Friday, March 31, 2006


huh. the us news and world report 2007 school rankings are out and pitt law has dropped to number 60... remember the good ol' days? when we were a top-50 school? you know, 2 years ago? will the addition of derrick bell to the pitt law faculty make a difference in next year's numbers?

who knows? it's all a crap shoot anyway... or is it?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

bicycle races are coming your way... forget all your duties oh yeah!

the weather today might best be described as...PERFECT! when i woke up this morning, there was absolutely no question -- i was going to ride my bike to school. and it was GLORIOUS!

today was definitely an A+ day. my jurisprudence class totally blew my mind, but in the good way. then krista and i got fantastic sandwiches and ate them outside. and at the end of the day, i had a great talk with my jurisprudence professor about working with him on an independent study paper. and the icing on the cake was that tom and i rode our bikes home together and andrew didn't run us off the road in his car! awwwww!

but, it must be said that tom is the SLOWEST GODDAMN CYCLIST EVER! he claims that it's because he was on a mountain bike (so was i, even if i do have road tires) and because his seat was too low (it really was, too -- he looked like an idiot!), but i know the truth. the truth is that i'm just too goddamn fast and my skills on a bike are unstoppable! and if you don't believe me, you can ask that bus that got a little too close to me. i had to help it out a bit with my shoulder. it was very funny. poor silly bus!

i heart springtime!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

chiropracticality, et al...

1. a couple of weeks ago, when i flipped over my handlebars, i didn't (as i feared at the time) break a rib, but i did manage to create this weird bone-that-needs-to-be-popped-back-in-place feeling on the left side of my back. it's kinda annoying. i keep sitting in weird contorted ways that make it feel better, but i can only do this in the safety of my own home, because people wouldn't understand if i did this in public.

2. i've made a decision. it's time for more hair dyeing. my hair is currently best described as what happens to brown hair that gets bleached out to a bright yellow-orangey-blonde color, then gets dark red hair dye put on it, but fades out. it needs some attention. stat. i really miss when it was red (like in the picture over there in the top right of this page). and i miss when it was yellow-orange, too. can i get away with something fun these days? methinks not... grrrr...

3. this "deal or no deal" show on NBC? erm, i don't get it.

4. there's this kid who works at the whole foods who has this fantastic giant afro and who looks like prince, complete with high heels. i refer to him "the prince show", like that SNL skit with maya rudolph as beyonce knowles and fred armisen as prince. i see the prince show in oakland sometimes. he's totally fly. i love him! but not in that way. i just get the biggest kick out of this kid -- he's SUCH a purple-rain-hipster-freak!

5. something very important happened. i have this pair of black argyle socks that i really like, but one of the pair has been nowhere to be found for weeks. well, tonight when i got home, i changed my clothes and put on this ratty pair of camouflage shorts that i have, and guess what had been mistakenly folded into the shorts?!?! yep! the missing sock! made my night!

6. okay, enough of this lollygagging (collyfoxing? mollycoddling?)... time to finish my jurisprudence reading...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


know what this guy is doing? he's looking on the side of the carnegie library at the GIANT ANIMALS!!! that's right, friends -- GIGANTIC ANIMALS are all around the library and museum!!! i saw them tonight, in the car with krista and paul on the way home from school, and i IMMEDIATELY turned into a seven year old! ANIMALS!!! as if this gigantic dinosaur weren't awesome enough, the carnegie museum of art has an exhibition right now called "fierce friends: artists & animals, 1750-1900". fierce! like pterodactyls!!!

i'm totally going to check it out. you should, too.

squeak (left) squeak (right)...

for some reason, my shoes squeak. they squeak a lot. i'm not sure what it is. it doesn't matter how i walk, which odd way i shift my feet, i can't seem to mitigate the squeaking. what's worse is that these are my favorite shoes and they're so so so comfortable. and they're red! and they make me REALLY tall. i want to wear them all the time. they look like this:

but when i'm on the third floor of the library, like now, and i have to get up to go pick up stuff that i sent to the printer, everybody can hear me coming and going. it's a little embarrassing. and silly. it makes me giggle.

spell check...

part of my job as a 2L legal writing TA is to meet with first year students to help them prepare for their oral arguments. so that i can prepare for these meetings, i've asked that they submit copies of their briefs to me in my school mailbox. i'm noticing a trend in reading these briefs. that trend is to spell "de minimis" as "de minimus". first years? this is incorrect. don't believe me? consult a dictionary.

thank you.

Monday, March 27, 2006

bring back martha quinn!!!


does MTV serve any purpose whatsoever these days other than to piss me off? it was on at the gym today, unfortunately on the television that was directly in front of me, so of course i had to watch it. it was that or stare out the window at the undergrad boys tossing around a football, and that made me feel creepy, once i calculated the approximate age difference between me and them.

the show on MTV had this guy who hangs out with three moms, one at a time, in order to decide whose daughter he'll go on a date with. um, WTF?!? these girls were all, "mom, make sure you tell him i have a nice booty!" or "mom, tell him i like to dance on tables when i go out to bars." AYFKM??? they might as well have just said, "mom, i'm a dirty whore with about three thousand STDs! aren't you SO proud?" what self-respecting mother goes out and pimps her daughter for some crappy MTV show?

am i getting so old that i'm becoming a prude? or is MTV just literally becoming a vortex for all things retarded? come ON! the kids who watch this crap are like eleven years old. no wonder the world is full of fucktards and whorebags -- MTV has turned everybody under age 25 into pop culture sexploitation junkies! dude, sexual revolution my arse -- it's just insulting.

can somebody PUH-LEEEZE start being realistic about sexuality with kids these days??? can't we just stop making everything taboo and tawdry and start presenting things as a series of choices with real consequences? i don't mean we should scare kids into abstinence, either. we should have enough respect for these kids and the shit they deal with w/r/t each other so that maybe they can learn a little respect for themselves. is that so difficult?

ta da!!!

here you go, friends! for your listening pleasure, i happily share with you the podcast of last week's cancelled estates and trusts class.

i'm gonna try and figure out how to get this on my ipod so i can listen to it on my way home tonight. most. fun. EVER!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

"the fault, dear brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves..."


wanted: one brain-to-mouth filter ASAP...

on the phone with my dad this afternoon, i told him all about how last night i went to dinner with dave and jessica and baby charlotte. dave has spent some quality time with my family (he even made the trip down to mississippi when my dad and step-mom got married) and dad has met jessica, so he was excited to hear about charlotte. i gushed and gushed about how amazing and beautiful charlotte is and how she and i are going to become fast friends and how i promised her i'll never get mad at her for drooling on me and how i couldn't take my eyes off her because it blows my mind that my good friends actually have a baby!

and after i told dad all i had to say about that, i said, without thinking:

"yeah, it was a crazy night -- i spent the first half of it with dave and jessica and their new infant, and then i went to a sex toy party!"

am i an idiot? seriously? this was my father on the phone! WTF?!?! and i didn't realize what i was saying until it was already too late; the words were just hanging out there in the air, hovering, horrifiedly looking back at me... a little voice inside my head silently screamed, "noooooo!!!"


my dad responded, "really? you know, linda has always wanted to go to one of those." (linda = my step-mom). and then we proceeded to have a normal, adult conversation about how the sex toy industry exists for women because for men, masturbation is pretty simple. it was great! my dad said to me, "are you uncomfortable talking about this?" and i said, "dad, are you kidding? you do know your daughter is a crazy feminist, right?" my dad (and my mom when she was alive) may have been crazy catholics, but they were also crazy hippie catholics with a pretty healthy approach to sexuality (sooooooooo many contradictions in that string of words!). while the catholic church was saying that masturbation was a sin, my parents were saying, "no way! masturbation is healthy and natural!" aw, shucks, mom and dad! you guys are so progressive.

so, yeah. potentially disastrous awkward conversation crisis averted. it was as if we were talking about the weather. good for dad. good for emily.

although, in re-reading this post, i just realized the ramifications of my step-mom and sex toys... i mean, she'd use those with my dad, right? ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew EEEEEEEEWWWWWW!!! so much for adult conversation! i'm going to go throw up now.

heaven on their minds...

this morning i talked to my little sister. she's currently going through a period where she doesn't know how to situate herself with respect to catholicism and church and all that fun stuff. my dad, whom i love dearly, is a pretty staunch believer in the church (should i have capitalized that?), and his house rules are that if you're sleeping under his roof, you go to mass on sunday. well, caitlin isn't so keen on following this rule these days. and my "relationship" with god/catholicism/religion notwithstanding, i'm cast in the role of be-supportive-of-both-sides, because she'll listen to me when she won't listen to my dad, but my dad would probably disown me if i didn't at least try to represent where he stands on the issue. that's not to say that i tell her she should be going to mass or else -- it means that what i say is that sometimes it's easier to do what dad asks rather than to fight with him about it. she does say she believes in a higher power. so, i say why can't she just use that hour of mass-time to think about that? i dunno... i know her struggle all too well. i'm just trying to be a good big sister.

anyway, she goes to a catholic high school (the same one that i attended way back when), and every wednesday morning at 9:00 there's an all-school mass. and since this is the church season of lent, they have stations of the cross. when she mentioned this, i immediately got a mad mad mad craving to watch a certain DVD in my movie collection. you see, the literature nerd in me, that part of me that adores greek tragedy and allegory, fucking loves the story of the passion! it's really brilliant -- full of fragility, heartache, grief, sacrifice, suffering, catharsis! say what you will about its significance to christianity, but the story of the death of jesus is pretty amazing.

so, in honor of lent, currently appearing on the TV in my living room, is _jesus christ superstar_. and you better believe i'm singing every goddamn word along with those dirty hippies!


krista has asked that i notify all of you loyal readers (you know, all three of you) that she has placed the recipe for her aztec salsa (featured at her fantastic bring-your-own-booze-and-boardgames party) on her blog. you can find it here.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

seeing red...

there are some things one just doesn't do in a grocery store on a saturday afternoon. for example, one should never wander around aimlessly looking for inspiration for some sort of red food item to bring to a party that starts in a few hours.

yet, never let it be said that emily is one to play by the rules. because wander around aimlessly i did!

certain physical spaces bring out the self-absorbed asshole in all of us. for example, airport terminals, new york city, the beltway around D.C., grocery stores. sure, i'm guilty of being a grocery store jerk, too. typically, one goes to the grocery store with a plan, one's focus is on the contents of the shelves and not on the other shoppers. this means that eye contact is not made, "excuse me" is not said, general pleasantries are dispensed with. but when you're wandering around aimlessly looking for inspiration for some sort of red food item to bring to a party? then you get to pay a little more attention to the whole grocery shopping experience. and it's rather amusing, in a the-world-is-way-fucked-up sort of way.

say what you will about the south, but the people there really are friendly. after growing up in the south, i spent four years in the midwest and people there really are friendly, too. then i moved to boston, where the people are the opposite of friendly. and from there i lived in philly, where the people can be downright rude. you can take the girl out of the south, but you can't take the south out of the girl, i guess, because i still expect that people are going to smile when i smile at them or show a little bit of courtesy to fellow human beings. um, not so much, i suppose. it's too bad, really.


but the reason i needed something red was that i'm going to a girly party tonight. it's a red party. this means we have to wear something red and bring some sort of food item that's red. no boys are allowed. but when it comes to theme parties like this, i suffer from the same sort of social paralysis that haunts me in the weeks prior to halloween if i have a friend who is throwing a costume party -- every bit of imagination gets zapped from my brain, and yet i create this pressure to be creative and magnificent. it's silly really, because nobody gives a shit*.

so i aimlessly wandered through the aisles in the grocery store searching for red stuff. tomatoes are red. lobsters are red. marinara sauce is red. twizzlers are red. beets are red. ketchup is red. bagel bites are red. yeah. no inspiration. nowhere. what complicates matters is that i didn't allow myself the time to actually prepare anything because i have to go to dinner with some folks at 6:00 and the girly party starts at 8:00. so, once my aimlessness started to become a bit of a hassle, i admitted defeat. inspiration be damned, says i! what did i buy? chips and salsa.

but the chips are red, okay?

boooooooo for emily. boo hiss!

*or, NGAS for short


back in elementary school, on one sunny summer afternoon, this boy in my class named chad called me his "girlfriend". girlfriend?!?! huh? "well, sure -- you're a girl and you're my friend, right?" swoon!

i remember this moment so vividly. i couldn't have been older than 8 or 9. it was by the slide at the playground where i went to daycare in the summers, a couple of blocks away from where my mom worked. several of my our lady of victories elementary school classmates also spent the summer months there. at snacktime, the daycare people gave us those gross cookies that look like flowers with a hole in the middle that everybody wore as rings (they looked like these, only not so fancy). but having some of my school chums around made it fun. and having chad call me his girlfriend?!?! wow. i mean, chad was way cool. he lived in ocean springs and his uncle played for the los angeles rams!

why am i thinking about this now? my all-time favorite nerdy NPR show is currently on -- "wait wait ... don't tell me", and one of my celebrity crushes is one of the panelists -- mo rocca.

so i was thinking about mo rocca, and i realized that he bears a striking resemblance to another celebrity crush of mine, justin theroux. and then i got to thinking about other celebrity crushes, like mark ruffalo. and then i started thinking about the men i've dated, and almost all of them, and in a broader sense, the vast majority of the men that i've ever been attracted to, are thin, have brown hair, and brown eyes. you know, like chad.

and that got me to a chicken-and-egg type of curiosity... you know, did my pre-pubescent crush on chad become the advent into my preference for dark eyed, dark haired men? or was i already wired to find this attractive and chad was just the earliest manifestion?


...this post is so so so so so so goddamn self-indulgent, not to mention utterly worthless! but at least it gave me the excuse to do internet searches for pictures of my celebrity crushes.

it's a major award!

well, it wasn't a bowling alley or a leg lamp, but it was the big prize at thursday night's pitt law "2L over the hump" party. and if anybody's curious as to what it's capable of, i offer the following. enjoy!

no, friends, it's not artistic -- it just sucks.

Friday, March 24, 2006

i heart dan savage...

another internet (inkernet?) obsession of mine: dan savage's "savage love" column in the seattle weekly _the stranger_. what the world needs is a good healthy approach to sexuality, and i vote for dan savage to lead the revolution.

in this week's column, after answering a couple of fairly tame letters from readers, he adds the following:

Straight Rights Update: Earlier this month Republicans in South Dakota successfully banned abortion in that state. Last week the GOP-controlled state house of representatives in Missouri voted to ban state-funded family-planning clinics from dispensing birth control. "If you hand out contraception to single women," one Republican state rep told the Kansas City Star, "we're saying promiscuity is okay." On the federal level, Republicans are blocking the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception and keeping a 100 percent effective HPV vaccine—a vaccine that will save the lives of thousands of women every year—from being made available.

The GOP's message to straight Americans: If you have sex, we want it to fuck up your lives as much as possible. No birth control, no emergency contraception, no abortion services, no life-saving vaccines. If you get pregnant, tough shit. You're going to have those babies, ladies, and you're going to make those child-support payments, gentlemen. And if you get HPV and it leads to cervical cancer, well, that's too bad. Have a nice funeral, slut.

What's it going to take to get a straight-rights movement off the ground? The GOP in Kansas is seeking to criminalize hetero heavy petting, for God's sake! Wake up and smell the freaking Holy War, breeders! The religious right hates heterosexuality just as much as it hates homosexuality. Fight back!

word! vive la revolution!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


wow. so, two years ago this afternoon, i had a couple of seizures that totally changed my life. two years! time sure flies when you're having fun. (or something?)

it really did change my life. and that may be the most gratuitous sentence i've EVER written, given the content of various posts on this blog. it's been one hell of a two years, though. lots of adjustments, lots of reflecting, lots of figuring out emily.

in all honesty, i'm so grateful for that period of my life in 2004. despite all the chaos and the uncertainty and the fear and the horror and the worry, i came out okay. i came out better, even. it's that whole "gold is tested in fire" thing, i suppose. we don't get to see what we're made of until who we are gets truly challenged.

so, to all the people in my life (folks who read this site and folks who don't) who have been so amazingly supportive and funny and kind and important and so many good things, i love you all. i'm pretty gosh darn grateful for you, too.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

method to my madness...

...a selection from _The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Ed._*:
5.13 The British style of positioning periods and commas in relation to the closing quotation mark is based on the same logic that in the American system governs the placement of question marks and exclamation points: if they belong to the quoted material, they are placed within the closing quotation mark; if they belong to the including sentence as a whole, they are placed after the quotation mark. The British style is strongly advocated by some American language experts. In defense of nearly a century and a half of the American style, however, it may be said that it seems to have been working fairly well and has not resulted in serious miscommunication. Whereas there clearly is some risk with question marks and exclamation points, there seems little likelihood that readers will be misled concerning the period or comma. There may be some risk in such specialized material as textual criticism, but in that case authors and editors may take care to avoid the danger by alternative phrasing or by employing, in this exacting field, the exacting British system. In linguistic and philosophical works, specialized terms are regularly punctuated the British way, along with the use of single quotation marks. With these qualifications, the University of Chicago Press continues to recommend the American style for periods and commas.
Rules 5.20 and 5.28 deal with exclamation points and question marks, respectively, w/r/t quotation marks.

hmmmm... perhaps for consistency's sake, i should start adding an extra "u" to certain words (i.e., colour, rumour, misdemeanour).

* the current version of the CMS is the 15th ed., but the copy that i own is the 14th.

better living through homeland security...

conversation from about ten minutes ago:

randy: "i wonder if there are updates on the whole sniper situation downtown."
emily: "there's a sniper downtown?"
randy: "you didn't hear about this?"
emily: "in PITTSBURGH?!?!?"

so we checked the news to find out the latest on the possibly hostile situation a mere few miles from us that shut down pittsburgh's downtown area for the afternoon...a situation which may or may not have involved a sniper.

alas, it was not a sniper. it was just some guy who brought his pellet gun to work to scare pigeons. of course. this is completely reasonable.

"no" means no...

today, the united states supreme court voted 5-3 to uphold a georgia supreme court decision that "a physically present co-occupant's stated refusal to permit entry renders warrantless entry and search unreasonable and invalid as to him." hooray!

the case (Georgia v. Randolph) involved a warrantless search of a husband and wife's home. the cops knocked on the door, the wife answered and consented to a search, but the husband, who was also at home, objected. the question was whether the wife's consent rendered the husband's objection worthless. here's the article from the jurist website. (thanks to krista for forwarding it to me!)

i must say, i'm surprised that this court upheld the georgia decision. i'm happy, no doubt, but given the, erm, ideological tendencies of the current panel of justices, i guess i figured that there was a decent chance that the vote would go toward upholding police powers. but as we all know, i love the fourth amendment, and i'm glad to see that the supremes recognize the importance of protecting an individual's right to privacy, particularly in his own home.

the official opinion is here. i haven't read it yet, but i bet nobody's going to be surprised by the following:

majority opinion: Souter, Stevens, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer
concurrences by: Stevens, Breyer
dissents by: Roberts, Scalia, Thomas
Alito took no part in the decision.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

fun with content neutrality...

here's a quick run-down of the topics in the readings this week for my first amendment class:

- 2000: protest-free buffer zones around abortion clinics
(this is okay -- people need unrestricted access to health care facilities, and ample alternatives for protesters exist)
- 1972: restrictions on demonstrations outside schools, with an exemption for labor demonstrations
(not okay, because the regulation was content-based and the first amendment doesn't allow that)
- 1968: setting fire to draft cards
(conviction stands because of the significant government interest in maintaining availability of selective service certificates)
- 1989: flag burning
(yea, Brennan! you're damn right it's expression! and the first amendment protects it!)
- 1986: adult bookstores and prostitution
(eh, not so much... prostitution is illegal -- the first amendment doesn't shield you from that)
- 1986: more adult bookstores, but the ones near schools and churches
(what a crappy decision. "secondary effects"? AYFKM!)
- 1987: more restrictions on demonstrations, but w/r/t anti-foreign government messages outside foreign embassies
(listeners' reactions to speech are NOT secondary effects, but only half of the ordinance is struck down)
- 2000: nude dancing as a form of expression
(sorry, ladies -- that's what pasties are for. the regulation against public nudity stands. de minimis, indeed!)

Monday, March 20, 2006

three cheers for the kool-aid wino!

despite my waking up in an absolute panic too early this morning because of a nightmare about being hunted by aliens, things started to look up, courtesy of nice little moment on the bus on my way into school. the kid sitting across from me was reading this book. richard brautigan?!? who the hell reads richard brautigan? i'll tell you who -- the members of professor noreen deane-moran's freshman humanities class at notre dame, including me back in 1994. brilliant! i totally fell in love with this book. (of course, i also loved jack kerouac back then, so form your own conclusions...)

i've seen this kid on the bus before and he seems like a total hipster prick, so i didn't bother to compliment him on his choice of reading material. but seeing the book this morning did in fact send me into a blissful reverie, remembering the good old days when books were full of magic, when good prose was its own kind of poetry, when writing made the world go around...

oh mandy...

...well you came and you gave without taking...

(can't. get. this. out. of. my. head... help. me. please!)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

dream on...

last night i had another dream about snoop dogg. the first one i had was over spring break, and snoop was a bus driver and i had to find the bus that snoop was driving. this time, snoop was driving a big red ford F-150 pick up truck and i was crammed in the back seat with like 3 other people.

you know, i don't even particularly enjoy snoop's music. i appreciate him, i think he's got skills, or skizzills or whatever, but why the hell has he become a recurring character in my dreams? and why is snoop always driving a large vehicle?

i also had a dream that krista and i were going to france, but we were flying to tokyo first, and then going to france from there. this made perfect sense in the dream, of course. and we were at the airport, which was a combination fancy hotel, parking garage, and international terminal, and for some reason various members of our families were there to see us off, but we got separated, because my dad had to introduce me to some friends of his, who had all this extra, erm, italian money to give to me from a vacation they had taken (because in the world of emily's-dream-land, italian money is accepted in both japan and france). but then there was a crisis! i had left my ipod in the car! so i had this dilemma of whether i should go back to the car to get the ipod, or just suck it up and board the plane. meanwhile, krista had left her shoes in a hotel room, and since they were her only shoes, she had to go back, so i was going to go ahead and go to the gate where our flight was to keep the flight from leaving without krista. but to get to the gate, i had to haul my luggage up this twisty, turny, parking-garage-esque ramp up several levels and it took about a billion years to get there, and finally i had to abandon my luggage so that i could get to the gate on time, and when i got there, it was 11:12, and the flight was supposed to leave at 11:15, and krista was nowhere to be found, and so i checked in and didn't have my passport, but the guys at the counter let me in anyway, and i told them that we couldn't leave without krista, and they said that the flight wouldn't leave without her. but i asked them to page her over the loudspeaker system, and they did, but still, she was nowhere to be found and i was getting really nervous because the plane was going to leave and we had spent all of our student loan money on the tickets! and then, around the corner, krista finally shows up, but the plane was leaving and we ran through the little hallway thingy, but they wouldn't let us on the plane because it was already pulling away, and we were very sad.

the end.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

thumbs up...

went to see _v for vendetta_ tonight with krista and paul. you should, too. (well, not with krista and paul -- that might put a bit of a strain on K & P's social schedule.) but the movie is good. really good. much much much better than i thought it would be. of course, i might have been expecting it to really suck, given what the wachowski brothers did with the second and third _matrix_ movies... but i was pleasantly surprised with this one. it was visually beautiful and well acted. there might have been a couple of moments that were a tad bit over the top, but that's kinda to be expected these days it seems.

oh, and i totally love hugo weaving.

but here's a question... after the movie, krista and paul and i were discussing the merits of getting the reserved seating in movie theaters. none of us quite see the logic in it. the best we could come up with is maybe if somebody's going to the movies, gets to the box office, opens his/her wallet and just has way too much money and the only realistic option is to set fire to some of it, or pay the extra price for a reserved seat in the theater, then maybe it would make sense to get the reserved seat... ??? so, if anybody out there can or wants to offer some sort of explanation/justification for the whole reserved seating in movie theater thing, i'd be happy to hear it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703 (2000)

part of the assignment for wednesday's First Amendment class was to read Hill v. Colorado. this is a USSC case about a colorado ordinance drawn up to protect the rights of patients at abortion clinics. here are the relevant parts of the statute:

(1) The general assembly recognizes that access to health care facilities for the purpose of obtaining medical counseling and treatment is imperative for the citizens of this state; that the exercise of a person's right to protest or counsel against certain medical procedures must be balanced against another person's right to obtain medical counseling and treatment in an unobstructed manner; and that preventing the willful obstruction of a person's access to medical counseling and treatment at a health care facility is a matter of statewide concern. The general assembly therefore declares that it is appropriate to enact legislation that prohibits a person from knowingly obstructing another person's entry to or exit from a health care facility.

(2) A person commits a class 3 misdemeanor if such person knowingly obstructs, detains, hinders, impedes, or blocks another person's entry to or exit from a health care facility.

(3) No person shall knowingly approach another person within eight feet of such person, unless such other person consents, for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling with such other person in the public way or sidewalk area within a radius of one hundred feet from any entrance door to a health care facility.Any person who violates this subsection (3) commits a class 3 misdemeanor.

the statute was held to be constitutional by the supreme court.

here's why i'm posting about this... last semester, several of us (of the bloggers: krista, andrew, michael, me) took a class called "reproduction, sexuality, and the law", taught by an amazing adjunct professor, the woman who runs the women's law project in pittsburgh. i found out recently that she was largely responsible for drafting a pittsburgh ordinance that was modeled after the colorado statute at issue in Hill. and as the supremes held that to be a-okay with the first amendment, all looks good for things around here!

special dedication... my most loyal throckmorton reader, in honor of throckmorton's 500th post:

Thursday, March 16, 2006

wicker man...

courtesy of my fave podcasters dawn and drew (show 272), i found out today that crappy hollywood is remaking _the wicker man_. this makes me very sad. especially since they're remaking this movie with nicholas cage. ew.

i don't know if you guys have seen this movie, but it's something else. i'm not going to say it's super-rad or that it's way cool, because that would put me way to close to the realm of hipster cult-film-fangirl wannabe, but i will say that it's definitely creepy and worth seeing, and i'm strangely and powerfully attracted to christopher lee, as the delightfully smarm-tastic lord summerisle.

yeah. erm...

so, has the world truly run out of original ideas for movies? the other day i wrote a lovely little simulated customer/customer service representative dialogue that almost devolved into porn... i'm thinking i might develop it a little more and try to option to the folks in L.A. what the hell? at least it was funny.

estates and trusts links...

i love my estates and trusts casebook! the editors pepper the footnotes with some pretty funny stuff. as a little sample, here are the links from the reading assignment for tomorrow's class:

page 243, footnote 26

page 245, footnote 27

secret obsession...

okay, i'm not going to lie... i'm one of those girls who reads the "missed connections" on for the entertainment value! you may proceed to theorize about my psychological well-being now, my voyeuristic tendencies, my inability to get a life of my own. i'm okay with all of that. really. but i know and you know that you do it, too.

recently i noticed that craigslist has a "best of"...

so i submit this for your reading pleasure. enjoy!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


damn it! i can't believe i let this one pass me by! if i'm not more careful, my nerdship is going to be revoked...

p.s. i love wikipedia so much! why? because they have pages like this.

mr. sandman?

i think i'm at my best, as a writer, when i can't sleep. my mind is filled to capacity with crazy thoughts, masking themselves at the time as creativity or brilliance. i'm convinced that every noise i hear is either michael and steph upstairs trying to get my attention to tell me there's another fire outside my window, or that the cats are again wrestling with a poor mouse. in truth, the noises are the natural nighttime noises of my creaky old house or the wind against the windows.

i haven't gotten a good night's sleep in a couple of weeks now. i'm not sure what's going on, but i've definitely been perfecting my skills as an insomniac. it follows a predictable pattern -- i go to bed at my usual time, feeling sleepy, but a few hours later i begin the cycle of tossing and turning and waking and sleeping and mind-racing and impatience. by the time the morning comes, pillows and blankets have all spilled off my bed onto the floor. and i feel exhausted.

when i wake up in the middle of the night, i refuse to get out of bed, because that's admitting defeat. i'd rather wait it out, prove to my brain that i CAN and WILL go back to sleep. and looking at the clock is the other big no-no. but last night, i cheated... i folded... i looked... and what did i see? the numbers on my clock said, gloatingly and victoriously: 3:29. ugh.

my head was full of what seemed at the time to be the greatest, most well-composed blog post of all time. i'm going to go on believing that to be true, too. in all reality, my head was full of irrationalities, overtirednesses. my mind was skipping around like a scratched record, always returning to the following: to what degree? how far? what now, then?

what does it all mean? why can't i get a good night's sleep? i'm going to the gym after school today to try to exercise my energy away so that maybe i'll have a restful night tonight.

(coincidentally, NPR right now is talking about a lawsuit involving instances of sleepwalking in patients taking the sleeping pill ambien. huh.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

please stand clear of the door...

folks, an elevator door does not only open so that you may get on the elevator. it also opens so that people may get off the elevator. please don't give me mean looks because i say "excuse me" and try to get out of the elevator. i am not in your way and i am not causing you any inconvenience nor is my presence the source of grave injustice.

this goes for subways and buses, too. LET PEOPLE EXIT FIRST!!! and while we're on the subject of subways and buses, if you get on a subway/bus, and there are no seats available, please use some common sense and move to the back of the subway/bus. crowding around the door may seem like it makes things easier for you, but it's very inefficient overall, and increases your likelihood of being sent to hell when you die.

this is very simple and it makes the world a better place. thank you, and have a nice day.

Monday, March 13, 2006

it's about time...

in the past couple of years i've had lots of sleepless nights over the possibility of things growing in my head. there was, of course, the tumor scare, and the constant worry that my brain is going to freak out and have another weird inflammation. but the other night i came across something growing out of my head that in a very strange way gave me a sigh of relief, a hard-earned and well-deserved sense of accomplishment. what did i find? a single grey hair.

i'm 29 years old. friday is my half-birthday, which means starting on saturday, my age officially rounds up to 30. i'm not afraid of 30. if anything, i'm looking forward to it -- i plan to make 30 look really really good. of course, i guess i'm lucky... i still get carded when i buy cigarettes, i dress like a college kid, my hair was in two pig-tail buns today. i don't really worry that i look "old".

not to say that my age is a non-issue. i'm 29 and i'm single. ten years ago i figured by this point i'd be done with the craptastic crapfest that is the world of dating. little did i know... little did i know. and lately a conversation with a friend put the fear of god into me that the older i get, the worse my chances are of finding a relationship that's going to be fulfilling and worthwhile. the good ones are always taken, isn't that what they say? or if they're not taken, they're otherwise occupied... i just don't want to settle. i think to myself right now that i'd rather be alone than be just somebody's wife. but five years from now? ten years from now? will i still feel so strongly?

but that's a path i don't need to consider today. i'd rather think a little more about that grey hair. i have my roots to thank, all the new growth from my scalp since the last time i doused my hair with dye. there, among the dark brown, was a shiny bright strand, its lack of color obvious against the color that mother nature gave me, a color i've been trying my best to sabotage, to retrain since i was in college. my efforts have yet to succeed. i guess i can't escape what i am.

a single grey hair. i've earned it! my mother started to grey early. my father still has a lot of dark hair amidst the grey that didn't start to show itself until he was in his 40s. i wonder how much of the aging process is genetic and how much is experience? nature vs. nurture... there are certainly some things in life that make me feel very young and green; there are other things about which i feel pretty old. all things travel at their own speed, i suppose...and eventually it all gets us to the same place.

the easy reaction would be that law school is turning my hair grey. it could be true -- law school is definitely frustrating and difficult and infuriating and utterly ridiculous at times, but the truth is that i've been through worse. law school has yet to make me fear for my life. law school has yet to make me fear for my death. law school has yet to present me with something i can't handle. eh, law school... it's 3 years of my life. it's a means to an end. and it's not so bad. the worst of it is that it's an all-consuming force. but it's temporary.

one grey hair. guess what i did with it! yep -- i plucked it out. i'm not sure why, really. part of me wishes that i had left it in place. but nature and nurture will earn me more grey hairs. in time they'll outnumber the dark brown strands. if i get to that point i'll consider myself very fortunate to have had so many days, so many opportunities. i just have to make sure i don't let the good opportunities totally pass me by. i don't want to earn grey hairs with regrets. i'll wear them more proudly if they're decorations of battles hard-fought, whether lost or won.

and yes, this is one of those posts that none of my friends will read in its entirety because it's long and boring... it's like leaving a voice mail message on krista's phone -- i know she'll never check it, or will listen to the first couple of seconds and then just call me back. so i leave this post here just like i leave those messages -- totally aware that it's just for me.

the reason why i'm going to be late for school today...

google mars!

Sunday, March 12, 2006


yep. i feel like i've been hit by a truck. i've got giant bruises on my chest and on my leg, and i've convinced myself that i've broken a rib because it hurts to breathe... funny, though, after my fall i felt a little shaken up, but certainly fine enough to get back on my bike and ride home. today, however, all i want to do is lie in bed and have someone read to me.

it's the last day of spring break. i'm so glad this week is over. i need structure! i need distraction! i need school!

i also need a summer job... sigh...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

i should come with a warning label...

i've always wondered what it would be like to flip over my bike's handlebars... and now i know.

see, here's how it went... i went for a nice bike ride today. rode through highland park, then climbed the hill that's just past the zoo. then through shadyside a bit, and finally, to schenley park, to climb the hill on overlook drive. i'm embarrassed to say that i haven't been on my bike in months, which is kinda unexcusable because i love being on my bike and we've had some unseasonably warm days this winter. alas, i was having a lovely ride today, traffic was cooperative, i was in control of my own destiny, choosing my own path. lately i've been in kind of a funk, have been trying to make some sense of things that i just can't seem to get my head around, have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the shit that needs to come together in the next seven weeks before the semester is over. so all of this was spinning around in my head while i was riding. i wasn't really trying to make sense of it all; more so i just wanted to have some time to think about it, and for some reason my mind wanders more effectively when my body is active.

anyway, so i'm on the last leg of my ride, coming down the hill in schenley park, and i decide to take this little off-road shortcut to avoid a traffic light/intersection at the very bottom of the hill. it involves a steep but short climb, and i've got a mountain bike, so it can definitely handle it, even with road tires on it. but, to start the climb, i have to jump a little curb, which i grossly miscalculated today, and ended up flying into the air, my bike flying over me and ka-boom! i'm covered in mud on the ground. but don't worry, folks! my fall was broken face.

i really am fine. it wasn't just my face that broke my fall. it was also the left side of my chest and my right elbow. but i literally flipped over the handlebars. it was awesome! yeah, i'm gonna feel like i got hit by a truck tomorrow, and i'm hoping to hell that my face doesn't turn black and blue, but what can you do? i got up, dusted myself off, spit the dirt out of my mouth, made sure my teeth were all present and accounted for, picked up my bike, and sat down for a few minutes to rest and drink some water.

yes -- i feel like the biggest idiot ever, but i probably had it coming. i'm not the most careful cyclist ever. i never brake going down hills, i tend to take turns a little quickly, my head is in my own world more often than not. not to say that i'm reckless -- i play by the rules and i don't cut off motorists. i just turn into my nine-year-old self on my bike, i'm a kid with some independence! it's just so damn fun!

i haven't had a fall in years, not since the first year i was in philadelphia (and that was a similar fall -- trying to jump a curb to get onto the bike path on kelly drive. i had an awesome scar on my arm from that one!), so maybe it was just something i needed to get out of my system?

at any rate, maybe it's a metaphor for what i'm going through these days. you stumble, you get thrown from what you think is taking you someplace really good, you land on your face, but you get up, take a few minutes to catch your breath, and keep going.

jesus, if this law thing doesn't work out, maybe i should start writing greeting cards. blah blah blah...

..but if i end up being a mess of bruises, i'm just going to tell people that andrew beat me up because i didn't want to go out dancing with him at 1:00 in the morning last night.

Friday, March 10, 2006

on the road again...

just checked the weather for the weekend. forecast for tomorrow? partly cloudy...and 68 degrees!!!

i put air in my bike tires a couple of days ago. i've been itching to ride for a while now. looks like tomorrow's the day!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


did you people not see that i very clearly stated that the whole i'm-posting-pictures-of-the-cats was a first and possibly only time thing?

i. am. not. a. crazycatlady!!!

and i'm never ever again posting pictures of my pets. ever. so help me god.

RIP, mr. fute...

this morning, when i got out of the shower and walked into my bedroom, lying in the middle of the floor, next to a dirty sock, was the tiny corpse of mr. fute, the mouse*. okay, so maybe i screamed when i saw the little guy, but sadly, that will be the last scream i utter for poor mr. fute. so after i stood unmovingly for a few minutes and was good and damn sure that he was dead, i started feeling sorry for him, and then realized that this is just how nature works, so i found an empty box, scooped up his little body, paid my respects, and put him out with the trash.

now, i'm no veterinarian, but i estimate mr. fute's cause of death to be sheer shock. he wasn't bloody, his neck didn't look like it had been broken. poor guy -- scared to death by a couple of silly cats. still, though, i'm proud of milo and kenobi, both of whom are sleeping next to me right now. my little killers. and they were kind enough to leave mr. fute somewhere i was sure to find him, and not behind a bookshelf where his body would rot and stink up the place. awwww...

and in honor of their bravery and hard work, i'm going to post a picture of them. this is a first (and possibly an only). milo is the white one, kenobi is the small one:

you all have krista to thank for me not posting a picture of the crime scene and mr. fute's corpse. "that's gross", said krista. "you're right", said emily.

*see the comments in this post for how mr. fute got his name.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

eek fest 2006...

okay. i'm seriously wondering what the hell is wrong with the universe. know what woke me up this morning? the tiny sounds of a tiny mouse squeaking his little heart out because he had become the plaything of milo and kenobi. it was awful! but let me start at the beginning...

so, it's last evening, around 6:00ish, and i'm in my bedroom. the cats are making a ton of noise in the bathroom, knocking into stuff, running around. catfights are fairly common around here, so i thought nothing of it...until...i notice a tiny grey thing run across the bathroom floor. and what do i do? all 5'9", fully grown, perfectly capable me? i scream and jump up on my bed, and then start yelling for the cats to kill the mouse. and if that didn't already make me the girliest girl that ever girled, i grab my phone and call someone who is totally incapable of doing anything to remedy the situation. probably for the best, the answering machine picked up.

and then i left the house. not because of the little furry grey guy, but because i had movie plans. and i left with the high hopes that while i was gone, milo and kenobi would act on their catty instincts and kill themselves a mouse.

no such luck. fade to the early hours of the morning... the mouse is back, the cats are again in attack mode, and everybody's making a lot of noise. i'm in bed, not wanting to move for fear that i'd disrupt the national geographic special going on under my dresser. but the sounds of the little mouse squeaks are just too much. so i did the best i could -- pulled a pillow over my head and tried to go back to sleep.

and now, we've just completed act three... milo was digging at a corner in my room, trying to get behind a shoe box. kenobi was standing by, ready to contribute to the action, once it commenced. after a few minutes (i'm fascinated by all of this, mind you -- i could have watched this scene for hours), milo gives up, so i figure he needs a little help. i moved the shoe box back from the wall, and there, in a tiny crack, i see an unmoving little round grey body and a tail. thinking that the cats had done what they needed to do, and having to pee, i walk into the bathroom. and a few seconds later, who should follow me but kenobi, with the tiny mouse in her mouth! and it's not dead!!! so what do i do? oh, you know, i scream...twice. and the cats chase the mouse around until he escapes into my closet, where he is now, probably pooping in all of my shoes.

so, here's what i'm thinking right now...

first of all, why do i go from a strong, fierce warrior of justice to a shrieking pile of wuss at the sight of a tiny mouse? what the hell is it going to do to me? in talking this over with a friend last night, he asked what is it, evolutionarily, that makes people freak the fuck out about tiny gross things? i'm totally guilty of that -- mice, spiders, roaches, (and the worst of all time:) centipedes -- all make my skin crawl. i mean, WTF?

second of all, we as a society should never have domesticated cats. they're completely worthless. milo and kenobi are so proud of themselves for this little battle they've begun, but i know and you know and they know that they're never going to actually kill the mouse. they're both silly little friendly cats who think that this is a new little toy for them to bat around. if their intention was to act upon their hunting instincts, they would have already done so.

third of all, what the hell do i do with this little mouse? i can't get a trap. i hate mouse traps. they're so cruel and awful. but i don't really want a mouse to set up camp in my apartment... such a conundrum...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

cabin fever...

i think the spring break gods are taunting me. first of all, i'm actually watching bob dole on the today show right now talk about how this is national school breakfast week. second of all, when i logged into my e-mail account, i had three messages -- one from orbitz, one from delta, and one from southwest, all with weekly air fare deals to such fabulous destinations as el paso! or albuquerque! ugh. as if i can go anywhere...

but, friends, i'm DETERMINED to actually do something with my day. by about eight o'clock last night i was about ready to turn my apartment into a demolition derby from all the pent-up energy.

step one? take a shower. wait, no. that's step two. step one is to turn off the today show. i do not like the today show. the today show makes me feel like i need a shower.

hey, there's an ad on tv right now for a kit that will help me make use of my old bits of gold. hooray for me! it was suggested to me this morning in an e-mail that maybe i should find some sort of creative outlet for my spring break malaise. i think i've found it! cha-ching!

Monday, March 06, 2006

happy anniversary mom and dad...

today would have been my parents' 30th wedding anniversary. that's them on the big day, happy, healthy, hopeful, in love. mom was 23, dad was 26. they got almost 20 years of marriage together, before my mom died. they were lucky -- those 20 years were pretty amazing, for all of us involved.

i had a really nice talk with dad tonight. life keeps going, even though from time to time things get overwhelming or painful. spirits are resilient. we stretch and retract, deal with devastation and passion and jubilation and sadness. and we persevere, we endure. it's the unexpected stuff that helps us figure out what we're made of.

i love you, mom and dad -- you're brilliant!

watching paint dry would be more fun...

what the hell? i've done NOTHING with my day today! nothing at all! and not even in the good, hey-i-think-i'll-accomplish-nothing today way. i mean, the air i've breathed would probably have been better spent otherwise than in my lungs.

only notable thing to report: i watched "wallace and gromit: the curse of the were-rabbit". it is very fantastic!

how i'm spending my spring break...

here's what i've done today: woke up, made an awesome fruit salad-y thing, decided i wasn't done sleeping, so i took a nap, then i made some coffee, and googled my name. here's what i found:

11 year old emily in the UK

emily in the ramsey high school marching band (look under the trumpets)

summer recipes! complete with dancing fruit!


okay, enough of this foolishness! today is for job searching, so here goes nothing...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

come on, feel the noize...

um, it's 6:30 on a sunday evening, and there's some kind of early-90s-death-metal-esque band practicing two houses away.

man, they suck. who knew that the quiet little neighborhood of friendship had such a seedy underbelly? if my hands weren't typing, they'd totally be making the metal sign.

v for vindicated...

for many moons i've wanted to believe that natalie portman is a good actress. she's got all the makings of it -- she's smart, she's gorgeous, she tends to choose good roles. but i've seen her in so many things that have just left me feeling disappointed. until...

last night she was the host of SNL and she was absolutely BRILLIANT! i was very impressed, and it had nothing to do with her star-wars-nerd-a-thon opening monologue stuff (okay maybe it had a little to do with that, but _just_ a little). girl had it going on.

as of now, i'm declaring my fave natalie portman performances to be her role in _the professional_ and her march 4, 2006 hosting gig of saturday night live.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

"bye, honey! we'll miss you!"

that was pretty much the gist of the phone call i just got from my dear friends tom and andrew, who are having a few pre-transatlantic drinks in the newark airport bar. apparently tom and andrew are having a great time already and the woman at the ticket counter was convinced that tom was andrew's boyfriend.

my sympathies go out to the poor flight attendants who are gonna have to deal with these two self-medicated yahoos for the next 7 1/2 hours! but how i would love to be a fly on the wall for all aspects of this little adventure.

by the way, andrew also called me earlier today to ask me to do some math in my head to help him calculate how fast they had been driving (the average speed, in case anyone is curious, was 74.2 mph).

and thanks to an impromptu training session in my living room last night, greatly enhanced by michael drawing on his skills from back before he was a reformed smoker, andrew is all set to roll his own, erm, cigarettes while in da dutch.

have fun, boys! i miss you already!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

spring broken...

tommy and andy, a couple of things before you head off to da dutch...

1. please don't get yourselves tossed into any amsterdam prisons
2. tom, stay away from the prostitutes and the teenage girls
3. andrew, please don't kill tom
4. you boys might want to, as a precautionary measure in case you get too stoned, pin your names and emergency contact info to the front of your shirts
5. have an amazing time! be good! and bring me back a little windmill.


because i feel like an idiot...

...and e-mails can't be gotten back once they've been sent, i offer this as an alternate explanation for what may have been a very stupid thing to have done:

really, i miss satchel and i just wanted to see him again.

does that help?

if at first you don't succeed...

so, i've mentioned previously here that i've finally found myself a therapist that i really like. and i mentioned last week that what i'm really trying to focus on these days is slowing myself down enough that i can take things one step at a time, not to think too far in the future, learn to be where i am.

today with my therapist, after about half an hour of emily-on-a-manic-rant spewing out all the crap that's been in my head the past week, my therapist told me that i need to let myself have time every day, even if only a couple of minutes, to sit and do nothing. but here's the thing -- i don't know how to do nothing. sure, i can sit and waste time, i can goof off, i can accomplish nothing. but actually doing nothing? like, not thinking? not being preoccupied with fifty billion things? not being distracted by any and everything? no way. it sounds like a fantastic skill, but it sure as hell ain't one i've got.

so she asked me if i'd be up for spending the end of our session trying to just focus on my breathing. the way i look at it, if there's a chance it could help, i'm up for anything. so we spent some time talking about breathing from the diaphragm and how it works physiologically (because i need to understand what's actually happening with my body -- i can't buy into the new agey stuff without having some factual basis behind it), and then she had me spend three minutes -- only three minutes -- with my eyes closed, just thinking about my breath.

and by the beginning of minute number two, i was just about ready to jump out of my skin! i couldn't do it. my brain was full of the sound of traffic on the street below, the horrible blackness of the inside of my eyelids, the endless stream of thoughts running through my head. why am i so bad at doing nothing? shouldn't doing nothing be the easiest thing ever? it was awful -- it felt so unnatural, so uncomfortable. but i hung in there, i was determined to go that entire three minutes with my eyes closed; i was determined to try and focus on my breathing. as a result, i just ended up feeling frustrated that i had to be so consciously determined, so constantly at war with the thoughts in my head.

when the time was up, my therapist told me to open my eyes. i did. and i told her how hard it had been, how uncomfortable i felt, how completely unnerving the experience was.

have i gotten so accustomed to feeling anxious that i don't know how to relax? i know that sounds really really really stupid, but it's honestly how i feel -- my brain is so used to being all keyed up and manic that i'm going to basically have to learn how not to be. and it's going to take time and practice. and i'm not really excited about the time and practice that's going to be involved. but i am convinced that it's worth trying out, and i know that this is a skill, not an innate ability. or, at least it's not innate for me. but i can learn this. i can figure it out.

here's to giving new things a try...

this post is for dave...

griff, w/r/t your comment...

of COURSE i think of you whenever i hear the sufjan stevens song about decatur! how could i not? the really weird thing is that not only do i think of you, but i also think of the decatur public library, and that time we were there and we ran into katey. and if memory serves, there were advertisements for some sort of basketball tournament all over downtown decatur (gus macker or something? am i totally making this up?). and then we went to bob evans...

jesus -- think of all the things that have happened in our lives since those days! who'd have thought that i would end up becoming good friends with your high school pals, hanging out with them in smoky philadelphia bars? who'd have thought we'd (even if briefly) simultaneously have pittsburgh residences? who'd have thought you'd end up on the other side of the teacher/student relationship at ND?

ten years ago was that sophomore literary festival that began it all. kind of amazing, when you think of it. i'm damn grateful, too.

i love you, kid! and i miss you. and i'm proud of you. you guys will be in town soon, yes? not soon enough. give my love to J and C.


oh, and is your book out? tells me it hasn't yet been released! you've got an expectant public, you know...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

exhibit A...

remember our good friend the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

well the other day, while on the phone with mark, we uncovered some important information. i'm going to share it with you here, although i am well aware that by doing so, i may be making myself vulnerable to various intrusions on my civil liberties, such as surveillance of my home or having my phone conversations recorded... but this risk is worth it, for the good of mankind. here you go...

anybody else notice an eerie similarity between the FSM and these guys?

how's that for intelligent design?

at least it's not

okay, okay, so i've got a friendster profile. yeah. i understand the irony in this, given the amount of mocking i've done of facebook and myspace and all that crap. and the fact that i have a blog. i set up the profile back in 2003 and really haven't done anything to it since. but i do check in on it from time to time because i get bored. and it has reconnected me with some long-lost college friends, which makes it not totally worthless.

but lately, friendster has been a little disturbing. not in a bad way, just in that the-world-is-a-madhouse kind of way. here's how:

1. a certain person from my past sent a message to my friendster profile. this was one of those "hey-i-still-love-you" messages. and goddamn it! i don't want him to still love me. and i don't know if i should respond. and if i should respond, i sure as hell don't want to respond via friendster! sheesh... so many layers of complication here...

2. one of my old kaplan LSAT students tracked me down and sent me a message. here's the awful part -- i honestly for the life of me can't remember who this kid is! i taught LSAT for close to 3 years and had a lot of students over that time period. there are definitely a few who stand out, but i couldn't possibly be expected to remember all of them, right? i mean, it's not like we were building important academic relationships -- it was pretty much groups of people listening to me explain necessity vs. sufficiency and how the LSAT tests your ability to recognize assumptions in arguments for eight class sessions and that was that. so, yeah, this old student of mine sends me this nice message, but i don't even remotely recognize his name or his picture. does this make me a terrible person?

3. out of total and complete boredom, i did a friendster search the other day for people from my hometown. that search led me to the profile of a girl who was a pretty good friend of mine back in junior high. now she looks totally cracked out and like a complete hipster cliche! among her interests is "getting tattoos" and "driving around in my man's 78 pickup truck". oh my... at least she doesn't live in mississippi anymore.

but this got me thinking about this girl, who had an older sister who was part of the popular crowd when we were in school. what is it about the kids with popular older siblings? somehow those kids more often than not default into coolkidness, as if inheriting some sort of social monarchy. i was reading this girl's friendster profile and i actually felt a little intimidated by her, kinda like i did when we were teenagers. it's like those kids with cool older siblings get insider information into what music and movies and clothes you're supposed to be into. i dunno. maybe it's just my deep-seated insecurities, but i found myself thinking that if this girl were to stumble across my profile, would she think i was a total nerd? a complete lame-o? a member of the B-squad?

yes, i'm an idiot. so thanks, friendster, for exactly replicating the social angst and discomfort that the real world puts me through every day.

i just hope that my brother and sister appreciate how easy i made it on them by being older than they are.

public service announcement for march first...

attention undergrad girls! just because it is now the month of march, this does not mean that you should ignore the weather forecasts and wear flip flops and short skirts. you only look like fools with your fake-tanned, bare legs. you especially look like fools since you're accessorizing your short skirts with big heavy coats and scarves!