Wednesday, March 31, 2004

In Canakkale: typing on Turkish keyboards is hard for those of us who are not touch typists. This morning we went to Troy. It has far more in the way of excavated ruins than the guidebooks imply. We are not going south to Ephesus or Pergamon, but I have comforted myself with the thought that I have seen all the best stuff from those sites already since the Germans carried it off to Berlin. Instead we are heading to Bursa to the mud baths and to see the Green Mosque. I have been able to find no decent souvenirs thus far and refuse to go back to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul to shop. I better find some nice pottery or a carpet in Bursa.

I see that my comments on the Leiter affair have been picked up on the FedSoc blog by Mr. Skrmetti. I'll address those at greater length after I return if the issue is still pertinent, but I still find the line between personal attack and attack on an individual's prospects within a field due to allegedly shoddy scholarship exceedingly fine. Is there any way to tell someone they are incompetent and that they advocate factually incorrect ideas without making that sentiment feel, to the target, like a personal attack?

Monday, March 29, 2004

Things about Turkey:
Everyone either owns a carpet shop or has a family member in the carpet business.
A number of Turks know about Texas and can rattle off cities. One did ask us where we left our horses and guns, though.
Lying about almost anything is apparently common if the object is to impress Western women.
Getting Turkish men to not give you their phone number is more difficult than you might expect.
Watching young Anatolian men tremble at the prospect of sliding cash into a belly dancer's top is surprisingly adorable.
It gets damn cold here.

Off to Cannakale and Troy tomorrow!

Friday, March 26, 2004

In Turkey: the hostel is nice and everyone is very friendly. Lots of people speak English, or at least enough to hit on you. We just saw the Hippodrome and the exteriors of the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia. It looks like we may make it at least to Troy later in the week and maybe down toward Izmir and Pergamon & Ephesus. Whee!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Well, I'm off to Istanbul. There will be blogging if I can find an internet cafe.
Adam White at Ex Parte is all atwitter about those terrible atheists; this time they are spitting on all that's right and good in America by clapping during oral argument.

At one point, after Newdow cited unanimous Congressional approval of the current Pledge as evidence of the inability of atheists to win political office, members of the audience APPLAUDED. I guess they don't believe in God OR in decorum.

(While the clapping was inappropriate, Rehnquist thinks headscarves and women in pants are also.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Brian Leiter/Lawrence VanDyke dispute just will not die. Crooked Timber is disappointed in the HLS Federalist Society bloggers for jumping to Lawrence's defense and trumpeting about the "important post" with Lawrence's reply. I must confess that I am a bit disappointed in this chain of events as well. While I know that religious conservatives dominate the FedSoc, this wholehearted appropriation of victim language and failure to engage in any substantive rebuttal undermines my confidence in the ability of the Society to "foster balanced and open debate," both on campus and within its own ranks. Most of the objections boiled down to "Leiter was mean," to which I would respond, "but was he right?"

Brian Leiter is a jerk. He ripped Lawrence's note up one side and down the other, and did so in a particularly aggressive way. Unfortunately, the reply on the FedSoc blog doesn't effectively rebut his claims about the note's weaknesses. I thought this was Harvard, where the professors used to verbally attack the students on a daily basis. Have even the HLS Federalists succumbed to the enervation of this institution such that they are injured by the broadsides of a law professor thousands of miles away? I can't help but think that if a conservative professor had written a similarly scathing review of some bit of identity politics claptrap they all would have nodded approvingly. I can only speculate that the following factors may have come into play:

- They were defending their friend (pretty much all the conservatives at HLS socialize together).
- Leiter's attack was perceived as part and parcel of the suppression of conservative viewpoints in the academy, which people mostly acknowledge comes more frequently from other students than from faculty, but is still a touchy subject for some students here.
- Leiter's attack on religion was interpreted as an attack on their religious faith (there are a surprising number of ID believers at HLS).
- Less generous response: the lady doth protest too much. They all knew what would ensue in the wake of Lawrence's review, but were still shocked to be called out on this attempt to smuggle religion into school science curriculums.

Kevin Drum weighs in also.

Update: Christ on a sidecar, Lawrence VanDyke has again posted on the FedSoc blog in response to Leiter.
Jane Galt is food blogging recipes for bean chili, mushroom strudel, chocolate pound cake, and eggnog cheesecake.

Those sound good, but I stand by my tried and true cheesecake recipe. It's from River Road Recipes II, the second cookbook compilation by the Junior League of Baton Rouge. These books were used regularly all through my childhood and are probably responsible for the heart attack I'll be having sometime soon. They have recipes for raccoon and squirrel (in the "How Men Cook" section, of course). But anyway, back to the cheesecake, which even the ultra picky HLS food critic didn't turn up his nose at:

24 ounces (3 bars) cream cheese
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp almond extract

Beat cream cheese until soft, then add sugar and beat well. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add salt and almond extract. Beat until yellow. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. The cookbook says use a springform pan, but I use a deep dish Pyrex pie plate 'cause that's what I have. Let cool for 30 minutes and make the glaze:

2 tbsp sugar
1 & 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix well and spoon over mostly-cooled cheesecake. If there are cracks in the top, the glaze makes a good filler - just smooth it over. Bake 10 minutes at 325. Cool and serve.

*You can use reduced fat cream cheese and sour cream if you must, but it won't taste as good. "Fat-free" anything will ruin it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I have had at least one hit from each of the following countries: New Zealand, Spain, Romania, Mexico, Thailand, Singapore, Jamaica, Finland, Hong Kong, Italy, Switzerland, Korea, Austria, Belgium, Israel, France, Ireland, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Now my college roommate, Kathy, is in the Peace Corps in Jamaica, and another CMCer, Matt, is stationed in Korea (and has a blog). I can only attribute these others to the now-abating Erin O'Connor influx. The Japanese reader has come back several times. I don't think I know anyone who's in Japan right now, but I may be wrong. Who are you, mysterious Japanese one?
Random fannish obsessiveness: You may have noticed that the cast and crew of the Lord of the Rings all had something blue on their lapels this year. Even though you saw them on stage eleven times, you might still not know what they were. These pins were the ultimate manifestation of the nerd domination of Hollywood. They were commissioned and presented yearly at the New Zealand consulate by TheOneRing.Net, perhaps the internet's most obsessive LOTR site. To repeat: a bunch of Tolkien geeks from a fan website so entrenched themselves in the production process that the cast and crew wore tokens from them to the glitziest night in Hollywood.

The jeweler who made these pins is evidently officially licensed by the Tolkien estate. You can get one of the extra pins if you are willing to fork over the dough. He has replicas of the Rings of Power for sale also. *drools*

If none of this made any sense, you might want to browse through the Encyclopedia of Arda, which can answer Middle Earth related questions ranging from "Who's that Bilbo guy?" to "How is Aragorn related to Arwen?"
Harvard Law professors have a predictable pattern of political donations. No Bushies here! Snoop on your own on Fundrace.

Daniel Halperin - $250 for Dean
Daniel Coquillette - $1000 for Kerry
Ryan Goodman - $250 for Clark
Robert Mnookin - $2000 for Clark
David Barron - $500 for Kerry and $250 for Dean
Gerald Frug - $250 for Dean
Unknown Law Professor - $500 for Sharpton
Now I would probably have gone to see Kingdom of Heaven anyway, if only because I love historical epics and Jeremy Irons, but now I think I'll buy a ticket on opening weekend just to stick it to the terrorists who are currently trying to shut down production in Morocco.

Ridley Scott, for having the cojones to make a movie about the Crusades during the current political climate, deserves some recognition (even if he did cast the overrated Orlando Bloom as the lead).
I had to go buy one of these pouches for my trip this morning. I had one for my last European vacation, but it was stolen while I took it off to sleep in my hotel in Greece. Lesson 1: never allow your valuables to leave your body. Lesson 2: never assume that hotels in Greece lock their balconies.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Aww, Heidi Bond will be so upset when she sees this. Maybe she can write a poetic elegy.
Via Eve Tushnet, What Classic Novel Do You Belong In?

I believe you belong in Pride and Prejudice; a world of satire and true love. A world where everything is crystal clear to the reader, and yet where new things seem to be happening all the time. You belong in a world where your free-thought puts you above the silly masses, and where bright eyes and intelligence are enough to attract the arrogant millionaire/prejudiced young woman of your choice.
David Bernstein is blogging the Claremont hoax again at The Volokh Conspiracy. The details are a little off (anti-gay slurs appeared at Pomona also and the cross was a Pomona art project, as I understand it), but the general sentiment is probably correct. Mudd students like to get drunk and set things on fire and CMC students are relatively conservative. Those things are not equal to a climate "hostile to diversity." There were definitely a few louts and fools when I was there, but they appeared on both sides of the political spectrum. For example, the left wing protesters that shut down the colleges' administration building and prevented workers from obtaining their paychecks hurt the (overwhelmingly Latino) staff much more than the efforts of one student to disrupt a gay student event by playing loud country music hurt the queer community on campus.

Neil Gaiman, comic book demigod and fantasy author, won his court case against Todd McFarlane. If you ever wanted to read the Spawn origin story as recounted by Judge Posner, click that link.

I am more a fan of Gaiman's short fiction and his novels than his comics work. His dark reimagining of Snow White, Snow Glass Apples, is a shivery delight. It's also available in audio format.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

This discussion about french fry condiments and toppings is making me really hungry. I tried french fries with mayonnaise when I was in the Netherlands a couple of years ago. It's sooo good. I am yearning to get up to Scotland and find some deep fried candy bars. Growing up in Texas meant fried foods had no stigma and gravy was its own food group. Besides, frying stuff I can manage. A lot of Waddling Thunder's delicious ideas never come to fruition in my house due to lack of familiarity and supplies, but I always have oil on hand.
So I was talking with my roommate about Uma Thurman, who is currently separated from her ratty cheater of a husband, Ethan Hawke, and gallivanting around with some hotelier. Supposedly, one of the reasons for Ethan's cheating ways/their troubled marriage was Uma's relationship with Quentin Tarantino.

Now anyone who has seen Kill Bill is aware of Quentin's total obsession with Uma (and her feet - evidently Q is something of a foot fetishist). Now this has arguably made Thurman's career; she is much more well known for her work in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill than for The Truth About Cats and Dogs or Paycheck. Without Tarantino's support, Uma would likely have passed into obscurity sometime in the 1990s instead of getting starring roles at the age of 34; she's striking, but no great actress.

My disagreement with Geoffrey centered around the propriety of Uma using Tarantino's sexual obsession to her advantage. He almost certainly knows that he will never get Uma; does she have a duty to actively discourage his interest or remove herself from his sphere? Would a similar obligation apply to analogous non-Hollywood situations? Geoffrey used this as one more example of how women are evil and manipulative; surely we can sympathize for the gently pining man used by a calculating woman. I contended that while there is perhaps an initial duty to warn an aspiring suitor that his chances are nil, once this has been given it is not manipulative to continue to benefit from his continued feelings as long as the message is clear that a stream of benefits will not affect his chances of success.

Part of what made this conversation stick in my head is that this situation arises much more frequently and obviously with respect to women, who are often in less powerful positions and thus more in need of the edge that sexual attraction can provide. However, I also think that men do not often realize how often they benefit similarly from sexual attraction and thus are free to look down on using other people's feelings to one's advantage as some sort of feminine manipulation. Men in positions of authority have an attractiveness of their own (insert obligatory Kissinger quote here) and can leverage their innate physical attractiveness and their power to obtain more loyalty and hard work from subordinates than otherwise would be the case. Of course, in this scenario if the impact of sex appeal is acknowledged at all it is with a shaking of the head at those silly females in thrall to a handsome man. But cui bono?

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Kerri Dunn, hate crime hoaxer, is on a paid leave of absence.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Good news: in one week, I will be in Turkey! We are staying here, which is recommended by the drunken undergraduates from Let's Go.

Bad news: I will miss the Liberty Conference.
Although I admire the official policy of Will Baude, there is a meager attempt to influence the subconscious prejudices of my readers to your right. (At the suggestion of my friend Eric at Per Curiam, who should never underestimate my attention seeking tendencies.)
More faux-hate crime news: the AP story has some interesting statements from the witnesses who saw Dunn trash her own car:

"But police now say two witnesses saw Dunn drive into a Claremont McKenna College parking lot with her car already spray-painted and then proceed to pop the vehicle's tires.

The two witnesses, a male and female who are friends with a Claremont student, were sitting in their own car but began backing out of a space after becoming alarmed by Dunn's alleged actions, said police Sgt. Paul Davenport.

Dunn then allegedly came up to their car and asked if the two saw anyone damage her vehicle.

"I was thinking to myself, 'Yeah, we just saw you pop your tires,'" one of the witnesses later told police, Davenport said.

One of them thought the actions might be part of an experiment because Dunn identified herself as a professor of psychology, he said."

(Curiously, the last line seems to have been removed from the current version of the story, which is unfortunate, since it's the punch line of the whole thing.)

There is much more on this further down the page; my permalinks are shot for some reason.
Good stuff at 2 Blowhards this morning: Friedrich waxes eloquent on the German film "M" and its use of camera space. I'm a bit of a film dilettante, but my first exposure to M, in a freshman history seminar, blew me away. We also had to watch The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which I only remember spottily because I was concentrating on flirting with one of the guys in my class at the time. Books on film are just one more category I need to read more of but don't have time - currently my collection numbers one book: Anatomy of Film, which is a great read. Any suggestions on others?

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Regardless of what you think about homosexuality and what age it is appropriate to teach children about less common forms of relationships, one thing is always wrong: stealing books from the library.

Evidently the Hartsell family never got that memo. When their daughter selected King & King from her school library, her parents were so upset they complained to the school and have refused to return the book until they "get assurances it won't be circulated." Fortunately, a generous Metafilter member has bought another copy of the offending book and had it sent to the Wilmington, NC school.

There are a lot of books in a school library that different families would find objectionable: The Egypt Game and other books about kids performing rituals of long-dead religions or witchcraft, of which there are a surprising number; Harry Potter; Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, which is about overthrowing God; any fairy tales, but especially the non-sanitized versions. Stealing books to prevent other children from reading them is never an appropriate way of expressing disagreement with the librarian's choices.
At this time next year I'll be shopping for a car. For those in that position now, this is an illuminating read.
Ampersand won't tell us his favorite swear word! (Warning: the video in his link is chock full of naughty words, so don't click on it at work. It does include many cast members from The Sopranos and the West Wing, as well as people I'm sure are famous on their side of the pond.)

I am fond of "bugger." When they published Ender's Game in the UK, did they have to change the slang term for the aliens to something else? Words that are dirty in one dialect and not another (and foreign curses as well) are perhaps the most useful ways to swear - you get the emotional outlet without offending those around you as much. I've tried many times to stop cursing, mostly because it seems that people find it a sign of inarticulateness or lack of education, but, as Justice Harlan said, often a certain word "conveys not only ideas capable of relatively precise, detached explication, but otherwise inexpressible emotions as well." Sometimes there's nothing so satisfying as cussin' a blue streak.
David Bernstein of the Volokh Conspiracy is tipped off about the phony hate crime by Trent England, another CMCer. (hi Trent!) He links to a San Diego Union-Tribune article that has a great photo of Dunn striking a pose at the rally.
Discriminations weighs in on the hate crime hoax. It's now getting coverage in the LA Times.

A blogger at Pomona College has been investigating Professor Dunn.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

BOMBSHELL: Recent hate crime at the Claremont Colleges revealed as hoax!

The perpetrator of the alleged hate crime, which consisted of a professor's car being spray painted with racist slogans and then having its tires slashed and windows broken, has been found to be the victim herself.

The professor in question, one Kerri Dunn, has a two year contract with the college. Not for long, one hopes...

This incident was a serious black eye for the Claremont Colleges and was reported widely by the Southern California news media. In a way, it's reassuring to know that no member of the student community was responsible for this horrible crime.

Of course, this story is all too common.

Addendum: Erin O'Connor lauds CMC for being open about the results of the investigation.

More: the witnesses, who were not students, reported Dunn the day after the crime.
The mind boggles. What is this band? What is wrong with English people? And why am I humming along?

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I'm not surprised to read that fewer women have kept their maiden names in the last ten years. However, some of Roiphe's reasons seem less than persuasive. Is having the same name as your children really a big factor for women today? With so many people divorcing and remarrying, there are scads of families with an assortment of names. When my mother remarried, she replaced my father's name with that of her new husband. A year later, my last name was changed when he legally adopted me. However, their subsequent divorce and my lack of any real connection to him or his family have left me saddled with an unwanted and alienating name.

Despite my lack of attraction to the name as such, I would almost certainly not change it if I married. (The only exception would be if it were an especially lovely match for my first name - unlikely.) I've established a identity, ill-fitting or not, as Amber Taylor, and I can't imagine throwing it over for some man. Having one legal name and one professional and social name seems needlessly complicated and undermines all the traditional feel-good reasons for changing one's name (having the same name as the kids, forming a new family identity, etc.). I suppose it's fortunate that the situation is not pressing, since the few times it's come up in conversations with significant others their reactions have been uniformly negative. I usually just ask them if they'd mind changing their name instead and they make ugly faces.

We can't all be as fortunate as one friend of mine - she wed someone with the same last name. I told her they should hyphenate but she didn't think I was funny.
Embarassing: pursuing love online.
More so: finding your classmates' profiles.
Oh please make it stop: emailing back and forth with some guy and then finding out he's both an HLS student and in your Corporations section. Pretending not to recognize each other in class.

Not that there's anything wrong with online dating, but I still feel a little sheepish for having done it. Of course, the cautionary lesson of my high school classmate would make anyone think twice about doing such things.
Blogging has been partially foiled by an intermittent internet connection, but it may (router, cable modem, I'm watching you...) have ceased tormenting me with its sporadic access. I had planned on writing about how hard it is to find a place to live in DC for the summer, but it now looks like Tiffany and I will be subletting a friend's place. Now I just need to find someone to rent our apartment in Cambridge.

Monday, March 15, 2004

The ladies men admire, I've heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.
Their candle gives a single light;
They'd rather stay at home at night.
They do not keep awake till three,
Nor read erotic poetry.
They never sanction the impure,
Nor recognize an overture.
They shrink from powders and from paints.
So far, I have had no complaints.

More Dorothy Parker poetry
Looking for new desktop wallpaper?

This site has scans of many late-nineteenth century paintings, including a large selection of Pre-Raphaelite works.

The Hubble space telescope is also a good source of high resolution photos. They are organized by category and date.

Katinka Matson scans flowers and produces striking images.

Prokudin-Gorskii traveled Russia at the end of the tsarist period taking color photographs. Both the pictures and the story of how he developed this method are fascinating.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Bill Murray should have won the Best Actor Oscar this year (while Sean Penn was "owed," so was Murray, who was robbed for Rushmore and has fewer years of performing left - but then I didn't see Mystic River, so maybe I should shut my mouth). Of course, even if Bill Murray gives up on Hollywood completely now, we still can look forward to his star turn in The Life Aquatic.

Stop motion animation! Funky bearded Bill! Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, and a mysterious shark!

< /Wes Anderson groupie >

Saturday, March 13, 2004

When Biscuits Go Wrong, brought to you by, the folks behind the singing Spongemonkey Quizno's commercials.

Friday, March 12, 2004

While the data for "more guns, less crime" has been attacked, the "legal abortions equal less crime" theory seems to have held up better. The new hotness: More Abortions, Fewer Abortions. (pdf; via Agoraphilia.)
In addition to levels of violence that would have earned any other film the NC-17 rating, The Passion of the Christ also has naughty language. (pointer via Language Hat)
These poor kids. What will they do in the real world after college, when no one is around to monitor their every move and prevent them from backsliding into sin? I suppose most of them will be married before graduation and it will be the role of their wives to set examples of virtue. (Ah, the pedestal and the gilded cage!)

Thursday, March 11, 2004

As an accomplished scavenger, I appreciated this article from The Morning News. The couch in our apartment - sidewalk score! The new monitor in the Journal office - abandoned in the tunnels beneath the Law School. (Did you know HLS has an elaborate warren of seventies-themed, locker-lined tunnels? That's one more reason to go to Stanford; they can walk outside all year long.)
Brian Leiter slaps around Lawrence VanDyke and the Harvard Law Review. (via Letters of Marque)
Hate crime at my alma mater.

A professor (who evidently had taken a strong stand against some previous bigoted incidents) had her car spray painted with racist slogans. The tires were slashed and the windows broken. This took place during or after her speech at a forum on "Hate Speech versus Free Speech." Classes were cancelled and there have been rallies organized by students and the administration. Supposedly the FBI is involved. What a mess.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

By request: Monkey versus Robot. Accept no substitutes!
A good man is hard to find.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Interesting results of a study comparing STD rates among teens who make virginity pledges and those who do not. What is the utility of a public pledge against essentially private behavior? Peer pressure not to violate the pledge seems minimal, due to a lack of information about who is breaking their pledge. The only sure-fire way to know peers broke their word is for girls to get pregnant, and then it's literally all over but the shouting. In any case, high pledge rates probably correlate highly with communities that have abstinence-only sex ed. I'd like to see if the results hold for those with more substantive sex ed programs.
After I'm rolling around on a pile of law firm money, I may just have to buy this. For now I'll settle for a Law & Order coloring book. Or a cage match Lincoln poster. This notion of patronage of the arts is somewhat quirky, but I never claimed to be cultured.
I absolutely must make this show, seminar paper or no. The Nields are one of the poppier bands I like, but they have such lovely voices, sweet and exuberant, and unusual lyrics ("songs about Alfred Hitchcock and young prostitutes in Vienna, about love among the Branch Davidians in Waco and the devastating demise of school-girl friendships, about the later life of Albert Einstein's out-of-wedlock daughter."). But of course I will end up staying in and pretending to research gay marriage.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Part of the cost of law school, aside from the methodical destruction of all that is joyful and creative in your spirit, is the association of reading with work to an extent unparalleled by any undergraduate course of study. As someone who started reading at age two and got in trouble consistently in grade school for sticking my nose in a book instead of listening in class, my love of books has been the one consistent theme in life. Now I hardly have time to read for pleasure. Short stories are ideal, since I can swallow one and then fall directly asleep; I get too into novels and end up staying awake until 3am trying to "get to a stopping point" - famous last words.

All this is prelude to me moping over the fact that I'll won't get around to reading half the books on this list any time in the next couple of years. Amber = not educated.
Highlights from today's Discrimination class:

"Part of what makes [libertarian theorists] out to be such devils..."

On what Catherine MacKinnon would say about the Johnson Controls case: "Women should win because they're oppressed, darling!" (Professor then apologized for potential offense caused by calling student darling.) It wasn't offensive - it was camp. But whatever.

"Epstein is no Black Nationalist."

Sometimes going to class is worthwhile for the entertainment value alone.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Not to knock all modern art, but can anyone explain how this is objectively different from functionally equivalent interior decoration consisting of mounted purple canvas squares? What makes it art? That the walls are painted by an "artist?" They weren't; Rothko mixed the paint and chose the color and his assistants painted the canvases. It does not make a statement or evoke a feeling different from that evoked by identical interior decoration. There is a sharp division that the artistic establishment, as far as I can tell, seeks to maintain between crafts or decoration and "art." The Rothko Chapel highlights, for me at least, the arbitrariness of that line. Are we all artists now?
In the spirit of "Summarize a novel in 25 words:"

Apocalypse Now and The Exorcist, in 30 seconds and reenacted by bunnies.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

It's always cool to rediscover a website: click a link, and suddenly you realize that you visited this site before, maybe a couple of years ago, and the content that you devoured hungrily and then forgot to bookmark has been updated with lots of new things. This happens a lot with Metafilter repeat links.

Here's the most recent example. Laura lives in New York City. She's had tons of cool adventures, but recently got reassigned Chris Rock's old cell phone number and had a lot of fun with it.

Other People's Stories is another site I spent all night reading when I originally found it, but which doesn't update quickly enough to make it into the cycle of regularly checked bookmarks. The premise:

Every story on OPS is a story a contributor heard from someone else. These stories have been overheard and misheard, told and re-told and sometimes refined over time. They do not shy from hearsay, gossip, myth or guys we knew in high school. OPS is dedicated to the time-honored tradition of stealing other people’s material and we therefore recognize our debt to those from whom we’ve stolen and acknowledge that these stories do not belong to us.

Excellent stuff.
Yesterday I found a ticket stub for In America in my jacket and realized that might be the last decent movie I've seen. They cram all the Oscar bait into December and then leave us nothing but the leavings from the studio bins. You know what I'm talking about. Ashley Judd thrillers. Remakes of cheesy 80s movies. Remakes of cheesy 70s television series. Desperate attempts to film every last Stephen King story. And the only other choice is the Passion of Mel Gibson.

Since Hollywood has committed their ritual betrayal of the duty to entertain, I went to Widener and picked up two collections of novellas so I can reread the George R. R. Martin pieces in anticipation of the release of Book 4 of his Song of Ice and Fire series. I am totally obsessed with these books, although I don't have them memorized as these folks have or the way I have Lord of the Rings. (Of course Gandalf was a Maia!)
This guy is amazing. And I thought that the papier mache flying pig I made in eighth grade was cool.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Do you have stairs in your house?
I want one of these from my next boyfriend.
Heidi, another veteran of the Princeton Review message boards, on how to be a law student.

I hadn't thought of the PR board in a while (clean since interview season; do I get a chip like in AA?). My friend Dana is applying to law schools now and it's brought back so many memories... deciding what schools to visit, where to live for three years, how to choose. Applying for college was haphazard for me and it's only luck that I ended up somewhere tolerable and inexpensive. Law school was the first time I had to make a deliberative decision about the future. I wish luck to everyone in the process now (except Dana, who doesn't need any luck - go to Stanford, woman!).

Thursday, March 04, 2004

You know, I really liked Bridget Jones's Diary, but figured my subsequent burning hatred for Renee Zellweger resulted from her oblivious commentary while promoting the movie and her reversion to all out stick-insect status with Chicago. But after the Oscars I realized that even though she does look better when she's not a bleached, ropy piece of beef jerky, she's still annoying, with her continual squint and marginal talent.
Hanah and Sasha are eating a lot of cheese.
Just sent off a memo for Fed Lit. The composite of submissions we'll be reviewing in tomorrow's class has some really juicy instructor comments:

"Why not do the sensible thing – declare open season on fruits and instrumentalities of crime by depriving possessors of any “ownership” or other interest that law will protect, get rid of the exclusionary rule, and award damages to the innocent subjected to 4th A “violations.” voilĂ , as the cheese-eating surrender monkeys would say, the best of all worlds."

"Garbage! – and begging the question of whether guilty citizens have any “constitutional rights” or are just means of enforcing the “constitutional rights” of innocent citizens"

"Your client is not a “citizen” he’s a “criminal citizen” and it’s not obvious that the “rights” of one should be equivalent to the “rights” of another."

More fun quotes here.

Being enrolled in this class and having taken Nesson's evidence class in the winter surely puts me on track for collecting all the wacky professors at HLS, Pokemon style. I wonder who else I'll need to take next year in order to "catch 'em all."

About the Author

The author of this blog is:

- A recovering Objectivist
- A small-l libertarian
- Not half as bold and brassy as she thinks she is
- Short and sweet
- Tart and tangy
- A SF/fantasy fan who is dipping a toe into comics and graphic novels
- A lover of all furry creatures, but especially dogs, which turn her into a baby-talking ball of mush
- A voracious reader since the age of two
- A recent graduate of Harvard Law who hates Legally Blonde and wishes she had gone to UChicago
- Brunette
- Formerly of Little Rock, AR; Cambridge, MA; Washington, DC; Brooklyn, NY; Claremont, California; Rosslyn, Virginia; and Richmond, Texas
- A former clerk for Judge Morris Arnold on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Passionately in love with gummi bears
- Known to refer to herself in the third person
- Hopelessly inept at interior decoration, fashion, and dancing
- *Almost* entirely capable of repressing her Texas accent
- A former CATO intern
- Often heard swearing voluminously at inanimate objects
- Pro-choice
- Pro-gay marriage (although ideally government wouldn't be involved in marriage at all)
- A sex-positive equal treatment feminist
- Not interested in subscribing to your long distance service
- An atheist since a young age who once tried to explain evolution to the other kids at our Baptist summer camp (that didn't work)
- Someone who very seldom drinks because it makes her wild
- A non-smoker who nevertheless thinks cigarette holders are the height of vintage sex appeal
- Obsessed with the movie Rushmore
- Addicted to the internet
- A tightwad extraordinaire
- An alumna of Claremont McKenna College
- In the kitchen baking you a pie
- Secretly wishing she were a bad ass