December 27, 2007

Come-on-I-wanna- KwanzaaHanukKhristmas-ya

There was snow on Christmas day. It flew through the air in a frozen powdery mist from Scott's shovel while I watched from the front porch, shivering like the winter wimp I am.

The stockings were filled with chocolate, pecans, snowman earrings, gift certificates for automobile maintenance, pizza cutters, maple candies, and polar-bear socks from Dorothy's trip to the tundra this year.

We have been spending time with family and friends - reconnecting, meeting new people, and telling stories. My Christmas cards remain sitting in a box, unused and baleful. Don't worry guys - your day will come. Some time before Valentines Day, I promise . . .

December 13, 2007

The Cake

Did I mention? We found The Cake. It was at Whole Foods. (No, I didn't take this photo with my new camera phone. It's from the Whole Foods PR people.)

All natural ingredients, several flavors, muy delicioso, they can decorate in a wedding theme, and best of all . . . much less expensive than any of the other bakers we tried! Who knew?!

We're working on finding the right venue. Would love to use the Chautauqua Community House but we have more well-wishers than will fit inside. Scott and I will be tasting dinner options at the Chautauqua dining hall tonight. :)

December 10, 2007

New Phone

Scott gave me a new phone for my birthday - it's got everything, every bell and whistle. My old Verizon phone was soooo past retirement age. I'm delighted I can now check my e-mail when stuck in traffic. One of the great banes of my existence is the helplessness and guilt of being caught in a jam.

Another great feature: it has a camera! (Repressed artist within cackles with glee.)

Some of my handiwork so far:

Cappuccino Chez Hatchet. Merci, Hatchets!

Poster the kids made at my "Date Smart" class last week. Each foot is a "step" that each kid wants to take to "end dating violence." At this size it's not possible to read but at full size it's great for documenting what the kids were learning. I took this picture so our program coordinator could see how the class progressed. My favorite foot on this poster says simply "groceries!" (Because a trip to the grocery store is one of the surreptitious ways you can get away from violence at home, and call the police.)

Champagne with play-doh sculpture at Liz' birthday party.

Happy birthday, Liz!

(Artistically blurred, no? Very deep.)

Friends celebrating Liz.

For me this picture shows what this little camera is for: capturing the moment.

We had a lovely time.

Thank you, Scott. I love my new phone! You are a handsome jewel of the rarest quality.

November 14, 2007


Ashleigh Brilliant is cool. He's a funky, 1970's, hippie-esque artist who doesn't take anything particularly seriously, and I love that! Plus, I'm way into word-art.

Here's a great one-liner from "Pot Shots:"
"If you must keep groaning, please try to do it in a rhythm I can dance to."

November 5, 2007

Just Add Water

This year, for the very first time, I'm considering . . . the formerly unthinkable . . .

holiday newsletter to the family.

Tasteless and evil? Impersonal and manipulative? Inevitable result of geographical distance? Stop-gap measure to stay connected to family and friends while we wait for them to enter the age of the internet?

More and more people are doing it . . . even people I respect . . .

October 30, 2007

Urbane Cowboy

I'm at an internet cafe. There's a gay man with a purple arm cast speaking a variety of languages into his cell phone, watching me. To see if I notice? To see if I'm listening? Now he's giggling with his super-model friend. Cute cute cute. When you're out, you're out.

We went with a friend to sample a possible wedding venue last night: the White Fence Farm. Closed Mondays. So we traipsed Westward, looking for "the Old Country," an Italian place on Union Boulevard. Closed forever.

And then . . . Red Lobster. It was there, it was open, we entered, we ate, we conquered.

Special evenings are those that seem at first to flirt with frustration and boredom but morph into something memorable and fun. My friend had just quit her job and was in the very rare position of being able to tell her icky boob-watching boss to f*** off when he asked her for two weeks notice. I love it! I almost shot lobster linguine sauce out my nose. Funny how being in the right makes us brave and strong.

My cast-wearing neighbor in the cafe is now singing along (out loud) to "Watching the Detectives." He's here, he's queer, he wants us all to know it.

October 28, 2007


Twas Brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimbol in the wabe.

Scott and I have been gyring and gimboling all over town, tasting wedding cake. We went to Mulberry's bakery on South Pearl Street. Not great, and no coffee. Not even for sale.

Then we took Scott's mom to do a second tasting at Das Meyer - we tasted a LOT of flavors. But we had a nice, eggy breakfast first. So it was yummy. No headache. It's sure looking like Das Meyer is the place for us. (I've been in touch with Whole Foods but they are not very good at returning calls.)

Now all I need is a dress. Eeeeeeeeeek! Very scary thought for Halloween, no? I wonder what size I'll be in July?

October 16, 2007

Habeas Corpus

"No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land." Magna Carta, Article 39 (1215). This is the "great writ," habeus corpus. In practice it requires the government to actually produce a defendant and try him in a properly constituted court of law before it imprisons him. It prevents the government from making people disappear.

I read a great article this morning: Is Habeus Corpus a Corpse?, Craig Eley, The Docket, Vol. 29, Issue 9 (Denver Bar Association, October 2007). Mr. Eley makes an excellent point about Alberto Gonzales' treatment of habeus corpus:

Mr. Gonzales' position is that, since the constitution doesn't affirmatively grant the right to habeus, we Americans don't actually have that right. Never mind that the constitution says the government can suspend habeus in times of rebellion or invasion. (U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9.) But by Mr. Gonzales' logic, Americans also don't have the rights to free speech, free press, peaceful assembly, free exercise of religion, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances. Why? Because the U.S. Constitution doesn't affirmatively grant those rights. Rather, it states that Congress may not abridge those rights. (U.S. Constitution, First Amendment.)

I love it! What a smarty pants. :)

October 9, 2007

The Girl that Blows Sunshine Tastes Bad Wedding Cake and Lives to Gripe About It

I generally try to find the best in people and situations. I generally try to find a way to turn a bad experience around, find the lesson learned, accentuate the positive, etcetera. In fact, I've often withheld an urge to say (out loud even) that I am offended by people who take offense at what are really just little annoyances.

But sometimes you just have to vent. So here's my moment.

We went to another wedding cake tasting last weekend. We even dragged along a friend to experience the joy / endure the nastiness. Our experience at Das Meyer may have spoiled us for anything else. Rather than bore you with a long diatribe, I'll just give you a list of highlights:

1) These "cakes" were miniatures that she made especially for us. They were too small, about three bites of each flavor. I had made an appointment a month ago, for FOUR of us.
2) In spite of the tiny size, these cakes were more than adequate for the three of us. Because they didn't taste good.
3) They tasted like chemicals and that lovely "these have been inside a dirty refrigerator for a month" taste.
4) The baker-lady had dirty fingernails.
5) There was no coffee.
6) She told us with pride that all of her fillings come from a can or a jar.
7) She told us with pride that her "whipped cream" frosting had almost no dairy in it!
8) She told us with a bit of patronizing scorn that "quinceneras" like a lot of fru-fru and frosting on their cakes. "Isn't that silly. Yee-haw, how 'bout them silly brown people? Ain't they cute?" (Not a direct quote, but that's how it came across.)
9) The baker simply COULD NOT stop talking about herself, even though she had almost nothing interesting to say. Mostly just complaints about other people.
10) These cakes were about 70% more expensive than Das Meyer's.
11) She gave us plastic forks and presented her cakes on styrofoam.

I'll grant you that number 11 is probably not relevant. But once you get me started, it's hard to stop. Hear that, people? I hate plastic forks and styrofoam. So there. :P

October 2, 2007

Things That are Good, part 3 - Coffee Houses in Boulder

Generally, in order of my preference and/or my experience. (Related tangents, no?)

1) The Trident! Has wireless! But it has no power outlets (yet). It is, of course, on West Pearl Street. Early mornings the back room is a de facto reading room for scholarly types. At night the population generally shifts to a more youthful but mostly studying crowd. Afternoons, well, it's a tangy little melange of adults: tourists, local shop-keepers getting a fix, philosophy talkers, writers, etc.

2) Espressoria, Pearl Street, kitty-corner to Snarf's. Good access to mostly healthy food. Occasionally jammed with dance students.

3) Caffe Sole in Table Mesa, near Weaver's Dive Shop. "Study room" is awesome, in part because the patrons who use it expect quiet and are willing to enforce it.

4) Folsom Street Coffee, at Canyon and Folsom (remember Dunkin' Donuts? That's the spot.) Unreliable wireless, but there are two or three ethernet ports and they may have a cord you can borrow. Very comfy chairs. Jammed with CU students. If parking is an issue outside seating will be an issue inside, so it's good to cruise past and asess the lot before you commit to the inevitable U-turn around the traffic island on Canyon.

5) The cafe in the Dairy Center for the Performing Arts. Very cold air conditioning. Bring a sweater. Always interesting art. Power outlets are far away from the cafe tables - bring an extension cord.

6) Traveller's Cafe - across from the Pulse and the Boulder Bus station. Chairs are made of chain-link type metal welded together. Perhaps an incentive not to stay too long?

7) Brewing Market - BaseMar at Broadway and Baseline. Never tried their internet. I hear you have to re-log every 30 minutes. Sometimes jammed with law students. Excellent access to food - Wild Oats is right next door.

8) Allison Boutique - Pearl street near Foolish Craig's and Mountain Sun. Tiny. Never tried their internet.

9) Buchanan's on the hill. Never tried their internet. I hear there are limited power outlets - bring a splitter and an extension cord.

And if you're a true fan, apparently there's a blog for wireless coffee shops in Boulder -

September 27, 2007

Things That are Stupendously and Inexpressibly Good

Emma and Logan were born today!
I was one of the first to bid them hello and welcome. (Ribs bursting with pride.)

September 25, 2007

Guess what I did today?

I'm writing the first prenuptial agreement of my legal career.

:) !

September 18, 2007

Of academics, privilege, and the practical world - what next?

The play "Third" is currently showing at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. We saw it last night - it was pretty accurate in its portrayal of a hackneyed, aging, liberal academic. The acting was particularly good - evocative of the real thing. It conjured for me my naive undergraduate self, and things I thought would be true about me and my year-2007-world. These things never materialized.

When I was an undergraduate I spent a lot of time pursuing comfort in the form of English Literature. I took Virginia Woolf's advice: “by hook or by crook" I found "money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.”

It sure was a good time.

I thought my life in 2007 would contain more of the same: I would become some sort of professional but my employment experience would continue to challenge my mind and give me plenty of opportunities for cerebral 'play.' The world of academia seemed to hold out the promise that if I read everything in the canon I would be a complete person, worthy of respect and a paycheck.


The reality is, well . . . not like that. I got up this morning, saw my man off to work, bathed, watered the lawn, returned some library books, went to the grocery store, put away laundry, and now I'm sitting down to work. The rest of my day will be spent like this: do some maintenance on my daytimer, make birthday brownies, make phone calls to various court clerks and clients, continue work on an article intended to equip lawyers to pursue or defend corporate veil-piercing claims, write a letter to a client's bank begging for mercy and/or attempting to restructure some (in my view) unconscionable loans, drive up to the law library in Boulder to return books on tax-exempt entities and pick up a book on criminal procedure, meet with the partner at my firm to pick up a client's file, then rush back to Denver in time to share birthday dinner with a friend. Then, if there's time before I sleep, read a bit of the very practical, non-literary, practitioner-type books that move through my life: "Getting Things Done;" "Tongue-Fu, How to Deflect, Disarm, and Defuse a Verbal Conflict;" and "The Criminal Trial from Start to Finish in Colorado."

But I want to read the letters of Jane Austen! I want to read "Gravity's Rainbow!" I want to make a cozy space in a comfortable chair and read for 14 hours straight without stopping! I want "to travel and to idle!" I want to write and paint and read and rub my hands against the textures of this amazing sparkly opera all around me! But I've chosen to do something else. Virginia Woolf's advice is great for young women who've been kept in the dark about the world: she seems to be telling them to get 'selfish' if that's what it takes to pursue the privilege of education.

But Virginia Woolf's advice isn't relevant for young professional women. Once the privilege of education has been achieved, what next?

September 15, 2007

Sugar Shock

Today was the day of the great wedding cake tasting extravaganza at Das Meyer bakery in Arvada! Between the two of us we "tasted" eight flavors of wedding cake, looked at photographs and floor samples of extravagantly decorated, delicious-looking, and surprisingly inexpensive wedding cakes, and mulled the price tags of a great variety of sizes and flavors.

We tasted:
"Berries in a Cloud,"
Chocolate Carmel . . . something,
Creme Brulee,
Orange . . . something,
Lemon . . . something,
Chocolate chip,
Carrot cake, and
"White on white."

By "tasted" I mean they gave us a single plate with a full slice of each flavor. So basically, we each ate most of about four pieces of cake this afternoon. It's 7:30 p.m. and my head still hurts. Scott, bless him, drove us there and back. Then he crashed while I played "World of Warcraft" in a decidedly slumped and zombie-like state.

We have at least three more bakeries to try out - next time I'll be armed with protein.

September 4, 2007

Of heroes, villians, and 'incessant media scrutiny.'

Remember the guy who knifed a CU student in the neck last week? He was institutionalized, not sent to jail, because . . . news flash . . . he was crazy. In fact he had tried a similar act in 2001 and been institutionalized for it, but was apparently bounced into society too soon with too little supervision, presumably because Colorado's mental health programs can't afford to do more.

The victim's family issued this press release today:

One week ago, our son, Michael Knorps, was thrust headlong into the media spotlight because he was the victim of an assault on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder. This inexplicable act of violence has, since that time, brought our close family even closer together, tested Michael's youthful character in ways he and we never imagined, and presented us with a traumatic moment in the life of our family.

[Thanks for] the outpouring of support [ . . . ]

But the time has arrived for Michael to take his rightful place in his class, within the larger student body of CU-Boulder, without the burden on himself, his classmates and indeed, the larger university, of accommodating public curiosity and incessant media scrutiny. With this in mind, we are making an urgent, personal appeal to the local and national media to let Michael do this without it becoming a story. More directly, we are asking you not to personally contact our son, or members of our family who live here in Boulder, hoping to get pictures, interviews and "the inside story" of what happened to Michael.

In truth, there is no "inside story." Michael was the victim of a violent crime that injured him and traumatized his family. There is no greater drama here, no deeper story, no larger meaning. The "news" - and it is not news to people who know Michael personally - is that this remarkable young man has recovered from this attack physically and will, with the support of his family and friends, recover emotionally and spiritually over time. But that is a private, not a public, process.

We make this appeal both as parents and as people of goodwill. We know the media have a job to do, and we are willing to accommodate your questions (on a limited basis) through the following e-mail address: We ask that all questions be submitted by September 7, 2007 and we will try to respond by September 10, 2007. We will not respond to any questions related to the legal or criminal aspects of this incident. In the meantime, we ask again that Michael be permitted to have, starting this week, the experience he was denied last week: being just another college student, ready to start a new chapter of his life. We believe he has earned that right. We ask you to respect it.

Thank you.

The George Knorps family, on behalf of Michael Knorps.
Hear, hear.* Points very well taken. Humanity's unbridled lust for blood stories is revealed by the wild success sensational media outlets enjoy.

This press release was carefully crafted by someone with a sophisticated understanding of how infotainment media works. Probably not the Knorps family. Ostensibly this document is intended merely to shift unwarranted attention away from one who was a victim of a mundane "crime" brought about by another's illness. But on reading it one can scarcely avoid the writer's deep and abiding criticisms of the news media. This document says "please don't trample on our right to privacy and then profit by the suffering of an innocent family." A prejudicial request and one that a sane media would rightly be insulted by. But I predict the media won't be insulted. Why? Because taking insult isn't profitable, and as the media well knows: 'truth is a complete defense.'

Here's what I want to know: where is the press release from the attacker's family? There is none, perhaps because "we," the viewing public, don't want to know about him even though evidence suggests we should: we love horror flicks and novels involving slashers and mentally unbalanced people. Do we like our villains to be fictional, and our heroes to be real?

* - Or is it "here here?" "Hear, here?"

September 2, 2007


How's this for bad behavior: Matter of Callaghan, 42 B.R. 821 (Bkrtcy. Mich. 1984).

Tom takes his $20,000 motor home to Bob to have the brakes fixed in time for his vacation. Bob does not fix the brakes in time and Tom ends up storing the motor home at Bob's garage while Tom is away. Vandals break in and trash the motor home. Tom's insurance company arranges repairs but asks Tom to pay a $100 deductible. Bob takes $3,000 from the insurance company and spends it on his corporation's operating expenses. But Bob never makes the repairs. He then offers to waive storage fees for the motor home if Tom agrees to hire Bob to make the repairs. Tom does so. Once again, the repairs are not accomplished in time for Tom's vacation the following year. Tom suffers a work-related injury, is bedridden, and never pays the $100 he still owes Bob for work that Bob may (or may not) have done on the motor home.

Bob threatens to sell the motor home to cover Tom's $100 indebtedness. A court issues a restraining order to prevent Bob from selling the motor home.

Bob sells the motor home the next day for $500 to satisfy the contested $100 bill. We assume he kept the other $400.

You lawyers out there know that Bob's action isn't legal: he did not engage in a commercially reasonable sale, he converted the insurance company's money, he violated a restraining order, and (as a bailee) he was probably liable for the vandalism to Tom's motor home in the first place.

Most everyone would agree that in addition, Bob's actions were just not right.

My question is this: why did Bob do it? It's like the financial version of "suicide by cop." Big surprise: Bob went bankrupt. Bob denied any personal responsibility for the motor home incident because his garage was a corporation. The bankruptcy court opined that "the entire transaction, orchestrated by [Bob], smacks of a grudge match over a $100 insurance deductible balance." Id. at 826. Miffed, the bankruptcy court imposed a $20,796 (plus) judgment on Bob, personally.*

What can we take from this little episode beyond the black-letter-law lessons? Obviously this: not everyone is a rational-self-interested-actor, John Stuart Mill / Adam Smith - style.

Business owners have a duty to act ethically, regardless of the law. Business ethics ought to involve "doing good," not merely "not doing bad." Consider the following: the story of Tom and Bob is probably more complex than can be revealed in a bankruptcy court's opinion. What seems to be a grudge match could just as easily be explained by simple inattention: poor communication between Bob and his employees brought on by any of a number of factors. Acting ethically in Bob's situation would have meant taking affirmative action - to make sure his garage was secure, to buy appropriate insurance coverage, to communicate with his employees, to monitor their actions, and to delegate authority to a manager if necessary.

We need an ethical paradigm for "doing good" that includes the merely quotidian actions that Bob should have taken, without the suspect morality associated with "the work ethic."

* - The court found that Bob's personal participation in the intentional tort of conversion justified finding him personally liable, but the court goes on to talk about applicability of the remedy of piercing the corporate veil. Bob can't win under either theory.

August 30, 2007

Things That are Good, part 2 - Coffee Houses in Denver

1) The Perk Hill Coffee house, South of 26th street on Kearney. Free wireless, coffee, an army of cute preschoolers and their mothers*, classic jazz albums decorating the walls, art galleries across the street, a pilates studio next door, etc. On the menu: milkshakes in any flavor you want (from their ice cream selection of about 10 flavors), with 4 shots of espresso.

2) Geeze Louise Coffee house, on Colfax near Elm Street. Free wireless, coffee, nice people, funky atmosphere hosted by a mannequin named Louise. On the menu: secret recipe mochas which feature tiny delicious chunks of warm melty chocolate in the bottom of your glass.

3) The St. Mark's Coffee house, on 17th street just West of Josephine/York. Free wireless, coffee, an army of people who want to focus on quiet study. (Caveats: Music occasionally too loud, bathroom too small for large number of patrons.) On the menu: large tea selection, not bad peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, delicious egg-and-cheese bagels smushed into a panini press.

4) The Pennsylvania Perc Coffee house, at the corner of Pennsylvania and 13th streets. Free wireless, coffee, frigidly cold air conditioning. (Caveats: parking limited, baked goods overpriced and unexciting.) On the menu: paninis, especially the Molly Brown.

5) Budgie's crepes, 17th street somewhere between Grant and Vine on the South side. Free wireless, coffee. (Caveat: closes very early, right after lunch.) On the menu: totally delicious brie and salami crepes.

* - Where are the fathers? Work? Home? The park? Maybe the mid-morning playdate at the local coffee house is a strictly female phenomenon?

August 27, 2007

Things that are good.

1) Whisky.

My new dental work has developed complications. Yesterday my poor fiancee had to stand staunchly by and witness as I went from pain to worse pain to constantly bathing my sore teeth with ice water every 20 seconds to avoid entering the 7th circle of Hell, even taking side trips off the interstate to raid the ice machine at Safeway, and then again at McDonald's. How does one sleep while bathing a tooth every 20 seconds, you ask? We scurried to the internet last night to find out. Which leads me to the next good thing:

2) The internet.

Turns out you can put a stop to the eternal 20-second cycle of ice water treatments by bathing the area with mouthwash, or better yet, whisky. Teeth still hurt, but that horrific 7th-level-of-Hell feeling subsides nicely for several hours. Big thank you to the several people who posted this advice on line, for free. I slept just fine last night, and my teeth didn't start to hurt again until after I woke up. In the car on the way to my dentist my complication developed another complication, and I whiled away the usual traffic jam on the way to Boulder by making bargains with God and using mouthwash every 10 minutes or so.*

My dentist reports that the mouthwash/whisky trick works simply because alcohol is a topical anesthetic. Not because it kills germs, and of course it won't cure your tooth problem. As your dental problem worsens alcohol loses its ability to relieve pain for very long, which is why there's:

3) Novocaine.

Sweet, sweet Novocaine.

I'm off to see the endo- and/or periodontist this afternoon, presumably for a root canal.

Wild entertainment beyond belief!


* - I don't believe in "God" but making bargains with an imaginary deity seemed better at the time than praying for death.

August 18, 2007

Road Rash

I have finally finished moving into my new apartment. Body and mind exhausted, but I nevertheless got enough sleep last night. The upside to hard physical work: easy for me to fall asleep.

Now must focus on the next big project: writing a memo, due Monday. But first . . .

Someone close to me (let's call him Rex) was in a motorbike accident. A bicyclist decided to swerve from the right side of Cherry street to the left side of the south-bound lane, presumably to turn left, in front of Rex. As a result Rex was faced with this choice: 1) hit the bicyclist and perhaps careen into oncoming traffic, 2) careen into oncoming traffic, or 3) set the motorbike down on the pavement and try not to break any bones.

He chose the latter. Then the bicyclist turned around and asked "are you all right?" Rex, lying in a tumble and bleeding on the pavement, responded "no." The bicyclist then replied "I have to go, I don't want to get in trouble," and pedaled away. Folks in the cars coming along Cherry stopped and called the ambulance.

What the heck happened there?! What kind of trouble could possibly be worse than dealing with the guilt of knowing that you caused someone injury and then just ran away?

Anyway, Rex is fine - aside from some broken ribs and road rash. He's on Vicodin. :)

August 13, 2007

Rinse and Repeat

I love people. I have met and known some extraordinary characters over the years. (And I'm just getting started.) But various events occur (and recur in different guises) with relentless predictability to remind us that people are temporary.

Compounding that difficulty, people tend to approach slowly but depart quickly. I enjoy the approach with a sort of growing, smiley feeling but the departure is usually abrupt and always horrifying.

Ways to avoid the problem:

  • Drink a lot. Meet extraordinary characters and behave dangerously around them to make sure they never call.
  • Stay home. Unplug the phone and watch Netflix. Remain civil and outwardly friendly to coworkers but save your best self for your lonely inner dialogue.
  • Use non-humans as surrogate friends. (Emo. Celebrities. Porn.)
  • Ignore everyone. Save your energy for conversations with the people inside your head.
  • Be overly critical. Remind people of your negative evaluations of others. Make sure no one is worthy of your love.
  • Fall in love with a shallow and sarcastic jackass and then dump your friends because they're not stylish enough for him/her. Then fall out of love before something really bad happens.
Or don't avoid 'the problem.' Embrace it. Enjoy everyone and then cry a lot later. And keep crying and enjoying until you're dead.

Personally, I hate crying. But it seems like the least painful option. It's been working for me so far.

August 4, 2007

Riduculization. Green chile.

Certain friends of mine, when engaged in intense "in your face" argumentation and discussion, are reputed to occasionally lunge in and lick the faces of their opponents. These are grown men. Adults. Who nevertheless understand that argumentators are often in need of a good ridiculization.

New topic, totally unrelated. I went to a Mexican restaurant in New Jersey. There were no margaritas, no beer, and most importantly: no green chile. They had green sauce but it was tomatillo sauce. I enjoy regional differences in food so I'm not complaining. I ordered chicken mole and it was delicious. :)

Here's another New Jersey phenomenon: pork rolls. I hear varied reports of what they might be. Is it a roll with a slice of ham on it? Does 'roll' refer to the bread? Or is 'roll' the shape of the meat? Is it Spam? I am in New Jersey. I must taste it.

July 30, 2007

I Ain't Sayin' She a Gold Digger.

And now for an excerpt from a song by Kanye West:

Now I aint sayin she a gold digger
But she aint messin wit no broke niggaz

Other excerpts reveal that "she" has four children by another man or men. The narrator lampoons men who love women in spite of public opinion and advises them to insist on prenuptial agreements. Then he advises women to 'stick by the side' of hard working men with "ambition," and "stay right" even though inevitably:

when you get on he leave yo ass for a white girl.

Popular radio bleeps out the word "nigger" when this song is on the air.* Because of this the internet is of course wild with copious commentary on the nature of language and the evils of censorship, including this wonderfully obtuse little footnote:

"deductive arguments are only valid if they are tautologies - useful for eliminating obfuscation or 'unpacking' meanings in complex symbology." Richard Noggin, "the Explainer," at (June 2007,
In my view what's missing from the online dialogue is gender politics. Within the song's rhetoric a single mother who does not "mess with broke niggers" is by definition a 'gold digger' and on the other hand a man who works hard and has ambition deserves the commodity of womanly support until he can trade up for "a white girl." I interpret these lyrics as farcical. An attempt to make human tragedies seem comic. If so, the real target of the lampoon is not the gold-digging woman but the hapless man who falls in love with her.

One response to the gendered warfare described in the lyrics might be that mutual objectification is deserved. (Never mind that a custodial parent has virtually no bargaining power to make a fair contract with the absent parent or potential step-parent.)

Another response might be compassion towards those who are (unfortunately) more comfortable with mutual objectification as a basis for relationships, rather than the partnership model. In that perspective 'gold digger' might be seen as a term of affection, mirroring the recent transformation of the word "nigger" in Caucasian consciousness from taboo to endearing (much to the delight, horror, and fascination of Caucasian America).

Just what is Mr. West attempting to do with this farce? Does he mean to call our attention to the inequities of single parenting? Is he asking us to broaden our minds to encompass nigger/gold digger partnerships as a loving and supportive alternative to traditional marriage? Rubbish. Rather, he is resigned and cynical, urging a continuation of (and winking at) what he thinks are the eternal, never evolving consequences of human sexuality, chanting "get down girl, go 'head get down." Mr. West understands that the listening public is also resigned and cynical, ready to step up and hand over money for confirmation that its feelings of cynicism and victimization are justified.

Do these lyrics make people angry? They do because they use the word "nigger," but so far I haven't seen much debate over Mr. West's less than generous treatment of families and human sexuality. Is that because we're more resigned and cynical about gender issues than we are about race?

* Americans know how to spell "nigger."'Soulful' or trendy pronunciation and spelling merely supply nuance to the meaning of the word, nothing more.

July 24, 2007

One who verbs is an associated noun.*

One who buys is a buyer.
One who sells is a seller.
And most importantly at this moment, companies that sell insurance are insurance companies, with all the rights and duties thereunto appertaining. Except when they aren't.

Mere policing doesn't result in officer status.
But mere selling does result in seller status, licensed or otherwise. Complete with associated fines.

*Scott is a dreamy fount of useful quips.

July 23, 2007

Metaphors on a Monday Morning

I broke a crown. (Much preferred to breaking a tooth!)

I was eating . . . um . . . how d'ya call 'em . . . we ought to have a P.C. word for them because they're so delicious but as far as I know, we don't. (Can anyone assist?) They're the brown, unpopped kernels in the bottom of the popcorn bowl. Wikipedia unabashedly reports the "popcorn industry" refers to them as "old maids" but offers no other term for them, instead linking us right to the article on "spinsters."

I love the English language because of its rich opportunities for metaphor. I broke my crown while trying to crush an old maid, you see.

I don't mind going to the dentist because I have a really good one. :)

July 19, 2007

Maybe she's already awake . . .

I'm at "the office"* today, unsupervised and contemplating the nature of adult responsibility. Is 'adult responsibility' intrinsically good? Shifting via pun to another knowledge domain, is 'adult responsibility' actually just a public good?

A friend of mine has posted an entry about her inner female triumvirate: girl, lawyer, and mommy. She writes of putting the girl within into a coma. My response is sadness. The girl within is a spark of glory! The girl within is the real person. The lawyer and mommy roles are extra limbs grafted on, like Shiva's. Let the girl go! Wake her up so at least she can watch. Life is a grand, sparkly opera.

"The Buddhist tradition teaches the truth of impermanence, or the transitory nature of things. The past is gone and the future has not yet happened, so we work with what is here -- the present situation. This actually helps us not to categorize or theorize. A fresh, living situation is taking place all the time, on the spot. This noncategorical approach comes from being fully here, rather than trying to reconnect with past events. We don't have to look back to the past in order to see what people are made out of. Human beings speak for themselves, on the spot." - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

* Internet Cafe.

July 16, 2007

Gym. Office. Home.

Today's itinerary: gym, "the office," tour of a possible new apartment, Chez Scott for more "office," then dinner.

My gym has fancy new lockers which will cut down on the line that forms at the front desk - we no longer have to wait for a locker key. I go to a nice gym. It has all the trimmings including a vast, burgundy leather, S-shaped sofa in the locker room, ironing boards and irons, Q-tips, cotton balls, organic hairspray, a dedicated full-time nametagged human being who monitors fullness levels of said supplies, and a special cooling water filter from which to fill one's water bottle. Grabbing my complimentary cup of gourmet coffee and surveying our fancy new panels of convenience and joy, I overheard a nicely-dressed lady not budging in her strong opinion that, since she's "been a member here for 13 years" and was attached to her old locker, she no longer has a use for one. "I won't have one of those" she said to the unfortunate and apologetic nametagged girl who came along to show her how to use her new locker. Looking around at my hurried compatriots, jamming themselves into or peeling themselves out of gym clothes, I noticed them noticing the non-budging lady's comments but not smiling. Rather, they seemed to be looking sidelong at one another in a sly sort of poker-faced silence. Me, I smiled. Just like this: :o)

It isn't so hard.

When I say "office" I generally mean internet cafe, but I might also mean my place or the back lanai at Chez Scott. Anyplace that has power and connectivity. Why? Because I'm a tele-commuter. The price of gasoline being what it is (unknown because I've quit looking at the price when I fill up), I avoid driving to the little office in the little mountain town where my boss works. (Unless the teleportation unit is broken and I have to *gasp* look at the actual file. Praise Jesus for pdf.)

I'm thinking of moving to a new apartment, closer to Chez Scott and less expensive than the bat cave. Much as I love the bat cave, that "less expensive" quality becomes significantly more important the longer I go without finding a Job. Also thinking of finding a gym with fewer trimmings. In Denver these are the options I've found: pay a vast sum for a palatial gym with tons of equipment and amenities, pay a vast sum for a crowded, so-so gym with a medium amount of equipment and no amenities, pay almost nothing for a hot room full of sweaty guys and equipment that smells like rust, or . . . pay almost nothing for an okay gym without the one piece of equipment I vitally need to keep my bulging disk from . . . um . . . bulging. It might be worth to simply buy that piece of equipment, no? Hmm . . .

July 4, 2007

The Price of Freedom

By titling this entry 'the Price of Freedom' I don't mean to invoke weighty thoughts about liberty and death. Only to refer to the title of my previous post, 'Free at Last.'

My temporary job at M.L.U. ended at the end of May, leaving me 'free' throughout the month of June to pursue a Job. The kind that's permanent, salaried, and comes with benefits. More rare than one might suppose for those who are new to the profession. I fall into this popular category: looking for the job that I actually want and flattening my spending to near zero while I wait for the ink to dry on my Bar Exam results. Law firms don't hire people with wet ink. 'Two years of experience' seems to be the standard for strangers.

Grateful though, that my law clerk position has been upgraded to contract attorney. Still in discussion: how much work and for how much money.

In the meantime I am writing a little something about corporate veil-piercing. Good fun. Even get to include a little about reverse veil-piercing, a spicy and delightfully arcane little concept, and I love that.

Also very, very grateful for my beloved fiance', who continuously encourages, supports, lightens, entertains, and feeds me.

On July 4th I am celebrating my freedom with ironic zeal - still not fully employed but reveling in my freedom: hanging out with my man, going for long runs at the gym, reading "Harry Potter" just because I can, and playing W.O.W.

May 17, 2007

Free at last.

Sworn in to the Colorado Bar yesterday. Had lunch with family and friends, smiled, then held up my hand and recited the following words:

I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR by the Everliving God that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado; I will maintain the respect due to Courts and judicial officers;I will employ only such means as are consistent with truth and honor; I will treat all persons whom I encounter through my practice of law with fairness, courtesy, respect and honesty; I will use my knowledge of the law for the betterment of society and the improvement of the legal system; I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed; I will at all times faithfully and diligently adhere to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.

April 21, 2007

My cup runneth over.

Catching up, taking naps, settling in. Today I ate homemade breakfast prepared by the man I love, then drove with him to Boulder to visit my P.O. box, then visited Tracy at the Farmer's market. Then lunch. Then home. Then nap. A fine use of a perfectly good Saturday. :) See what I mean? Wonderful. Now all I want is permanent employment.

I now have three jobs:
1) Temporary Henchman in a position very similar to my old job at M.L.U. ("Medium Large University").
2) Legal Clerk (on contract) for an attorney at a small law firm.
3) Assistant Instructor with an organization that teaches non-violent self-defense techniques to health care workers, professional cheerleaders, and girl-scouts.

Last week I finished a response to a Motion for Rule 11 sanctions in Federal Court. Learned several lessons including this: even very large, famous, and well-paid law firms do incompetent and/or unethical things. Thankfully, a motion for Rule 11 Sanctions is itself automatically subject to Rule 11 sanctions at the discretion of the Judge. See Fed. R. Civ. Pro. Rule 11, Comments.

March 2, 2007


Bar Exam over. It was fun. Must now get mail, answer e-mail and phone messages, pay bills, and sleep. Very grateful for amazing supernatural support from my boyfriend, who fed me, let me study, kept me warm, and made me play laser tag. You rock, Baby!

January 22, 2007

Looking for Green, Just Like Every Human Being.

So says Ani DiFranco, says my friend. It snowed again in Denver, covering the crunchy icy snow which covers the icy black snow which covers the frozen blocks of black and chunky ice which persist in every side street unless piled in massive lumpy statuary where there once were metered parking spaces downtown. What I say is that Winter is the city, Summer is the countryside, and Spring and Fall are just the right kind of cozy little town near the suburbs. I spent a summer on the island of Hawaii in the 1980's. I remember that the parking meters downtown took pennies, just a block and half away from the beach.

But enough about the weather. Time to study.

January 15, 2007

We Don't Mean to be Coy, but . . .

Re: Denver. Snow and ice from repetitive storms persists, becomes denser, more black, more treacherous. Residential side streets are graced with wavy grooves down the middle, one for each tire. Passing traffic the other way means reciting a prayer and then a jolting slide back into the groove. It sounds groovier than it is.

Re: Bar Exam. 42 days remain. Recently my strong subjects have been Criminal Law and Constitutional Law. Ironic. Probably just a few lucky guesses. My normally strong performance in Contract Law has dwindled to a pathetic scramble to guess the least incorrect-sounding options. Not good.

What kills me about Con Law is the almost arbitrary choice of squishy English words to describe levels of scrutiny that control extremely important democratic concepts such as 'equal protection of the laws' and 'Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.'

Words like "necessary," "compelling," "important," and "substantial" are not interchangeable in the law. No. Used by judges in each case to describe something "necessary," etc, but then adopted by "the law" as a stultified, ossified, brittle and crunchy rule of law that thou shalt quote correctly or be killed. And "legitimate?" Who decides what's a legitimate government interest? A silly word choice to describe something driven almost totally by previous judicial decisions. A better standard would have been: "not rationally related to a government interest that the Judicial branch has already anointed as legitimate."

What exactly is a "substantial government interest?" I'm pretty sure I know what it should be, but don't we all? Too squishy for comfort.

What we memorize and regurgitate for the Bar Exam is that words like "necessary" and "compelling" are about things like race, alienage, and national origin discrimination, while words like "substantially related" and "important" are about gender discrimination and whether or not the children of illegal aliens should be allowed to attend public schools. So there you go. That's what's important: gender and whether children of illegal aliens can attend public schools. Nothing else is particularly important. Age, sexual orientation, social class . . . not important. No.

January 9, 2007

The Tuesday of My Discontent

Re: Bar Exam.
Today I cover the law of Administrative Agencies. Not a subject for the multiple choice section but a potential target for an essay question. An easy subject, a fine place to begin to practice. I counted the number of multiple choice practice questions in my collection - I'm in no danger of running out, even practicing for seven hours per day. I'm strong in the area of multiple choice. Therefore, must commit myself to grinding out practice essays instead. Erk. Today I meet my study partner at a Public Library, so as not to suffer alone.

Re: Law Clerky Goodness.
Must work. Rent not yet paid for next month. On a positive note, three weeks remain for me to corral the money. Before my study partner arrives, I shall log an hour on the following topic: what speech and/or internet activity can support a claim for ‘tortious interference’ given that the plaintiff and the defendant are business competitors, and what must the plaintiff allege to survive a motion for summary judgment?

January 4, 2007

Bar Exam countdown: 53 days remain.

I'm in the Hell of wishing for a job to end my poverty but finding unemployment a better study aid.