Friday, May 27, 2005

Now all I need are Mom and apple pie

I got to go to a Cubs game today! A friend of mine had tickets (actually, her boyfriend's, but he was stuck home studying for exams, so he gave them to her) and invited me to come along. I was excited -- this is only the second time since moving here that I've managed to get to a Cubs game.

The game started off pretty slow -- no one scored a run until the second inning, and it wasn't the Cubs. Instead it was yesterday's winner, the Colorado Rockies. Soon, though, things picked up with several Cubs home runs. That was pretty exciting. The Rockies also got a home run or two, after which the fans lucky enough to catch the ball threw it back to the outfielder. My friend mused, "It would suck to catch the ball and have to throw it back." I was puzzled. "They're making them throw them back?"

My friend looked at me. "Well," she said, "it's not like a rule or anything, but if the other team scores a run you're supposed to throw it back."

I had never heard of this before. "Really?"

My friend nodded. "It's kind of like saying, 'your balls are no good to us.'" She knows a lot more about sports than I do, so I thought about this for a second until I finally concluded, "well, I wouldn't throw it back. I'm from Colorado so the Rockies are kind of my team anyway."

She looked at me with her eyebrows raised. "Um, you wouldn't want to hold onto it in that crowd."

I shrugged. "They wouldn't beat up a girl."

"Yes, but you'd be under extreme social pressure to throw it back."

I didn't say anything.

"Like, 40,000 people chanting, 'throw it back, throw it back!'"

Sports norms are a strange thing to me. I've never been a huge sports person (though I did catch myself a fair case of Bronco Fever back in high school and college). So I suppose I have to have some sympathy for the intensely personal interest people take in their respective teams' success, foreign as it is to my sensibilities.

On the other hand, there's something comforting about having unwritten rules like this that are nonetheless religiously followed and enforced. Sure, you won't be sued or imprisoned if you don't obey the rules. But you still know that you should obey them. Everyone knows. It's that kind of unwritten code of honor that used to occupy most of everyday life -- and now seems relegated only to less important aspects of life (apologies to the sports fans for calling sports "less important"). Even though these rules might seem silly, there's something valuable about them. It's kind of like a tie to the past, back when respect and patience ruled the day. Even though it's good to live in a diverse and pluralistic society, it's nice to know we haven't lost touch with our roots. I hope we never do.

So here's to America's national pastime. Let's keep it going strong.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's 3 PM, I must be sleeping

I slept the whole day away. It was awesome.

Having nothing to do is nice (I know I'll get bored of it eventually but right now I'm loving it). A lot of my friends started BarBri classes today. Fortunately for me, the local tapes for California aren't scheduled to start showing here until a week from Friday, which leaves me a nice little vacation. I love how I have to drive down to school for hours each day to watch video tapes.

Perfect timing, too. Turns out my brother will be visiting me for about a week, leaving right before I start classes (this makes him the first in my family to fly out to Chicago to visit me since I moved here almost three years ago). So I won't be totally lazy, since he will complain if I am. Which is just as well -- I really should get out, instead of sitting around watching TV all day (though that can be quite a bit of fun).

First on the agenda: back to the gym to work off the six pounds I've managed to gain in the last two months. Ugh.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Look at me, Ma!

So I was using my recently-acquired blog goodies and came across something disturbing on my site meter. Apparently an aolsearch for "mom porn" puts me in the top ten results.



That's all, folks!

I was going to make the title of this post "It is finished" but then that struck me as sacrilegious and, considering that I just turned in my last law school exam, I really don't need to be pissing God off right now.

I'm done.

I'M DONE!!!!!

I can't believe it. I actually made it to the finish line. I made it through law school (assuming, again, that I actually passed my last two exams -- though I can't imagine that I didn't, even if I did really poorly on them). Looks like my brother will be visiting me this weekend/next week, my parents and grandparents will be here for graduation in two and a half weeks, and barbri starts a week from Friday. All that's left is to find a place to live, plan a bar trip, and take (and hopefully pass) the bar exam.

But... I was a waitress just yesterday! How did this happen so fast?


I just have to note: I'm actually in the middle of my con law exam. Yes, I am taking a break from my exam to post to my blog. How cool am I? (I just keep chanting: "Cs get degrees! Cs get degrees!")

So last night I stayed up late to add goodies to my blog. As you'll notice, my sidebar has changed. I finally figured out how to make work (it's quite simple, actually; the problem before was that I had copied the wrong html code. It wasn't so much that the code itself didn't work, as that it was a customized code that looked really ugly on my blog. But I couldn't figure out how to get the un-customized code, which I finally did last night. I'm slowly but surely learning how to make all this internet coding stuff work :)). I got a Technorati profile and added my domain to some other blog directories in the hopes that it will stir up more traffic. I also added a site meter and link tracker. I feel so web-savvy!

So hopefully things will really start hopping. Of course, this also means I need to be better about continuous and frequent updates. It's okay -- really, studying for the bar doesn't take up that much time, right? ;)


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Everybody's leaving!


This is the hard part about graduating. I already miss JCA. Ross is heading out soon, too, and odderie and other 2Ls go to their summer jobs within the week. They'll be back next year, but I won't.

How am I supposed to study for con law when I'm so sad???

The Constitution is for Porn

So in the tiny bit of studying I'm doing for my First Amendment exam tomorrow, I've come across an opinion by Judge Easterbrook. It involves an anti-porn ordinance based on a model ordinance developed by Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin in the 1980s. I'll point out the parts of the opinion that stand out to me. If you're interested in reading the whole opinion, it's American Booksellers Ass'n. v. Hudnut, 771 F.2d 323 (7th Cir. 1985) (unfortunately Findlaw doesn't have this case).

The ordinance itself defines porn as graphic sexually explicit subordination of women -- including such things as presenting women as sexual objects who enjoy being raped, women as sexual objects being physically harmed, muitlated, bruised, or dismembered, women being degraded, tortured, or hurt in a context depicting their injury as sexual. Pretty hard-hitting stuff. Easterbrook calls the ordinance unconstitutional. Part of his reasoning: "It is irrelevant under the ordinance whether the work has literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."


I suppose "I know it when I see it" is a more compelling and constititionally sound standard for outlawing speech (to be applied, of course, overwhelmingly by rich white men). How silly to actually write statutes that attempt to weigh the harm to innocent third parties against barely-implicated (if implicated at all) First Amendment interests.

The True Porn Clerk perhaps best sums up the problem with porn, when speaking of a gay porn store patron who troubles the male clerks:
He freaks the shit out of the male clerks, and I understand why - it's pretty hideous to be an unwitting participant in someone else's sex act.

Sigh. I REALLY hope my First Amendment exam doesn't turn into a feminist rant. I think the prof is pretty level-headed, but I'm not sure how well he would take to a rant.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Pilate the media mogul

National Review Online has this piece about an inappropriate topic of conversation on a morning talk show in DC. Seems the host decided to run an informal contest to find the listener who'd had the most abortions (half the callers were men... I guess for some it counts as "having an abortion" if you knocked someone up and made her go through it). The host then laughed and joked his way through the segment. I mean, shucks, I sure find it hilarious to poke fun at broken lives and dead babies. What a hoot.

NRO takes issue with the FCC's skewed definition of obscenity -- and rightly so. Far too much valueless speech is protected under the First Amendment. It seems like a lot of morning shows set out to be offensive. Like, if you're not offensive enough, people won't listen to you. And unfortunately, they're probably right. This morning I was listening to a local DJ/morning show host who proclaimed that he didn't care if everyone hated him, as long as they tuned in to his show. And while it makes sense for radio stations to be concerned about the bottom line (i.e., high listenership to attract high advertising revenues), there's something horrifically mercenary and amoral about standing back, hands up, and saying "hey, I'm just giving the people what they want." As though they can somehow avoid moral culpability by refusing to intervene where they have the power to intervene. I don't believe that's ultimately true. I certainly hope it isn't. And I wish the government would recognize that it isn't.

We're fortunate to live in a society where we have the luxury of worrying about the all-important decisions that make the difference between being rich and being richer. But that's the short-sighted view. Freedom can't be supported without a baseline of fundamental human dignity, decency, and respect. Hopefully we'll remember that before we're left with a huge mess to clean up.


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Hooray, another time-waster!

My new favorite thing is picture-making sites. This one is pretty cool. It's in German but pretty self-explanatory.

It's me! Posted by Hello


Why there's really no point in studying for exams

I can always spring for a second career. Mmmmmm sex with creepy old guys...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Darth Vader is a DREAMBOAT

I'm in love with an evil ruler in a galaxy far, far away. I can't help it. He's just so pretty and tortured. He needs the love of a good woman (Padme clearly wasn't the right one for him). I would so draw him back from the Dark Side. Sigh...

I discovered this new love at the big Star Wars get-together I posted about not too long ago. In the last movie, a lot of critics disregarded his performance as "whiny" (unfairly, since George Lucas wrote the character to be whiny -- so the performance was actually quite a good one). Most seem to be satisfied with his transformation in this one, however. I have to concur. The entire movie was fantastic -- the horrendous "romantic" dialogue notwithstanding (actual gem from the movie: Anakin: "You are so beautiful." Padme: "Only because I'm so in love." Anakin: "No, it's because I'm so in love with you." Padme: "Are you saying love has blinded you?" The audience actually laughed out loud at that exchange). The movie finally ties the Star Wars universe together, though, and beautifully sets the stage for Episode IV (or as some call it, "Star Wars"). In addition to the fact that's it's an independently good movie, its tragic protagonist-turned-antagonist is easily the sexiest villain this side of Julie Newmar's Catwoman.

In addition, Hayden Christensen and I have a LOT in common. For instance, we were both born in 1981. Shocking! An even eerier coincidence: Hayden is Canadian. While I am not Canadian, my mother is -- and I suspect his is as well. Lastly, and most important: he has a home in Los Angeles. In a few months I, too, will have a home in Los Angeles. My God. It's a match made in heaven.

Yum Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sweet release

That's all, folks!

Yesterday late afternoon I emailed my professor my last law school paper, ever. All that now stands between me and graduation is a couple of exams. Psh! Exams! Worrying over exams is for non-3Ls.

I haven't read for, let alone attended, class very much the last couple weeks. This is actually pretty strange to me, as both in college and in my first two and a half years of law school I only rarely missed a class. And yet I don't fear exams. I'm sure I'll pass -- I'll make sure to study enough for that. The thing is, I used to care about grades, and now I just don't. Incredible how much easier life is when you stop caring about petty things like grades. Man, I thought this quarter was supposed to be awesome; I was wrong. This week is awesome.

And now I'm going to drink and fall asleep.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


My friend taught me something new just now: Bookman Old Style looks better than Times New Roman, and it also takes up more space, without looking (as is the problem with Courier New) like you're choosing the font just because it takes up more space.

I so got myself like an extra three pages on this paper. Score!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Looks like the joke's on me

Today is my sister's birthday. I sent her a box of stuff, which she got this afternoon, and she seemed to like everything. Cool. I love picking stuff out for people when they enjoy it.

So last year for my birthday my sister did this really sweet thing. And by sweet I mean diabolically evil. My birthday fell on a Sunday, and I had spent the evening before partying and dancing and drinking, meaning I stayed out VERY late. I stumbled into bed at an obscene hour and blacked out. A very short time later, around 6:00 AM or so, my cell phone rings. Groggy and hoarse, I answer the phone: "hullo?" And I'm greeted with a rousing rendition of the Happy Birthday song (which I won't reprint here out of fear of prosecution for copyright infringement). How kind of her. I vowed revenge.

I went to bed last night (this morning) almost giddy. I set my alarm for 7:00 (6:00 Colorado time), planning to repay my sister's kindness. When my alarm went off, I dragged my head from my pillow and picked up my phone. I vaguely remember scrolling down to her number and hitting "call" (early morning memories are even groggier, for me, than drunk memories). I put the phone to my ear and heard... nothing. It wasn't ringing. I furrowed my brow, hung up, and called again. Again, no ring. After a minute or two: "Hi, this is Noelle..." It had sent me straight to voicemail.

She had turned her phone off!!!!

Who turns their phone off, ever? I mean, I can see maybe putting it on vibrate when you need it to be quiet, but off? I know people who don't even turn off their phones on airplanes (by the way, for the record, this does not make the plane crash). It's like she knew I was going to wake her up.

I'm really pissed now. I set my alarm early just so I could wake her up, and it didn't even work! I'm really gonna get her back now. This time, when she's least expecting it.


Friday, May 13, 2005

The 6th Circle of Hell

That's my hypothesis. Two pages into my large final paper for Advanced Criminal Law (which was actually nominally due a couple weeks ago, but is absolutely non-negotiably due on Monday) and three pages into my shorter paper for Class Action theory (actually due Monday), I'm guessing I'm hovering somewhere near the 6th or 7th circle. I don't get it. In college I didn't have this kind of trouble writing papers -- I could plunk out a ten-pager in a matter of hours and expect an A on it. Now, I'm lucky if a day produces five halfway decent pages. And I've got a good 15-20 to finish by Monday. This is the part of law school I won't miss.

I've also added two new methods of procrastination to my already-impressive repertoire (which includes such classics as watching television, online shopping, chatting on IM, and playing my new digital piano :)): baking and watching cheesy 80s movies no one's ever heard of, let alone seen. Case in point: the 1987 blink-and-you-missed-it romp Campus Man. I actually own this movie. Don't worry, it was given to me. My family is big into the whole joke-gift thing (for instance, I also own a Klingon dictionary and almost every Dolph Lundgren movie ever made, not by any expression of desire for said items on my part). The punch line behind this joke is that it stars one of my relatives (by marriage). It also stars John Dye of Touched by an Angel fame, Kim Delaney of CSI fame, and Morgan Fairchild of the Old Navy commercials. I think she did something else too, but I forget what. While working on my papers this afternoon I put the movie on in the background, since I've never seen it before. The plot? College guy loses his scholarship, persuades best friend to help him make a beefcake calendar so he has money to stay in school, both guys get cute girlfriends. Throw in some other obligatory stereotypes and a few awed references to computers, and you've got yourself some classic 80s goodness.

Don't you miss the 80s? Posted by Hello

My other new favorite thing, baking, is making me fat. Especially since all I do now is sit in front of my computer, all day. So I have zero physical activity and lots of food. That's a really bad combination. Thank goodness I live alone -- I feel like a blob, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone seeing me looking like the blob-thing that I am. Whoever said writing papers was better than taking exams (*cough* JCA! *cough*) is much less of a procrastinator than I, delusional, or a glutton for punishment. Or some strange unworldly combination of the three.

Sigh. Back to hell for me...



There's a thunderstorm tonight. I don't really have much else to say. But I loooove thunderstorms.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Hey! Did you just call me a nerd? Yeah, okay...

One of the great things about being in law school, and perhaps at my school in particular, is that, relatively speaking, you're automatically cooler than you used to be. I was totally unpopular in high school. In college, I fared better, particularly towards the end of college. But finally, in my third year of law school, I am, and I quote several of my friends here, a "rockstar." It probably doesn't hurt that I'm also a lot hotter than I was in high school.

For instance: A week or so ago, a friend and I participated in the law school's talent show. She's talented, but I'm not. We sang a song -- and I can't sing (I mean, I can hold a tune, but I can't sing, and there is a difference). Yet, in spite of my screeching out the high notes (the ones I can't hit), we somehow made the top half in the final cut. Why? I'm sure, in part because of my friend's talent, but I can't help but also think it's because I just had a few friends in the audience. Or maybe I just have a big head. Regardless, I'm definitely cooler than I was in high school.

How do I know this? Because everyone at my school is a nerd. I include myself in this. I recently sent out a mass email inviting people to go see the new Star Wars movie with me, opening night. Yup, incredibly nerdy. I figured not too many people would want to endure the supremely nerdy crowds bound to turn out for the movie (at least I'm not in LA yet -- it would be about fifty times worse there, I think). But I got an awesome response -- so many that I went to the theater today to buy tickets, to make sure that those who already responded, at least, would have tickets to the show. I smiled self-consciously at the woman behind the counter as I requested 17 tickets for opening night. They took a good five minutes to print out.

But- ha! I have tickets for me and 16 friends to see the new Star Wars movie in a week and a half. Call me a nerd, but I'm quite excited by this. Best of all, I have no Thursday afternoon classes to keep me from standing in line ridiculously early and looking like the nerd that I am. Of course, I'm certain to be surrounded by people in wookie and Storm Trooper costumes. Again, given the context, perhaps I'm not such a nerd after all.

At any rate, it's nice to really fit in somewhere that I don't stick out as a terrific nerd (a terrific nerd meaning someone who's comparatively most nerdy, rather than a nerd who is terrific, which I am). And it's also nice to have a Thursday afternoon with nothing better to do than stand in line for a movie. This is why I'm going to miss law school.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Senioritis redux

I can't make myself do anything.

I have a paper due Tuesday morning that's supposed to be a response to a book I haven't cracked yet. Less than a week after that I have 20-page and 10-page papers due. I have 1-1/2 pages written for one. I don't even know the topic for the second.

And yet, as I sit here with a sizable chunk of time I could and should use on all this work, instead I am simultaneously watching The Simpsons, playing solitaire, obsessively checking my email and browsing pictures of adorable chihuahuas (I'm going to buy one. Actually, I'm going to buy two. Yup, I am buying two chihuahuas).

I have the entire weekend to get all this work done (minus time each night for various weekend outings, because what kind of a 3L would I be if I stayed in on the weekends?). And yet I know it somehow won't happen. I have the worst case of senioritis anyone has ever borne. The fact that if I don't finish these papers, I won't graduate, doesn't seem to be fazing me. I sit and I stare at my computer screen and nothing happens. Even though I'm one of those people who has always obsessed over grades and felt they were never good enough, I've actually reached the point of really not caring whether I completely bomb an exam, as long as I don't fail. Which, realistically speaking, I'm not going to. It really just doesn't happen. Thus, my utter lack of motivation of any sort. I know I'm not alone in my lethargy -- JCA just posted about her similar inability to focus.

On the plus side, I just broke my all-time record for fastest game of solitaire. Sweet.

Monday, May 02, 2005

H2O Smackdown!

I've discovered water polo. Innertube water polo, to be exact.

This turns out to be an important distinction. I talked on the phone to my dad after tonight's game. He asked what I'd been up to. I told him: "I just got back from playing water polo." "Whoa!" He was clearly impressed. "You must be tired," he said. "I am," I answered truthfully, "oh, but we play it with innertubes." "Ohhhh," he said, sounding considerably less impressed. There was a brief pause. "So how's life?" he finally asked.

It's okay. We may not get the respect of people who waste their energy treading water, but we still work damn hard. I'm going to wake up so sore tomorrow. But the good kind of sore. I think. Um, hope. And next time I play, I will definitely not have nachos and a beer before I go. Bleah.

So I got to the pool today, absolutely freezing cold (I rinsed off in the locker room before walking out to the pool. Fellow pool patrons, you're welcome), when one of my teammates who, for, um, absolutely no particular reason, we'll call Judge Posner, walks up to me. I was shivering, which he noted and then pointed out that he had worn shorts to the gym (it was like thirty degrees today. Damn Chicago weather). I glared at him. "Hey," he said, "why haven't you blogged about water polo?" I looked at him, eyebrows raised. "How do you know my blog??" It didn't bother me, since I'm only kind of quasi-anonymous, but my own notoriety surprised me. It also reminded me that I probably shouldn't post anything I wouldn't want my entire law school reading. Damn. Maybe I should make another blog for that. Judge Posner couldn't recall how he'd stumbled upon my blog, but he was certain it was me. "Am I that transparent?" I asked. "It's not that," he said, "but if someone had had a few conversations with you, they would know it was you. You write like you talk." I thought about that for a minute. It could be either very good or very bad. If my writing style is too colloquial, that may explain the downward trend in my grades (sigh). But if it isn't, then maybe I talk like a robot. Shit. Those are both bad.

I stop this unpleasant train of thought and pay attention to Judge Posner, who, as mentioned before, asked me: "why haven't you blogged about water polo?" Finally, I answer him. "Well," I said, "I haven't posted for a few days and I can't think of anything else to write about, so maybe I will post about water polo." I said this envisioning an exciting victory like the first game I played two weeks ago (we REALLY whipped that team. It was awesome). Instead, we got our asses kicked. Dammit. Well, we'll totally come back next week.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, you never know where you will find a fan of your blog. And it's really fun to name your friends after federal judges.