Monday, March 31


I love to be joyfully amazed that fantastic things can happen in people's everyday lives, even when the world around us feels scary and hopeless.

So a teary congratulations to M & C for being 8 weeks pregnant with their first -- and long-awaited and long-prayed-for -- baby. Hang in there, lady!

Friday, March 28

Capt. Eric Puls of Bangor, Me., tried to collect himself yesterday at Fort Hood, Tex., after saying goodbye to family members including his 2-year-old daughter, Katherine. Captain Puls, part of the Army's Fourth Infantry Division, left for Kuwait later.
(Photo by Saurabh Das/AP)

Be for the war, be against it, but don't think for a moment that our troops are actually enjoying it.

Thursday, March 27


When I am done here and enter the real world of practicing law, I will . . .
. . . always be on time.
. . . never talk back to the judge.
. . . be polite to opposing counsel and shame them into being kind back to me.
. . . not wear big chunky necklaces that reflect light into the jurors' eyes.
. . . remember to stand up when addressing the Court.
. . . spell-check my documents.
. . . shower each morning.
. . . prepare my witnesses.
. . . not wear muu-muus to court.
. . . be my own happy goofy self.
. . . not leave important documents at home.
. . . not call to cancel conferences at 5:15pm the evening before the conference.
. . . control my voice so I don't shriek or whine at dog-decibel levels.
. . . not roll my eyes or sigh heavily and morosely at everything opposing counsel says.
. . . not let my clients roll their eyes or sigh heavily and morosely at everything opposing counsel says.
. . . be nice to the secretary (if I'm ever lucky enough to have one).
. . . be nice to the Clerks of the Court.
. . . not read the newspaper when the judge is speaking.
. . . attempt to discover the answers to my stupid questions before asking them.
. . . not spill water on counsel table during a proceeding.
. . . not tamper with the jurors.
. . . not yell at the judge's law clerks.
. . . make friends with the court reporters.
. . . address everyone as Mr. ___ or Ms. ___.
. . . not assume that every woman that answers the phone on the other end is a secretary.
. . . not cry.
. . . not lie.

Wednesday, March 26

Go to the New York Times main page, scroll down to the Slide Shows section, and browse through "Children of the War."

Children love candy . . . and peace.
You learn something new everyday . . .

HAGIOGRAPHY: a biography that idealizes or idolizes the person. (Used by the New York Times to describe Baghdad and Saddam Hussein.)
Used in a sentence: "I wish someone would write a hagiography about me."

And, if the thought of desert sand smacking you in the face at 50 m.p.h. makes you cringe in pain, you may not want to read this, an article about desert sand smacking you in the face at 50 m.p.h..

Monday, March 24


Dear Troops:

Hi. How's it going? Dumb question -- we all hear how it's going, and it doesn't sound so good. In fact, it sounds downright scary, sad, violent, loud. Are you scared? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well? Are you still able to kick back during downtime and play a game of cards, or read a magazine, or rest? Are you leaning on each other, praying for each other, crying on each other's shoulders and letting it all out, so you can recharge and get back out there? Are you sick of it all, or are you still pumped up for the fight? Are you just aching for a bubble bath, or some McDonald's french fries, or a big fluffy carpet to squeeze your clean bare toes into?

Things back home are okay. We had the Oscars last night -- it was vaguely entertaining. Steve Martin was hilarious -- I hope you got to catch some of him. Him, and Adrian Brody planting one on Halle Berry. That was pretty crazy. And did you not think Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah looked awesome? I hope you saw it and were able to enjoy yourselves, if even for a moment. Not much else is going on here, though -- we're all watching you and thinking about you. We watched Peter Jennings cry on air yesterday evening, speaking via phone to the mother of Army Spc. Joseph Hudson, one of the American POWs. Dan Rather and Larry King are being their usual wacky selves -- also pretty entertaining. But for the most part, it's all about you lately.

I hope you're not annoyed and disheartened that life is going on here as normal (or as normal as it can be under the circumstances) while you're out there doing your thing. We're not being inconsiderate, or ignoring what's happening in our world. I think we just feel secure, knowing that we're Americans, knowing that we have you to fight for us and protect us, even from far, knowing that we are not the kind of people to stand paralyzed by shock or fear. I feel that for the most part, I, and others around me, and probably even those folks in Hollywood, want to honor you all by showing you that just like you, we will not be afraid to get up in the morning and face what comes. We are not idiots, lolling about idly and waiting stupidly for the world to get nicer. We are stalwarts too, doing OUR thing even when it's hard, even when we want to cry, even when we want to stare at you through the television to make sure you're okay, even when we want to bunker down in our basements and hide from reality. So instead of being discouraged by us, I hope you are encouraged, knowing that because of you and your predecessors, we live in a country in which -- despite its imperfections -- we can get up and drive to work safely, we can put on pretty dresses and tuxes and have fun, we can eat and drink and laugh freely, we can read everything and anything we want, we can celebrate all the great things of life, and we can speak at liberty.

Speaking of which, there were more protests in Times Square over the weekend, both anti-war and pro-troops. I just wanted to tell you a few things about that. I hope you know that the anti-war protests aren't, I don't think, anti-YOU. I don't expect that there are many people out there who are against the war, but hating you at the same time. I don't support this war wholeheartedly and I don't feel good about all of you being over there fighting right now, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate you and don't thank you for following your orders well and for giving up your lives -- temporally and eternally -- for what you believe in. You are stronger than me mentally, emotionally, physically, and you prove your dedication to your country and to your beliefs by truly laying your lives on the line. You sacrifice family, comfort and yourselves, and I honor and respect you for that because you do it without hesitation, and because I recognize it is something I could never do because I don't possess such strength or fortitude of character.

I also like to think that you are fighting to give the Iraqi citizens the chance to practice some or all of the rights that are guaranteed to us here at home: democratic election of their leaders, freedom to speak out for or against the things they like and don't like, freedom to practice the religion they choose, etc. So please don't be mad or discouraged when you hear about people protesting the war at home. Please don't think that patriotism and protest are mutually exclusive. All the people here who are exercising their rights understand, on some level or another, that they are fortunate to be able to do so. Just keep that in mind, and remember us -- ALL of us -- when you're out there getting ready to whomp he who DOESN'T believe in these same basic rights and would seek to muzzle his people.

Frankly, whether I think this war is justified or not, I just want you all to come home, alive and whole. Already, that won't be happening for too many of you, and that makes me immeasurably sad. It makes me angry, too, because I wonder if you needed to suffer and die. But then I consider that you are doing your jobs, and doing them well, and I am chastened. So, just know that we're doing okay back home, and we can't wait until you're back here with us.

KICK ASS, people, and kick it good.

With love,

Thursday, March 20

IT'S ON . . .

Some thoughts on our "just" move to disarm Saddam:

1. Dan Rather provokes inappropriate laughter from me.

2. There is something fascinatingly surreal about watching war on television. I wonder about the reporters, camera-people, crew remaining in Iraq for the sake of the story and the photo. I worry about where they are sleeping, eating, hiding. I preserve hope for the unwritten but generally universally accepted rule about leaving journalists untouched. I am curious about my own sense of detachment, seeing anti-aircraft fire and explosions on the screen, but feeling secure nonetheless knowing that it's all thousands of miles away from me and mine. I chuckle at how video-gamish it all appears. I marvel at a modern technology that allows me to watch history unfold, then switch to the Food Network when it all gets to be too much to handle.

3. John Norris (of MTV) provided the best pre-war war coverage I've seen yet (aside from crazy-but-lovable Dan Rather and his little maps): he was honest about being scared and confused, recognized the same in his viewers, and provided an outlet for viewers to ask questions and respond and/or vent. Good on you, John.

4. Iraqi-Americans don't have it so easy right now. Most of them are refugees from the 1960s, seeking freedom from Saddam's oppression (and violence), liberty, opportunity, democracy and education in the United States. Now, they are being questioned by the FBI, just for being who they are. Do they feel betrayed? Do they feel they want to cooperate? Are they scared? Are they in touch with their family back home? What is the extent of the backlash they are experiencing from their neighbors? Are they afraid to go outside and participate in everyday life? Do people stare at them with suspicion and animosity in their eyes? And a question that particularly hits home: if/when this war in Iraq ends, and if/when the U.S. goes after North Korea, will I, my family, my Korean-American friends and compatriots have to grapple with the same concerns, fears and worries? Will other Americans care to ask about my ideologies before they decide to hate me or attack me or blame me? Will they care to ask my Chinese or Japanese-American friends if they are North Korean sympathizers or not before doing the same to them? Will I slowly become a stranger in the only country that is home to me, as many Iraqi-Americans are feeling now? That would suck a lot.

5. The still shots of Baghdad apartment and office buildings are eerie and cause chills to run up and down my spine. Are there people in there? What are they doing? How old are they? Who are they rooting for? How many are "innocent"? Are they preparing to die? If a missile hits their building, how many of them will survive? Have they blacked out their windows, like the British during WWII? How are mothers soothing their crying babies? How are parents convincing their children, through the shriek and thud of falling bombs, that Saddam will prevail, or that Americans will come and liberate them and they will be free? Are their hearts being hardened towards the U.S., or are they waiting with bated breath for democracy? How will they implement democracy when they don't know the first thing about it? How the heck will a crushed city be rebuilt? Where are the guarantees that democracy will even last, for them, for us, for anyone?

6. So, if everyone is concentrating on the situation out there, who's concentrating on what might -- God forbid -- happen here?

7. I'm a little inappropriately entertained by the idea of our missiles shooting down their missiles mid-air. Again, with the video-game reference. And it's just cool that we can intercept their attacks on us. Makes me want to dance a jig and scornfully say "HAH! You suck."

8. I wish I was back in high school, during Iraq, Pt. 1, when I didn't know any better, and the only things I worried about were SAT scores, finding a prom dress, and getting my parents to let me stay out past midnight . . .

Wednesday, March 19

CREEPY . . .

OK, I know this is a web log.
I know it's on the World Wide Web.
I know random people must be able to come across it at one point or another.
I know I shouldn't expect such a work of utter brilliance to be contained to just my select group of invitees.
(Oh, wait, I was being facetious.)

But it's STILL CREEPY knowing that you are reading this and I don't know who you are.
Who are you?
What is your name?
How did you find me?
And why can't you tell when I'm being serious and when I'm not?

Monday, March 17

Why do men think that only beef is meat?

I am not embarking on some random male-bashing discourse. I am basing my observations on empirical evidence gleaned from my male friends and my friends' male friends, and this is what they tell me: chicken and turkey = not meat. Fish = never meat. Cold cuts = definitely not meat. Pork = meat sometimes. Ham and bacon = always meat. Of course, steak and burgers = MEAT. Steak strips on top of a salad = not meat anymore.

Does that mean you can eat chicken, turkey, sushi, fish, lobster, and a tuna sandwich, and still call yourself a vegetarian?
I'm sure AMP will have something to say about that . . .

Why are men afraid to use a bath pouf and liquid body wash? What's with the mangy bar of soap (with which they wash hair, face and body)?

According to a conversation on the Z-Morning Zoo this morning, there are apparent hazards for men using the bath pouf (slow down the scrubbing when you get near the family jewels). But what's wrong with a gentle loofah? Gentlemen, do not be afraid of the pouf.

And the liquid body washes come in such lovely scents: strawberry, jasmine, green tea, mint, lavender, kiwi . . .okay, perhaps that isn't the best way to sell men on body wash. But using one or the other, or both, will not turn you into a woman. I promise.

If you are a fan of sushi and Japanese food, and an even bigger fan of the buffet, take a hike over to New Jersey or Long Island and check out Minado's monstrous buffet. My friend J has just joined the franchise started by his college pals, and I must support him in his new venture wholeheartedly. Even if I explode in the process.

Saturday, March 15

It's way past my bedtime, but once again, I was so moved by something on television that I have to speak out or else I'll be mulling over it all night. (Consider yourself lucky tonight, because usually I'm ranting about some cheap reality show or waxing poetic about the virtues of Buffy.)

Tonight's episode of Law & Order: SVU, entitled "Desperate," depicted the effects of domestic violence on spouses, friends, children. I have never known the pain of being beaten, the humiliation of being constantly belittled, the daily terror of living in fear and anticipation, the power of evil psychological manipulation, the guilt of being unable to protect my child, or the shame of hiding myself and my family from others. I can only -- reluctantly -- imagine what one or all of those things must feel like.

But if you are not one of the few loyal and beloved friends who know about and read this blog -- if you just happened across me at this moment -- and you do know what those things feel like, PLEASE GET HELP, or call 1-800-799-SAFE.

Friday, March 14

As per a discussion I was having with Hooch yesterday . . .


1. North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il. Things I would ask: "Dude, do you know you have no friends left in the world?" "Dude, you're keeping all the money and food aid that is sent over from the U.S. and South Korea, right?" "Dude, do you really think your ideology is going to survive when you're dead?" "Dude, do you really believe your people idolize and worship you because they like you?" and "Dude, do you know what you're missing on the outside?!"

2. Elizabeth Smart. Things I would ask: "So is it stifling yet having your family smother you and never let you out of their sight again?" "Did you tell Mitchell to kidnap your favorite cousin too because you wanted someone else to hang out with?" "Were you really kidnapped or did you run away?" and "And if you ran away, did you not anticipate what kind of trauma you would be enacting upon all those who love you?"

3. Conan O'Brien. Things I would ask: nothing. I would just tell him to be funny AT me, and simply revel in the glory of it.

4. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Things I would ask: "Do you really believe everything you write, or are you just being spicy?" "Will you make me one of your famous dinners?" "Who's your best friend on the Court?" "Even if I disagree with almost everything you say, can I still be one of your next law clerks?" (OK, as a lawyer, I know I should do better when faced with the fantasy of having a beer with a powerful legal mind such as Justice Scalia, but sadly, these really are the questions I would ask him. Which is why no one would ever let me have a beer with him.)
First of all, here is an interesting inside look into clerking at the U.S. Supreme Court (dare to dream).

A thought popped into my head this morning: how do our troops, currently making ready in the Middle East, feel lately, knowing that what seems like the entire free world is vehemently against the very objective for which they've been working, sweating, not bathing, laboring, agonizing, living apart from their loved ones, training, dreading? Those poor men and women. They're just trying to do their duty and stand up for what they believe in too . . .

Well, now we can move onto the good stuff = BIZARRE THEORIES.
Elizabeth Smart, the kidnapped 15-year-old gal from Utah, is safe at home now, but one has to wonder . . . does she really want to be there? Maybe I'm being blasphemous. After all, the girl was allegedly kidnapped, allegedly suffered during months away from her loved ones, allegedly was brainwashed, and allegedly had awful things done to her that have turned her into a "changed" young woman. But my co-clerk Hooch and I smell something fishy going on, and we don't like it one bit.

Why didn't Smart, a physically-fit teenager, put up some kind of fight when a strange dude dragged her out of bed in the middle of the night, led her through her home and out the back door? Was the dude even a stranger, or had they chatted while he was working on her house and plotted a way to get her away from her boring, good-girl life in Utah? Why would Mitchell choose to kidnap an almost grown young woman, instead of a more docile, more likely-to-be-frightened, easier to transport 9-year-old little girl, sleeping in the very same room? What the heck was the 9-year-old sister doing awake at that time, anyway? Had Smart confided in her little sister about some great adventure upon which she was about to embark? Why would Mitchell take Smart away from Utah, then bring her back to within miles of her home and a continuing search (not to mention the thousands of "Missing Child" posters of herself that Smart seems not to have noticed)?

They are all just so smiley and happy about being together -- Hooch and I certainly don't mean to diminish the family's elation of having their daughter back within the fold (not that they would read or care about what I spew on my little blog anyway). But there's something very creepy going on here and I want to know what it is. Also, the cheery glossy photos with the huge "Children of the Corn"/"we are perfect but evil" aura are freaking me out. Somebody better buy the book, TV and movie rights, so I can find out what really happened here . . .

Thursday, March 13

File this one under I KNOW THERE'S WORK TO DO, BUT...

Stole this one from my brother, too...

Section I | Some background...
1. Nicknames:
2. Do you have a crush: Always.
3. Age:
4. Age you act: 9, 17, 27, 48, 73 (especially after I work out).
5. Where do you live:
6. Birthplace: New York.
7. Ever gone skinny dipping?: Yup.
8. What are you watching?: You're assuming I have the pleasure of TV at work.
9. Last person you talked to: Our courtroom deputy.
10. Favorite movie: 'The Godfather'.
11. Favorite type of music: Anything but heavy metal.
12. Favorite saying: "Sheesh!"
13. Favorite fast food: McDonald's FRENCH fries.
14. Favorite ice cream: Don't really like ice cream, but coffee comes in handy when a craving hits.
15. Favorite alcholic drink: Killian's Red.
16. When do you go to sleep: Around 11pm.
17. Most embarrassing moment: I have so many: I trip a lot; I walk around with toilet paper stuck to my shoe; I run into people; I drool on myself occasionally.
18. Stupidest person you know: I endeavor to only know non-stupid people.
19. Craziest person you know: Crazy good = Hooch; Crazy bad = well, I shouldn't say, but I work with her too.
20. Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving.
21. Favorite food: Korean = kimchi jigae.
22. Favorite sappy love song: "Come What May" - Moulin Rouge soundtrack
23. Favorite color: Red.
24. Favorite sneakers: The pair of Nike's I had previous to the pair I own now.

Section II | The Future
1. School: PhD program in East Asian studies (politics or sociology).
2. Where you want to live: NYC.
3. How many kids you want: 3.
4. What kind of job you want: A fun, challenging, not boring, socially useful one that lets me spend quality time with my family.
5. Song in your head: Hooch's cats singing whatever.

Section III | Have you ever...
1. Been in jail: NEVER.
2. Done drugs: NEVER. Wait, does Sudafed count?
3. Run away from home: No, but not for lack of wanting to when I was 14 and angst-ridden over nothing.
4. Hit a boy: YES - he was trying to throw me into a stream.
5. Stolen anything: Yes, and I didn't return it either.
6. Broken a bone: No, knock on wood.
7. Cheated on a test: Yes.
8. Cheated on a boyfriend: I would never.
9. Gotten drunk: Yes. He-LLO, I went to college AND law school.
10. Been with two boys at once: Eh no.
11. Been in the hospital: Yes.
12. Let a friend cry on your shoulder: Always.
13. Fell asleep in the shower/bath: No - that's creepy.
14. Gone to church: Always.
15. Never slept during a night: See #9.
16. Ever been on a motorcycle or motorbike: Yes, and I have the burn scar to prove it.
17. Been to a camp: Yes.
18. Sat in a restaurant w/o ordering: Yes. ("Oh, I'll just have a water please.")
19. Seen someone die: No.
20. Gone a week w/o shaving: All winter, baby!
21. Didn't wash your hair for a week: Yes, and it was awful and involuntary and I'm never doing it again.
22. Broken something valuable: Yes.
23. Thought you were in love: Yes.
24. Screamed at someone for no reason: Never. I am always a rational person unless provoked.
25. Said i love you and meant it: Yes.
26. Been hurt by a boy you loved: Yes.
27. Stayed up until 4am on the phone: No way. I need my sleep.

Section IV | Which is better...
1. Coke or Pepsi: Coke.
2. Cats or Dogs: Dogs.
3. DVDs or VHS: I am new to the DVD world (yes, I know it's 2003), but they are definitely more fun and informative.
4. Deaf or Blind: Can I say neither? But then a deaf or blind person might say it ain't that bad...
5. Pools or Hot Tubs: Pools that children have not peed in.
6. TV or radio: Radio for Yankee games; TV for all other things.
7. CDs or MP3s: CDs. Anything involving computers and downloading is out of my league (as Patrick Swayze sings in "She's Like the Wind").
8. Apples or Oranges: Oranges.
9. Gap or Old Navy: Old Navy.

Section V | When's the last time you...
1. Took a shower: This morning.
2. Cried: Yesterday evening, watching a Buffy rerun. HEY! It was EMOTIONAL.
3. Watched a Disney movie: Last fall (is "Monsters Inc." a Disney film?).
4. Given/gotten a hug: Sunday.
5. Been to the movies: A couple of weeks ago, for "Old School" - it's so bad, it's good.

Section VI | What is...
1. Your Fondest memory of this year: I can't remember.
2. Your most prized possession: Law school diploma.
3. The thing that makes you happiest: Hanging with friends and fam.
4. Your favorite food for breakfast: Honey Bunches of Oats, with Strawberries and 2% milk.
5. Your favorite food for dinner: Kimchi jigae.
6. Your ideal boyfriend: Christian, interesting AND interested, socially conscious, curious, intelligent, adventurous, thoughtful (not just to me), kind, sensible, full of integrity, forgiving, flexible, truthful, relaxed, ambitious, humble.

Section VII | What do you think about...
1. Bill Clinton: "If only he'd kept his weenie to himself..."
2. Love at first sight: "I bet it happens, but if only it would happen to me..."
3. Abortion: "If only it weren't used as birth control, but/and/or Republican men EXPERIENCED what they were arguing about, but/and/or women's health care in general was more of a priority for those in positions of power..."
4. Teenage smoking: "If only peer pressure and addiction weren't such heavy burdens..."
5. Pot: "If only people didn't need to escape from reality..."
6. Eating disorders: "If only we understood that variety is beauty; that the victims are ill and deserving of treatment; that food is nourishing..."
7. Rap: "If only rappers understood the roots of their music... roots which do NOT include bling-bling and gats..."
8. Marilyn Manson: "If only he would get a new stylist..."
9. Premarital sex: "If only it meant something real all the time..."
10. Suicide: "If only the victim felt s/he had alternatives..."
11. Drinking: "If only it didn't hurt so much the next day..."
12. Life: "If only it wasn't unjust..."
13. Death: "If only it wasn't unjust..."
14. God: "If only everyone believed and no one distorted Him..."

Section VIII | Random Questions
1. What are your favorite forms of jewelry? Rings and earrings.
2. Have you ever liked someone too young for you? Yes.
3. Do you think you have multiple personalities? Yes, but not like Sybil.
4. Ever walked in on someone changing or showering? Yes.
5. What is the first thing you say on the phone? "Hello?"
6. What are you wearing? Clothes.
7. What did you do yesterday? Work, work out, work, try to fall asleep but couldn't because I was thinking about work.
8. Who was your last crush? I'm SO not telling...

Wednesday, March 12

Oh, did I mention that I love the Beastie Boys?

"You build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you wanna do is take control
Now put that Axis of Evil bullsh-- on hold."
I am so stressed out at work right now. At the risk of giving away too much information about myself (see my first post re: extreme paranoia and potential loss of potential future government employment), allow me to inform you that I am a federal judicial law clerk and I write things . . . lawyerly things . . . things that use big words and impossible concepts . . . things that depend on pretty underlined headings and perfectly Blue-Booked citations . . . things that impact people and cases and decisions and occasionally make new law. Well, I personally haven't done that last one yet, but it's in the realm of law clerk possibility. And right now, I'm mired in a nightmare of an assignment: pro se parties, incompletely educated attorneys, multiple issues, lots of balancing tests, untried legal territory, and much incoherence and decided LACK of pretty underlined headings and perfectly Blue-Booked citations. Sigh and double-sigh. I'm taking off my shoes.

That is why I always turn to the New York Times updated Associated Press stories.
Because everyone loves a good animal story.

Flee, monkeys, flee!

And may you never have to decide a summary judgment motion, EVER.
It's a big news week, but first a follow-up on the FRENCH fry issue: Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and French Embassy spokeswoman Nathalie Loiseau said it better than I ever could:

"Making Congress look even sillier than it sometimes looks would not be high on my priority list"
- Rep. Frank

"I wonder if it's worth a comment. Honestly. We are working these days on very, very serious issues of war and peace, life or death. We are not working on potatoes."
- Ms. Loiseau

Now onto the news:
1. The first ever International Criminal Court started up yesterday, with 18 judges sworn in to uphold international criminal law (in whatever state it's in). Of course, the U.S. opposes it (God forbid any Americans are ever charged with any international crime). Here's to hoping the Court does good honest work.

2. The partial-birth abortion bill is about to pass in Congress and be signed into law by the Shrub. AND the Senate blocked a Democrat-backed amendment which would add expanded birth control insurance coverage and education. That is strange to me. Is it only intuitive to ME that if you are against abortion (or partial-birth abortion, or whatever other kind of abortion there is), you could conceivably try to educate girls and women about contraception, safe sex, abstinence -- all the options that exist for women -- and actually provide them with these options so that they may not get pregnant and thus would not have to resort to abortion, which would be your ultimate goal in the first place, right? Why make it more difficult for women to have access to birth control, or to teach them about birth control? I hate to fall back on this well-worn argument, but women are going to get pregnant -- voluntarily or not -- and some are going to want to have abortions -- for medical reasons or for pure reasons of birth control. If you are opposed to using abortion as a method of birth control, GIVE WOMEN ACCESS TO OTHER METHODS. Then you won't have so many incidents of those abortions you hate so much. Sigh. Do I have to do everything around here?!

3. The trial of James C. Kopp, the man who shot and killed obstetrician Dr. Barnett Slepian (in the name of God, of course) in upstate New York, is slated to begin on Monday. It was to be a jury trial, but Kopp made the unusual request for a stipulated bench trial: both sides will present an agreed upon stipulation of facts to Judge Michael D'Amico, and the prosecution and defense will make oral summations of their arguments. Then the Judge decides the case; all of this could take as little as a day. There's also an eerie article by Dr. Slepian's niece in this week's (3/17/03) issue of New York Magazine. Might I add a little note here: not all Christians go around shooting doctors who perform abortions, nor do all Christians even WANT to. Kopp was not and is not about protecting babies. Nor can he rightfully call himself a follower of Christ. Kopp is just crazy and misguided, and he belongs in jail.

And I start my morning's work on this gentle note:

``War must always be a measure of last resort." - Kofi Annan

Tuesday, March 11

File this one under YOUR TAX DOLLRS HARD AT WORK.

I just HAVE to RANT about this, and in true type-A fashion, I'm going to rant via a list:
1. Our nation's leaders have NOTHING BETTER TO DO RIGHT NOW than make up stupid names for fried foods?!
2. They call France "our so-called ally" now, but just wait until WE need something (read: $$$) and see how fast these knuckleheads are groveling . . . It's so typical that these Representatives would forget decades of partnership and alliance and throw a hissy fit over one disagreement. How very Dubya-like (the hissy fit, I mean).
3. I'm waiting for them to call on New York to return the Statue of Liberty. Poor girl . . . the only thing she ever did was probably welcome these men's ancestors into this country.
4. If they're so offended by French fries and French toast, then THEY SHOULD STOP EATING THEM.
5. While they're at it, they should also give up French wine, French cheese, French-designed clothing (so long, YSL & Prada; I hardly knew ye), French terry robes, French dressing, french kissing (bonus points to Hooch for that input), etc.
7. Tom DeLay says that "[France has] isolated themselves pretty well," but from here, it doesn't look like France is the one quickly losing friends in the world . . .
8. What the heck kind of significant statement is THIS: "[O]nce the French government comes around we can get back to talking about french fries"?!?!?! When did international relations and fast-food side orders become equally compelling topics of diplomatic discussion? Did I mention how proud I am of our leaders' ability to really focus on the important things going on in the world right now, and their weighty eloquence in public speaking? It warms the increasingly-left-wing cockles of my formerly-centrist heart.
9. Gawd, they're just potatoes.
10. I suppose I have no real need to rant because the French Embassy truly had the last laugh, for their only response has been to note that french fries actually come from Belgium.

I am so disgusted with the Representatives involved in this stoopid scheme to feel better about themselves. More disgusted than I am with Married By America . . . although said disgust won't preclude me from tuning in next Monday night.
Does one have a constitutional right to volunteer?
And if so, how can someone make you STOP volunteering?

I hope to have an answer soon, else the little hamsters in my brain will have aneurysms.

Monday, March 10

Don't take that the wrong way.

Last night, I dreamt that Iraqi warplanes attacked Manhattan and fought an air battle with the U.S. Air Force over New York City. Our planes looked like big fat military-green sausages with propellers attached to them. The Iraqi warplanes looked like big silver hunch-backed beetles or zeppelins -- like something out of the old Star Wars movies. The shots that were fired between the planes looked like the fake laser shots in old video games like Centipede. "Bbyoo-bbyoo! Bbyoo-bbyoo!" There was chaos all around us with Manhattanites streaming out of apartment and office buildings, running shrieking through the streets. The friends I was with in this dream, however, all huddled behind our friend JC, who was watching the sky warily with his hands held high and murmuring "Wait... wait... wait..." (Anyone see "Minority Report"? See: the scene with the balloon man.)

Then I was sitting in a stopped subway car, shielding myself from possible attack by two rabid Labrador retrievers that were running amok through the train. Luckily for me, the two pups were chasing a screaming blond woman, and they were running in circles -- in one door of the car, out the other, in one door, out the other. The woman made no other effort to get away -- she persisted in entering through one door, exiting through the other. At one point, one of the dogs became distracted and started coming at me. I threw some Kleenex tissues over my shoulder towards the blond woman (who was still running and being chased by the other dog) and the distracted dog got back on track, thank goodness.

Then, finally, I was sitting in the same subway car, now moving uptown, and I was with the same friends who had been "waiting" above, and we were going to get coffee at Cafe Lalo. Go figure.

I need Swoon to help me out on this one... Or I need to stop eating dinner so late.

Thursday, March 6

Hey! I like junk food as much as the next person!
So, how come cool stuff like this never happens to me?

Wednesday, March 5

"Shut up, you monkey. Curse be upon your mustache, you traitor."
Iraqi Vice President Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri's response to some unfortunate Islamic Summit colleagues who interrupted him.

You can't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, March 4

I actually lay awake last night wondering about my (un)healthy obsession with all things old and British. I'm no expert on British social, political or economic history, but I managed to pinpoint a few facets of these areas that particularly fascinate me. Cut me some slack, because I gleaned all this "knowledge" from my little historical fiction novels (Sharon Kay Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick, she of the historical novels, not the bodice-rippers):

1. Everyone spoke French. That's weird. Not only that, but depending on the kind of French you spoke, people could determine from whence in England or France you hailed, and whether you were nobly born or not.
2. If you weren't nobly born, your life was worthless. Too bad, so sad.
3. Unweddable girls/women were sent to convents. This happened if you were poor, ugly, orphaned or widowed.
3.5. Weddable girls/women were also sent to convents, but usually only if they posed a threat to whoever was in power at the time. Edward I sent an infant Welsh princess to a convent because he was afraid she might grow up and raise arms against him; she lived all her 54 years there.
4. Some widows voluntarily went to convents -- I imagine because they couldn't envision life without their formerly alive husbands.
5. However, if you were a rich or otherwise valuable widow (read: extraordinarily beautiful), you better beware because men will just KIDNAP you off the road when you go out to market, even though you have your ladies in waiting and men-at-arms with you. Almost happened to Eleanor of Aquitaine, but her big burly man of a future husband, Henry, got her first.
6. Men battled their fathers, sons and brothers, and imprisoned or executed their wives, mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, young cousins, etc. Edward III killed his own brother George (who was a real jerk, but still).
7. Everyone drank wine. With everything. At all times. Morning, noon and night.
8. It took days to march your army 20 miles (to battle your brother, of course), but no one knew you were there until you were standing outside the castle walls. You'd think all that chain mail and armor made some noise...
9. There's quicksand in the middle of England.
10. Spouses didn't really like each other all that much.
11. Children didn't really like their parents all that much.
12. If you were a man charged and found guilty of treason, they would hang you but cut you down before you died, slit you open, pull out your intestines, burn your private parts with a hot poker, show you your intestines, then let you bleed to death. If the King was in a good mood, they would just behead you and depending on the level of your birth and your treason, would probably stick your head on top of a city gate so everyone could see the price of rebellion. Ewww.
13. Everyone was avenging something or someone.
14. Women were always pregnant.
15. Women were always miscarrying.
16. Brunette women were considered ugly. (Hey!)
17. Princesses wore green velvet wedding dresses.
18. Illegitimate children of Welsh royalty had equal inheritance rights; illegitimate children of English royalty (and there were TONS) didn't. Thus, all the civil wars (see # 6).
19. Family members were just offered as ransom here and there. "Hey, let's end our little war. I'll give you my first child Bob and my brother Tim, in exchange for you getting off my land." A bit flippant perhaps, but the gist is the same.
20. They ate a lot of eel dishes.

I have learned much. I hope our short review has been helpful to you.

Monday, March 3

THIS is the schmuck that masterminded 9/11?!?!?