Monday, June 30, 2008


Lately, I've had a couple of people try to drag me into fruitless and silly political debates, and it's no accident that they happen to be boys who are really not getting the picture that I am not interested in them. And so, it doesn't really end well because they take it as some sort of personal rebuff. This makes things a little awkward (although in the case of one of them I wish it would make it awkward enough for him to leave me the hell alone.)

Let me define fruitless and silly. Fruitless and silly is when two people of very strong opposing convictions regarding a particular political issue decide to debate. This does not work. The reason it does not work is if people feel as strongly about their political convictions as I do, they are not going to budge. And even if the other person starts making a little sense they probably won't budge out of principle. That is why you will never convince me that the death penalty for raping a minor is cruel and unusual just as I will never convince you that the death penalty for that crime is not cruel and unusual enough. Let's just agree to disagree. This is America, right?

The problem is that debate has turned into wrestling matches, and it really happens a lot with men. For example, someone asked me how I felt about illegal aliens. My simple answer is that there should be stricter regulation and it's unfair to punish people who went through the process correctly by putting them behind people who've been sneaking around unregistered for years. I have a lot of other issues about illegal immigration like human trafficking, lowering workplace standards and causing a lot of people to lose their jobs, bringing in new waves of syphilis and getting better health care than many US citizens as well as the rise in violent crime in immigrant neighborhoods and the number of families unregistered Mexicans tend to knock out on the North Carolina highways as they drive around intoxicated without a license. Putting tighter controls on knowing who the hell is in our country just might help with that. But that's my opinion - as correct as it may be.

Now, at this point in a true debate the opposite argument with its support would be presented. But no, instead this guy says "I'm absolutely shocked at what a Victorian Colonial attitude that is. You just don't understand what it's like to live in dire poverty and have to come to a country where no one wants you."

You then offered to drive me home in your Alfa Romeo.



So, in addition to my blog continuing to be the harbinger for Mother Theresa fans, my entry entitled "Serial Killers" with Ted Bundy's mugshot has also recently risen in international acclaim.

Seriously, this was not the way I wanted to be "discovered."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Joy and Sorrow

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

--Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, June 21, 2008


So, I've noticed that my readership seems to have quadrupled lately. I was feeling pretty good about this. I mean, blogging is my therapy but it should be group therapy, because the more people out there sympathizing by finding your blog readable - nay, by finding your blog pure genuis - makes one feel alot better about oneself.

Not only that, my new readers hailed from exotic places like Denmark, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom.

Finally out of curiousity I decided to check on what page they came in on which lured them into partaking of my wit and charm.

And learned all of them had performed an image search of "Mother Theresa" and ended up on my entry with her portrait and inspirational poem. And that was really all they looked at. Apparantly lately there have been a rash of people who need to know what Mother Theresa looked like and my blog seemed to be a good source.

This was slightly devastating. My blog is not about revering saints or posting inspirational poems. You will note the distinct lack of cartoon bunnies, kitten pictures, background floating hearts or a synthesizer version of "The Rose." I would like to say to all of you peeps, you really missed out on my twisted observations and dark humor.

Too bad they won't read the last sentence. Probably too busy recycling my Mother Theresa entry in a forward to their co-workers.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Since beginning to study for the bar, I have literally been able to see and hear the gray hairs sprout on my head. Yes, despite my regular intake of fish oil and vitamin B complex, the silvers are sliding in.

What's interesting is how during this whole study process my hearing has become so acute that I can actually hear the particular noise they make. It's a flat "plink" like the D flat at the furthest right of the keyboard which is followed by a cacophany of sopranic sharps that would put Stravinsky to shame. And all on my head while I sit peacefully drowned in minutiae and wondering if my regurgitation skills will hold up.


Another one.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


A friend and I went to the New Orleans Museum of Art today to catch George Rodrigue's show. For those not in the local know, Rodgrigue's trademark is painting tons of things with his blue dog Tiffany in them. In fact, Tiffany figures more prominently in all his work than his own sons, one of whom graduated a year ahead of me at Tulane.

Anyway, the place was packed because he was signing autographs, there was a jazz band, and free red beans and rice. To take a break from the crowds, we snuck upstairs to the more quiet exhibits involving dogs (but not blue ones), crucifixion, and beautiful paintings of our dear hometown. In one of the rooms, I let out an enormous sneeze and the whole room turned in tandem to say "bless you."

"That was a really good one," a woman standing next to me added.

Ah, New Orleans. A place where no matter how inconspicuous you try to be, people never forget that you're there.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I'm trying desperately not to turn this blog into a place where I talk about boring ol' law all day long since studying for the bar takes up enough of my time. I try to treat this blog as a way of forcing me to notice things, even if they aren't the most magical things, and then commiting them to type so maybe about 5-6 other people can enjoy them too.

But I feel some of the recent Louisiana law I've learned would qualify for that enjoyment and reminds me of why I like this state.

From my "torts" course outline:

"There is limited liability/immunity for injuries incurred as a result of actions of:

1) Krewes for Mardi Gras parades and festivities and other parades and festivals;

2) St. Patrick's Day or ethnic parades"

So, too bad for any tourists who gleefully head south in search of a personal injury case that involves being conked on the head with a cabbage or a bag of beads. Of course, on the flip side, too bad for anyone here who gets beaned as a result of a malevolent float-rider. And there are a few.

This provision gives me another reason to stay on the sidewalk with a riding helmet on during parade time. I think you should too.

My not-yet-legal advice.

Oh, the policy issues!

Monday, June 2, 2008


As my "wait to get sleepy because god knows it takes forever" bed distraction, I've been reading Barbera Kingsolver's "High Tide in Tucson." It's an amalgam of observations that range from manic-depressive hermit crabs, to Stephen King playing rhythm guitar to the embarrassment of having to wear hand-me-downs in high school. I'm actually really liking it, more so than her fiction.

I'm also liking it because I've had to face the unfortunate fact that I'm not very good with plots so it's reassuring that there is a genre of "creative non-fiction" out there, even if people rarely read it. Kind of like this blog, in fact.

Anyway. One of her essays is about how it should take a community to raise a child, and we in America now like to act like children are simply the problems of parents and teachers, and shouldn't be allowed to inconvenience everyone else. The example she cites is when a woman in a window seat wouldn't give up her seat so Kingsolver's daughter would be able to sit next to her. She reasoned that with nurturing as fragmented as this, is it any wonder our kids grow up to be such nightmares these days?

Ok, a couple of words on that. First of all, while it is nice to wax poetic about communities (and yes, I agree that it certainly helped me that I had a very kid-friendly neighborhood growing up) this waxation ignores one very important fact. Communities lighten the load on a parent, they do not relieve the parent of all responsibility. Your child's actions ultimately come down to you. (Unless you live in Louisiana and can judicially emancipate your child in order to avoid vicarious liability.)

Moreover, communities are voluntary - you don't get to draft an unwilling air traveler into your community because of some warm and rewarding experience you had while writing your novel living in the Canary Islands. As a lover of window seats myself, I don't understand why I'd have to give mine up just because you had no foresight in making your reservations. The only way I'd give up my seat was if your child was behind me kicking the back of my chair. Then I would happily exchange and kick the back of his. That's for trying to force me into your community.

Third, American communities have a lot of sexual offenders.