Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thor's a homo.

I am so grateful for Logan Airport's free wifi and the rule that you can totally buy alcohol as of 8am. FTW. Boston may have some shitty rules when it comes to alcohol, but every once in a while...

Bagel with cream cheese and a white wine, the breakfast of champions. So much for that diet...*cough*

(I take a Dramamine when I fly, so this ensures a fairly comatose flight.)

Well, I am done with half my classes, finals included. To be fair, one of those was trial team and one was a class that ended in March. But I turned in my professional responsibility take-home final yesterday. That was one goddamn joke of a class, it did FUCK ALL to prepare me for the MPRE. (That's the ethics exam I have to take prior to taking the bar.)

I may be taking my international law final at home if the registrar's office gets their shit together. I have never asked them a single question that didn't involve consultation with someone else who works there. Either they are all completely ignorant or always brand-new. Or both?

I also found out that the precious angel of a woman in the financial aid office who whimsically wrote off my remainder tuition for this past semester that wasn't covered by grant or federal loan *totally disappeared*. (For the record it wasn't much but it was to me!) :( God forbid they employee people who 1) know what they're doing 2) can see the bigger picture 3) go out of their way for students. That is SO not my school's MO most of the time... (though I do like my school mostly, promise).

ANYWAY. At the airport!!! :D Can't wait for Jazz Fest this weekend! I will be somewhat good and/or do some extra Jillian Michaels to go with. ;)

I did get a break to see a movie the other day--I saw Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. (Also known as the new Morgan Spurlock documentary--the guy who did SuperSize Me.)

I was worried it couldn't sustain 90 minutes. It's basically about transparency in the advertising world, specifically product placement. It's cute and funny and there's even some interesting "conflict," for lack of a better word. Basically, the movie is completely supported by product placement, but the point is to have transparency and have it be his own movie. But all the products (obviously) have their own contracts, so it gets a little blurry (in his mind) as to keeping a balance between his goal and accidentally becoming their bitch. So it's no SSM, but it was definitely fun and I enjoyed it.

Oh and I think I am going to LOVE The Killing. Only 30 minutes in (blame law school), but it's a very austere Twin Peaks so far. I know that's probably already a tired comparison, but it's true! It's the way the opening unfolds, cutting back and forth between the investigation and the kids at the high school and finding out she may not have been the most morally upstanding kids (judging by her acquaintances so far). Though I have yet to see an actual dead body, unlike TP. But whereas TP had a warm, swanky feel to it, this absolutely feels as stark as the new Wallander series--bleak as hell.

And I absolutely don't want it to be a "new Twin Peaks," I know it will be its own series, but I am enjoying the opening nonetheless.

Ok, nearly flight time!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Don't worry about that. I'm very maternal. And Albert's practically a breast.

I have spent most of today reading and writing about International Economic Law. My first draft was 25 pages without examples (it's a supplemental study aid chapter) and I'm working on the re-write and hope to finish it over the long weekend.

Long weekend, you ask, what's that? Well, in New England, Monday is Patriot's Day. I looked it up once and I've already forgotten. I think it has to do with a battle somewhere, but it is my finding that the natives don't know, either. To them, Monday is Marathon Monday. And it is Marathon Monday for everyone and you fall into only two categories--you either run the Boston Marathon (they were already fucking up Boylston Street last night, I noticed) or you drink all day long. As big a fan of day drinking as I may be, this paper isn't going to write itself. (Though I keep staring at it, in the hopes.)

I do have two new albums I've been listening to as I work: Paul Simon's So Beautiful or So What and Lia Ice's Grown Unknown.

Ok. The Paul Simon album. I mean, it's decent. I think The Afterlife (the single most people praise as being "humorous") is obvious. Hell, most of the album is obvious. And I also find the religious overtones--even if they are darker rather than praising or preachy--annoyingly bleed through more and more. Hell, they aren't really even "overtones" anymore.

Overall it lacks the sort of lyrical nuance and mystery his older albums have. And with each passing year since Graceland, the music itself seems to get out of hand. Like it's almost overbearing on occasion. After reading that he was going back to his old-school manner of song-writing from the 70s, I guess I had higher hopes that it would be a little more stripped-down musically? So overall it struck me as disappointing, but I'm working on it.

I may be in the minority here.

This one's not bad, Rewrite, and he's certainly still having fun.

(I want to give Jimmy Fallon shit for gushing at the end, but I would probably look just as idiotic. Oh! And more on Fallon in a second...)

I don't dislike the album. And I would still go see him in concert in a heartbeat and overpay like a motherfucker with a giant grin on my face. If only I were going to be in town! :(

Here's hoping the repeated listens make it grow on me.

Lia Ices is an artist I stumbled on completely by accident while surfing the interwebs. The cheap description would be "Cat Power and Sarah McLachlan mixed together but still different." I read something like that somewhere. I get the Cat Power thing, not so much the SM. But I like this artist more than Cat Power, who for some reason often annoys me.

Anyway, Lia Ices seems to be a fairly unknown artist from Brooklyn, and she played at this year's SXSW. But I'm really enjoying the album. I always buy myself a new album during the last couple weeks of the semester to abuse while I study. I aim for mellow, for obvious reasons. Past selections have been Carrie Newcomer and Frightened Rabbit. I was going to opt for Mumford and Sons, I'm really curious about that album and have heard nothing but good things, but I ended up favoring the obscure.

Ok, back to Jimmy Fallon, or rather, his Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It's not as gross as it sounds at all.

I only had a couple bites in order to be less chunky myself, but it was perfectly tasty. Since they're clusters, if you didn't already know while eating it, I don't think you would suspect "potato chips."

Monday, April 11, 2011

I love being a frog in the warm sunny summer...but mostly I’m happy because I have you.

I didn’t even really do anything complex today…but my brain gets fried exponentially faster when the things I study are out of my league. Like in tax law, I’ve been trying to catch up regarding depreciation and bad debts/losses. I get it when SHE talks about it but I can so tell that when left to my own devices I’ll be fucked. So I need to up my A game in the tax department. I’m delusionally desirous of an A in that class. Just cause I think the prof is awesome and it’s a 4 hour credit and I want to rock it.

And then I was proofing my study-aid chapter I have to write about international economic law. OH HAHAHAH. So this book series for which I'm writing normally reeks of personality and charm because the authors are so familiar with the material that there’s an offhanded je ne sais quoi about then there’s me, with nooooooooooo fucking clue what’s going on. And you can TELL because the narrative is stale, distanced and sterile. I am working on it. I am also working on getting the SUBSTANCE right. Like I JUST REALIZED I kick off the “bilateral and free trade agreement” section by explaining what bilateral TRADE INVESTMENTS are. If you just glazed over, welcome to my world. I really do love working on this. I know more than I ever wanted to know about international trade law, including the WTO, the World Bank and the IMF. The Financial Times (always dutifully and mysteriously delivered daily at my doorstep but to which I have never subscribed), suddenly makes far more sense than I thought possible.

And! More interestingly, I also finally saw The Merchant of Venice! FMA had told me that they were actually doing student rush tickets (for some reason I thought they weren’t), which meant that I got a ticket in the orchestra section for $20 instead of $94. So I sent him a thank you and a tiny bunch of street roses (there is an awesome Korean vendor near my school and I selected the most antique-y looking pinkish ones). I had never seen the show and you know what, I have also never even read the play, sadcakes.

So I saw it for the very first time last week, and I was really intrigued by the story. First of all, it was hugely modernized (the pots of metals were each represented by a MacBook, wink), but obviously the little things didn't hinder the story. It was alarming at first to be confronted with such obvious anti-Semitic issues, but I can also see how it doesn’t matter that Shylock is Jewish; he easily represents any oppressed people. Especially important (and obvious) is the idea that it is his treatment in life (by these assholes) that forces him to act the way he does. It doesn’t justify his actions, but it’s one hell of a compelling reason. And who the hell wants to be the Christian assholes in this play, anyway? Everyone is pretty loathsome, although the women’s roles are mostly positive...but even they are rife with issues. The whole thing was just crazy interesting for me, as someone who didn't know anything upon going in.

Hell, I didn't even realize this was the play from which the “Hath not a Jew eyes? [...] If you prick us, do we not bleed?” speech is from. I think I knew this at one time, *cough*, but there it is.

And needless to say, FMA fuckin’ PWNED. Seriously, it was an awesome performance and, as appropriate, he got a standing ovation at the end.

But don't worry, I saw some awful stuff, too. Tonight I went to see Arthur. I have a thing for Helen Mirren and I think I want to like Russell Brand? I can't help it, who knows.

I never saw the original, and I went in with lowish expectations. But it was decently cute. To be fair, I was helpless before it. I mean, they had Helen Mirren and then they trotted out Frog and Toad references! I was was probably just the stress. (I mean, gads, I do know it wasn't actually GOOD, so there's that. It was just a guilty pleasure one-off, I don't actually recommend it and I certainly don't plan on telling anyone. Oh wait.)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Oh God, I pierced the toast!

So I got to see F. Murray Abraham introduce (an actual 35mm print of the director's cut) of Amadeus! It was a smallish theater (about 100 seats) near my school I never knew existed. It's not a "real" theater but one the theatre district seems to use for special screenings and obscure foreign films. (I've only been here nearly two years, wtf.)

Anyway, it was pretty much sold out, but I got a front-row seat. Abraham was a very good speaker, very entertaining and I think he could have gone on for quite a while! It was at 630pm, however, as they had to rush him off for the mainstage show--he is in town playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.

And then a few days later, I ran into Abraham at one of my regular bars in the theatre district! I chatted with him briefly--he is incredibly laid back, easygoing and fun to talk to. Apparently he was raised in TX as well, which I found surprising.

And apparently I have to go to Italy for these...

I had said I was pretty sure nothing will ever taste as good as they look in the film. (Although I read that in the film they were just marzipan, and Elizabeth Berridge didn't realize she could just spit them out. She ended up eating about 15 whole ones though they were totally disgusting...she finally had to go make herself sick. Huh, well they sure LOOK awesome!)

And COMPLETELY unrelated, I registered for my final fall semester this morning! Estate and gift tax, business planning, advanced legal writing in connection with the Innocence Project, laws of war and of course my clinic. The former two are an effort to be well rounded and employable. I am looking forward to BP far more than the tax class, I can assure you. The laws of war is part of finishing an international concentration and the writing is an effort to have more/better writing samples at the ready, plus I've already taken a writing class with the professor who teaches it.

First time I got all the classes I wanted, sheesh...

Friday, April 01, 2011

Watch my mouth? You gotta be shittin' me!

Slowly, things are coming together! I HAVE A SUIT! I wasn't even planning on getting a suit when I went out...I had a $50 Express gift card from xmas and was desperately in need of pants or a skirt, just in general. My most-often used pair of trousers has a bizarre and unfortunately-placed stain that won't seem to go away and my black skirt is slowly falling apart. I wanted to wait until I lost a little weight, but oh well. Easier to take stuff in than somehow make things bigger...

So! No pants or skirts, but I did get a suit and some shirts for it! It's a brownish-grey, so I like that it's different, and it's a skirt suit. Hooray! On the downside, my motivation to live close to work is doubly so now, since I don't really envision bicycling in a tight pencil skirt.

Also no place to live yet, but there are two potentially on the horizon. There is also potentially an attic involved in one of them. The rent is fabulous, but I asked for photos. I mean, fuck, does it have a WINDOW? :/

I also do not have a ticket yet. And prices seem to have gone up. :( Baby steps. SUIT!

And yes, it snowed bunches last night. It was very hard to get up this morning, Mouchette was curled up in my arms, purring LOUDLY as he does, and you can really hear the wind from the 8th floor. And I know I just have to spend the day researching and writing about foreign direct investment and the WTO. Who WOULDN'T spring out of bed?

(I would also like to note that while both cats did get up with me, ten minutes later they totally snuck back to the bed.)

I took a break from the research last night to hit my hipster Cambridge bar for a few beers and to read my defense clinic binder. So I haven't even REGISTERED for this clinic yet, but the guy in charge has already sent us enough emails in one week to yield about a 3-inch stack of paper. They are slip opinions of recent (relevant) criminal defense cases. I just stuck them in a binder and figured I'd have a go at it over beer soon.

Despite the workload, some of the emails do have messages like, "Read this! Extreme miscarriage of justice SUCKS!" So at least he seems like a cool dude.

But oh, let's take a moment to examine how sad *I* can be. So I was reading this one case last night and the charges seemed bizarre and made me giggle.

The defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity and cruelty, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a large capacity feeding device, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

A large capacity feeding device? It just seemed really out of place, it amused me. (And to be honest, some of these cases can get awfully weird.) I was on my first beer and I can only pathetically offer than I had been reading about economics all day and wasn't in a "criminal law" mental place yet...?

I was soon joined by my bartender friend BW who had worked the lunch shift and subsequently came over to hang out once he finished his shift. I didn't say anything, just showed him the line and even he (who is very bright) laughed and said, "What the hell, like a trough?" (Of course, he's 24, from Maine and probably most importantly, not studying criminal law!)

I blame growing up with a parent who writes for the USDA, that's one excuse. Being totally naive (the nice way to put it) is probably more apt...

And you know, when I retire and write my novels for millions, it will probably be more interesting to incorporate some (um, illegal?) agricultural mass-feeding instrument, but in the meantime? In REALITY? First of all, context is a big red flag. It's a gun thing.

A "large capacity feeding device" basically means being able to fire off huge amounts of ammunition in one go, be it with a giant magazine or some other thing I wouldn't know about, but you get the idea. I think there was recent-ish legislation banning their usage (obviously). (BW looked it up on his iphone while we were laughing about it, it even brought up pics.)

So uh, I felt kinda dumb. BUT! If you google "large capacity feeder device" instead of "feeding device," well, you mostly get pics of big bird feeders and um, xerox machines. Again, context is a pretty important thing, huh.