Thursday, June 29, 2006


wow. i can't believe that i've got a whole string of comments on my post from yesterday, but NOBODY HAS COMMENTED ON HOW AWESOME IT IS THAT I'LL BE GOING TO SEE FOREIGNER ON THE FOURTH OF JULY!?!?!?!

wonders never cease!

krista and paul will be here tomorrow! hot damn!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

opposing counsel, part one...

today i had to go to court. by myself. no, not to represent a client or anything. i had to be there to talk to the client and make sure she requested a continuance, because the real attorney (one of my supervisors) had a family emergency and had to go out of town. well, there i was, in my suit, 15 minutes early at the proper room in municipal court (otherwise known as "the list room"), waiting, waiting, waiting... the hearing was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. and the clock was ticking... 9:55? no client. 10:00? no client. 10:15? no client. then, at 10:20 the door opens and in strolls the opposing counsel.

now, perhaps i should mention that this was a debt collection case. i'm learning that these attorneys who try these cases for the plaintiffs (the collection agencies) are all about volume. there's literally a list of cases all brought by the same plaintiff against various defendants and very few defendants actually show up for their hearings. why? because it's legitimately their debt. so the hearing consists of the commissioner reading off a list of cases, the plaintiff's attorney showing that service was good and requesting a default judgment. boom boom boom. this isn't lawyering, it's business. and it's a little depressing.

so, the commissioner gets around to our client, calls her case, and i'm nervous. why? well, since the attorney was so late, i didn't get to talk to him beforehand to make sure he had gotten the multiple phone and fax requests from our office for the continuance. and since i'm not technically an attorney and no supervising attorney was present, i couldn't approach the bar to request the continuance on the client's behalf. and finally, did i mention that the client didn't show up?

the good news, though, is that the opposing counsel had in fact gotten our request and he agreed to this with the commissioner, even though technically nobody was there to get the continuance date for the defendant's (our) side. okay, technically, somebody was there -- me. and i've got ears. so i got the continuance date. and the court will send notice to our client.

afterwards, i talked to the opposing counsel. he was a soft-looking kind of guy, and a bit of a jerk. he said, "so what, is your client indigent or something?" i said, "the organization only represents low-income senior citizens." and i left it at that. because i'm not really the client's attorney... and i'm totally erring on the side of i'm-just-the-intern.

the thing that's got me thinking, though, is that there's so much mystique and drama around the world of lawyering and then you work your way inside of it and you realize that lawyers aren't all brilliant, judges aren't all fair, and clients aren't all worth representing. sheesh. it's like a big, silly game with varying levels of difficulty. on one hand, i'm fully confident that i can do this job and do it well. on the other, well, i guess i thought the challenges this job would pose would be of a different nature. so it goes...

also, i'm going to take a little dig at summer associates. i'm going to preface this by saying that the friends of mine who are doing the summer associate gig this summer are fantastic and i love them tremendously. but i'm sure that they would be the first to acknowledge that there are a whole lotta law students out there that put the "ass" in summer associate. now for my story...

the attorney for one of the plaintiffs in the list room today didn't make it in on time because the philadelphia area has had a ton of rain lately and the rivers are all flooding. so who came in her stead? a law student. the case was called, the student approached the bar. the attorney-who-got-flooded-out is a regular player in the list room. she's literally there almost every day, so the commissioner knows her. when this unfamiliar face stepped up, the commissioner asked who he was. the kid gives his name. the commissioner says, "are you an attorney?" and what does the kid respond? "i'm a summer associate". um. no. being a "summer associate", even if you say it all italicized-like, does not make you a lawyer any more than having an ABA law student membership means you've been accepted into the bar. i don't think the commissioner is an attorney, either, but he's not an idiot. besides, the truth of the matter is that he's the commissioner and it's his courtroom. this kid had no paperwork from the prothonotary, no supervising attorney present, nothing. so what happened? the commissioner told him he couldn't represent the plaintiffs. and goodbye.

as for me, i knew enough not to (a) act cocky around the commissioner, and (b) impersonate a lawyer. see? i am learning stuff in this internship! and i'm learning it for $7.50 an hour! take THAT, summer associateships!

(i'm going to find a dark spot and cry into my empty wallet now...)

for those about to rock...

anybody wanna know what my fourth of july plans are? read this.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

today on intern radio...

erm, so, i haven't blogged about this, out of fear that someone i work with might stumble upon my blog, but today was just too much to handle. there are two of us interns at work. we don't have offices or cubicles. we have desks. and our desks are somewhat out in the open. and our desks are right next to each other. today, the other intern unilaterally decided that she needed to play some music at her computer to help her work. this ain't really great, since we have to make phone calls, receive phone calls, talk to clients, talk to attorneys, et cetera et cetera. but aside from that, and the fact that i'm hands-down the most easily distractable person on the planet, and having music playing at the computer that's about 2 feet from my ears pulls all focus from my brain, the musical selection was, well, it was just wrong...

first, there was gregorian chant.

then, it was salsa hour.

and that's when i lost my mind and had to flee the building for 15 minutes to take a walk and regain my sanity.

why oh why am i so good at some things, but so bad at simple things like saying to my colleague, "hey, that's really distracting, can you use headphones?"


Monday, June 26, 2006

more birthdays...

and happy birthday to andrew!!! may you celebrate the anniversary of lawrence v. texas as only you can!


Sunday, June 25, 2006


happy 30th to sandy!!! many many happy returns and thanks for making 30 look way way cool!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


there's a lot of stuff i've been meaning to blog about. like...

the newly passed-through-city-council philadelphia smoking ban. i heard the other day that mayor street is reluctant to sign it as-is because he's concerned about people who would be allowed to smoke at outdoor tables... his concern is really centered around, erm, the passers-by. wha??? good one, john street. you really do a bang-up job for this city.

or the fact that i've now had two of my own clients at work! powers of attorney, you are my bitch. i'm a lawyer! and the PA supreme court has certified me as a law student intern to try cases under a supervising attorney. somehow they consider me to be "of good character and competent legal ability". little do they know...

or about how i went to the jersey shore for the first time ever this week. i gambled in atlantic city, played the high stakes penny and nickel slot machines. i only lost five dollars, which ain't too bad, except when you consider that at one point i was up fifteen dollars... so it goes. most entertaining were the types of slot machines i played. i tried my hand at the "kenny rogers gambler" slots, and no--i apparently don't know when to hold or fold 'em. i spun the showcase showdown wheel on "the price is right" slots (and of course i thought of ed and his obsession with the sad loser noise that TPIR makes). i figured playing the slot machine called "kaboom!" was a sure-fire winner. i was wrong. and, predictably, i was caught in the tractor beam of the "star wars" penny slots. why are they just a penny? because geeks are poor. my brother and i had the following text message exchange later that night:
me: the star wars slot machine took all my pennies!
daniel: fuck!
me: but i was going into toshi station to pick up some power converters!

and there's more fun from the shore... the ocean city boardwalk is exactly what i thought it would be. funnel cake stands, henna tattoos, various body piercing places, LOTS of hemp jewelry for sale. i did purchase a tacky pair of sunglasses, though. and, i saw some dolphins!!! or maybe they were porpoises? still, it make me very happy -- a little pod swimming off the atlantic coast. and then the following was in my head for the following 24 hours:
They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea!
so there you have it. that's what's been going on. i gotta go -- i have a date in an hour.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

happy birthday dear krista!!!

a billion ponies and rainbows and shooting stars and flowers and laser light shows and bunny rabbits and nail polishes and cosmopolitans and bling and all things fan-fucking-tastic to my most wonderful friend krista today for her birthday!!!

i miss you!!! belated b'day celebrations will be had in philadelphia in a week and a half!


Monday, June 19, 2006


here's part of the father's day phone conversation i had with my dad yesterday:

me: so, dad, do you have any big father's day plans?
dad: i've got an exciting day planned of cleaning the maggots out of basil's cage.
(basil is my sister's snake, who has just passed on to snake heaven)
me: um, how did maggots get in basil's cage?
dad: emily, maggots live in all of us!
me: no, dad. they do not.
dad: yes they do -- it's like dr. kuluz (my pediatrician) told me when you were a baby -- "it's a wormy world".
me: right, i'll give you that there are tons of organisms that live in our bodies in a happy little symbiotic existence, but maggots are not in that club.
dad: emily! yes they are!
me: DAD! DO YOU KNOW WHAT MAGGOTS ARE? THEY'RE LARVAL FLIES! do you honestly expect me to believe that i have baby flies living in me right now?
dad: emily. yes.
me: then why don't i have flies bursting forth from my skin all the time? that's disgusting.
dad: did you ever think that maybe your body takes care of them before they get to that stage?
me: no, dad. i didn't. because i do not have maggots living inside of me. and neither do you.
dad: all i know is what dr. kuluz told me.
me: i'm going to have to do some research on this to prove to you that you're wrong.
dad: do that. submit me a paper, please.

he was just so earnest about the whole thing. he really believes it. gross. why is my dad so foolish? and yes--i know what you're all thinking. and what you're all thinking is that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. well, at least the tree doesn't have maggots.

global warning...

i got a bright idea sunday that i would escape the sweltering inferno of my 4th floor apartment by going to the movies. and what did i choose to go and see? "an inconvenient truth", al gore's cautionary tale about global warning. holy christ!

first of all, go see it. it's terrifying and depressing, but its message needs to be heard. the problem, though, is that gore is, in a lot of ways, preaching to the converted. call me a cynic, but i'm not sure that folks other than those already sensitive to what's going on with the planet are going to feel so inclined to check it out. that's a goddamn shame.

second of all, you have to consciously overlook the fact that al gore is kinda dorky. yeah, there's the much expected bit about his having lost the 2000 presidential election, despite having won the popular vote. but even though the film has a few moments of "oh no, al", it does a nice job of making its audience aware that the issue of the environment is not one of partisanship, but one that we'd all better start thinking about, or else. gore describes the crisis as a moral issue; he says that given what we know about carbon emissions and how the environment has changed in the past 30 years, it's unethical not to do something about it. wake up and smell the greenhouse gases, washington!

Friday, June 16, 2006

more of the same...

i got stuck in the elevator at work for a while today. stuck. somewhere around the 16th floor. yep. i got to ring the alarm button and everything!

good times!


happy bloomsday, friends! this means yet another summer when i'm not going to actually get around to reading joyce's ulysses. but i do think i'll wander down to the rosenbach after work to catch the end of the bloomsday festivities on delancey street.

et cetera...

1. my ipod has been stuck on "victoria" by the kinks for about 12 hours now. i must make arrangements in anticipation of the ipod's departure from this life. this makes emily a sad girl.

2. the stupid crappy girl shoes i had on the other day created a most painful blister on the big toe of my right foot. this makes emily a sad girl.

3. the supremes are again fucking with my beloved fourth amendment. i'm wading through the opinion now (Hudson v. Michigan). update to follow.

4. some guy on the elevator this morning looked at me and said, "it's friday, right?" i wanted to respond with "sounds like somebody's got a case of the mondays".

Thursday, June 15, 2006

girly girly....

it swear that the older i get, the less interested i am in having babies and getting hitched. and it also seems that more and more of my girl friends (and guy friends, too) are getting hitched and having babies. and while i am happy for friends who have things in their lives that make them happy, it feels a little odd and isolating when folks talk about engagement rings or wedding pictures or baby showers.

the other side of the the-older-i-get crap is that i'm becoming more and more okay with other people's wonky philosophies on life. for example, when clients say to me on the phone, "have a blessed day" (which i hear at least twice a day) or when a bartender at a certain favorite dive bar of mine talks and talks about the power of positive thinking, rather than get all cynical and annoyed, it makes me feel happy that people are doing what they can to find even a little bit of peace in their lives. it doesn't have to be my path, but if somebody else can derive some happiness from it, well, then it can't be all bad, can it?

with that said, however, and with full knowledge of my own wonky philosophies on life, an e-mail this morning alerted my attention to the following:
I got hitched Saturday. Beforehand, I had been sheepish about telling my students I was getting married. It seemed inconsistent with my professional persona as an independent, fearless, freedom-fighting law professor. So I waited until the last possible minute to mention it. “OK, I have a quick announcement,” I began a recent Criminal Law class. “I do apologize, but I have to cancel next Thursday’s class because… um… well… my partner and I have decided to get married.” My students then began to clap. Gads, this was worse than I imagined it would be. The applause grew.

“No, no—please don’t clap. This is a truly freakish event that was never supposed to happen to someone like me.” Applause turned to laughter. Now I’d gotten myself in a fix.

XXXXX had faced none of this angst. He had told his journalism students months ago, and he’d enjoyed their applause, while I skulked around my school as if I had a dirty little secret.

I’ve critiqued the institution of marriage for as long as I can remember. Heterosexist. Patriarchal. The usual list of sins. The unit on marriage in my Feminist Legal Theory class begins with the English common law of coverture in which a female’s legal existence is erased by its merger into her husband’s at marriage.

So what’s a self-respecting feminist to do when she decides that a public commitment to her sweetheart is the next step in her spiritual and emotional growth? What happens when she loves someone in a way that—despite societal evidence—burbles with the hope of lasting a lifetime?

No new last name. No veil. No white dress. No “love, honor, and obey.” No father “giving the bride away.” No throwing the bouquet. No garter—goddess, no garter toss. No bachelor party. No church. No dieting for the big day. No updo, no French manicure. And no wife.

I told XXXXX, “OK, look, if we get married, I will not be your wife. I never want you to refer to me as your ‘wife.’ I’m serious.”

He was a bit taken aback. “Why?”

“Let’s look up the etymology of the word.” 2002 American Heritage College Dictionary. “ME wif <>wif. See ghwibh- in App.” So we looked up the root word “ghwibh-” in the appendix: “Shame, also pudenda.”

No joke.

Then we looked up “husband” and followed its root (“bheue”) into the appendix. “To be, exist, grow.” So he gets to be, exist, and grow while I am labeled a shame-pudendum? I don’t think so.

Rejecting so many labels and traditions forced us to create new ones. A surprise: that creative process was more meaningful and fun than I’d imagined it would be. What emerged was magical, warm, celebratory, and quite personal.

Thankfully, there is precedent for marriage under protest: abolitionists Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell’s 1855 declaration of dissent against the patriarchal institution signed upon their wedding day. And a dear friend of mine from law school spoke in her ceremony about continuing the fight for gay and lesbian marriage when she and her partner tied the legal knot back in 1995. So I had footsteps to follow.

Meanwhile my feminist students, gay and straight, seemed genuinely thrilled with my late-coming announcement. “When I heard you were getting married,” one said to me last week, “I was so happy. If even you can find someone, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us!”
i'm not going to tell you who the author of this post is. so don't ask. i will tell you that it's someone whom i consider to be brilliant, fantastic, dynamic, destined for greatness, and even among my list of heroes. i haven't been able to stop thinking about this post all day. (reading through a bunch of deeds with their sexist and archaic language didn't exactly calm me down, either.) but what's a girl to do? am i just wasting my energy when i get frustrated with "man and wife" or the whole white dress dowry bullshit that is the wedding machine? should i adopt the attitude that it doesn't have to be for me but if it works for others, a-okay?

see, it's not just that i don't feel that the scene is for me, either. i really and truly think a lot of it is completely offensive. yet, it's such a weird and devisive issue. i.e., it's not exactly the kind of thing you can rationally discuss with friends who are okay with the more, erm, traditional approach to the contract of marriage.

to me, this does not fall into the realm of wonky life philosophy. rather, it's more of a...crusade.

but i'm too distracted and tired to say anything more right now. i will conclude by saying that i got a really nice warm fuzzy feeling from reading the above quoted portion. what it says to me is that there is a way to do things on your own terms. it's possible to take something that's a little bizarre and effed up and make it worth celebrating. so, three cheers for the folks out there who aren't afraid to do things differently. and who have the balls to bend the rules. that's the kinda girl i want to be.

professionalism? what professionalism?

sometimes i wonder how i'm ever going to manage to be a strong advocate for my clients... here's an example of why i have my doubts...

this morning i was doing intake calls. a woman called with an issue concerning a purchase she had made. she was having some problems with the items she had bought, so she tried to return them to get her money back. the store wouldn't give her the money. then she asked if she could have store credit. they wouldn't give her store credit. what they told her was that they'd keep working with her until she was a happy customer and felt good about her purchase. but the way she said this was like this:

"they said they're going to keep pleasing me and pleasing me until i'm satisfied."

oh yes. i am a 12 year old. and a gigglebox.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

the city that loves you back...

after work yesterday, since my coffee plans with jenn got postponed until today, i decided to go for a nice long bike ride. so i rode into center city, down west river drive to the falls bridge, back up kelly drive to the art museum, and then tooled around center city for a while. why? because few things fill me with more sheer joy and frustration than riding my bike around center city philadelphia.

nevertheless, as i was biking up the ben franklin parkway, towards center city, i happened to look to my right, then quickly doubled back and skidded to a halt next to a little community of alexander calder sculptures! friends, i worked on the grant that got these guys here way back when i was a grant writer at the philadelphia museum of art! this was very exciting to me. it's just one more thing to add to the list of why my post-law school life should exist in philly.

also, i'm currently obsessed with finding a new bike. well, not a NEW bike, because i certainly can't afford that, but a new-to-me road bike that will be lightweight and won't creak when i ride it because it's so goddamn old. i love my bike -- we've been through a lot -- but it's time to upgrade to a faster set of wheels. advice, anyone?

Monday, June 12, 2006


ta da! yesterday was my favorite ever of all time philadelphia event!!! the corestates first union wachovia commerce bank philadelphia international cycling championship!!! 156 miles of professional team cycling, incredible bikes, and spandex!

i honestly don't know what it is, but there are few things more beautifully amazing to me than the sound of the peloton whirring by. i get chills. no lie. i'm like a little kid on christmas morning!

but, the number of hipster doofuses watching the race up on lemon hill made me toss my cookies a billion times. no lie about that, either.

oh hey! this time last year i was a 150-mile-riding cycling fool, too! except, erm, i did it in two days, not in 3.5 hours...

working for a living...

krista sent me this link, which references this article and which features this graphic:

the equation (and the NYT article) are mostly about undergrads, but they apply to us law student freebies, too. in my underpaid/underwined-and-dined 2L summer, i have yet to experience the papercuts or the other cute interns (although i'm very much on the lookout for the latter, albeit outside of my own office). but hey -- i've got my own clients, i'm going to get to try some cases pretty soon, and all of that goodtimes professional responsibility stuff? guess what! it sticks to you even before you take the bar exam! (thank you, professor R, for a semester's worth of stories of the ways to get "jammed up". i am gravely terrified of all that comes with this great power!)

anyways, so this is only my second post in the month of june, right? and neither of the june posts have really been worth a damn. but here's my defense -- my computer is currently in some dell techie fix-it facility in texas where (in theory) the motherboard/wireless card/optical drive problems that have been plaguing my life for the past several months will be resolved. and as soon as my computer and i are reunited, all systems normal, the regular activity that you've all come to expect from this little blog will resume.

in the meantime, my computer access consists of a really slow machine at my internship running windows 98 and in full view of all of my co-workers. i may not be making any money at this internship, but i'm not about to blog my way through the summer job. if all goes well, i'm going to be asking these people here to help me find someone to hire me in a year.

more to come... stay tuned!

Friday, June 09, 2006

sixth sense...

seriously, it's like everywhere i go all i see are old people and lawyers. they're everywhere. they're all around us.