Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hypothetical Law Student Seeks Advice

A friend of mine is looking for career advice and thought this blog might be able to help. What should s/he do? Take it away, HLS:
-       I’m currently going into my 2L year at Penn Law
-       I’m a joint degree student at Penn’s government school
-       I’m somewhere in the bottom half of my class with a bunch on B-‘s (but also a bunch of high(er) grades (i.e. B+, A-)
-       The career service people tell me that I will probably not get anything during Fall recruiting.
-       The economy is really crappy right now
-       I don’t mind the prospect of being a lawyer and practice law
-       I have a great resume with lots of public interest work (DA’s office, 3 well regarded Hill internships, some policy work, etc…)
-       I’m mostly worried about the debt. I’m currently about $60,000 dollars in debt and will probably spend another $100,000 over the next two years financing my education.
-       I think having a Penn Law degree is great. But I’m worried about not being able to find a job and being $160K in the hole (and living in a box, etc).
-       I’m wondering if I should cut my losses at 60K and quit law school or push through and get the degree.
Should HLS stick around? What jobs should s/he look for?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Things that have been bothering me about Inception


Why is Mal on the opposite ledge in what appears to be an entirely different hotel room when she jumps?

Why do Dom and Mal leave limbo by laying down in front of a train rather than saying, "You know what I feel like creating with my mind right now? Two jumbo syringes of morphine! Or maybe a tank of laughing gas mixed with carbon monoxide!"? *POOF* AHHHHhhhh ....

Why doesn't Mal kill their dream-kids, if she was so convinced they weren't real?

Why doesn't Dom kill Mal in limbo rather than going to the trouble of incepting her, and why doesn't Mal kill Dom in "reality" rather than setting up an elaborate fake murder?

Why doesn't the team dream themselves up some awesome body armor like Eames dreams himself a bigger gun in the warehouse scene?

Why is Joseph Gordon-Levitt insanely hot all of a sudden? Must be the three-piece suits.

How is there ALREADY Inception slash fanfiction?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mini Book Review: The Folding Knife

It's a K.J. Parker book, so you'll know there will be incredibly elaborate schemes, crushing disappointments, and looming dread. In the mood for the Engineer trilogy plus quasi-Venetian mercantile intrigue? The parallels with recent financial crises and needless wars in impoverished and mountainous lands are a bit on the nose, but the book is nevertheless oddly compelling. Recommended.

ETA that apparently there is some debate about whether Parker is male or female. Upon first reading the Engineer books, I thought them some of the most stereotypically masculine stuff I'd read in a long time. But on further contemplation and after reading additional works, the carefully detailed sadism with which the male leads are set up and then hoist by their own petards militates in favor of female authorship.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shocking revelation

The sock you knit on vacation is every so comfy, whereas the sock you knit after long weeks of work is insanely, neurotically tight. Frog!

Friday, July 23, 2010


This regender widget is pretty entertaining.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I want my double dip with sprinkles. Of ash.

I was looking into running away for an extended weekend in Iceland, which was foiled after I saw Icelandair no longer flies direct from Baltimore to Reykjavik (boo). But a friend of PTN sent this article along, which confirms 1) nobody should go to Iceland in the near future because OH GOD THE BURNING; 2) we're all doomed. Basically, Iceland is going to explode and its bits are going to blanket half the world and ground us all for months and the world economy will crash again.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Most people would realize that someone who supports abortion rights, even if they don't personally like abortion, is pro-choice.
[Crist] has long called himself “pro-life,” doing so even in the interview last week. He is now quick to add that while he personally opposes abortion, he would not seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and supports abortion rights.
Sometimes I can't tell what's actual stupidity and what's carefully calculated stupidity aimed at the dullard vote.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just keep doing that.

My art instructor continually confuses me with the high school girl in the class. I suppose that is some small consolation.

Unrelatedly: This stuff is delicious.

Saturday, July 17, 2010



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why I am a bad nerd

- This only substantiated my theory that Doctor Who fandom is a baseless conspiracy by Anglophiles.

- I only like the monster-of-the-week X Files episodes.

- I never played D&D and have no understanding of how it could work. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What is seen and what is not seen

Perhaps relevant to our discussion below on why people buy luxury goods:
Real glamour requires a receptive audience. You can only be glamorous if others perceive you that way. Feeling glamorous, on the other hand, means that your mental picture of yourself is one that you would find glamorous. You become the audience for your own glamour, creating a image of yourself that veils your flaws. Defying the ultimate intimacy, you somehow manage to turn yourself into an alluring Other. As for actual others, they may see something different.
Of course, reading Postrel in the wake of The Last Psychiatrist puts a different twist on things.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Do you have an anger management strategy? I have taken to just saying "grumble grumble grumble." Also, pretending to be a dinosaur.

Friday, July 09, 2010

In defense of lawyers with expensive handbags

Normally I like Conor Friedersdorf's blog posts, but this is sexist bullshit:
[W]ere I ever confronted with a lawyer or an agent or some other professional carrying a small leather bag that cost $10,000, I’d immediately conclude that his or her value system is astonishingly perverted, and that he or she lacks the judgment, perspective and ordering of priorities necessary to do business of any sort with me. Even the most hedonistic spendthrift is preferable to the superlatively decadent brand name status whore.
Like Isabel Archer, I don't understand how "hedonistic spendthrifts" are morally superior to "brand name status whores." In many cases, brand names are a rough proxy for quality. To the extent that this is no longer true, the brands themselves lose cache---witness (easily faked) logo bags made from cheaper materials and the consequent demotion of former luxury brands.

And I eagerly await Conor's condemnation of male attorneys who drive shiny new Beemers. Surely a used Toyota or Honda sedan is more than sufficient to get you from point A to point B. And if anyone mentions nice leather interiors, be warned: Birkins? Also nice leather. Would Conor find attorneys with collections of trendy art similarly "whorish"? (Only if they're female?)

A Birkin, by the way, probably also holds value better than a new car.

This is all irrelevant to the actual question of whether the BIGLAW Singapore associate should bring her Birkin to work. (To the extent that it was viewed by any as a faux pas, Isabel's suggestion of attributing the purchase to a relative in retail is a good one.) The social connotations of high-end brands in Singapore are not the same as those conveyed in Washington DC.

Conor's view particularly irrelevant to judge how clients or colleagues in either location would react, as he is unlikely to ever pay BIGLAW rates for legal representation or to work as an associate in the sector. If, through some twist of fortune, he was put in such a position, he won't be able to ferret out the real "brand name status whores" among female attorneys he does encounter, since the most expensive and luxurious brands are unlikely to register on his radar. Instead, he'll be able to pick out marginally fashionable strivers who purchase brands with high name-recognition (or, as he acknowledges, false-positive purchasers of replica merchandise, who may not have bought a fake because they are poor "status whores" but because they like a particular style and lack the means to buy the originator thereof). Well done, Friedersdorf! Give the bourgeois what for!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The horror.

This is almost as wrenching as the factoids from the Gene Weingarten article on parents who left their children in hot cars.
[O]f the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.  In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.
Apparently this happens a lot. It almost happened to me when I was a toddler.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Team Emily?

Is it really healthier to switch from magazines that publish vapid stories about how to look like waif celebrities to blogs that publish vapid stories bashing beauty standards that are illustrated by waif celebrities?

I removed most of the feminist blogs from my feed reader a long time ago, when they started trading on their success by outsourcing content from their extreme fangirls and having few or no posts by the authors I liked and had read the blog for years for. Tiger Beatdown is still decent and Fugitivus (commenters, don't mess with Harriet!) is a constant stream of alternating awesomeness and gut-punching. Any other suggestions for solid new feminist blogs?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Oh look, more clothes.

I've been lusting after this dress for months with no respite, but it's ivory, and I can't wear ivory---it makes me look ill. But: what if I dyed it? Maybe gray or dark blue.

Also can't decide if this would be flattering to the small of bust or just call attention to a pitiful lack.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Internet forever.

I have had a sock on the needles for several months now because it's a knee sock and the prospect of tracking the increases overwhelms me. Should I take it off, knit its mate to the same point, and then do the calves two-at-a-time?

Unrelatedly, this blog speaks to me.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Create jobs; hire a maid.

 This particular form of anxiety seems especially common among male attorneys. Woman attorneys, not so much, perhaps because the burden we're outsourcing is our own.