Just Playin'
Random Thoughts...
Sunday, February 29, 2004

Glorious Leap Day!

Indy weather as of 11:45 am:
52 degrees
Partly Cloudy (maybe, but the sun is out)

My plans:
Law review edit
My federal taxes
FAFSA application
Income tax class AGI computation (ok, computed it yesterday but need to type it up)
Admin Law reading
Law review note


Saturday, February 28, 2004

Looks like Omer Poos is back!

Oven Mitt Deception

In the past year, I have greatly reduced my consumption of fast food. It can be tough to do on a busy schedule and when you have bad eating habits, as I do. Plus, my daughter thinks it's great when we get McDonald's but frowns when I cook something healthy. What's a mom to do?

Recently, Tommy and J informed me that Arby's sandwiches aren't made with roast beef.
Then what's in the sandwiches? I had to ask.

They claim it is some sort of gel made up of God-only-knows-what and then hardened so roast beef-looking slices can obtained. Ick. Is there any truth to this? Does the oven mitt know?

One Too Many

Story here of one embarrassed Attorney General. (Pleaded guilty Thursday to drunk driving.)

Lautenschlager's comment at the scene was that she had 2 glasses of wine. It's scary and sobering (great pun) to think that only 2 glasses of wine could cause a person to blow a .12 percent.

The article mentions that Republican Party officials in Wisconsin have already requested copies of the videotape of her arrest and of records of her use of state vehicles. Imagining the campaign ads they will create for the next election is enough to make me feel sorry for her. I'm thinkin' she shouldn't run for re-election.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Random Selection

Bloggers are setting their iPods and MP3s to random and posting lists of the first songs to pop up.

I don't have either, but here's a close approximation, obtained by writing down the first 10 songs played by my Launchcast station, which bases selections on songs and artists I have rated.

1. Madonna - Keep it Together
2. Al Green - Love and Happiness
3. The Cure - Just Like Heaven
4. Brandy (featuring Mase) - Top of the World
5. Fleetwood Mac - Dreams
6. Lynyrd Skynryd - Sweet Home Alabama
7. The Pharcyde - Passing Me By
8. Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing
9. PM Dawn - I'd Die Without You
10. Randy Travis - Forever & Ever, Amen

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Get Real

Survivor: I thought tonight was more entertaining than last week's show. And I loved how CBS kept showing disclaimers about inappropriate content in the episode. They were totally playing both sides. On one hand, they were afraid of complaints about inappropriate subject matter. But on the other hand, they desperately wanted to show the scenes of a naked Hatch dry-humping other female Survivors during the challenge. If they were really trying to protect their viewers, they would have just edited it out. I'm disappointed Hatch is gone. Not because I like him - he's actually quite an ass. But because his intolerably arrogant personality made him interesting to watch. Rob C. was the same way. Colby? Ugh - who gives a rat's ass about Colby.

Apprentice: About the 2nd or 3rd episode, I noticed that the segment where Trump gives a piece of business advice correlated directly with who got fired later that night. As soon as I caught on, they changed the formula. Tonight, Trump advised a salesman never to beg for a sale. I thought that meant for sure Omarosa (who kept asking customers to buy 1 or 2 cases of Trump Ice) was a goner. Then, when her team won, I knew Nick was gone - since he is supposed to have sales experience and yet virtually begged one customer to buy 1 case of the water. Alas, I was wrong. That Trump, he sure knows how to keep an audience guessing.

Interesting story here about how what we see on the show isn't always the real deal.

Best of Intentions

Yesterday was the beginning of the Lenten season. (Thanks to R for inviting me and my daughter to a nice Ash Wednesday mass and soup-and-bread dinner.)

Traditionally, Catholics give something up for Lent - the idea is to pick something that would be a sacrifice to do without for the duration of Lent.

My daughter announced on Tuesday night she was giving up complaining. This was music to my ears. Wednesday morning on the way to school she said, "This not complaining is really hard!" She laughed when I pointed out to her she had only been awake and trying not to complain for an hour.

Last night as we waited for mass to begin, she announced that she was giving up eating Girl Scout cookies instead.

At least she tried.

Mindless Quiz

OK, you seemed to enjoy the quiz yesterday, so here's another one.

Are you a man-whore?

Law School is Fun, Redux

This post includes a repeat of my first blog post ever (from Sapere Aude). Apologies to those who have seen it before.

Many of my readers are law students and have probably noticed I don't talk about law school too much. It's because I am usually too busy going for the cheap laughs instead.

Here is my take on law school as of last semester:
I love law school. My first year was thought-provoking, confidence-building, and stress-inducing. And I loved it. 2L's and 3L's that I talked with last year warned me that first year classes were boring but that I shouldn't worry because 2nd and 3rd year classes would be more interesting. This advice worried me a bit, however, because I enjoyed my 1st year classes. So while that could conceivably have meant that I would find my upper level classes even more interesting, it could also have meant the opposite: that I would find my upper level classes intolerably dull. Two weeks into my second year, I find my interest level to be on par with last year.

Another worry of mine (you will find that there are many) is the correlation between enjoying law school and enjoying the practice of law. I have heard that most who loved law school don't particularly enjoy practicing law. This is a troubling thought. I can't stay a law student forever - can I? I could perhaps stay in academia forever, but I need to earn money at some point and I don't have the qualifications needed to teach law.
Any predictions on the correlation? Am I destined to hate practicing law?

And current thoughts:
I still enjoy school. Actually, this semester is better than last. My superior court internship has exposed me to practical application of many of the classes I have taken. And having such 'backstage' access to a presiding judge is quite an experience. To observe a hearing or jury trial and then discuss the issues with the judge has been incredibly interesting and I recommend it to all, especially those interested in becoming trial lawyers.

Trial practice is another class completely different from the first year model of classes. We meet in the courthouse on Saturdays and are graded on performance exercises ranging from getting a document admitted into evidence to conducting direct and cross examinations of witnesses. This class is taught by practicing attorneys and judges and provides practice some will otherwise not get in the skills of trial lawyering.

And of course tax. Another class different from the norm. I learn more in that class every day than in my other classes. 2 hours never flew by so quickly. (OK - sometimes time slows, but for the most part the class keeps me engaged.)

Because I am enjoying some of the practical application classes I have this semester, I worry less about the correlation between law school and the practice of law. I am not counting the days until graduation - I try to be of the mind that life is a journey and I'm appreciative that I continue to take pleasure in my law school adventure.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Rambling Tale of Woe

Disclaimer: I know I won't be able to tell this story succinctly, hence the title. And while it was upsetting to me, I certainly realize this isn't a real 'problem' in the big picture of life.

Kevin's post regarding the upcoming Barrister's Ball brought to mind this story.

This past fall, I was invited by an acquaintance at school to the Red Mass, a mass celebrated by many in the legal community at the beginning of the judicial year. Though I didn't know many who were going, I decided to attend. I certainly should be able to feel at home in a Catholic Church, and I figured I could manage to survive through the dinner that followed at the Marriott Hotel downtown.

I was late to mass due to an interview but there was plenty of seating at the back of the church, so no problem there. After mass, the congregation took advantage of the nice weather and close proximity of the hotel to the church and walked to dinner. I stood around for a while, wondering if anyone I knew would emerge from the church. The acquaintance who had invited me was involved in coordinating parts of the mass and was busy wrapping things up. Things didn't look good so I took the plunge.

I introduced myself to another student who looked as if he, too, was alone. This was huge for me. I generally dislike small talk, mostly because I'm not good at it and I hate looking like a fool. He was a nice guy and I found out he is a 2L, like me, but we had been in different sections our 1L year so hadn't met. We had both attended alone so eventually followed the crowd and walked together to the nearby hotel.

We talked about school, his wife, etc... When we got to the dinner, we waited in line to get in (I hadn't paid in advance and so had to write a check for something like $25 or $35 for dinner.) Then there was a line to buy tickets with which you could obtain drinks. I told my new-found classmate I was headed downstairs to get money from the ATM and would be right back.

When I got back, I didn't see him (or anyone else I knew) but tried not to worry and got in the long line for drinks - these are Catholic attorneys and judges we're talking about, so the line was long! Once I bought 2 ridiculously expensive drink tickets, I traded one in for a drink and made my way into the dining room. There was one table of law students and the guest they had brought with them. The guy who originally extended me the invitation to the event was there, but was accompanied by his daughter and was busy in the lobby receiving some awful family news on his cell phone. The classmate I had just met was comfortably seated at the table - and of course, hadn't saved me a seat.

I couldn't believe it. It's one thing to be in the same boat with everyone else - all surrounded by strangers and having to make do. It is quite another to be the odd man out and faced with the prospect of plopping down at a table full of attorneys who know each other. Too much for me - I couldn't do it.

(I did venture toward the table at which my church priest was seated. I was thinking about explaining my plight and hoping I could get a seat near him. Alas, the table was full.)

So, I left. I was out something like 50 bucks, I was embarrassed, I was hungry, and I was pissed. These are the problems I have with social events. It's clear that I don't handle them gracefully. But even when I do go out on a limb, assert myself and attempt to fit in it just doesn't quite work out.

Endnote: I don't blame anyone for the fact that I was upset. The guy I met that night later apologized to me and the guy I already knew was dealing with more important issues than my fragile ego that evening.


Some bloggers seemed obsessed with bathroom stories. I happen to have a couple of bathroom observations, myself.

Pet Peeve: Walking into a stall in the bathroom and finding a pubic hair on the toilet seat.

Nice Touch: Our school provides free pads and tampons - appreciated for those times when you are caught unprepared!

Waste: (Not what you think!) I entered the bathroom this week while it was being cleaned 'cause I needed to blow my nose and was out of tissues. The cleaning woman's trash can was in the doorway and full of half-used rolls of toilet paper. She was throwing away yards if not miles of toilet paper in order to place new rolls in the stalls. A shameful waste.

Self-Interest: Almost all women's restrooms have several mirrors, including at least one full-length mirror. The handful of men's bathrooms I have seen did not follow suit. What should I take from this? That I need to be inspecting myself from head to toe every time I have to perform a necessary bodily function? Why shouldn't men be inspecting themselves, too?

Yep, It's a Quiz

I know, quizzes are cheap and cliche. But, I love the Simpsons, so...

What lesser-known Simpsons character are you?

Have Some Lard

2 or 3 years ago, McDonald's opened a store inside the Riley Hospital for Children building.

Does this strike anyone else as, if not a conflict of interest, at least a bit ironic?

Wrapped in Latex

We covered ADA v. Martin (984 F2d 823 7th Cir, 1993) this week in Admin Law. (At least, I think we did - I have a difficult time staying focused in that class at times!)

In 1991, OSHA created a rule designed to protect health care workers from viruses, especially HIV and those causing Hep B, transmitted by blood. Precautions under the rule included requirements for the location of sinks, standards for handling contaminated needles, and requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE for those in the know) such as gloves, gowns, masks, and goggles.

3 employer groups, including dentists represented by the ADA, challenged the rule. One complaint was that child dental patients may be traumatized by the sight of a dentist wearing goggles. Another involved the time costs to donning the required PPE before beginning patient treatment. Dentists claimed they might lose patients due to these and other concerns.

Professor, while noting the dentists' arguments may have some merit, invited us to consider the opposite - that patients would actually prefer to know their dental care providers were taking precautions to protect both patients and themselves. While of course he is right, and most reasonable people want their health care providers to take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of disease, I can't help but remember when this change came along.

That first visit to the dentist when the hygienist came at me with her meaty hands wrapped in latex, I was disgusted. I didn't understand why it was necessary and I hated the taste of the gloves in my mouth. I have to admit I was offended - I felt as though she thought I was dirty and she was afraid to touch me without gloves on. As a health care worker myself now, I understand why such precautions are necessary. But growing up in a time before such measures were commonplace in the dental field, I was quite annoyed at the change. I could remember the 'taste' of the dentist's clean bare hands in my mouth - I did not appreciate this trade to foreign, impersonal latex.

I think about this in my own nursing practice. I figure most patients have had at least some exposure to messages in the mainstream media about transmission of HIV and other viruses. And Universal Precautions are indeed universal throughout the health care industry, so I know most of my patients are likely not taken aback when I don gloves before performing certain procedures. But I try to remember how comforting the touch of a bare human hand can be at times and how impersonal the touch of hands wrapped in latex barriers can feel.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

With Family Like That...

Sorry light posting. Hanging out in court today, have to work later.

Today's civil court case: auto accident. Plaintiff is passenger, suing defendant driver of car she was in.

Plaintiff is defendant's daughter-in-law.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Paying the Price

Wow. Many are raving about their iPods, but some have had less than stellar experiences.

Capitalism, indeed.

Water Fountains

Best Water Fountain in this Building: 1st floor, library. The water is cold, the stream is powerful, extremely refreshing!

Worst Water Fountain in this Building: 3rd floor, near classroom 300. The water is not cold, the pressure is lacking, it tastes like metal!

Gross: lipstick on the water fountain nozzle.

My Dad's Favorite Lyric

"So often times it happens
that we live our live in chains
and we never even know we have the key

Sunday, February 22, 2004

RRRing, RRRing!!!

2 cell phones rang during church today. I hope it was God calling to tell those people to leave their damn phones at home next week!!!

Friday, February 20, 2004

I'm Addicted to Cheese

I love cheese. Ok, but you're not addicted to it, you might say, you just really like it. Well, I haven't been officially diagnosed, if that's what you mean. But my penchant for cheese is a real problem. I often just do not feel physically full, even after eating a whole meal, unless I have some cheese.

I'm not a cheese snob. I like just good ol' regular cheese. American is good in grilled cheese sandwiches (we call them 'toasted cheese') and on cheeseburgers. I love the burgers at Friday's and often order them by name - Angus burgers. The problem is, I forget that other people can actually eat burgers without cheese. So I am stunned when they bring me just what I've asked for - a burger of Angus beef with no cheese. On these occasions I break my general rule of not being a pain-in-the-ass to my server and request a couple slices of cheese.

Cheddar is great for so many things: tacos, enchiladas, grilled cheese, nachos, eggs with cheese, or by itself for a snack. I love parmesan, too and put it on everything from pizza to popcorn.

It is nearly impossible for me to walk into the kitchen looking for something to eat and not choose something that has at least a little bit of cheese involved. The more cheese the better!!!

Update: I had a delicious Greek salad with extra feta cheese today. It was a tough decision between that and the spinach artichoke dip with asiago cheese. Yummmm ;)

Reality Can be Boring

I knew last night's episode would be boring when even the teaser was boring - showing the storm that the 'survivors' had to deal with.

This season doesn't seem to bring out Rupert's best quite like his original season did. That shelter was a disaster - they looked like drowned rats.

I liked Rob C. Though he was a bit of a slimeball and couldn't be trusted, it was fun watching him in his first season scheming and planning all the time. I would have rather seen Amber go. What's she contributing except for her warmth to Boston Rob?

The Apprentice
This, too, was a rather bland episode. Omarosa is still annoying. Troy still seems to be the only person who stands out in regards to performance, but no one really impresses me as an awesome business person or negotiator.

Hopefully next week will offer a little more excitement!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

The Gay Agenda

I completely stole this from Kevin. (Thanks, Kevin)

This cartoon is just great. No matter your opinion on the subject, you must admit it hits the mark more than once. Sound is a must to get the entire effect - I like the country twang of the hetero groom the best.

Short and Not-so-Sweet

Stories to tell today, but no time to tell them. Headed to court!

Here is an excellent example of how nurses are often treated by their colleagues who depend on them. No respect.

Giving Thanks

Deb's surgery Monday seems to have gone well and Chuck reports she is in good spirits.

My parents arrived safely back home last night from an 11 day cruise to Tahiti. (Check out the music at this link.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Gimme, Gimme

There are certain charities and worthwhile causes to which I donate money when I feel I can afford it. I feel a little odd doing this lately since a good portion of my current income is from student loans. I don't imagine the banks are loaning me money for me to turn around and donate it.

Around the end of last year, I received from 1 or 2 organizations the usual pleas for money, accompanied by self-adhesive address labels with various decorations on them. I decided to donate to the folks who had taken the time (and spent the money) to send me the address labels - which are very useful.

Boy was that a mistake. I now get more requests for $$$ than ever before. I just have to deal with the guilt and draw the line. Today I got a mailing from Habitat for Humanity (to whom I have donated) and one with address labels and a personalized notepad from Defenders of Wildlife. I wish the DoW all the best, but I simply cannot let these people guilt me into giving money I don't have. (I wish they wouldn't share donor info!)

More about Virgin Suicides...

I just wanted to say, in answer to Molly, that yes, these are her only two fiims. And, also that "The Virgin Suicides" is based closely on the novel, by Jeffrey Eugenides. The detail to stay true to the text of the book is one of the reasons why I think that it works so well. Roger Ebert has a very interesting review that focuses on the view of the boys that the movie takes. I think that not only is the movie about oppression, but also about how misunderstood the girls were by their peers because of their family. I wasn't sure how to do links on the comments section. :)

Seen in Court Yesterday

During a short hearing in a civil courtroom yesterday I was seated next to the judge as part of my superior court internship. Public seating was empty (civil courtroom; sporadic calendar; generally zero to few spectators).

The doors to the courtroom opened and in walked a tall man wearing a long black cassock and a rosary or crucifix. He sat for about 2 minutes then got up and walked out. Very strange. He reminded me a bit of this man, except with a white beard.

*sniff, sniff* what's that smell?

It's me. I had to break out the Static Guard this morning.

Believe me, it's for your safety and mine. I am a walking ball of static electricity. Everyone and everything I touch gets a shock. Peeling my coat off my back creates a fireworks display.

I finally became afraid that at any moment I would burst into flames. So yes, I smell like Static Guard. It's a small price to pay.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Elevator Etiquette

Today I got on the elevator at the 5th floor of the city-county building at the same time as another woman. I pressed the button for the main floor, she assured herself that she didn't need to press any additional buttons, and the elevator began its descent.

The elevator stopped at the 3rd floor. When the doors opened, a man who had been waiting for the elevator was standing there facing us. He boarded the elevator, turned his head around to verify that we were headed to the main floor, and then faced us again.

For the remaining ride to the 1st floor, he continued to face us, his back was to the doors of the elevator.

OK, sir. I get it. I agree it's a little weird how people respect arbitrary boundaries on elevators. They don't talk to each other, look at each other, or face each other. Now turn around. If you want to break an elevator communication barrier, say hi to me - don't face me. Freak.

Simply Beautiful

San Francisco has married hundreds of same-sex couples over the last few days. Thursday, Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing equal protection.

I'm uneasy about this unilateral declaration of the law on Newsom's part. That aside, viewing these pictures was truly moving. (Start with Friday's pictures and accompanying observations.) Couples were absolutely beaming at the prospect of being married and having that marriage count. Others were completely overcome with the emotion and love of the moment. As the web site's creator noted, the couples who lined up to be married at City Hall were ordinary people, representing a wealth of diversity and a desire to share their love and be a part of history.

A hearing is set for today; the court will decide whether to stop the city from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Monday, February 16, 2004

First Things First

I ran into a CVS yesterday, the day after Valentine's Day, to purchase a Sunday paper. It wasn't too busy, which was good because I was in a hurry. I got in line at a register behind a woman with a few items. The only problem was that there was no employee at the register.

We stood patiently for a moment or two. We began to crane our necks this way and that, sure that the check-out person had run a quick errand in the store and was on his way back to assist us. Another patron lined up behind me.

There was a one hour photo center to our right and the employee there was assisting someone with his photo needs.

Suddenly, a short young woman wearing a CVS shirt and carrying a price-check laser thingy entered the counter area. At last - we were going to be helped. Just a quickly, she walked the entire length of the counter, exited from the far end, and disappeared down another aisle. I was dumbfounded.

The woman at the photo booth finished helping the man with pressing photo questions. She leaned on the counter with a bored look on her face and said in an annoyed voice to us, "You can come over here if you want." If we want?!? I would love to know what she felt were our other viable options.

I finally was allowed to pay my $1.75 for the paper.

Was the store short-staffed that day? No. As I stepped up to pay for my paper, I saw 3 employees in the seasonal aisle behind me feverishly stocking the shelves with Easter candy. Unbelievable.


When you eat at a cubicle in the library, wipe your potato chip remnants and other crumbs onto the floor (or into your hand for the trash can) when you are done.

On that note, when you generate trash in any classroom (soda bottles, paper, candy wrappers, old newspapers you are done reading) please throw it away!!! What an impression we must make upon the environmental services staff - it's truly embarrassing.

My room at home is a mess. But when adults can't keep free of their own trash common areas that they share with others, those adults are slobs!

Slobs may make better lovers, but that doesn't make their other habits any less disgusting.

Virgin Suicides

I saw this movie over the weekend. (I'm generally too busy to catch movies when they are first released. And even if I find the time, I'd rather spend the money on a good meal and catch the movie on video, or by the latest method, On Demand.)

It was entertaining, but I'm not sure I understood it. I enjoyed some of the stylistic touches, such as the girls being the only blond-haired girls at the school. I was under the impression it was based on a true story, but learned today it was pure fiction. I often wonder when I don't 'get' a movie whether I have missed something or whether the creators have left things open on purpose so that each viewer draws her own conclusions.

Sofia Coppola did a good job and I am currently hoping to see Lost in Translation soon.

Liar, Liar

It seems that folks aren't quite done talking about President Bush's military record. This topic has certainly regained popularity as of late - I don't even remember hearing this much about it 4 years ago.

I have mixed feelings on the issue. On one hand, I have less respect for a man so willing to send thousands of troops into harm's way who hasn't served his country in the same or even similar capacity. Especially disturbing was his decision to extend the periods of service for many soldiers who had fulfilled their obligations.

On the other hand, Clinton's lack of service didn't bother me. And I don't feel that one must have served in active duty to later be an effective Commander-in-Chief.

On the news this morning, a "man on the street" commented that his problem with the president was "he lied to the American people." I do not yet share this person's outrage. It remains to be seen whether Bush outright lied about his service. Even if he did, the bare fact that he lied does not offend me. I have come to accept that political leaders lie. Sometimes they must, and sometimes they feel they must.

While I would like to feel I could trust the person that is the leader of my country, I am realistic enough to realize that he can't be honest with Americans about every single topic. I know this is dangerous territory. All branches of our government should be accountable to the people. I don't condone cloak-and-dagger behavior and I think our country saw through 9/11 the perils of government agencies not sharing critical information with each other in the name of national security.

Nevertheless, I recognize there are times when our president is going to lie to us, either outright or through omission. And whether that lie causes me to lose faith in him will depend on the subject matter.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Blogs I Miss

Omer Poos This was one of the first law student blogs I read, and it was Nikki, Esq. at the time. The blog was funny and insightful. Omer seemed to be an "atypical" law student and her criticisms and observations of her classmates were great fun to read. She went from Nikki to Omer and her posting dropped in frequency. Last post was Jan 15th and it appears as though she has closed up shop. A shame.

Cooped Up Of course. Professor Cooper is the reason I even know what a blog is. Our first day of Civ Pro, fall of 2002, he gave us his blog address - stating the reason was that he knew we would stumble across it eventually. I believe it was because he couldn't resist introducing his blog to a whole new audience ;) Either way, I am better for it as I have learned a great deal through the different blogs I read.

Professor Cooper's posts were thoughtful, balanced, and well-written. His blog was the absolute first one I ever laid eyes on and all of my current daily reads are within 6 degrees of separation from it. Professor Cooper's readers, myself included, absolutely respect and support the personal decision he made to take a break from blogging. Nevertheless, surfing blogdom is quite a bit less satisfying now that his perspective is (mostly) absent.

News to me

I learn something new every day. Friday, it was that Alaska doesn't collect either state sales or income tax. I was amazed. Certainly 99% of you knew this already. Is it news to any of you?

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy Valentine's Day

I bought my daughter a huge dark chocolate bar as a gift today. She loves it.

I hate dark chocolate.

Friday, February 13, 2004

More on Same Sex Marriage

OK, don't hold my laziness against me. I wanted to post about this, but haven't had the time to organize my thoughts. Nikita's post about the time she spent at the Massachusetts State House this week in support of gay marriage is a must read.

I laughed out loud at the image of a PA system that would connect us with heaven, allowing instant rulings (price checks!) on controversial issues. Too much.

Reality TV

Fear Factor Couples: I can't even watch these commercials. They often come on while I am in the kitchen making dinner and they totally gross me out. I watched an episode or 2 of the original fear factor, before the current inundation of reality shows. It was OK, but I didn't become a regular watcher. Now, I am nothing but disgusted when I see ads for this show. I'm not sure why other reality shows interest me more.

Apprentice: Enjoy this show. It follows exactly the successful format of Survivor , a show I also enjoy. Why do they show this twice a week? I settled down to watch it the past 2 Wednesday nights, only to find out they were the previous week's shows.

Donald had some nerve reprimanding the women a couple weeks ago about constantly relying on "sex sells" to win their challenges. While I tend to agree with him, and doubt the sex appeal stuff goes very far in the board room, he is a complete hypocrite. At the same time he was giving them their "talking to," this TV guide cover (with Trump himself flanked by Ereka and Omarosa half-dressed) was in newsstands.

I agree with AC that it's too bad the "nice guys" seem to finish last here (or 'be finished' first, I guess), but I'm not surprised one bit. Not only does that likely reflect business, but it makes for better TV.

Survivor : First of all, let me say that my condolences go out to Jenna. That said, I am so glad she's gone. She annoyed the shit out of me during the season she won, and she was annoying the shit out of me this time around. I totally feel for her and the decision she had to make, but I don't tune in to Survivor to see her cry and ask for special privileges because she has a sick family member. I tune in for an hour break of mindless entertainment.

I am happy for her that she was by her mother's side when she died. She likely shouldn't have agreed to join the cast this time in the first place.

Thursday, February 12, 2004


Warning: Do not continue reading this post if you have a germ phobia!

I spent most of my day at the city county building in the office of the judge to whom I was assigned for my court internship. The judge had a light calendar and I decided to walk across the street to the city market for lunch.

The market has a great Greek food place, at which I like to get a salad. The woman who helps me is incredibly nice and she puts the perfect amount of feta cheese on my salad, at my request. Extra feta, please.

Today I scooted my tray down to the register, paid for my lunch, and held my hand out for the change. A dime slipped from my fingers and plopped right in the middle of my pile of feta. The man who handed me my change immediately offered to get me another salad and started to take the sullied salad away. I stopped him, assured him I had likely eaten worse in my life, and took my contaminated salad over his protests.

All this despite the fact that I scored a 12 on this thought-provoking OCD test, the lowest number in the "OCD is likely" category. Obviously, I do not obsess about germs!!!

I am still alive. Check back tomorrow to see if I survived the night.


Smarmy: excessively or unctuously flattering, ingratiating, servile, etc...

Please use this word in an complete sentence that illustrates the word's meaning.

for Tommy

Good Stuff

More than 200 Hoosier soldiers returned home last night after more than a year in Iraq. Hundreds of family members and friends greeted them at the airport.

Watching snippets of this scene on the news this morning was moving. The return of these troops to their families and loved ones is a wonderful thing, no matter one's personal feelings about the war.

Deb is preparing for surgery on Monday. Don't forget to send your prayers and best wishes her way.


The sun is shining!!! The days are getting longer!!! Spring is five weeks away!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

So Immature

When I was in grade school, I was mature for my age. (Not physically, of course - nope, couldn't have been that lucky!) At friends' houses, I often enjoyed talking with their parents more than playing with my friends. My 'hobby' was reading. All I did was read. I read as I walked to and from school, I read while I brushed my teeth, and I hated sitting down to a meal without a book to read.

A past teacher recently told me she often felt I had been forced to grow up to fast. Both of my parents worked, so I was in charge of my little sister before and after school. (And she later of our other little sister). Was it too much responsibility? Perhaps. But I never thought of it that way.

Nowadays I'm not so sure that maturity level has continued to grow, despite the fact that my butt and waistline have.

Case in point: I just returned from my daughter's volleyball game. She's in 7th grade. They won their first match and have lost the following 3 or 4, I have stopped counting. I get super frustrated when they lose. I want them to win, not because I am competitive, but because they are so happy and proud of themselves when they do. All the other parents manage to be encouraging throughout the game. They say "good try" when someone screws up big time. I manage a few words of encouragement, but usually only when the other parents' cheers remind me to remain upbeat for the girls' benefit. Most of the time, it is all I can do not to roll my eyes, sigh in exasperation, or yell "that was your ball!"

I'm not one of those crazy parents that cause a scene. I manage to keep it all very low key. But when we are constantly losing, I sit fuming while the other parents seem to be enjoying themselves. Maybe it is the competitive spirit in me, after all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

One of Many

Lawren's post at Sapere Aude got me thinking.

It made me remember one of the many reasons I was reluctant to take the plunge and apply to law school.

The news at the time was full of statistics regarding the number of lawyers. There were, it seemed, too many. I used this as a good reason not to switch careers. There are too many lawyers, I would think to myself, there's no way I'd be able to make a living practicing law.

Then I realized what I was really saying. It meant I didn't think I'd be a good enough lawyer to compete with the crowded field of attorneys; I'd predicted my failure even before allowing myself to try.

Even I realized that was unacceptable thinking. And I got off my lazy duff one day and registered to take the LSAT. So here I am. Still wondering if I made the right decision, but not regretting it in the least - yet.

It Takes All Kinds

Ready for some diverse views on the Massachusetts gay marriage decision? Implications you might not have contemplated!

Thanks to Chuck for the link!

Living on the Edge

I am generally not a risk taker. But this morning I took the ultimate risk. I put 2 items from my lunch in the refrigerators provided by the school. Mind you, the food is in a Ziploc bag, not even a proper lunchbox-type bag.

Reminds me of that deodorant commercial: If you're not a little nervous, then you're not alive!

Monday, February 09, 2004

There's Nothin' Like...

Brand new windshield wiper blades.


My trial practice class takes place in a criminal courtroom in the city-county building.

We are required to bring a blank videotape to class each Saturday. Our 'performance' for the day is videotaped, and we are encouraged to watch the tape before the next class. The idea is for us to see ourselves as others (a jury) would, to help us see what changes need to be made.

The effect of watching myself on videotape Saturday night? Yesterday I spent time on the stationary bike and broke out the hand weights.

Probably not the changes the instructors had in mind, but certainly can't hurt!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Not Impressed

President Bush appeared on Meet the Press today. Tim Russert interviewed the president in the oval office.

I'm no political commentator, and I'm generally no fan of Bush. That said, I was surprised by how inept our president came off in the interview. Though I am guilty of making fun of Bush from time to time, I generally tend to think that he is more intelligent and capable than his detractors make him out to be.

However, today's interview left me wondering. What I noticed most was a point of forensics - he frequently paused both before and during his answers for what seemed like quite a long period of time. It gave me the impression that he was searching his file of prepared sound bites looking for the best piece of rhetoric to produce in answer. When he once answered a direct "Yes" to a question, Russert leaned in with a follow up and Bush said "let me finish," which Russert did. But Russert didn't think he was interrupting, he thought Bush was finished responding due to the long pause (as did I). Maybe someone told him it was a good tool to use for emphasis. It just left me thinking that he was more concerned with not saying something stupid than with really answering the questions.

The thing that outraged me the most was information which was new to me but probably not to most others. Russert was questioning the president about his National Guard service. The president had this to say about ending his term eight months early: "Well, I was going to Harvard Business School and worked it out with the military."
Wow. Unbelievable. How do so many vets and military proponents respect this man as their president? Most especially in light of the fact that he has presided over the military policy which has extended service for many soldiers beyond their original tour of duty obligations.

What annoyed me most was a statement we have heard from Bush a thousand times. In response to Russert's question about why Bush is the only president to cut taxes in war time, Bush said "I believe that the best way to stimulate economic growth is to let people keep more of their own money." We get it. The refund was nice. But I'd rather suck it up and pinch a few pennies if it means helping to alleviate the colossal budget deficit.

OK, I'm no expert. And in any event, I'm not who Bush was hoping to impress with that interview. But I heard too much that should make even his supporters wince. With the election coming up, I think he should have seized the opportunity to show America why he is the best choice for our leader.

Full text of the interview.

Good points here noting that Bush seemed to be on the defensive throughout the entire interview.

Update: thoughtful article from a Bush supporter.

Name that Artist

Lyric: "Ya'll don't want to hear me, you just want to dance."

Don't answer if you don't know without doing an online lyric search.
J, you can't answer :)

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Rags or Riches?

My daughter grows like a weed, as they say. Every season she outgrows pants, skirts, shoes, shirts, etc...

I give most of this stuff to Goodwill. I don't know too many other girls close to her age and I figure those shopping at Goodwill have more of a need for the clothes than perhaps one of my friend's or relative's kids. (And the clothes are almost always like new, as she outgrows them so quickly).

But I encounter this question: what do I do with the panties she has outgrown? I'm sure everyone but me knows the answer to this question, but I struggle with it every time.

I threw 3 perfectly good pair away today. My inclination is that undergarments are something that shouldn't be shared with strangers. On the other hand, they are clean and in good shape. People who shop at Goodwill need underwear, too. I could use them for rags, but somehow wiping down furniture and the like with used panties seems inappropriate.

I often wind up throwing them away. As I do, I ask God to forgive me for being so wasteful. "One man's trash is another man's treasure." I wonder if this spoiled act would disgust some who could find dozens of good uses for the garments.

Hectic Times

2nd draft of my law review note is due Tuesday at 5pm. Law review edit is due Tuesday at 5pm. LARC tutor appointments have been made for Monday and Wednesday. (Not only do I have to meet with the 1L's, but I have to find time to read their papers before I meet with them.)

Plenty of time, right? Heh. Not to mention finding time to prepare for my regular classes.

Law school - the place for masochists.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Special Guest

I have invited one of my sisters, a student at IU-Bloomington, to post if she would like. So be on the lookout for my "guest blogger!"

Friday, February 06, 2004

Over the Hill

OK, that's an exaggeration. I'm not over the hill - at least not by most definitions. But I am the victim of occasional anxiety regarding my age and the fact that I am still (back) in school. Even on this commuter campus, with generally large numbers of 'non-traditional' students, I feel old. The average age of full-time day students in 2002 and 2003 was 25. I will hit the big 3-0 this year.
(The average for part-time evening students was 29).

I do think the lapse in time between undergrad and law school has benefited me. I want to learn now, as opposed to feeling like I have to learn. And I have more discipline than I did in undergrad. See Michele's related post. (Scroll to Feb 3rd, can't get permanent link to work)

But I suppose I worry about the age thing because I'm not where I pictured I would be at this age. Surely by 30 I should be married, have a couple kids, own my own house.
I have a beautiful daughter who years ago stopped asking me for what she wanted most - a sibling. No husband, no house.

I'm not complaining. I have many blessings and I thank God for them every day. I have a roof over my head during this intolerable winter, I never lack for food, and I have a wonderful, loving family.
I absolutely love law school, I have a good job offer for the summer, and I don't regret the decision to leave my nursing career (sort of) and tackle this challenge.

But I can't help noticing how fast time flies. And I become intimidated by the youth around me and the promise that some of my youthful classmates seem to exude.

Seen at the BMV

Burly man, over 6 feet tall, dressed in dirty jeans and a layered jumble of dark-colored of sweaters and sweatshirts, heavy-duty construction boots, and unshaven face... wearing a wrap around ear muff in leopard print.

Marriage for . . . everyone?

Nikita has a funny post here about same-sex marriages.

I agree that if the state is going to be in the marriage business, then both hetero and same-sex marriages should be allowed.

However, I have heard some compelling arguments that polygamy would be the next logical step under the reasoning offered for sanctioning same-sex marriages.

See this site (if you haven't already) for answers to that concern and more.

Thanks for the info, Nikita!

Time for class! More on this later.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

All Flustered

I left the law school around 5:20pm this evening and headed over to the campus bookstore at Cavanaugh Hall. It was raining and around 32 degrees and the roads were a bit slick.

Parking is an enormous problem on campus and I was delighted to find a parking meter right near the entrance to the building. Never mind that it meant parking in a foot of standing water with ice below - it was an awesome spot.

I found the study aid I needed and returned to my car. I called a friend from my cell phone to report my success at the bookstore. My car was parked, I was on the phone, I had no intention of driving while talking on my cell phone - especially in rush hour traffic on campus in the freezing rain.

Then a car pulled up next to me and motioned to ask if I was leaving my spot. Which of course I was - just not that second. But I motioned back yes and, while on the phone, began to leave my spot. I just was trying to be courteous.

The only problem was that my car wouldn't move. Uh-oh, I told my friend, I think I'm stuck on the ice. But with some maneuvering I managed to drive mostly out of my spot. However, my car was still having problems. Oh no, I reported to the still-held cell phone, I must have a flat tire, I'd better call you back. Just then, with people in the surrounding cars staring at me wondering why I was inching up the street at about 2 mph, I looked down and realized I was driving with my emergency brake on. Doh!

To Braid or Not To Braid

Nice mugshot.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Not Smart

As I slowed for a stoplight at the intersection where Chatard High School is located on Kessler on my way home from the store, a pair of bare legs caught my eye.

I thought some crazy jogger was braving the chill and finishing up a jog. It was almost 8pm and definitely dark outside. I turned my head to see a young girl; she looked to be about 12 years old but may have been older as she was directly across the street from the high school.

She had on shorts and a winter coat and was walking very slow - carefully picking her way along the ice covered sidewalk. I saw no other kids, no parents. She seemed utterly defenseless against her surroundings: the bitter cold, the dark night, the rushing cars, the slippery ice.

For moment I actually saw her disappear - a la Without a Trace - I hope she made it home safely.

All in the Family

I overheard the following in the grocery store this evening, where 2 women were having a heated conversation right in the middle of the aisle.

Young female, in 20's, talking to older female relative (mom? aunt? grandmother?): "That's why you don't have a boyfriend either! That's why you are going to be sitting up there by yourself on Valentine's Day all alone!"

How cruel.


I have toyed for a long time with the idea of starting my own blog. I kept putting it off, feeling I didn't have enough creativity or energy to sustain my own blog. Contributing to Sapere Aude was the perfect solution for a while. I'm not the only contributor, so there was minimal pressure to post frequently.

But, as at least one reader of that blog pointed out, some of my posts were more personal in nature than related to law school, current events, or legal topics.

So I need an outlet for some of my random thoughts. My own outlet. So here it is. This is an experiment, really. I'm not sure how long it will last. But I have convinced myself it never hurts to try something new.

A few times before today I convinced myself to begin my own blog but didn't because I couldn't think of a satisfactory title. (I am incredibly indecisive). This title was inspired by something my tax professor has said in class. He says, "I know you don't know anything, people. Do you understand? I know you have no idea what I am talking about. What we are doing now is just playing in the code."

I never knew one could "play" in the internal revenue code - but indeed we do. And now I am going to "play" for a bit in blogdom. If it's half as fun as tax class, it will be worth it.


About Me

Approaching Middle Age
Dabbling in Blogdom

Tear Down The Walls

Today's Song Lyric

All you do is call me, I'll be anything you need

Contact Me

E-mail: justplayinblog -at- gmail.com


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Blawgs I Read

(Fresh Pepper)
In the Agora
Do Not Overmix
From Engineer to Lawyer
Failure to Comprehend
Favorable Dicta
A Girl Walks Into a Bar(exam)
the imbroglio
Indiana Barrister
The Indiana Law Blog
IndyLaw Net
Legal Underground
The Menagerie
Mother in Law
The Neutral Zone Trap
Obiter Dictum
Screaming Bean
SC Trial Law Blog
Taking Down Words

Blogs I Read

About a Nurse
advanced maternal age
Be The Boy
code blog: tales of a nurse
Deb, hatched
Go Fug Yourself
Going Bananas
The Great Spirit
Jelly Beans...
Martinis, Persistence...
Overheard in New York
The Perils of Being in 3D
Post Secret
preaching to the perverted
Ruth's Blog
...the slack daily
Texas T-bone
30 Something Baby Doc
Unnamed Source
Waiting for the Punchline


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