• mallorean
  • stiff"
  • pledged"
  • Buffy"

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I'd Rather Be Doing..........


Harsh Realities

I was reading an article on Washington Post about Michael Ball, author of a book about entry-level jobs. He recently published "You're Too Smart for This: Beating the 100 Big Lies About Your First Job."

People like me should have read this about a year ago. But I don't think it's all my fault, all I heard in college was how set I was because I would be graduating from an outstanding university. I guess I took this a little too far. I thought that a job would be handed to me on a silver platter, and I certainly didn't think it would be grunt work.

Entry-level + liberal arts degree = "Would you like fries with that?"
No matter where you went to school

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


"Borrowing" or Plagiarism?

At first I thought, what's the big deal? How does someone not use parallels to other popular works in their novels? How many unique stories can you write about the same topic?

But, then I read this:

Harvard Novelist Says Copying Was Unintentional
Published: April 25, 2006

And the borrowings may be more extensive than have previously been reported. The Crimson cited 13 instances in which Ms. Viswanathan's book closely paralleled Ms. McCafferty's work. But there are at least 29 passages that are strikingly similar.

At one point in "Sloppy Firsts," Ms. McCafferty's heroine unexpectedly encounters her love interest. Ms. McCafferty writes:

"Though I used to see him sometimes at Hope's house, Marcus and I had never, ever acknowledged each other's existence before. So I froze, not knowing whether I should (a) laugh, (b) say something, or (c) ignore him and keep on walking. I chose a brilliant combo of (a) and (b).

" 'Uh, yeah. Ha. Ha. Ha.'

"I turned around and saw that Marcus was smiling at me."

Similarly, Ms. Viswanathan's heroine, Opal, bumps into her love interest, and the two of them spy on one of the school's popular girls.

Ms. Viswanathan writes: "Though I had been to school with him for the last three years, Sean Whalen and I had never acknowledged each other's existence before. I froze, unsure of (a) what he was talking about, or (b) what I was supposed to do about it. I stared at him.

" 'Flatirons,' he said. 'At least seven flatirons for that hair.'

" 'Ha, yeah. Uh, ha. Ha.' I looked at the floor and managed a pathetic combination of laughter and monosyllables, then remembered that the object of our mockery was his former best friend.

"I looked up and saw that Sean was grinning."

Better luck next time, Ms. Viswanathan?

Survival Mode... but this isn't practice, this is the game

I can't link to this person's entry... so copy and paste it is, because it completely sums up how I have felt the last 6 months. Also, she just has an extremely well designed blog. It looks like a sketch book.

19 April 2006

Sometimes I take a step back from life and I realise that I've been running in Survival Mode.

Doing as little as possible to get through each day.
Holding back. Hesitating. Preserving.
Waiting for something. Don't know what.

The days pass. The seasons change. The years slip away.
And you are no closer to your dreams. No closer to the kind of person you wanted to be.

And that tragic word. Regret. That word you're not supposed to use these days.

Yet it's there.
It eats and consumes your heart.
Body panics. Mind is paralysed.
Don't know what to do.

So you continue to wait.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Everyone's Doing It

Is blogging keeping you from writing/finishing a book?

Here's an excerpt from the article on Slate:

One morning last month, I woke early, finished a book I'd been reading, and shut down my blog. I had kept the blog for nearly five years, using it as a repository for personal anecdotes, travelogues, and the occasional flight of fiction—all of which I hoped, eventually, might lead to a novel. And then, somewhere between the bedsheets and 6 a.m., I realized something: Blogging wasn't helping me write; it was keeping me from it.

I had come to this realization before, but the moment would pass, and I would find myself percolating with small, quotidian stories that I wanted to share: This funny thing happened on the subway; you'll never believe what so-and-so said. Not revelations by any means, but I live alone, and blogging was a way to vent the daily ups and downs that might otherwise be told to the cat. Also, I couldn't help but notice—even the cat couldn't help but notice—the growing number of successful bloggers-turned-novelists. They were sexy, dishy women with pseudonyms, Wonkette and Opinionista, like they were dispatching from behind enemy lines. I was starting to feel like the only one left in the blogosphere without a book deal.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Feminism vs. Fruit Salad

Have you ever been shocked to learn something new about yourself? I think I shock myself constantly; but this is probably because I have irrationally dismissed so many things before ever giving them a chance!

A few months ago, upon the suggestion of a friend, I travelled back to my alma mater to take the Strong Interest Inventory test. I was hoping the test would give me some perspective on what the hell I'm doing with my life. At that time I was at the point where I really felt that being a lawyer was not the best fit for me, but I needed some validation from a more official source.

The test scores your answers in relation to other people who have taken the test, and it matches your interests with other's interests who enjoy their chosen career. And I did find out some interesting things.

I have always thought of myself as a loner, but the test revealed that I actually prefer working in groups. I think the catch there is that I prefer working with warm, down-to-earth people who I am friends with; engaging in small talk and forcing conversation absolutely drains me. If that sounds like you too, welcome to being an introvert. I always thought introvert meant extremely shy or incapable of being outgoing - but I was wrong! Read this interesting article if you would like to learn about the new introvert!

The SII test also listed 'Culinary Arts' as my highest interest. My first thought was, "WTF, a cook?!" But the counselor assured me that this meant I just enjoy nuturing people, such as having a bunch of close friends over and cooking for them... teaching people, engaging, comforting.

Since then, I have thought a lot about what nurturing means. I have learned to look at myself more honestly, and through my own eyes.
I am very attracted to nurturing professions. I think I need something that really engages with people; I have to make contact. I'm not so sure that I could pull off being a cook because I really know so little about it. But, that could be me dismissing things before giving them a chance again. I was just so shocked tonight that I made my first fruit salad!

I know that making a fruit salad sounds like the easiest, lamest thing a person could be excited about making, but it made me feel great. I had never actually cut a cantaloupe before. The only thing I'm fairly experienced in is baking.

Sometimes I think that feminism has ruined me. I've never been an angry, Bikini Kill loving feminist, but I used to have a lot of incorrect ideas about feminism. For example, I was completely opposed to having kids for years. Of course this was for a multitude of reasons, but one of the main reasons was that I thought I would have to give up my hobbies, interests, sexuality, career plans, etc. and devote my entire life to maintaining a family. I also rolled my eyes when my mom would suggest that I help her in the kitchen. Babies + Kitchen = The Man Keeping Us Down, right? What if I got pleasure from having a family, cooking, or even -gasp- cleaning? Where do women who take pleasure from acting in traditional women's roles fit in when they also maintain separate passions and goals?

I have to think that this must be a concern among most women. Some evidence for this might be that more and more celebrities are opting to be mothers. I use the phrase "be mothers" instead of "have kids" on purpose. It seems
, although who really knows for sure, that more female celebrities are starting to enjoy being mothers and take active parenting roles. Okay, so that's what their publicists say. At the very least, celebrities don't necessarily jump the shark right after they have kids. Unless you're Britney Spears, that is.

But also, so-called 'Mommy Bloggers' seem to be working towards reinventing what it means to be a mom. Blogs like this, this and this somehow manage to combine a talent and love of writing while creating an honest internet scrap book for their kids. Women don't just fall into a black hole when they get married and have kids... they're so strong and inspiring.

Thinking about the future thrills me. It's so uncertain, but for once I'm noticing the opportunities that this new freedom presents instead of only looking down at how far I have to fall. I hope the coming years are filled with finding a 'nurturing' career path and making fruit salad. Then maybe a little further down the road, learning how to balance and embrace feminist notions with family life.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


What about Tiger Beat?! BOP!?!

Here is what I learned today in law school: Jonathan Brandis is dead. Also, excuse me while I go from talking about the President to mentioning teen star Jonathan Brandis.

Apparently he's also been dead for a while; he hung himself in 2003. Maybe some of you have known that all this time, but I was shocked to hear it! Okay, so he didn't really have an amazing career as an adult... but plenty of childhood actors and actresses go on to do great things... right?

How about Corey Feldman? Who can forget classics like The Lost Boys and The Goonies?
Mr. Feldman grew up to get married a few times, have a kid he named Zen, attend several trials to claim that Michael Jackson did not, in fact, molest him, AND he even did some massive drugs!

Also, Macaulay Culkin. Home Alone is one of the most parodied movies ever (come on, who hasn't seen this movie!?). And The Good Son still sends chills down my spine. I did unfortunately catch Party Monster, and this made me want to stab my eyes out. All in all, he's had a decent run. Mr. Culkin has been married, divorced (no kids!), done some drugs, and also bailed out MJ in court.

Coincidentally, Feldman and Culkin have both more recently been in Robot Chicken, a Seth Green production. I heard an interview with Seth Green where he talked about this. He seems to like old toys a lot, and this show uses his toys in a 'demented' way?

Besides supporting MJ in court and doing voices in Robot Chicken, there are still plenty of opportunities for washed up childhood stars. I do not really remember 2003, so maybe the celebrity reality tv show craze hadn't fully kicked in yet: The Surreal Life, Dancing with the Stars, Skating with Celebrities, Snorting Coke with Famous People, or maybe even a little Molesting VIPs with MJ.

Jonathan Brandis couldn't keep his long, floppy hair, big eyes, and boy grin forever. But all relentless sarcasm aside, hearing this news really did bother me. Some teeny boppers may have loved their JTT, but I was always true to Brandis. Ladybugs was such a fun movie; I remember watching it with my soccer team. I also remember wasting/spending money on Tiger Beat and BOP Magazines to get the fold out poster of him.

This is even more troubling than the day my boyfriend told me Mark Ruffalo was dead (he actually wasn't dead, but he did almost die from a pretty serious brain tumor).
I am also troubled by Brandis' listing on IMDB. I don't think he would have been able to be in movies in 2004 and 2005, but with science these days I guess you never know...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


And YOU said he couldn't read!!

President has been reading my blog!! Thanks for justifying my snarky remarks even more by saying words like "decider" in an angry tone!

“I’m the decider, and I decide what’s best. And what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense!”
- The President of the United States of America

Yeah, I'm ribald.

My journey into the enormous world of bloggers has left me thinking... Holy hell! I want an awesome looking blog, too!

I see my impossibly long list of goals for the summer already growing unmanageable. That's right, the list has taken over. I know we all have to start somewhere. You can't go from no blog to super fabulous blog on the first day (don't disagree with me, or I will be very crestfallen).

Things working against me:

TIME - I simply have no time to work on layout, templates, banners, etc. until after exams (this is the point where you cackle at me and say, "HA! If your final law school exams were that important to you, you wouldn't have been dicking around ALL SEMESTER! Nice try, asshole!" Fine, you win this round.)

MONEY - It seems that most of you fancy bloggers have your own domain name. That's great, really. And I'm sure you make sacrifices to pay for that blog... and if I really wanted it I would make the sacrifice too, right? Well, no. If you have read this blog at all, then you know that I will very shortly be plunging into a black hole of debt. I'll probably die in there and won't even have a blog at all, let alone a fancy blog with a personal domain name and sassy banners.
My banner will have to look something like this: [NOTE: I tried to include an image I made... It had a black hole with money and myself being sucked into it. And George W. Bush laughing at me... it seems appropriate that that is what he would do. Besides, it's always cool to hate on the President, and that's about as sassy as I can hope to get. Blogger, however, just kept refreshing and I could not load my image. I'm taking this as a direct attack, Blogger.]

TALENT - Okay, I actually own photoshop. Maybe every now and then I can make something that looks decent. But this is decent compared to people who don't know how to sign on the internet. Some people out there are just amazing. Like this and/or this. It's a visual fiesta. I want it, and I can't handle it.

JOB - As in, after May 12 I've got nothing. It's like George Dubs' presidency, any way you look at it you're just fuckin screwed. (Again, notice awesome jab at the President)

SQUIRREL FACTOR - Making the jump towards that kind of high profile blog is a serious business. It's not like you're Paris Hilton or George Dubs; some modicum amount of talent or skill is expected!

That all being said, stay tuned for a new design this summer... possibly... maybe... it could happen.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Myspace isn't Yourspace

Today in a restaurant my boyfriend ran into a guy he knew from high school, middle school, and elementary school. They exchanged updates and also some other news about people from high school. One guy, you know.. your stereotypical high school football playing jerk, now sells printers. Oh, what a tired cliche.

For some reason this year more than any other it seems to me that I've heard more about people from high school. This is maybe mostly my own doing because I, for a brief period of time, joined Myspace.

Like most things I hate at first and then grow to love, it was an uneasy courtship. First, I ranted and raved about the evils of it. Next, I began investigating it more and looking at people's profiles. I started an account with a fake name, got scared, and quit. Again I started an account with a fake name, looked around, and quit.

Finally I started a real account. It was fun at first. I caught up with some people I just live far away from now but still really enjoy spending time with. But then I started catching up with old people that I later realized I was MUCH happier without them in my life.

I won't deny I've had an odd life. I've never joined the circus or worked in the porn industry, but I've been good friends with many different kinds of people. Yet while I'm not going to deny the past, I'd also kind of like to keep it in the past. I've moved on a great deal, and I'm nowhere near where I used to be. Most people I used to be friends with still seem like they're there... sloggin through it. And I think there are some things in the past that just don't need rehashing or revisiting. Some things are just over.

As much as I get curious now about some people from the past, I think it's finally sunken in that I should just let it rest. It's probably only going to make me upset; it certainly adds nothing to my happiness. It only reminds me of how melodramatic things were back then... how self-centered it all was. I almost want to smack those people now and just say, "GET OVER YOURSELF!"

Needless to say, I quit Myspace a few weeks ago and I have not missed it at all. The dark colored backgrounds, mysterious quotes, vacant photos that attempt to make the person look sexy/fun-loving/different... such pretentious bullshit. Do we need validation that much??

Believe it or not, I'm intensely private. I like to keep "myspace" separate from "yourspace."

And, I'm allowed to slander Myspace all I want. Everyone wins, really. It's trendy to love or hate myspace these days...

Sunday, April 16, 2006


easter is not just for the bunny

Googlism says:
easter is a bad hare day petition
easter is a time of love
easter is about freedom
easter is really for jesus
easter is a sacred chocolate eating contest

Well, I don't know about that, Googlism. Let me tell you about Easter at Seredne's house...
easter is The GM throwing shit flips 24/7
easter is The GM^2 laying low in the garage or going fishing
easter is The Hater... usually not present, but if he is present... stomping and storming around yelling he'll never be back again
easter is everyone I know at home getting disappointed and irritated that I can't spend time with them
easter is shit storm city

All in all, it's hard work being a disappointment to everyone around you all day. Hard work indeed. Especially for someone who has always been the pride and joy, the big winner, the looks great on paper achiever.

After celebrating some belated birthdays, I escaped to visit with an old friend who I haven't seen in some time, and I was really shocked. The studio he has been working on since Jesus rose from the grave is looking amazing. He seemed really interested in what he was working on and just really interested in general. It made me feel so inspired and moved to see him like that. I wanted to run home and feverishly begin working on art.

I've sketchy a few times this year, but I haven't picked up a paintbrush in forever. I haven't collaged in even longer. Not to mention... when was the last time I finished a novel?

Thinking about the creative black hole spiraling in my life makes me want to be sick. In elementary school, my dream was art. I loved creating, and it was mostly how I spent my free time. Middle school saw even more development as I tried building on the basics. I took a cartooning class at a different school a few nights during the week. We just worked on caricatures of famous people. It probably didn't provide that much value, but it's the only formal art class I have ever taken besides elementary school play time. In high school everything started piling up. I kept an incredible journal throughout all four years. I still worked on some art related things, mostly making smaller crafts and spending less time sketching or painting. A few times I stayed after school to work on sculpture. The art history teacher agreed to spend some time with me even though I never took any art classes; she must have felt great thinking someone was actually interested in what she had to say.

In college everything went to hell. I tried to keep writing my first year, and I did get something published, but it was nothing like it used to be. I really never did anything artistic, although my roommate was a photography major. I would watch her with hungry eyes while she worked on art projects for class.

Now, I still don't have the time yet to find my way back to creativity. Hopefully this summer and next year I will. If I can feel again how I felt tonight it should be no problem. As the end of law school draws near I feel myself becoming more and more inspired to work on different projects. The GM and GM^2 will love it.... dropped out... unemployed.. and making ART. It's probably their greatest nightmare (that is, after anything related to psychology or social work).

I'm not saying I want to run off to Greenwich village and flick the ashes of my cigarette at social conformity... that's really not my idea of a good time. I just want some way to be creative, and I want more time to enrich myself. I am tired of putting the person that I would like to be on the backburner and instead indulging the one that looks best in other people's eyes. I have high hopes for next year. With a new location and some space to breath, I think it just might happen.

Saturday, April 15, 2006



Wednesday night I went to a meeting at my alma mater. It wasn't planned... I just happened to be passing by town on my way to my parents' house when I realized that I would be in that city at the exact time of the meeting. Damn those people are incredible and welcoming. It felt so good to see them and hear what they were doing. I do go back once a semester, but those are times when the group is very busy and doesn't have much time. Well on this occasion I did not have much time, but it was nice nonetheless.

I spoke with one girl who told me she will not be going to law school in the fall as she had planned. She tried to describe to me that it was a hard year for applicants and that many of her friends with high GPAs and decent LSATs did not get in anywhere that they wanted to go.

Well, I'm sorry my friend, but there is no mistake. Law schools are not interested in high GPAs. Mine would rock your pants off, but it did not help.

I remember that one time during my senior year I was at my internship in GDC. The intern for the attorney I ran ridiculous errands for turned to me one day and wanted to talk about law school. You see, all law students want to talk about law school constantly and thoroughly. One of the main points of law school is to increase the egos and arrogance levels of people who really need no encouragement in that area.

This guy asked me flat out about my LSAT scores. Inappropriate... but again, such is the law school way. I told him that I was hoping my GPA and my university name would really help me. Well, he smashed those dreams. But since he was such a lame-ass, I chose to dismiss what he said.

Unfortunately the lame-ass was correct. Unless you have, not just a decent LSAT, but a pretty freakin awesome LSAT, you're not going to get in at your dream school. Because so many college graduates think they want to be lawyers, every school has the ability to be competitive. Even Barfsylvania University School of Law, the school that I currently attend.

I found this webpage that talks about how law school rankings are wack and there is so much else to look into when choosing a school. There are about 100 other webpages like this. This is nothing new to me, I've heard that before. But I still feel like such discussions are only relevant for a small minority of people... most prospective law students just have to take whatever leftovers are tossed their way.

Some things it mentions include:
Total JD enrollment: I agree, small schools increase the pain factor
Minority enrollment: My school has no Asians of any variety, 3 black girls in my section, no black men, no Hispanics, no Latinos... Any other racial population you can think of, we don't have it. Just white as far as the eye can see. And not just any white... lots of white men. Lots of 'awwww... look at the lil women folk trying to play with the big boys.' And the girls... oh geez... we're talking 'omg Sex & the City is my LIFE! I'm sooooo Carrie Bradshaw! I'm SUCH a 'Katie-girl'!! Guys will just never ever get it! Stupid guys!' And yes, I know minority doesn't mean male/female ratios... but... women are the minority... so eat it.

Let me shorten this up though... if you want to be a lawyer, and you've done your homework and you've gotten experience and you're pretty damn sure it's what you want to do.... but the only school you get into is 'I'm ass far away University' and it's not a horrible school but, as the name implies, it's ass far away and you have no connections there... save your goddamned money!

Now that I've shortened that shit up, let's lighten it up! With this handy little website. Now you can stay hip, sassy, and cool with the latest trends among them young whipper snappers*. Try to use one in IM or even real conversation today!

That's right...
C-P, everyone. BOHICA! TTFN!!

*a quick googling indicates: "Whippersnapper" is a somewhat archaic term, rarely heard today outside of movies, and then usually from the mouth of a character portrayed as chronologically-challenged and hopelessly old-fashioned to boot. A "whippersnapper" is an impertinent young person, usually a young man, whose lack of proper respect for the older generation is matched only by his laziness and lack of motivation to better himself.

One might imagine that the term derives from the understandable temptation among more productive citizens to "snap a whip" at such sullen layabouts, but the whips in question actually belonged to the whippersnappers themselves. Such ne'er-do-wells were originally known as "whip snappers" in the 17th century, after their habit of standing around on street corners all day, idly snapping whips to pass the time. The term was been based on the already-existing phrase, "snipper-snapper," also meaning a worthless young man, but in any case, "whip snapper" became "whippersnapper" fairly rapidly.

Though "whippersnapper" originally referred to a young man with no visible ambition, the term has changed somewhat over the years, and today is more likely to be applied to a youngster with an excess of both ambition and impertinence.

Friday, April 07, 2006


My Two Friends Reality and Logic Will Not Be Joining Us Today

Phone conversation, 7pm

The Great Manipulator: Well, your boyfriend's mother told me that he makes you go home when he wants to read. What are you going to do when you live together?

Seredne: What are you talking about???

GM: I'm just saying...

Seredne: What is the point of that comment?

GM: You take everything so personally..

Seredne: But, what do you hope to achieve by making that ridiculous comment?

GM: You are just so touchy! Fine, we'll just talk about the weather I guess.

Seredne: What was the point of that comment!?

GM: FINE, well... your boyfriend's mother said that he makes you go home when he's tired. What are you going to do when you live together and he's tired? Go walk around the block?

Seredne: First, I don't know what you or his mother are talking about, if she did in fact say that. Second, yes... when I'm at his parent's house and it's 2am and he's tired, I suppose that I do go home because I don't live there!
What are you even talking about?! Am I going to go OUTSIDE when he wants to go to bed or read!? Do you want me to say, "Gee, you're right.. guess I shouldn't live with him after all!"

GM: Nooooooooooooooooo.... you knooooooooooow I loooooooooooove him

Seredne: Then you just wanted to put those subtle jabs and little comments in there to make me feel bad. Thank you!

... Well I suppose you DO have to hand it to the woman. When she goes into battle, she goes in fully loaded and attacking from all fronts. After a lengthy battle at Professional Life Island, she has marched her troops to the bunker at Personal Life Hill. It's hard to know exactly what GM wants. But like many great warlords before her, I'm going to guess just more power and control.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


When the SHIT Hits the Already Shit-Covered Fan

Maybe I should stop pretending that anything else really crosses my mind during the day other than my burning and violently destructive hatred of anything law related.

The last few days have been miserable. Today was perhaps a new low. That is, until I received an e-mail from my favorite family member (said with oozing sarcasm) who will heretofore be known as The Great Manipulator. Can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em... seriously, Satan couldn't live with this woman.

Why, God... WHY can't some people just accept that
  1. I am DONE with the law
  2. I did not decide to withdraw simply because I disdain law school
  3. I was never at any point in my life excited about lawyering
  4. I have spoken with lawyers, phDs, professors, friends, counselors, inanimate objects, JESUS HIMSELF over this decision
  5. fuck you
Obviously Number 5 is the most important one in this list. That pretty much sums it up. What more can I say??

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Eureka, Europa!

Evolution is awesome. I can't even begin to wrap my head around it. I love that we're discovering missing links.

Fossil animals found in Arctic Canada provide a snapshot of fish evolving into land animals, scientists say.

But right now I'm more interested in space. Last weekend I saw a film at the Smithsonian's IMAX. It was about the strange creatures deep in the ocean, but it also talked a lot about space and the creatures in our ocean that exist without ever having come into contact with sunlight. This movie suggested that life in outer space, specifically the hypothetical life that exists in the hypothetical ocean underneath the layers of ice on Jupiter's moon Europa, will look much like life in the deepest parts of our oceans on Earth.

If I was Bill Gates, instead of a soon-to-be unemployed law school dropout hounded by loan officers, I would fund this.

The 2006 NASA budget includes Congressional language imploring NASA to fund a mission that would orbit Europa. Such a mission would be able to confirm a subsurface ocean using gravity and altimetry measurements, elucidate the origin of surface features by imaging much of the surface at high resolution, constrain the chemistry of surface materials using spectroscopy, and probe for subsurface liquid water using ice-penetrating radar. The mission might even carry a small lander to determine the surface chemistry directly, and to measure seismic waves, from which the level of activity and ice thickness could be determined. However, at present it is far from certain that NASA will actually fund this mission, as funding for it is not included in NASA's 2007 budget plan.

More ambitious ideas have been put forward for a capable lander to test for evidence of life that might be frozen in the shallow subsurface, or even to directly explore the possible ocean beneath Europa's ice. One proposal calls for a large nuclear powered "Melt Probe" (cryobot) which would melt through the ice until it hit the ocean below. Once it reached the water, it would deploy an autononomous underwater vehicle (hydrobot), which would gather information and send it back to Earth. Both the cryobot and the hydrobot would undergo some form of extreme sterilization to negate the chance of contamination to any possible ecosystem on Europa. This proposed mission has not yet reached a serious planning stage.

Unfortunately, I lack both the green stuff and the intelligence to perform the engineering feats necessary to build the robots and nuclear missiles that could break through the ice barrier on Europa. But, it would be amazing if Europa contained an ocean, hydrothermal vents at the bottom of that ocean, and the ocean was actually an incubator for all kinds of life.

... well... let's make it just the one-celled organism stuff. I don't really want this.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I say martyr, you say..........

Okay, okay...

As my law-related rants become more bold maybe I left some cause for confusion.

Maybe you can get an award for being a martyr... as in, being the catalyst of a worthy social movement or, say, having your death create a new religion. But you know what I mean, right Internet?

You probably know someone who is doing something they hate. Maybe they complain about it, maybe they don't, but they sure as hell don't do anything to change it. Maybe they're thinking, "I'm not a quitter" or "I finish things once I start them." (Those are both real quotes that have been said to me several times from current law students). Or maybe they say to themselves, "I have to do this for my [insert spouse, kids, parents, dog, etc]."

Imagine a world where you didn't have to do this thing that you hate. Allow yourself to fully let go and explore this possibility. What would you do? Simplify your life down to the essentials. What wouldn't you do?

And so, this is half the battle. This is my battle every day!

Get the Word OUT!

It pleases me immensely to know that counselors in training are discussing this issue! It needs to be brought to the attention of young people trying to make life decisions. I wish that I had decent counselors throughout my high school experience. In college, I frequently went to career services. I thought that the woman was a huge help at the time. I guess she did try to make me pause a little to rethink things but, as Deborah Schneider's book would later point out, I had a pretty big case of decision paralysis going on. I was not ready to rationally look at life after college, and I clung to what sounded reasonable... liberal arts degree, smart, hard-working, ambitious, likes reading/writing/research = law? There are so many more factors, and you don't get a medal for being a martyr.

Don't worry, I'm stopping the rant right there. Let's be honest... it will be back!

Inspiration for this post brought to you by:

MB (10:21:38 PM): we were talking about law school tonight in my counseling class...my prof was talking about how it is very bimodal...you either work 80-90 hours/wk and make a lot of money or end up being a public defender and still don't make enough to pay back all the loans you took out to go to law school...one girl commented on how she has a friend who is working 80 hours a week just to make the big $ and now absolutely hates law
MB (10:22:10 PM): and then we were talking about how ppl need to make their own decisions about what they want to do and follow their own paths regardless of parents
MB (10:22:19 PM): so basically i thought of you most of the class time


Finally someone emails me an engaging and revealing article from the Opinion Journal!

Lawyers and blogging go together like witches and stoning. According to a survey conducted by blogads.com, lawyers ranked fourth among both readers and posters to blogs. Many of the best- known blogs, such as instapundit.com, are run by lawyers. It's easy to understand why blogging attracts the J.D. set: Few professions combine as much creative talent with so much mind-numbing work.

Each year thousands of otherwise perfectly normal college graduates with perfectly worthless degrees in the humanities venture into law school in the hope of landing a paying job that requires no science and little math. Many have been encouraged by college counselors who have told them that law school will "keep their options open" -- code for delaying the inevitable for another three years -- and it pays better than academia.

Law schools feed this myth because they need paying customers, even as the members of their own faculty are refugees from the very firms to which they are sending their students. Upon graduation, however, many students find that the entry-level jobs they get are little more than glorified secretarial positions. Sure, they pay well, but how many paper clips can you remove from a stack of documents before you start questioning your entire existence?

The answer? Blogging, of course! This article says that lawyers use blogging as a creative outlet because they are intelligent people who have to perform mind-numbing work. It is a pretty impressive theory. I have to completely agree. I've had no problem whatsoever finding endless internet rants about the legal profession. I've said it before, there's a whole subculture out there of disgruntled lawyers, young and old.

Maybe the bLAWger revolution will smack some college co-eds into reality?

Monday, April 03, 2006


Like Drinking Poison, Like Eating Glass

Perhaps paying homage to my 'ol history major, I like to think about the past. I'm thinking about early in America's history... the Manifest Destiny days... when the world seem uncharted and infinite (and, of course, ours for the taking).

What did people think about in the moments before they fell asleep? How about when they were alone? Now, even when I'm supposed to be doing one thing, I am still doing 18 other things at the same time. What would be Civil Procedure class without AIM? What is brushing my teeth without reading The New York Times and checking Gmail? What is driving without satellite radio and cell phones?

We never stop moving anymore. Everything is about saving time... throwing a Lean Cuisine in the microwave so that we can fit in a few loads of laundry and American Idol. Laundry used to be a huge ordeal... now we get upset just having to sort whites and colors and push a button.

The internet... words... these things keep me feeling connected with people. Emily Dickinson rarely left the house and people called her a recluse. But today you don't even need to leave the house. Are these connections with people real, or does the internet give us a false sense of security with someone's identity... even someone that we are very close with? What did Emily Dickinson think about all day? Sure, she read constantly, but did it even make sense if she wasn't experiencing anything? Do we even know?

Today the words are everywhere. So much so that we don't even think before we speak. We say the first thing that pops into our mind, not worrying about how it sounds or how someone might interpret it. Today a salesperson gave me nothing but attitude; did she even realize what she was saying? Or were we just having an IM conversation... totally impersonal, no connection, I'll never see you again.

Job interviews praise people with a firm handshake and eye contact. This is almost all it takes to make an impression. Try it and you'll be amazed. Really look at someone, connect with someone. Maybe I can't blame the internet (Emily Dickinson may not have had a firm handshake either, but I bet she was tough stuff), but I can't help thinking that we have lost the ability to connect with human beings. To do that we need the bright glow of a keyboard and a screen... a 'WWW DOT' preceding the sentence ...a google toolbar to search & rescue information we don't know and insert a little quip or double check our facts.

A friend in school's laptop screen cracked, and she will be without a computer for a few weeks. At the end of today, her first full day without the laptop, she said, "I feel so free! But, I was really bored." That about sums it up. When I'm with someone I love and we're out having a good time, I never even for a second wish I was at the computer. Yet during classes or alone at night I am more than glued to it. Do we need it? It keeps me sane by maintaining connections with people that I can't have while so far away. But it's not a free gift; it takes something away from me too.

Quod me nutrit me destruit
(an apt quote... and also one of Angelina Jolie's tattoos... the internet told me so...)