Busy, etc.

My apologies (yet again) for the lack of posts. Life has been crazy lately. Luckily, Lauren holds down the fort exceptionally well.

The first week of law school has been good — incredibly interesting, stimulating, and really friggin hard. I have more reading than I’ve ever had in my life. My professors are fantastic, and the other people in my classes are all really smart. It’s a big change from high school and even from undergrad, where there were always at least a handful of kids who really didn’t have their shit together. Here, everyone is on top of things. All the comments made in class are well thought out. No one has said anything particularly dumb yet. It’s an interesting experience, and I definitely feel like the small fish. But that’s a great motivation.

In other news, I finally found an apartment, and spent the weekend moving in. I’m living on the Upper East Side, which is a big change from downtown. I do miss the Village, but I love my new neighborhood. Once I make the apartment pretty, I’ll post pictures! The only bad thing is that we haven’t been set up for internet yet, hence the slow blogging. But that should be going sometime soon. Until then, I’ll try and make at least one daily stop at the NYU library to use their computers.

I also don’t have a TV at the new place, which is good. Watching the news lately is just way too depressing. My mom called me on Saturday night and told me that Rehnquist died, and basically said, “We are fucked.” The more I see, read, and hear about Katrina’s aftermath, the angrier I become at the complete ineptitude of our various government agencies in dealing with this issue — particularly because I sincerely believe that if it were thousands of middle-class white people left stranded, they’d have their shit together.

So, despite the general depression I’m in because of the state of this country, I’ll be back to blogging on and off, hopefully with some consistency at least this week. Next week, once I enter the age of wireless internet, blog-life should be good.

Posted in Blogging, Domesticity, Education, Vanity | Tagged , , | 5 Comments


Thoughts on “looting” by Dr. B. who grew up in Detroit with the history of the race riots:

The best story of the the Detroit uprising was the story of a friend’s mother. On the day the rioting started (before things got going) a young African American mother went to a fabric store to buy thread. She was made to wait while the sales clerk waited on white folks and told not to touch things (yes this was Detroit in 1967!). She left without buying anything. Almost 20 years later when this mother passed away the son that she gave birth to 2 years later found a box of untouched thread in the attic. It turns out that once the uprising started later that day the woman went back to the store and got thread. Thread that she never used, but thread that probably made her feel better. Thread that made her feel empowered in a world of racism and oppression. So, can I understand why folks are stealing t.v.’s and other electronics even though they can’t use them now and may never be able to? Absofrigginlutely! You take what has been denied to you for so very long.

Posted in Politics, Race & Ethnicity, Recommended | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Lott’s Vacation House

This really shouldn’t have cracked me up, but it did. Go read more of the inimitable Twisty’s ideas on BushCo.

Posted in Politics, Recommended | Tagged | 5 Comments

Pushing the Envelope

If we isolated the last two weeks and replaced Bushco with the Clinton administration, everything done exactly the same, the Republicans would be all over Clinton like stink on shit. That Bush has a 46% approval rating for the handling of the hurricane crisis is un-fucking-believable.

Amanda expresses my thoughts quite nicely.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , | 11 Comments

A Shoelace, A Bike, and Finally A Piano

I made the mistake of falling asleep at 9pm this evening, waking up from my apparent nap at 11:30. I’m wide awake and it’s way too late to do much other than watch infomercials or blog.

Thus let me take a moment to brag. In the last two weeks, Ethan learned to

  • tie his own shoes,
  • play the piano, and
  • ride his bike.

This evening I took him out to a walking/riding path so he could show off his new biking skills that Grandma taught him. In the beginning he couldn’t start himself off — I had to hold the bike up while he pushed of and got his feet situated on the pedals. At the end of the half-hour, he could start and stop with little difficulty.

The most lovably painful part was watching him, his little bike and little body, wobble all over the path and into a double stroller pushed by a very concerned mom. Every once in awhile he would stop the bicycle to assess his shoelace situation, climb off the bike, and retie his shoes with a look of severe concentration.

My baby’s growin’ up.

Since Ethan has started taking piano lessons, I finally had a decent excuse to move my piano from the parents’ house to my own.

Piano Keys

This beauty is a Roland electric piano that I got for my sixteenth birthday. Until this point I had played on an antique, hand-me-down upright bought for my oldest uncle. The old piano is at least eighty years old, with a broken pegboard, still situated in my parents’ dining room. The switch of instruments was enormous for me — going from an actual instrument with strings and hammers to an electric version with weighted keys — but I took off soon enough and was pleased that I knew what the songs were supposed to actually sound like instead of imagining the songs on the out-of-tune upright. Then again, I missed the upright.

One little-known fact about me: I can play Stairway To Heaven on the piano. I learned that lame party trick on the old upright.

Growing up, my piano influences apart from the classical masters were the Gershwins and Tori Amos (much respect for the lady, but I’m over her music after years and years of replay). There was something that Tori said that has always stuck somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain: Each instrument is different. You must approach each instrument with respect. Listen for the differences and play to them.

As I grew older and began to discover my penchant for low-fi music I would return to the old upright, a family heirloom, and play certain songs on it, songs that didn’t sound right on the infintely, perfectly tuned Roland. I thought of my grandfather and how pleased he was that his granddaughters learned to play, my parents who would occasionally request songs by yelling through the house, and perhaps my future sons and daughters and how I wanted them to take on my love of music.

Piano or no piano, Ethan has definitely inherited my love of music. Yesterday he requested that I make him a CD to take along in the car. The quick CD I made included AC/DC, Queen, and Skynyrd, songs that he already knows and loves and sings along to in the backseat. (Parenthood is nothing if you haven’t heard your child singing along to Hell’s Bells.) For some reason, music has always meant family to me, something that I have consciously passed along. Maybe it’s the thirteen years of lessons, the generations of old sheet music I have inherited, learning to play the songs that I knew my mother, my father, my sisters, and my grandfather loved so much. Hearing today that my mother told my boyfriend that she wished I would play again, that I once played beautifully.


Ethan’s father, too, got an electric piano for Ethan to learn on. With our crazy custody schedule Ethan will have to practice at both our houses. Having similar instruments will help in the beginning, though there is something in me that wishes he too could learn to play on that old, broken instrument.

One day, I hope to have that old piano.

I set up the Roland in our little house this afternoon and sat down to play, trying to shake the rustiness from my inflexible fingers. The boyfriend sat down on the couch and looked through the piles and piles of cheesy sheet music, requesting everything from Desperado to the Muppets theme song to Horse With No Name, but I turned to my old favorites, dragging out fragile pages of forty-year-old sheet music and my deceased grandfather’s thirty-year-old issues of Sheet Music magazine. Bach’s fugues, Chopin, Singin’ in the Rain, the Gershwins, jazz and blues standards, Joplin, La Vie En Rose, Jerome Kern, Cry, Smile, Tenderly.

I tried to play, cursing through every song, stop and start and retry, all of it slowly coming back to me, but jilted and screwy. It will take awhile for the five years without practice to be undone. When it was time for me to go pick up Ethan from his afternoon at his dad’s, I stood up from the piano and suveyed the room, furniture akimbo to make room for the piano. For the first time, my house truly felt like my home.

Related: If you too are interested in vintage music, scroll down this page to a slew of links to old sheet music available for fair use. For example, can you tame wild wimmen? And, Eve wasn’t modest ’til she ate that apple. That old apple was to blame.

Posted in Music, Vanity | Tagged | 7 Comments

Devastation In Mississippi

This harrowing photostream takes us out of NOLA and into Mississippi.

via Culture Kitchen

Tagged , | 2 Comments

Labor Day Tomato Blogging

If you didn’t enter the 2005 Weblog Tomato Contest, shame on you. I am proud to say that this is the only official blogging contest in which I have won any award.

More Bounty
Judge Ali’s comments: “almost as big as a head of cabbage!”

These babies are an heirloom plant comparable to the Burpee Big Boy beefsteak toms but without all the icky and weird hybridization (allow me my oddities, please). They are enormous, but bonus, sweetly edible when yellow and slowly turn a pretty, pleasant orange color if left on the vine. Unfortunately, this plant was one of the plants to be ruined during last month’s rainstorm deluge so I am no longer collecting these lovely babies and am instead trying to get rid of egregious amounts of romas.

That said, thank you and thank you for all your love and support. Without lime, mulch and water, none of this would have been possible.

Posted in Domesticity | Tagged | 7 Comments

Note to World

The hurricane was not an act of God to punish us.

The Salvation Army conducted an outside religious service that included songs such as “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

“Natural disaster is caused by the sin in the world,” said Maj. John Jones, the group’s area commander. “The acts of God are what happens afterwards … all the good that happens.”

Note #2: Cold-hearted as this may be, this is why I don’t give to the Salvation Army.

In the face of a national disaster, it is difficult not to look for reasons why so many were abandoned or left for dead, but let’s not grow ever more flagrant in our rejection of reality.

C’mon, America. I don’t know why I believe in us much anymore, but let’s get a grip and chuck the fantasies. The god you love is not a god of retribution.

Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged | 9 Comments

Memo to Bush

Fire FEMA director Michael Brown. Even Michelle Malkin agrees.

And before you think I’m going too soft on Bushco, I have to agree with this guy. One more press conference and I’m heading to DC with a gun.

Also, for the first time ever, I feel confident that Al Gore would have been a great and humble leader.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Happy Kitty

Time for some feel-good blogging.

Pablo is Happy

Pablo, the unusually unaffectionate cat, is treating me like his own personal playground. Climbing all over my lap, my desk, sitting on the keyboard, laying on the mouse, and rubbing his tail in my face. Today he can’t get enough affection.

I happened to catch this picture when he stopped rubbing all over me and sat down for a total of five seconds. Alas, I made eye contact and here he is again, whapping me in the eyes with his ta45555il (extra numbers straight from Pabby’s left paw).

All this is to say that in times of despair and trouble and calamity, here the kitties are, animals all over the world, cluelessly going about their daily routines, giving us a nubbin of pleasure in their own special ways. This is what KD was getting at when he began Friday Cat Blogging.

”I’d just blogged a whole bunch of stuff about what was wrong with the world,” Mr. Drum said. ”And I turned around and I looked out the window, and there was one of my cats, just plonked out, looking like nothing was wrong with the world at all.”

We all need a bit of gleeful cluelessness in our lives (the Republican parental units notwithstanding).

Posted in General | Tagged | 7 Comments

Jesus H. Muhfuh Christ

I can’t, well, just read this.

Posted in Recommended | Tagged , | 57 Comments

Rehnquist Dies In His Home at Age 80

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died Saturday evening at his home in suburban Virginia, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg…

“The Chief Justice battled thyroid cancer since being diagnosed last October and continued to perform his dues on the court until a precipitous decline in his health the last couple of days,” she said.

Rehnquist was appointed to the Supreme Court as an associate justice in 1971 by President Nixon and took his seat on Jan. 7, 1982. He was elevated to chief justice by President Reagan in 1986.

His death ends a remarkable 33-year Supreme Court career during which Rehnquist oversaw the court’s conservative shift, presided over an impeachment trial and helped decide a presidential election.

President Bush his second court opening within pour months and sets up what’s expected to be an even more bruising Senate confirmation battle than that of John Roberts.

It was not immediately clear what impact Rehnquist’s death would have on confirmation hearings for Roberts, scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments