we have to pay the bills. and we can buy booze. and we're taller.

the housewarming party will be sometime in the spring. after we've actually found a place. all are invited.


you know what absolutely knocks me out? when you're getting to know somebody, and you're both pretty much blank slates to each other, and you get to have conversations that include the following:

me: so, what do you want to know about me? you can ask me anything.
you: well, i want to know everything about you.

sure, could just be one of those things that one says to be nice and interactive, but it's still really really sweet as hell to hear...

parents just don't understand...

talked to dad for a bit tonight. towards the end of the conversation, i said, "hey, dad! i'm a blonde these days!" his response?

my dad has this thing that he does, that my brother and i have parodied for years in our interactions with each other. when he gets exasperated, or annoyed, or when he just doesn't know what else to do with his kids (okay, it's most often with me), he utters a really exaggerated-sounding sigh. he doesn't say anything. just the big sigh. as if to communicate that he truly has no idea how he could possibly have fathered such strange and inexplicable creatures as his offspring.

and that's how he reacted to my announcement about my hair color. to which i said, "oh, come on dad -- it's just hair."

and then i told him that i also cut my hair myself. that got me a, "you didn't need to tell me that."

his point, which he did go on to make, is that i'm in law school and "at some point need to start acting like my profession." ew dad, totally square!

a parting thought on one of my fellow coffee shop patrons...

if i ever become one of those people who goes to a coffee shop and brings along an issue of “the economist” and holds it up way high so that everybody can see what i’m reading, please kill me. immediately.

hate to say i told you so...

so, remember the visiting professor from hell that we got stuck with for evidence because our real professor fell ill? well, here we are, at the end of the semester; none of us has a clue what to expect from the final (except for some sort of SAT-esque multiple-choice-scheme-with-a-penalty-for-wrong-answers), and this professor hasn’t even had the decency to attempt to learn anybody’s name.

tom said yesterday, “emily, you were the only one who saw him for what he truly was from the beginning.” yes, tom. yes i did. because i have superhero superstrength when it comes to spotting forces of evil.

baby, it's cold outside...

at tazza d’oro in highland park today. krista and i are at a table at the front of the coffee shop, near the door. isn’t it funny how it seems that people bring the cold inside with them? like the cold is some sort of sticky, gooey thing that clings to you when you’re in it, and wants to go where you go, lingering until it eventually gets outnumbered, dissipating in the room temperature…

earlier, a cat was at the door. he was a really pretty grey and white longhaired cat. just sitting at the door, looking inside, wanting to get out of the clingy cold. the girls who work here seemed to know the cat, and a guy went over to the door and let him in. when the cat first came in, he walked over to me, because i was closest to the door, and i pet him for a little bit. he was cold – so cold! like how i imagine sandy’s gloves must have felt when she found them in her freezer. he had coldness all buried down in his fur, holding on for its life, curling itself around each hair, reluctant to let go.

paul and i were talking about ice fishing the other day. to a couple of southerners*, ice fishing sounds like the dumbest idea ever, yet i still find myself oddly fascinated by it. someday perhaps i’d like to try it out, but it might just be one of those things the idea of which is much more novel than the actual practice. because if you’re ice fishing, all you’re really doing is sitting. in the cold. and waiting. and nothing makes icy cold feel icy colder than sitting and waiting in it. remember -- the cold is an invasive menace. it’s intrusive and manipulative and evangelical, wanting nothing more than a chance to convert all in its path to subzero. it’s like a paratrooper, a jesuit, a missionary rebel. the cold is a crazy bastard.

…listening to iron and wine when i’m thinking about all that’s wrong with capital punishment puts me in a really weird state of mind.

*krista, in an attempt to keep me honest, has encouraged me to point out that i’m also one of those southerners who can’t wait for the winter to come every year so that i can wear sweaters. yes, i love the cold. yes, sometimes being cold is not fun. these aren’t necessarily inconsistent positions.

tuesday = friday!

due to some sort of weird law school semester scheduling thing-a-ma-bob, here in the last week of classes, the regular tuesday schedule has been replaced by a friday schedule. so for the purposes of classes, my week is like this:


well, as luck would have it, i don't have friday classes, which means i don't have tuesday classes this week. so, hooray for me! i get to spend ALL DAY on finals preparations!

and it looks like i've got a way home to mississippi and back to pittsburgh for winter break, so hooray for that, too!

Monday, December 05, 2005

international law movie night!

currently sitting in the back row of room 111. we're having a little showing of "judgment at nuremberg" for international law. i really really want to be paying attention, but i feel way too scatterbrained. i had kinda hoped to be working on my administrative law outline while watching this movie, but the lights are all off in the classroom and my little computer screen isn't bright enough to sufficiently illuminate my casebook so that i can effectively multitask.

oh wait, i can't effectively multitask. period.

andrew just came to visit me in the back row from his seat in the front row. michael and andrew are the only ones in the front row. what a couple of nerds!

andrew asked me, "how much do you think the republicans hate me right now, for being loud?" ("the republicans" are a couple of our classmates.) i said, "i hate you right now." but i don't. i'm not paying attention enough to hate him. i love him, actually. he's my favorite. he's also reading over my shoulder as i'm typing this.

he's just said, "i hate everything about you." as in, he hates everything about me. oh, and he hates my hair. because he's a mean friend. i still love him, though.

andrew left now. is this the point where i mention that he's drinking something alcoholic that is concealed in a paper bag? andrew = high class. i'm sure there will be a retaliatory blog post from him about this at some point soon.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


if my head had a hinge on it, and you could lift up the top to peer inside, you would currently be exposed to one or more of the following:

a) that part of the “jesus christ, superstar” song that says “you’ve got the power and the glory…forever and ever and ever”, on a continuous loop, because my friend gave me a copy of graham greene’s “the power and the glory” earlier today;

b) federal rules of evidence about hearsay and hearsay exceptions, scattered about like the undone laundry in my bedroom right now, some of it accumulated in piles, some if it strewn about haphazardly. and, like the laundry in my bedroom, i have a general sense of what and where all of it is, but no idea to what degree the various items need my attention;

c) a fits-in-my-cranium-sized emily waving her arms and struggling to keep her head above the quickly rising level of anxiety, which is the approximate color and consistency of butterscotch pudding;

d) a general mood of annoyance at the people sitting near me in the coffee shop right now, who are smoking like it’s going out of style (newsflash, friends – smoking did in fact go out of style on september 17th, when i quit) and talking and laughing because for them, apparently, things are goodfuntimes;

e) a general desire to kick myself for letting things get so overwhelming. the thing is, this is my own fault. i have no one to blame but me for having gotten behind in my reading, for getting distracted by friends and cats and shiny objects. all. my. fault.

i.e., if my head had a hinge on it, and you were so inclined to lift up the top to peer inside, you would almost certainly immediately slam the whole thing closed and utter something akin to “holy mackerel!” or “yikes!” or “stupid, stupid emily.”

i've got 2.5 weeks left in the semester. my task in the next 2.5 weeks is to work myself silly so that i can finish up feeling like i’m not a total fool. and since i need to be responsible, i’ve got to stop paying so much goddamn attention to the blog. i’m not going to be so silly as to declare that i’m not going to post in the next 2.5 weeks, but i’m going to make a real effort not to let posting become more of a distraction than is necessary.

i know you’re all terribly disappointed… oh, you’ve already gotten over it? um, great.


Saturday, December 03, 2005


#13 georgia just pulverized #3 LSU! awesome for UGA; awesome for ND! georgia is going to the sugar bowl now. sweet ass!

beauty school dropouts...

i have yellow hair. YELLOW! actually, the ends are this fantastic shade of orange that i rather love. the kind of love to which a pee wee herman voice would respond, "then why don't you marry it?" which would rouse my retort, "well, i would, but it's a color -- duh!"

anyway, i've got a few draft posts lurking out there on the blogosphere -- one about the dinosaur jr show on thursday night and one about the post-midnight run to CVS that krista had to make because we ran out of bleach for my hair. but for now i've got to get myself in gear so that i can get some actual schoolwork done today. so, more to come.

but yeah. yellow hair. it's not done yet. i still need to dye it what the little bottle describes as "apricot", but i definitely look like an idiot right now. yellow! my eyebrows have never looked darker.

perhaps the only way to even attempt to describe the way i look right now is "OI!"

Friday, December 02, 2005

shout out...

the other day, talking to krista about blogs, krista pointed out that one of the really nice things about blogging is that you get to tell the world how fantastic your friends are and that's pretty cool. so as an example of that...

...this post is for my friend elizabeth.

the other day at school, by the lockers (ah, the lockers! let the comparisons between law school and high school begin!) elizabeth and i had a brief, but fantastic conversation. it was the kind of conversation where high-fives and a lot of right-on-sister!'s would have been appropriate (but as we all know, i don't give high fives. although the other day i passed my friend ed in the hallway and somehow ended up giving him a high five... but don't tell anybody. especially a certain evidence professor, who thank heavens has ceased with such tomfoolery.). ahem, anyway, back to elizabeth...

the gist of our conversation was that the whole notion of being shady and playing games is not only totally stupid and for the birds, but those who choose to partake in such games are really just proving themselves cowardly and unworthy. by this point in our lives, we're all too old to act like such children when it comes to our interactions with each other. what's so wrong with being honest? not only is it the least treacherous path to take, but it's also the most efficient. and people who operate under some delusion that they are powerful enough to actually hurt other peoples' feelings and thus should temper their conduct accordingly (read: lie to themselves by justifying their actions by saying they don't want to hurt someone) are idiots.

in the past couple of years, i realized that it's much better to just say what i'm thinking/feeling than to try and drag things out. and for the most part, it's worked out just magnificently. sure, i get myself into trouble from time to time, but not to the extent that i'd rather go back to couching my thoughts in vague notions of how things are "supposed" to be. because if somebody's gonna like me, i'd rather them like _me_, not some version of myself that gets toned down so that it's universally palatable. i'm a hell of a girl. i'm a catch. but, to borrow a phrase from a brilliant woman, i'm not intended for everyone. and in my world, it's better and more worthwhile and valuable to be able to give more of myself to a select few than to water myself down for the masses.

so, elizabeth -- as per that e-mail you sent me, yeah, i suck for not having responded yet, but i'm using the medium of the blogosphere to proclaim that i think you're brilliant and i'm damn glad to know you!

the great thing about kittens... that you can totally twist them and turn them and treat them all roly-poly-like and THEY DON'T CARE! you can plop them down, set them on your shoulder, pick them up by the scruff of their necks, sing to them, toss stuff at them, chase them around, and still they love you! i wish every relationship in my life were so easy!

kenobi is currently hanging out on my shoulder. and she's making buzzing noises. she keeps poking her little nose up at me, so i can kiss her on the head. we're listening to dinosaur jr right now, kenobi and i, and she seems to approve.

on a sorta related note, i was in (of all places) williams sonoma (barf -- gag me with an overpriced set of cookie cutters!) earlier today with paul. it was entirely his idea to go there. places like william sonoma and i don't really exist in the same universe. although, i did get a little drooly over the yellow kitchenaid mixer and this unbelievably cool-looking $900 espresso machine. i remarked that i needed to get married, just so i could register for all the cool stuff (this coming from the girl who doesn't even believe in engagement rings!). my dear friend's response? "well, maybe you could just register as a crazy cat lady or something."


so i kicked him.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

the sewing machine...

...might just be the greatest invention ever.

using a sewing machine while listening to pat benetar... this moment might be the most empowered-woman i've EVER felt!

please. stop. now.

krista just informed me that she needs to go to "bux". michael used this term in a message to me the other day. "bux".

"bux" as in starbucks, the coffee place.

i blame steph for this. entirely.

wicked smaht...

a couple of things have happened in the past couple of days that i want to memorialize. it seems to be somewhat of a trend (or perhaps just a leitmotif?) of late that i number the points on my posts, so i'm gonna stick with that. because it's easy. and i'm a simple girl.

1. yesterday in race, racism, and american law, my fave pitt law grad and critical race theorist extraordinaire derrick bell joined us for class. but here's the really good part -- we were discussing a classmate's paper, which is in part about the inadequacies of the no child left behind act, and i made a comment about the problem of standards and how within the way that education systems are set up, it's almost impossible to accommodate various learning styles and stuff. what i said in class was much better, but if i were to reproduce it here, people could steal it and ruin me. okay, back on track -- the good part! i made this comment in class, and guess who agreed and made a good supplemental point? none other than professor bell! i'm a genius!

2. had to have a potentially disastrous conversation with professors that i adore yesterday. not only did it exceed all expectations, but apparently they think i'm, like, a valid contributor to class?! WTF?

3. remember that international law brief i was working on a couple of weeks ago? today we had moot court-y oral arguments on the issues that the briefs addressed. we had some options for how to participate in this activity: we could argue one of the sides, we could act as judges, or we could sit there like bumps on logs and observe. i opted to be a judge for the 1331 jurisdiction issue that i wrote on for my brief. this involved being in the moot court room at school, sitting in the big red elevated judges' chairs, and being on a panel with my favorite professor. i was giddy as a schoolgirl! and tom and andrew informed me that i sounded like a crazy english professor when i asked the plaintiff's and defendant's counsel questions about their arguments. regardless of how it was meant, i took that as a damn fine compliment!

there are entirely too many exclamation points in this post.

end transmission.

as if there weren't enough spam out there...

goddamn it, tom! why do you pull me in to these stupid mindless shenanigans?! don't you know i'm quite capable of wasting time on my own?

i'll play along, but i'm not going to charge five friends (because i want them to remain friends of mine) to do the same.

so, fine. the fifth sentence to my 23d post is as follows:

then i'd start on a once-a-week intramuscular injection called avonex.

i have a few things to say about this. first of all, and most obviously, the above is NOT a sentence. it's a sentence fragment.* yes, i find this mildly embarrassing.

secondly, this post is from may 16th, 2004, back when my life was drastically different. i think i've probably said enough in these collective posts about woo-i've-learned-so-much-isn't-life-fan-fucking-tastic?!, so i'll spare you more of the same. for now. but i reserve the right to resume the activity at my leisure.

thirdly, i HATE CHAIN BLOG POSTS!!! and tom, you are NOT a pirate! jesus, if memory serves, when asked to come up with a good pirate name several months ago, the best you could do was "one-eyed mcgee". pathetic!

*tom, who is currently sitting beside me in administrative law, and thus reading as i'm typing this (and yes, i'm attempting to make him laugh and get him in trouble in class, not that our professor even knows we exist, but still... so, yeah)... so tom said, "that's the first thing you have to say about that? that's funny in and of itself." hey tom? suck it.