Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The last frontier

Even when our dreams are fascinating to us, they rarely are to others, unless the others starred in them. So I won't tell the plot etc. of my dream here. What I will tell you is that last night I had a dream that I got a job this summer in Alaska. It was vivid. So wickedly vivid, that I can remember even now many a detail. And I feel like it was some kind of sign.

Yesterday, a couple of law school friends and I stood around chatting and fretting about our lack of jobs/internships for this summer. As more and more people we know cement their gigs, others of us are like, hmmm, what will I do? where will I be? My main issue is that all the things I want to do (human rightsy internships) are unpaid, and my budget has decided it wants me to do a paid job. (gag. law firm. gag gag gag.)

And then, a dream. In which I clearly was given a job in Alaska, of all places, and I was flown there and given an apartment to live in, and a decent-paying job. Which, I might add, was not a human rightsy internship.

I know that not everyone takes such deliveries from the universe as intended signs but seriously--it's just that I never (well, hardly ever) remember a dream, and so clearly as the plot/characters/dialogue/setting of this one, without some effort, such as writing it down or telling it to someone immediately upon awakening. Or at the very least attempting to remember it. This one just stuck with me, creeping back into my thoughts all morning. What is it trying to tell me?

Because there is one place I know of where I can get a job and they pay for my airfare and apartment and a somewhat decent salary, and it sure ain't Alaska. But it's close. I passed by Alaska on the way there.

Then again, I would happily take it literally and move to Alaska for the summer. In the dream, in fact, at one point I was delighted when I realized, Hey! My forty-ninth state! And you know, I think there are a lot of cool, long-haired-freaky-people there.

"Signs, signs, everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?!"
--who wrote that song anyway? i don't know the names of anyone in the five man electrical band

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Say it! Say it! The emperor has no clothes!!

Convenient. British soldiers taken captive by Iran. How utterly, utterly convenient for a warmongering administration. I can't even think of anything to say that would sufficiently convey my disgust. Someone, somewhere has got to lay off the Prozac and rustle up some outrage. For the love of all that is holy.

W. Ugh. W is for WHATEVER. Except, it's not Whatever. It's horrifying. It is a horrifying, horrifying thing, what we have allowed this Administration to do. I think I might plead guilty at Guantanamo, too, to get out of their clutches. Five years. FIVE YEARS David Hicks was held down there. I heard that on the news today, that his family member or someone said that's why he pled guilty. Anything to get out of their and to somewhere respectable, like an Australian jail.

Granted, not everyone who supposedly voted for Bush actually did so, but still. Enough fools did. Enough ridiculous, soulless, hideously mistaken voters cast their ballots for that supremely ridiculous example of wrongness to make it almost plausible that W was a winner. And all of you who cast those votes, my god, you all have blood on your hands.

But, then again, here we all sit idly by...

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I hate when the internet eats things. Or is it the computer that eats things? I was just sitting here delightedly rambling about L.A. and then I went to post the entry it and it disappeared. UGH. Well, I will give you the highlights:

  • I have Los Angeles on the brain.
  • This is partly because of my Literary Supplement blog.
  • This is partly because there is a new impulse buy CD at the Starbucks where I find myself on Thursday mornings called Sounds Electic which is put out by KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" which is the best music show ever. KCRW, oh ye uninformed, is the best public radio station ever. It's in L.A. What I find most intriguing and delightful about the CD is the design on the cover featuring the L.A. subway system. So many people don't even know L.A. has a subway system. But I know! I've ridden it! I love it! Also, L.A. has a better bus system than Boston. TWENTY-FOUR HOURS, people. That's all I'm sayin'.
  • Meanwhile, earlier today one of my friends was blogging about Al Gore and wind and she called him a hypocrite and I think An Inconvenient Truth was a crap film but I do like wind power and I think there are lots of gas-guzzling, energy-sucking hypocrites as my friend pointed out but they sure as hell aren't all in L.A. and you should all watch Who Killed the Electric Car?
  • And hello!!! USC and UCLA are both in the Sweet 16! I am so happy with my Trojans. I was going to give up on them a while back and just chalk it up to another crappy basketball year from my football-lovin' alma mater, but instead they are so going to come through, I swear it! I am all about a championship game between USC and Kansas. The rest of my bracket is a laugh. I have only six right in the sixteen. But my L.A. schools are so there!
  • And now I'm off to go watch UCLA beat Pittsburgh.
  • It's kind of fun to summarize a blog entry you just wrote, but that's no excuse for little web gremlins eating it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Equinox Procrastination

OK. Wow! So much going on. It's getting to that never-going-to-catch-up point. First of all, today is the day to usher in spring, and I am going to do so with one of my very favorite life activties, an Indigo Girls concert. In fact, I am getting pumped up for it (as if I needed any Indigo pumping) by listening to them on Talk of the Nation. So for you who have yet to experience the glory of Indigo, have a listen to the show segment. Public radio + Indigo Girls = a little bit of heaven on earth.

And I love seeing them in Manhattan! This will be my fourth time seeing them in concert in Manhattan, not counting seeing them play live on two TV show tapings here. (Hmmm, it occurs to me that if I'd kept up that habit I could actually have watched more television as a live audience member than as a regular viewer.) I really, really, really want to hear them play their cover of "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" tonight. If you know the song, you totally get why I want to hear it IN New York, and if you've heard a recording of them covering it, you can understand my desire even more. If you've heard them do it live, I'm so jealous I don't even want to talk about it. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Ah, so where was I? The Ides of March. Right. I have a million things to mention, but I'll start with this. I loved the Ides of March. On that day, I was coming up from the subway in Forest Hills, and saw the Metro newspaper with a headline like "9/11 mastermind confesses..." Immediately I thought, UGH. "Confess"...right. Was that a CIA-induced "confession"? The latest ploy from the Bush administration to up his approval ratings? So many possibilities. Then, I popped into Starbucks and before acquiring my delicious, overpriced beverage of choice, I saw the New York Times and noted that THEIR headline was "9/11 Mastermind Said To Confess." Thank freakin' god some media outlet has the sense to question a thing or two. Especially considering where we are.

Where are we? Four years in, that's where. Four years ago this week was the run-up to the launching of the latest war in Iraq. Four years ago Bush et. al. were ignoring among other things the United Nations, countless protests, international opinion, the sense god gave a goose...and they went marching off to warmonger. I remember that week well. The Oscars followed shortly thereafter, I think two days. Michael Moore won Best Documentary for Bowling for Columbine, and he stood up there and noted that he and his fellow documentary filmmakers were in pursuit of truth, while as a nation we had just had our fictitious president start his war for fictitious reasons. Three days after that, I quit smoking. I always know how long we've been at war with Iraq, because it also tracks my smoke-free life. Four years. Four long years, y'all.

"I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind,
got my paper and I was free..."
-- indigo girls, 'closer to fine'

Interesting, what can happen in four years. You can get a college degree (although, ahem, some of us might take a bit more leisurely approach to that particular timeline). You can raise a child from a helpless newborn to a rambunctious, thinking, reading little one. You can be a President(a real one) for an entire term.

Or you can kill a lot of people.

Oh, and by the way, before IG and TotN I was completely enthralled to discover and am newly addicted to Flixster. If you know me, you probably got my invite. I think I love it.

Does anyone else think Laura San Giacomo
can play me in the movie of my life? I maybe will call it Lindigo Girl.

"You work in the system,
you see possibilities and you glisten,
I show the hell you're gonna give them,
when they back off the mic for once and give it to a woman...
What we get from your war walk,
the ticker of the nation breaking down like a bad clock
I want the pendulum to swing again,
so that all your mighty mandate was just spitting in the wind.
It doesn't come by the bullwhip,
it's not persuaded with your hands on your hips,
it's not the company of gunslingers,
the epicenter love is the pendulum swinger!
She is, she is, she is..."

--indigo girls, 'pendulum swingers'

Monday, March 19, 2007

I am the shamrock and it is me


I just want everyone to note that this weekend saw everything from work to play, from labor and delivery to the definition of love, from visits to a police precint (totally innocent, of course) to inhaling massive amounts of Starbucks...and, oh, yeah, a whole lot of St. Patrick's going on. I would love to tell you all about it but I'm off to Property class. Remain there, perched on the edge of your seat. I'll be back.

Maybe this can tide you over...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's not that I loved law school less,
but that I loved brackets more

It's the Ides of March! I love the Ides of March! So much Ides love. And I have many things to say about this day, but unfortunately I must not stop working on my Appellate Brief That Has Taken Over My Life But Is Nearly Finished If I Could Just Stop Obsessively Checking Every Five Seconds...

But my NCAA bracket! I have to know. It's tempting, ever so tempting, to alt-tab away from my Table of Authorities and Bright v. Baesler and de novo standard of review. But I must keep going. I am so close. I see the light at the end of the appellate brief tunnel. So, tomorrow (and tomorrow and tomorrow...oh, wrong play) I will tell all about my joyous Ides of March. For now, I invite you to fondly recall last year's Ides of March, wherein I educated many a Korean child about the soothsayer's warning to Caesar. Frankly, I could really use a soothsayer for my bracket. But I guess I'm all right. So far I have nine right and three wrong.

Et tu, Duke?

Saturday, March 10, 2007


OH MY goodness, my friend Amy had the best dream EVER! She dreamed I was having an affair with George W. Bush! And, it gets better, Hillary Clinton was his wife. And whenever Amy would try to ask me what I could possibly be thinking, I would just shrug and blow her off. And Hillary kept referring to me as "that girl."

Doesn't that dream just absolutely RULE! I love that I starred in such a dream.

What does it all mean?!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Michigan, M*A*S*H Again

So, I've got Michigan on the brain. Partly because I happened to be pondering it after a silly little survey I did on MySpace yesterday (and for those of you who STILL aren't on MySpace -- nor Netflix -- I just don't know what to say to you). I was thinking about how many people in my life are from Michigan. It's actually a little strange. Or is it? Do you think we could be drawn to people from certain states? And do our preferences change over time? I may be on the verge of a new major life hypothesis here?

Or is it simply that I've been moving around the country so much that I'm bound to meet more people from Michigan. But why the high concentration from that state? I mean, just on MySpace, seven of my friends (and nine of my "friends") are either in or from Michigan. I have 61 MySpace Friends. That's more than 10%! That outnumbers my Arizona MySpacers! OK, forget MySpace. Just in general, what's up with Michigan's ever-increasing presence in my life?

I mean, I've got nothing against Michigan. The University of Michigan was on my short short list of law schools forever until I decided to go for the less loans/more scholarship approach. One of my all-time favorite pieces of trivia is about Michigan. When I was a journalism major and practitioner, Michigan was on my radar a lot because the Detroit Free Press is a well-regarded paper. I remember one of my esteemed USC journalism professors saying Detroit was like the best city in the world to cut your journalist teeth, because it had it all: a major news making industry, a high crime rate, a nearby international border, lots of corruption, and even crappy weather.

I've been to Michigan twice, although I haven't spent a lot of time there. It's not my least visited of the lower 48, though. Those are Montana and Kansas. And I believe the Kansas thing has to be remedied this summer. I feel a Capote-induced Holcomb/Garden City literary pilgrimage coming on. But I digress. Anyway, I even remember the first moment of my life I ever gave any thought to Michigan. I was really little, and my dad went on a business trip to Michigan. Correct me if I'm wrong, any family member who's reading this, but didn't he go to Grand Rapids? I've still never been to Grand Rapids--home of Gerald Ford--and I, one of the few, the proud, the U.S. citizens born under the ever-so-brief Ford regime. But I digress again. So, yeah, I remember Dad coming back from Michigan with t-shirts for my sister and me. I remember standing on my grandparents' driveway in Sun City. What did the t-shirts say? Mom? Anyone?

OK, well, when I'm not procrastinating writing my 30-page appellate brief on this blog or on MySpace, now that Oscar season is over I have resumed using Netflix to watch every episode of M*A*S*H, all the seasons in order, which project I launched upon returning from Korea because I have always loved M*A*S*H but I look at it differently now after doing my time over there. Last night on Season 3 Disc 2 I watched the episode "Alcoholics Unanimous." It made me laugh and laugh. First of all, because it's always funny when Hot Lips gets drunk. Not to mention Father Mulcahy and Klinger. Secondly, though, because that whole conversation where Frank Burns interrogates Hawkeye and Trapper about why they drink and challenges them and GIVES THEM THE QUIZ about being alcoholics--seriously, I think Melissa, Sara, Mieka and I had that EXACT conversation, quiz and all, one dark Daegu night. Or several dark Daegu nights. I remember one of the girls posing the philosophical question, did we drink because we were in Korea? Or were we in Korea because we drank?

Endlessly fascinated as I am by both M*A*S*H and, newly, Michigan, I must now go to Apellate Advocacy class and pretend I've spent the last half hour researching cases online as I actually came to the library to do, instead of a mere five minutes before I started rambling about wolverines and great lakes and such.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Calling

Today sees the release of a new Mary-Chapin Carpenter album. Thus, today also sees me in blissful reverie as I listen to her soothing tunes, and blogging about same.

I knew it was coming, and I'd even been bugging my sources in multimedia-box-opening land at Borders if they'd chanced upon a promo copy of it yet. (Alas, in this age of digital music, the promotional CD is practically the dodo bird. The promo is dead, long live the promo!) But it wasn't until last night that I walked by the poster, and touched the CD, and saw MCC in all her contemplative, guitar-toting, wistful, reflective, black-and-white-picture glory, and my heart began racing. I had a total physical reaction upon looking at it. You look, too! Click here.

Anyway, so that's a great thing to happen on any Tuesday, to have a new release from one of my favorites. I've been listening to her for well over half my life. Mary-Chapin, Indigo Girls, R.E.M., they're my stalwarts. I mean, I've also been listening to Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel and The Mamas and the Papas and Joan Baez and such-like hippies, and other classic rock, not to mention standards and classical music, for my entire life, but see, those were around when I was born. The aforementioned trio of die-hard favorites are the ones to whom I started listening AS they were producing their music. Well, maybe R.E.M. had started before I really paid attention and I had to catch up on a few tapes. (Tapes! I love it.) But I continue to listen, and the most delightful part, they continue to make music. A lifetime later. There are others I loved then who seem to have dropped off my still-actively-listening and salivating-about-new-releases radars: Sinead O'Connor, say. Melissa Etheridge. Or whose bands have broken up: INXS, The Wonder Stuff, 10,000 Maniacs. Or who joined my fold in the late- or post-college years: Erin McKeown, Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin. This is to say nothing of the myriad other artists I listen to, or the ones in whom I dabble.

But as far as artists who consistently are in my heart and thoughts, and whose new releases I'll never miss (well, once I forgave R.E.M. for the travesty that was Monster, which forgiveness took a while), I think R.E.M. and Indigo Girls and my girl Mary-Chapin Carpenter are the ones whom I tapped into in the late eighties, who carried me through adolescence, and who have stayed by my side since, even as we have all changed and grown.

I once theorized, with some fellow die-hard Indigo Girls fans, that my fandom of them is sort of like being "married" to them. (One can do this sort of thing, with equally die-hard Indigo Girls fans, and not have eyebrows raised at one.) Stick with me, 'cause it's just a metaphor, and I think it's a good one. We've been together through thick and thin. I met them when I was an adolescent. I came to love them. They have become so woven into my life and I can neither remember being without them nor conceive of what the intervening years would have been like had I never met them. Sometimes, their albums aren't quite the crush-tingly-butterfly excitement I once felt for them, but this is a good "marriage" and they have never done anything to make me lose respect for them. I will always listen to them. It's not even a question.

And in this metaphor, R.E.M. is kind of like my first love, that I didn't end up being with. And I'm at peace with that life decision. I don't answer "R.E.M." when asked my favorite band, but I continue to listen to them, and occasionally when I do it is very nostalgic and heartfelt and good. Also, I kind of went away from them for a few years--not in anger, just some space. They're like the ex you had to take a break from before being friends, but now we are good, and have been for years.

And I think Mary-Chapin--I don't know. She's like, the one I never ended up together with, even though I maybe should have. When I first spent time with her (high school, and her getting country-station airplay) I'm not sure we really understood each other. We had a lot of great times, but seemed to be heading in different directions, and I never made her my first priority. Later, I rediscovered her, and still later after she left the trappings of Nashville far behind, I realized I really could have loved her.

Yeah, yeah, the analogy starts to break down here, because of course I do love her, and I have sat in concert halls, enthralled and touched to the very fiber of my being, and it's not really "cheating on" Indigo Girls, and all that. That's the great thing about music! We can all be players! And just listen to and love them all!

Only I still feel sad for those who, in the words of "Melissa"(which I consider the official All-Time Best Song That Is Also A Woman's First Name) know many but love none.

"Everybody's waiting for a sign
I won't worry, I think we'll be just fine
in your life story
It's your life story, and my life story
this is our life story..."
--mary-chapin carpenter, 'your life story'
(from the new album!)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Weeks End

Today is Friday. (Ahhh, remember when I taught my Korean students what "TGIF" really means? They only knew the restaurant chain, which, along with Outback Steakhouse, has quite a presence in Korea. Good times.) Normally on Fridays I have my AA meeting (that's Appellate Advocacy) in the morning, but today class was cancelled due to a death in my professor's family. I'm rather sad for him. It's also weird. I've been thinking a lot of random thoughts about death lately (but don't take that the wrong way) for a variety of reasons. Two of the main ones are 1)ailing members of my own family and 2)reading In Cold Blood (which gets somewhat chronicled on this blog's so-called literary supplement).

I don't really have a point, other than the weirdness of it all. Oh, and the weirdness of time passing. Like, it's already March. Hello? Despite how delightful I found this particular dawning of a new month, again for a variety of reasons, the little yellow blossoms that replace February's snowflakes on my cell phone's calendar not the least among them, I am also a bit overwhelmed by the March-ness of it all. And not just because the Oscars are over, The Vagina Monologues are over, I need to find a softball team, I still never made it skiing, I have to do my taxes, I haven't decided which basketball team to root for (I was distracted for a second there when I briefly pretended I thought USC had a shot at Sweet Sixteening it up) and I really need to finish my appellate brief (for aforementioned Appellate Advocacy) because we are about to move into the oral arguments portion of the semester.

Um - but life is interesting. It really is! That's all. I'm just glad Castro is feeling better, the very week I make substantial progress in the book I'm writing in which he is -- relevant. He's so misunderstood. Here's hoping my book won't be!