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Archive for March, 2009

Groundhog Day

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I’m late for the official holiday.

Today, my day began at 8 am with pain & pediculosis (in lab), and my day ended with spring guns and man traps at 8 pm (in class). (Note:  if you know any rare tulip growers, DON’T go tiptoeing through their tulips, and if you took Torts, you are probably already familiar with the case.)

Although I’m really tired, I have to say, that I am really also lucky, and this very day is just one example why I’m lucky. The day was awesome because of the variety within the day itself.  It is pretty safe to say that I doubt I’ll ever encounter another day where I get the chance to think about lice, rare tulips, and spring guns all in one 24 hour period.  

My worst fear realized would be to live Groundhog Day (the movie).  I really don’t like doing the same thing over and over.  Some people love the routine, but I can’t say that is my cup of tea.  The change and variety keeps my brain fresh.

Whether or not you love the variety or the stability, even if you are exhausted, enjoy it if you can.


Monday, March 30th, 2009

Those who know me well know that I’m not a past-dweller; however, once in awhile, I wax nostalgic about a few of my favorite things.  Here are a few that I miss:

1.  Reading for fun – between work reading and school reading, the fun has kind of been sucked out of my reading.  Hopefully this summer I can change that.
2.   Pen Pals – when I was a kid, I had about a dozen or so pen pals, all over the world.  I could not WAIT for the mail to go every day to get a super cool air-mail letter from one of my OUS homies.  Now all I get are bills and junk.
3.  Playing instruments – and singing.  No time for stage and screen.  Although, I do have some occasional concerts in the car, but that doesn’t really count as a live performance with a real audience.
4.   Bright sunny days and time to get out in them and exercise.  My brain just works better with vitamin D and endorphins released.
5.   Mom’s cooking – cause I sure don’t cook for myself, and some of her cooking is tough to beat.

So, on my behalf, next time you can – read, write, sing, walk/run, and cook and enjoy for the rest of us!

When All Else Fails….Bake!

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

I’ve been more than a little frustrated all day with my appellate brief.  I REALLY tried to write it, but my point headings and subpoint headings aren’t good (at all), and until I get them right, the argument section really ain’t happenin.  I think the frustration is part of the legal writing process.

So, I did what any normal girl would do…I walked away from the pile of paperwork, busted out some Louis Armstrong, and got my baking on.  That’s right, I spent a whopping 88 cents on a chocolate cake mix and made some cupcakes.  When I can’t write, I bake.  I’m starting to think Betty Crocker was on to something.  Baking for me is therapeutic.  And the outcome – 24 chocolate cup cakes – beats the pants off a legal writing paper any day of the week.

Now I know what you’re thinking…but sexual stereotypes aside, this would also work for men, especially if they have a sweet tooth.  (Although, NEVER let my dad bake in ANY kitchen…my mom has a nightmare story or two of his escapades of baking in the kitchen…and although I wasn’t there to witness it at the time, the story doesn’t end with sweet goodies at the end – just a messy kitchen.)  

Sometimes, if we are pushing too hard, it is just time to ‘reboot’ (as U2 says), back away from the mess, and mentally check over to a different brain region.  Try it.  And if you end up baking, send me a cupcake!

I Heart Homemade

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

One of my favorite shows this morning had one of my new favorite companies featured on it.  CBS Sunday this morning looked at homemade and handmade goods with Etsy and founder, Rob Kalin. I’ve talked about Etsy to my students–in that no matter what your profession is, your dayjob, or whatever you choose to do, you can always have options to do more.  Etsy is such a platform to do so.  If you have profession X, but love to make a certain kind of widget by hand, to support your artsy/creative side, you can do BOTH!  Being entrepreneurial and creative isn’t an all or nothing deal.  You don’t have to leave your dayjob in order to start selling something, or become entrpreneurial.  And that is my favorite thing about Etsy.  

I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that they also sold around $88M in goods on line last year either…

Law School Prom, Part Deux

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

So, here’s a photo from law school prom of the fabulous 4:

From left to right, left is my prom date, Kathryn (thanks for inviting me, K!), Nic, the Dancing queen.  My trusty side kick, Batman is next (aka Courtney), and yours truly, the big Red Robin is on the right.

Fun was had by all.  However, the one thing I learned is that I’m probably a little too old for law school prom.  At least I won’t regret it when I turn 86 that I did not attend…hahaha!


Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Irving R. Levine died yesterday at the age of 86.  I just read about it, and had a lot of respect for him as a newsman (and dug the bow tie).  As I was reading, I thought about the number 86, as I recall quite a few people in my life who have passed at the age of 86.  There are phrases we’ve all heard, such as, “86 the light”, which means to remove or dispose of.  But then I began to think – why or how did the number 86 get this definition?

The best reason I could find was on  The term 86 = to remove or end usage began at a bar in NYC called Chumley’s, conveniently located at 86 Bedford Street.  During prohibition, the bar allegedly was given notice prior to raids, where the bartender would command “86 everybody!” before the police arrived.

Now, not to get morbid, but I think the number 86 might also be a good age to pass on.  The number already has an assigned form of termination around it, and it also is a good age in order to still have quality of life potentially around it, rather than just quantity of life, where people are kept alive, but perhaps  only mechanically.  I have respect for the number—both by timeline and by definition.

If I do 86 at the age of 86, that means I have nearly 50 years left.  Good news, as I haven’t reached midlife just yet, either!  And to our revered newsman, Mr. Levine, we certainly hope he’s doing some reporting (with his bow tie) somewhere in the next life.

Lots of Fail

Friday, March 27th, 2009

I used to get a lot of snail mail.  Then I started signing up to have less of it.

I also used to get a lot of fail.  I still do.  But I’m totally cool with fail, because failure to me means that success is just around the corner.  Don’t we all need to fail, frequently, in order to learn and to appreciate the success along the way?

I’m looking forward to spectacularly failing again soon.  More fail on the way!

Law School Prom

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

So, I’m not totally sure how I talked myself into going to law school prom this coming weekend, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the following: 1. overdosing on Cinderella when I was really little, 2. graduating to Molly Ringwald and Pretty in Pink and watching it so much that it wore out the VHS tape and was thus forced to buy it on DVD, to 3. attending my own proms back in high school, which were actually pretty fun. Law school prom will be more interesting now that I’m older, not necessarily wiser, and adult beverages will be served.

Nostalgia aside, sometimes it is just nice to get dressed up, go out, have fun, and forget that there is a mountain of work and worry waiting at home.  

Ah, if the only worry we had was to choose between Blaine or Duckie…life would be swell!

Getting Smarter is Good for the Economy

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

This article appeared in the WSJ today, and it makes a very good case for the importance of a good education, from the economic development point of view.  Some college towns have lower rates of unemployment in this economic mess we’re in.  And, as citizens of the city or town where people live get more educated, salaries tend to rise.

If we can figure out a way to make post-high school education more affordable, we’ll be that much further ahead.  Not only will our minds expand, but so will the economy, potentially!

‘We’ is the New ‘Me’

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Two things about me: 1. I am a trend hunter.  I heart new stuff! That includes everything from new teaching methods, to fashion, to business, and to a lot of other stops along the way.  2.  The older (and perhaps wiser, although I doubt it at times) I get, the more I am fully realizing that we are all one.  It is very Jungian, very Bohmian, but don’t worry, I’m not going to go into philosophy nor quantum physics this evening, my brain is too far gone for either of those topics.

Maybe I’ll just pull out a little Occam’s Razor to explain: sometimes, the simplest explanation is best.  I think the concept of “We” really is the new “Me”.  When we help others get to where they are going or want to go, we in turn are helping ourselves.  We are really all in this together.

I had an utterly fascinating conversation with Dr. Irwin Braverman today about how art can be used to teach students how to jump start their observational skills.  (He’s a rock star in medicine at Yale – you can Google him if you want to know more.) The LAST thing he probably had time for was to talk to a mere student/assistant professor today, but he DID take the time and we had a wonderful chat.  He probably is also way ahead of me in this concept as well, in that he took the time (the only resource that is finite) to talk to someone who was interested in his work, and that is AWESOME!  He clearly gets the ‘we’ is the new me concept.  I only hope that I may return the favor soon–either to him, or to someone else, in order to pass it on.

And I suppose I could have written “We” ARE the new me, but it just doesn’t sound as snappy.