Sunday, March 30, 2008

Normal is as normal does

A funny thing happened on the way to the MSU basketball game, which Brian and I went to watch at our very favorite MSU-watching sports bar, Blondie's, on Friday night. We had to wait outside in line for a while, ugh, during which time we spoke with some other friendly Michigan State peoples. I chatted for a while with one young lady about various U.S. cities: we both love New Orleans, she recently bought a condo in Scottsdale, etc. When we came to L.A., however, we differed. I told her what I always say about L.A., that you can't really know about it by visiting it, that it really is great but that you hate it at first, and so on. She was still resistant. But the funny thing was what she next said to me, and I quote:

"You're, like, the most normal person I've ever met from L.A., though."

Further banter ensued about the high quantity (and quality) of messed up people in the City of Angels, and I surely cannot disagree. I remain amused by her comment. The most normal person in L.A. It's like, insert joke here. For example I thought of the quip from the movie Waiting: "So you're the coolest guy at Shenaniganz? That's like being the smartest kid with Down syndrome!" In a city of flagrant wackos, I can be the most normal. Cool!

Meanwhile, if you're bored and feel like doing something good for humanity, something in which I believe so strongly it makes my heart hurt, how about heading over here to give a dollar?

Seriously, one dollar. It's all I ask of you.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bo Derek's got nothing on me

When I was in the BYU Ski Club (we'll deal with the alarming nature of that first sentence later if it comes as a surprise to you; worry not! It's totally not the point of this post) we all piled in a van and headed from Provo up to Salt Lake City to hit the slopes. The BYU Ski Club was probably the organization most purely devoted to its mission, no frills, of any group I've ever joined. We had exactly one meeting: to get a head count of who was coming skiing. Then we got to have the perks of a university van, a budget, and as I recall some discount on the lift tickets for our Saturday adventures.

Being an officially university-sanctioned activity, however, there had to be some kind of liability/waiver/accountability. On the way up to our first ski adventure, my friend Amy and I sat in the back seat of the van, all wide-eyed and freshmen-ingenue-like, riding along with hard cores who had been skiing for basically three years straight and if nothing else would be sad to see their university careers come to an end because they might have to actually work five days a week and ski two instead of the opposite.

We filled out a form. It asked the usual stuff -- emergency contact, do you have health insurance?, and the like. It also asked us to rate our fitness including a question like this:

If in an emergency situation you had to run ten miles, could you do so?
-very easily
-somewhat easily
-with some difficulty
-with extreme difficulty
-not at all

At the time, I'm pretty sure my pencil hesitated over "with extreme difficulty." I may have even considered checking "not at all." At the time I was a confirmed half-ass jogger and I hadn't done crap for athletics my entire senior year of high school. This was all about to change as I embarked upon my skiing years, but at that moment I think I was lazy and I know I had never run ten miles before. Extreme difficulty, then.

Not anymore, my friends. Today I reached the ten-mile-run day in the training schedule of the 25K for which I am preparing, and indeed I ran it! Not with extreme difficulty either. Not even with "some." I don't want to go crazy or anything, but I do believe that I could now check the "somewhat easily" box. My training has paid off, and I am officially no longer the person I was on that early ski season day at age 17.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

O brave new world, that has such candidates in it

OK, now the Trojans have lost and I have read the entirety of B.O.'s speech, and I would say those are two big disappointments for the evening.

As far as I can tell, his speech was about unifying blacks and whites, although eventually he brought the Asians and Latinos into it, and then in the eleventh hour managed to throw Native Americans (yeah, remember them?) on the list. And I have yet to see him say anything other than flowery calls to Make Things Better. How? We'll never know...

Yeah, I must say, it really frustrates me -- perhaps more than it should -- when I ask repeatedly WHAT specifically it is about B.O. that you are all fawning over and all I get is "He is inspiring." It's so evangelical ... but it's also annoying and illogical.

I'm tired.

Here are a few people who I find very inspiring: Gloria Steinem. Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi. Bob Dylan. John Adams. Thomas Jefferson, too. And you know what I can tell you about them? Accomplishments. Specifics. Thoughts that can be articulated.

Whatever. You can't reason with this kind of evangelical fervor. Just like you don't reason with people when you want to dominate them; you give them soma and feelies.

And once again I must point out that I don't even dislike B.O. himself. (How could I? I don't know anything about him. I literally know more about his wife -- because of the recent piece about her in The New Yorker.) That's the whole thing. Unlike Monster Dubya Bush, ol' B.O. seems like there's nothing particularly malicious about him. But his followers...

What is the what...?!?!

Seriously, people. SERIOUSLY. What is the deal? Why, oh why, won't someone tell me?

So all over the place today I hear buzzing about "the Barack Obama speech." OK, I think, people are referring to "the speech" as if we should all know about it, and I haven't got a clue what they're babbling about, but apparently ol' B.O. has let fly a bunch of his "inspiring" "charismatic" rhetoric again, so I just sort of move on with my day. Only people continue to buzz about it. And change their Facebook status to talk about it. Yeah. This puts me over the edge and I break down and ask my friend (who has notoriously been wowed by his speeches from day one) (day one being the Democratic convention nominating Senator John "Never Really Had a Chance" Kerry) (yeah, remember that? when B.O. was new on the national political scene ... new ... three and a half years ago) (yeah, remember how he wasn't even IN the damn Seanate back when he didn't vote along with the Senate to go to war in Iraq? yeah, that) (OK, whhere was I? oh right, so I ask my friend) just what is this speech everyone is all up in a snit about. SO she sends me a link.

Well, I needn't have worried. It's just more of the same crap, as far as I can see. All this one does is show us that he, too, has been watching the fantastic John Adams mini-series this week on HBO. (Which, by the way, you should ALL be doing, whether you're an overrated presidential candidate or not.) I'm sitting here watching my beloved USC Trojans, who are making me nervous in their first-round game, and I'm trying to read B.O.'s "brilliant" speech and all it does is crash my Internet Explorer 2/7 of the way through reading it. But, 2/7 of the speech was enough to see that he is full of himself, or full of crap, or maybe a little of both.

Here's my paraphrase: blah blah race blah blah unity blah blah I'm black and white and read all over blah blah and then here's a part that caught my attention: after the Kenya-dad, Kansas-mom, wife with slave and slaveowner heritage, family of sisters and nieces and uncles of a million hues...he says, "This is the only nation on earth where this could happen." Excuse me? What does that mean? And why can he say such untrue things and not have anyone call him on it? This is the only country on Earth where you can be a mixed-race, multi-ethnic, varied hue family? Guess what, B.O? That is some B.S.!

You know what? Who cares about his dumb speech, I have to go watch my Trojans freak me out. More political rants later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Two months away...

So, Samuel Alito is visiting my law school today. (Yes, that Samuel Alito.) And here's the thing: I don't even care.

Now, don't take this the wrong way. Don't go assuming it's because he's all rabidly right-wing and I want no part of that. I'd be willing to hear any Supreme Court Justice without casting political judgments. But the deal is, I don't have class Tuesdays, and I try to get things done at home and avoid commuting to Long Island five days a week. And his visit fell on Tuesday, and no, it did not inspire me to trek out there to go hear him speak (no backpacks or laptops allowed! How very secure.) I'm just so blase about law school right now, let alone extra schlepping.

In other news...I find myself asking is there any other news? Or is my life just law school, fretting about law school, looking around the house at neglected chores and piles of papers, and more fretting about law school? But after a recent meltdown in which I seriously just wanted to crawl under the covers and not have to go back to this semester ever again I decided, if I may speak frankly, f*** this! Not only is nothing worth being this miserable about, but nothing deserves that much of my energy if it is not going to nourish me back. Nothing. Ewww. I'm not even amused anymore when I talk to other second-year law students who are suffering from the Halfway Through Law School Depression. I just nod and think, check, there's another to add to the list.

I am running. We are preparing to run a 25K in May and I'm so excited. The 25K nicely coincides with the end of my semester, so it's like this mega countdown inside my head serving a dual purpose. So far I am at 100% for sticking to my goal of following the 25K training schedule every day in March. I have also been going to yoga almost every week, occasionally twice a week. Now, I just want to get back to gymnastics, which I joyously went to once in January and promptly injured myself (not there - elsewhere, after) and haven't been back. I think my dodgeball thumb might be finally ready to be healed though. Soon. Very soon. My point in this paragraph is, can you imagine how even more crappy I would feel if I weren't also exercising? Shudder to think.

So here are the other highlights of the week: we make homemade salsa! we have a fabulous Lost-watching ritual that includes the most delicious ice cream from the place two seconds away that is totally secret and awesome! during my long Sundays at work I can look forward to yummy Grand Morelos enchiladas for dinner! The New Yorker! Entertainment Weekly! and I'll always have Netflix!

Really, though, the salsa thing is awesome beyond belief. Our household rules.

By the way, for those of you who care about this kind of thing (and there are those among you who do, I know, and there would be one more if my sister ever got around to reading my blog anymore) Justice Alito was the assistant to Rex Lee when he was Solicitor General, and then Rex Lee's son law clerked for Alito. Isn't that lovely.

Summer job? What summer job? Having your summer job lined up by March is so overrated...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A. I.

There appears to be some sort of vast conspiracy to get me to watch American Idol.

I have identified several member of the conspiracy and have strong suspicions about a couple of others. Some have not done anything conspiratorial until very recently. Others, as I look back with hindsight, I can see may have been involved in this conspiracy for a while.

Member of this conspiracy apparently range from coast to coast, from family members to strangers I've never met (e.g. Carrie Underwood)...

I point this out only now because recently, very recently, the conspiracy has begun to have marginal success.