Saturday, October 28, 2006

MPRE review...

thursday night at school was the big-bar-prep-company-sponsored MPRE review session. four hours of way cool fun!

lemme sum it up for you...


krista and i sat next to each other. about five minutes into the lecture, krista and i made a murder/suicide pact. it went like this:

note from k to e: KILL ME
note from e to k: no. me first.
note from k to e: m/s pact?
emily: (nods)


each of us suckers who signed up for the course got a 28 page photocopied fill-in-the-blank outline for the review session. the lecturer/instructor guy went through the material and we were to fill in the outline with the information he gave us. krista wrote me a note that said:

"worst madlib ever"

this is why krista is my best friend.


mr. lecture guy pretty much only used male attorneys in his examples. should i really care about this? probably not. but he kinda sucked. and he wasn't funny. at all. he kept making jokes that were not funny. yet, everybody laughed. which means one of two things:

(a) my classmates have terrible senses of humor, or
(b) my classmates are much more polite than i am

* * * *

that's about it. not entirely worthless, but it was full of dumb test-taking strategies that anybody with a basic understanding of the difference between "should" and "must" already knows. eh. what can you do? one week before the MPRE! hoo-ray!

Friday, October 27, 2006

dear great pumpkin...

gasp! _it's the great pumpkin, charlie brown!_ is on!!!

words to live by: "never jump in a pile of leaves with a wet sucker."

wow. i feel like a little kid! and now i feel old. nope, back to the little kid feeling!

Monday, October 23, 2006

all in a monday...

so, today i wrote a family-friendly policy for a law firm for gender & the law, i learned about what can exclude an immigrant from admission to the united states in immigration law, and i was a 22 year old guy who got in a bar fight. sheesh!

the latter was because eric and robbie needed someone to play a witness for their trial moot court competition. because i believe in karma and that one should help a friend when one is able, i agreed to play along. it was a good time -- i've never been a 22 year old guy in a bar fight before!

also, i guess i wasn't dumped via voice mail after all. and i had a good talk with an old friend tonight, someone i haven't talked to in probably ten years. ten years! yeah -- i'm _that_ old.

oh, and it's snowing right now. flurries, but snow nonetheless.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

in conversation this weekend...


yesterday afternoon, krista and sandy and i got together over at the quiet storm to do some studying for the MPRE. i forget exactly how it came up, but at one point we were discussing how awful it would be to be pregnant and due right around the time when we'd have to take the bar exam.

and then there was a pause in the conversation, you could practically see the wheels turning in our heads...counting...counting...and then we all simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief, because we realized that all we have to do is stay non-pregnant through the month of october and we're in the clear! the bar exam is a little over nine months away.


i had a nice long conversation with my brother tonight on the phone. i told him how i think i got dumped after two dates via a voice mail message. now, don't fear -- your heroine is not crushed by this in the least! if anything, i find the whole affair kinda hilarious. anyway, so i told my brother the story and we had the following exchange:

daniel: man, he's got balls.
emily: or he's just chickenshit.
daniel: yeah, but it takes balls to be that chickenshit.
emily: indeed.

just when you think... know yourself, you realize...

okay, let's take this out of the second person. i, emily, had a realization about myself the other night. i'm sitting at the 61c cafe in squirrel hill with krista, we're attempting to study (but doing a really poor job of it, due in part to a really obnoxious debate about middle east politics at the table next to us, and an unfortunate interaction with some other 61c patrons when we moved to a new table), and i started thinking about wednesday night, when krista and sandy and i went to yoga. on the ride home from yoga, krista and sandy were remarking about being competitive during yoga and being aware of the other people in the room.

huh, i thought, the only thing i think about the other people in the room when i'm in a yoga class is how funny they all look upside down.

and then it occurred to me... i'm not competitive! emily is not a competitive person! wha?!

now, when i shared this realization with krista, she replied with, "oh, emily. it's because you're a hippie! i've been trying to convince you of this since the first day we met, back when you made fun of me for being a hippie." she's right. i'm a hippie. a noncompetitive, anti-capitalist, compulsively-knitting-and-purling, star-wars-loving, houseplant-owning hippie.

now, the people with whom i've since discussed this haven't been surprised. but doesn't it seem that being competitive is somehow something i should be? i mean, i'm in law school, for chrissakes! it's not like i'm in school to become a massage therapist (i'm not sure why massage therapy was the best i could come up with as a non-competitive career path...). but, when i think about my choices in life, it makes sense that i'm not competitive. i like poetry. i like making stuff. i wanna help poor people. i mean, i want to be a public defender -- clearly playing for the winning team is NOT high on my list of priorities.

so there you go. i'm not competitive. woot woot woot!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

of all the games to miss...

i can't believe i could have been at today's ND/UCLA game!!! that last drive?!?! fantastic! this is why i LOVE notre dame football! if only i could have been with dave and bryce and the gang at ND stadium... instead, i was studying for the MPRE with sandy and krista. it's almost the same, but not really.

and schoss -- you're so right about jeff samardzija -- he's totally dreamy!

Friday, October 20, 2006

damn you, metropolitans!!!

oh well, at least this way i don't have to feel bad about rooting for detroit.

go tigers!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


just got back from hot yoga with krista and sandy. i feel like a noodle. and i'm pretty sure i lost about 10 lbs of water weight from sweating so much. but damn, was it fun! it's been a while since i've done any real yoga, so i'm quite sure my body will put up a protest tomorrow, but for now, i feel awesome.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


anybody (with a car) want to drive to sunny south bend, indiana this weekend to see the ND game? it looks like i can get tickets.

i'm serious. it would be a chance to see me with various college friends on my old college stomping ground. and it's notre dame football!!! who can pass this up?

Sunday, October 15, 2006


...of the indie rock sort. the kind you hang on the wall.

in googling around the internets for a sufjan stevens show poster, i came across this website. and i thought it was kinda cool. and now i love this jason munn character. because i'm very very easily captivated.

the poster shop starts here. there's a great wilco poster that i love, but it's sold out. too bad for caitlin, who would have been the beneficiary of my strange urge of generosity when i saw the poster.

now, back to work.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

adventures in public defense...

have you seen "jesus christ superstar"? not the stage production, but the movie -- the rock-operatic hippie-fest adaptation of the story of the passion. it's my favorite version of the passion. way better than this one*, for damn sure. why?

because it takes two characters -- jesus and judas -- whom the bible portrays as (if you'll forgive the oversimplification here) divine and despicable, respectively, and casts them in the glorious light of imperfect humanity. and there are electric guitars.

anyway, there's this scene in JCS, where, well, i'll just use the wikipedia listing description, rather than write my own:
Jesus arrives at the temple in Jeruselem and finds that it is being used for selling everything from weapons to prostitutes, and drugs. When Jesus arrives, he is furious and demands that the merchants and money changers leave the temple. Angry and tired, Jesus wanders off and gets confronted by a mob of lepers, cripples, and beggars, all wanting to be healed. However, the mob is too large and Jesus gets overwhelmed. Unable to take the pressure, Jesus demands to be left alone.

and that particular scene is what kept going through my head all morning yesterday, when i was helping out one of the attorneys from the PD's office during pre-trial fridays.

not to say that the clients of the public defender are "a mob of lepers, cripples, and beggars, all wanting to be healed." but the idea of those in need struggling to get some face time with someone whom they believe is able to help is the relevant part...

there's a 10 page, 60 yes/no question document that defendants entering into a plea agreement with the DA must understand and sign before the judge will accept the plea. my job yesterday was to be there to review this document with the defendants to make sure they understood that they were waiving their right to a trial, that they were doing so voluntarily, and that they knew what their appeal/plea withdrawal rights are. although it is obvious based on the information contained within this blog, i just want to put on the record of this post that i am an intern, i.e., NOT AN ATTORNEY. yet, for the courtroom full of defendants who have a constitutional right to counsel, i was a visible extension of the public defender's office and therefore was someone who was an easy target for lots of concerns/questions/anxieties/uncertainties.

so many people came up to me and said, "are you with the public defender's office?" i responded with, "yes, but i'm not an attorney -- i'm an intern." all that seemed to register of my response, however, was the "yes". so what followed was an inevitable stream of questions that i had neither the experience nor the authority to answer. i did my best, answered what i could, didn't attempt to answer what i knew i couldn't. there was only one attorney from the PD's office who was available, and he was already pulled in about four hundred directions. the whole experience was overwhelming, frustrating, impossible.

...and here's what it got me thinking...

first, in the supply and demand sense, the judicial system is really dealing with this whole gideon v. wainwright guarantee to counsel in a pathetically under-resourced way. how fucked up is it that we live in a nation that in theory acknowledges the rights of those accused of crimes, the presumption of innocent-until-proven-guilty; yet in practice, the way those rights are valued is obviously to the contrary.

second, in the due process sense, it is incredibly difficult for those who aren't as a matter of profession involved in the way the court system works to understand, well, how the court system works. while the constitution guarantees a right to counsel, nowhere does the law guarantee that a criminal defendant gets to have unlimited access to his/her attorney and have his/her hand held throughout the process. you get an advocate to stand up on your behalf in front of the judge and/or jury. this, says the 6th and 14th amendments, is necessary, yet is so insufficiently laid out. it makes my head hurt. it makes my heart hurt.

i go back to the idea of the defense attorney as a check on the prosecution, as a presence that enforces the rule that the prosecution must put on his/her case fully and fairly. given the number of criminal defendants, the importance to society of retribution, and the lack of adequate funding for public defenders, it seems that this is the best and most successful understanding of the role of a PD. yet, how completely unsatisfying is this for the layperson? the defendant? the actual human being who is terrified and stressed out and who knows nothing of the particulars of the process? it's almost inevitable that you get courtrooms full of desperate and questioning clients, lawyers who burn out, judges who lose their patience.

third, if i'm truly going to do this work, i'd better build up a thicker skin. what i fear in that process, though, is crossing the line from thick-skinned to calloused. i don't want to ever be insensitive to the reality that for these defendants, nothing is more important than the reality that they are on trial. whether they be in truth innocent or guilty, they've been accused, and being accused, even with the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard, is a source of anxiety that i can only imagine must be devastating. it's going to be a real struggle to compartmentalize how available i'll be able to be versus how emotionally involved i can become. there's a job to be done. and it's not an easy one.



*which, aside from having too many definite articles in its title, is, in this writer's opinion, an overdramatized zealous fool's attempt at proselytizing and evangelization that fucks up what is one of the most compelling stories** in all of literature.

**seriously -- the passion story is right up there with the best of the greek tragedies, as far as i'm concerned.***

***i hereby dedicate this footnote to a footnote of a footnote to david foster wallace, with whom i'll always be in love.

go get this:

it's the new beck album. "the information". it comes with stickers! and a dvd!!! and did i mention the stickers? so you can customize your own beck album cover art! i'm practically paralyzed with the creative possibilities!

i'm still not so comfortable with the idea of beck-as-scientologist, but beck-as-international-superstar? oh yeah. i'm on board with that one.

(the album is really good. i'm on my first listen-through right now, and i'm already quite smitten.)

round and round and back again...

erm... consider this post a revision/revisitation of this one. and just like the former post, i'm not sure i should be posting the following, but, well...

here it goes -- for the first time in a while, i'm finding myself in this place where i feel, well, a little lonely. not for lack of good people in my life or good things to do with my time. i have amazing friends, incredible friends, friends for whom i wouldn't trade anything, not even a 4.0 and the perfect job. objectively speaking, my life is really good right now. i see that. i realize that. i'm trying to acknowledge that. yet, i feel -- feel -- something else.

i look back on my dating life since i broke up with S, and it seems so pathetically disheartening. there have been glimmers of brilliance, the odd could-have-been, but thinking about it right now -- at this immediate moment -- i feel like i'm in this cycle of mediocrity, that i'm ensnared in this pattern of meeting someone new, liking who i am when i'm with him, he says wonderful things, makes me smile, maybe he's not perfect but he's worth figuring out, and then right when i start to consider that maybe it's okay to run with it, he gives me some very valid reason for why he's not completely available.

and generally speaking, these moments happen way prior to the point where i'm even remotely willing to consider venturing into serious-relationship-land with this new person, when it's all way too new and too uncertain. yet, i'm so foolishly idealistic and hopeful... and even though i value honesty and forthrightness way more than ridiculous bullshit game-playing, the good old insecurities kick in and i make it personal, i see it as a rejection. and then i act out and do stupid, questionable things like seeking solace in what is familiar or e-mailing people from my past to try to make amends, to try to rectify whatever i did in my history that has had the annoying karmic result of finding me here, single, but in a weird transitional point in life where it's foolish to try to start something new, given that i don't know where i'll be after graduation, and that i realistically don't have the energy or the accessibility to be somebody's girlfriend.

ugh. here's the really embarrassing and whiny truth -- that part of me who is still a 15 year old girl just wants somebody to want me to the exclusion of all others. i want someone to meet me and think i'm the most beautiful, amazing, perfect girl. i don't want him to expect me to save him or be the answer to all of his questions -- i just want him to see me, with my flaws and my lesser qualities, and still think i'm fantastic, that i'm worth it. it's happened to me once and only once. i think back to how this person would look at me, at even the stupidest, most mundane moments. like, we'd be sitting on the couch watching television and i'd giggle at some completely ridiculous commercial, and i'd glance over at him and the way he looked back was so... it was like i was something beautiful and precious. and here's the really crappy part -- the reason i had to finally end that relationship is because as much as i may have wanted to (and i really tried) i couldn't look at him that way. that fucking sucks.

and my fear is that finding a relationship where there's a balanced and mutual amazement is not only unrealistic, but impossible.

maybe it's me? am i so reluctant to let go of that 15 year old emily who already has her dream wedding all planned out (including but not limited to the song list that will be played at the reception and the fact that i refuse to ever wear an engagement ring or be "given away" by my father) that i'm unwilling to make concessions? nope. still not ready to make concessions. it's not that bad.

i had a talk with a good friend last night about this. the thing that gets me so frustrated is that it seems that in every other area of my life i can exercise some control -- i get to make choices about where i live, what type of job i have, what i make for breakfast. but under no circumstances do i have any agency to make someone fall in love with me. that stuff is kinda left up to chance. sure, one can create opportunities, but one cannot force a result. some people say that everything happens for a reason. i've never bought that theory, much preferring the "shit happens" philosophy. and the "the life you save may be your own" philosophy.

ugh. boring. all of the above is boring. and so non-original. i bet every single person who reads this post is going to have this reaction: "duh!" obviously we all go through this from time to time. the self-doubt, the self-reflection, the self-awareness that to a large degree, all we have is ourselves. boo hoo. and so, i ask myself, what's the lesson here?

in knowing who i am and knowing my tendencies, maybe i need to just be where i am. i should focus on the reality that i do have a hell of a lot of good things going for me right now. i need to see where i am now as my own source of rejuvenation. because here is my reality. i'm not in philadelphia, i'm not a first year student, i'm not out of school, i'm not on christmas break. but is part of being here realizing that i want someone here? i want something here. some sort of supplement or diversion or distraction. but, wait? what if this diversion or distraction that i think i want is just some sort of stopgap to get me to where i keep thinking myself to be? jesus. such is the pattern of my life -- focussed on the next destination, not so good at sitting still.

wow. i'm so glad i've gone through the exercise of writing all of the above. no. really. i don't mean this in the least bit sarcastically. except that i do. how. incredibly. unproductive.

and, psst: i've self-edited a lot in this post. how it started is drastically different from how it's ended up. self-editing. that's the beauty of having a blog -- i get to choose and redact and rewrite and euphemize. and all from the comfort of my own couch...

okay. time to now post a bunch of other, less publicly naked posts to bury this one so it's not the first thing people see when they check in on throckmorton...

i pity the fool...

one of the other interns at the PD yesterday mentioned that there was to be a new reality tv show starring none other than mr. T.

say what you will, but i think mr. T is kinda fantastic. and it saddens me to no end that he's climbed aboard the reality tv bandwagon. the mr. T that i love is the mr. T of my youth -- sgt. bosco "b. a." baracus, clubber lang, and the following most awesome exchange ever of all cinematimes:

mr. breakfast: good morning Pee Wee!
p.w.: good morning, mr. breakfast!
mr. breakfast: can i have some mr. T cereal?
p.w.: okay!
p.w. in mr. T voice: i pity the fool who don't eat my cereal!

ah, good times!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

freak out...

woke up this morning a few minutes before the alarm with four letters screaming at me in my brain: M-P-R-E

the MPRE! good god -- the stuff i've heard about the multi-state professional responsibility exam ranges from "it's so easy it might as well be a joke" to "i had no idea how i did when i walked out of there." regardless, it's in like 4 weeks and i haven't done a damn thing to prepare. am i being ridiculous? am i over-thinking this?

doesn't matter. what i'm in right now is the early stages of a panic attack. the pot of coffee that is brewing right now is the WRONG treatment, but i'm hoping that by getting some of this out in this blog post i'll stave off what is threatening to become the tightness-of-chest, clinchy fisted, accelerated heartrate, hyperventilate-y, all-too-familiar freak out. uuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh...

it's not just the MPRE. it's my independent study paper (about which i feel so pathetically behind schedule) and my what-the-fuck job search and the dream i just had about being an awful TA and the papercut i have on the knuckle of my left thumb and the stupid NPR pledge drive and the godawful curse of pre-menstrual syndrome. SYNDROME! how offensive is it that they slap women on the proverbial ass by diagnosing us with a monthly syndrome?! and why haven't hormones evolved past this point?!

okay. breathe, emily. i need to go hole up in a library somewhere and work until the pain goes away.

boo. hoo.

Monday, October 09, 2006

top ten...

my alma mater's fightin' footballers are back in the top ten! we've got next weekend off, then several weeks' worth of better-be-victories (UCLA, navy, UNC, air force, army -- WTF is up with the schedule o' military academies?), then we'll probably get our asses kicked by USC and i'll never hear the end of it from my dear friend (and USC alum) kelly.

who cares? go irish!


1 can black eyed peas, 1 big can diced tomatoes, some asparagus that's been in my fridge for almost too long, 1 can lima beans, half a bag of egg noodles, the right amount of salt and garlic powder, all mixed up in vegetable broth. that's what was for dinner last night, lunch today, and probably the next several days' worth of non-breakfast meals. i've reached that let's-see-what-i-can-do-with-the-nonperishables point in my kitchen. the above, plus peanut butter, a couple of boxes of couscous, various pasta, and some applesauce is about all i had to work with.

methinks it's time to go to the grocery store.


man, this post is boring. my life is boring. i guess this is the appropriate time to mention that i spent my friday night teaching myself how to purl and bind off. i was pretty damn excited about that. i made a small square, which i decided was an appropriately-sized baby blanket for a first-trimester fetus. see? i can make things! they're not useful, of course, but they're "things". and cats like them.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


the category is 'mexico, canada, or the US'.

legal writing...

oh my good grief! i'm editing 1L legal writing memos and i'm absolutely appalled by the errors! i can understand the improper cites -- this stuff is completely new to these students. what i cannot understand is how these people got into law school when they can't get subjects and verbs to agree and they put commas after approximately every third word in a sentence!

this was a closed memo assignment, too -- they were GIVEN all the statutes and cases they needed to make their arguments. oy... they're using them so badly, so inefficiently, and sometimes they're applying case law flat-out wrongly! sheesh. and the conclusory statements! holy half-assed, batman!

let this be a lesson for us all: one CANNOT be charged with first degree murder IF NO ONE ACTUALLY DIED!!! hello?!?!? actus reus, anyone???

ugh. it's gonna be a long year for this teaching assistant... i'm gonna ask for a raise.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

more of the same...but in a good way...

so, things are going really well these days. in lots of ways. and i had an unexpectedly nice evening which continues this trend. huh.

i like this whole being-30 gig.