Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Too close to home.

The sex offender registry is posted online. It contains a listing of the various sex offenders who have been required to register, as well as their offense level classifications (Levels I, II and III). Each individual listed has an accompanying photo. I peruse it sometimes when I'm at work.

Thus, browsing through feels too much like work.


I'm always intrigued with people's perceptions of me because they're always so vastly different from how I perceive myself. For example, I was the fat, funny-looking kid for so long, that I still think of myself that way. I can't stand the "beautiful people." Mike used to tell me that I was sexy, and even sexier because I just didn't recognize it. I'm starting to think that he may have been right.

Someone I really don't know at all had this to say about me today: "You seem like an Energizer Bunny. You also seem to have this cosmic sensual spirit about you."

I'm not sure what it means to have a cosmic sensual spirit. But I totally dig it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Simpsons on police officers.

The Simpsons. Best quote ever.

Lisa says: "Mom, I know your intentions are good but aren't the police the protective force that maintains the status quo for the wealthy elite? Don't you think we ought to attack the roots of social problems instead of jamming people into overcrowded prisons?"

Thanks Mom.

Every now and then people ask me how I ended up the way I am. They read my exegesis about how sexy is a state of mind. My affinity for corsetry and trench coats. How did all this come about? I think to myself, and answer with two little words:

My mother.

It all started when I was about ten years old. Though I loved dressing up -- pretending to be someone I wasn't -- I was never very good at picking out Halloween costumes. One year my mother took me to her room and pulled out a long, pink nightie. At the time, I remember thinking it was the sexiest piece of clothing I'd ever seen. It was pink. It had lace. Can anything ever be more luxurious, more sensuous, than pink lace? My ten-year-old brain knew for sure that the answer to that question was no.

My mother dressed me in her pink nightie, fitting in with a fast safety-pin-alteration. Then she went to the front closet and produced my father's navy blue Air Force trench coat, a brown fedora, and a pair of sunglasses. She instructed me to put these items on over the pink nightie.

"What am I supposed to be?" I asked her.

She instructed that when strangers asked me that same question (presumably strangers from whom I was begging candy), I should open my coat to reveal the pink lace, and quickly close it. They'd understand.

And they did understand, even if I did not. At the tender age of ten, my mother chose a Halloween costume for me:

A flasher.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Prestige.

My roommate and I just spent far too long attempting to unlock the cypher that is the film The Prestige. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of experiencing this film, the plot is as follows:

Sometime in the late 1800s, two magicians begin their careers together as plants in a magic show. Things run amok when Borden (Christian Bale, that hottie Welsh actor) ties a knot binding Angier's wife. She dies onstage -- possibly as the result of Borden's ill-adivsed knot-tying acumen -- in an underwater escape trick. Angier (Hugh Jackman, that hottie Aussie actor) is furious. The two magicians engage in an ever escalating battle to destroy each other's acts. Borden eventually puts together a trick to end all tricks, The Transported Man, where he walks through a door on stage and then reappears through another door seconds later on the other side of the stage. Angiers is obsessed with how Borden performs this trick. And so he finds Nikolas Tesla, and asks Tesla to build a machine for him that will transport him.

Alas, Tesla builds a machine that does not transport, but duplicates. However, in watching the movie, I was not sure what it was the machine did. There was a scene in Tesla's workshop where he kept attempting to transport Angier's hat. About a hundred feet from the workshop, dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of hats are found. At that point, I probably should have realized that the machine produced duplicate items. However, I refused to suspend my disbelief. I was convinced that there was some plausible explanation. But I digress...

Angier brings the machine from Colorado Springs (where Tesla's workshop has been burned down by Thomas Edison's goons) to London. He uses it to perform his act. Angier enters the machine and a duplicate is created up on the mezzanine level. A trap door on the stage opens and dumps the original (original?) Angier into a tank of water, where he drowns. Thus, one Angier is killed every time he does his trick. Moreover, each tank is brought to Angier's basement, where hides each dead body; this is all exposed at the end of the film.

Also at the end of the film, we learn that Borden has been able to perform the Transporting Man trick because he has a twin brother. The two brothers have been sharing one life the entire time. To me, this plot twist was at least plausible. I was able to swallow it. It made sense to me, unlike the duplicating machine.

This story is one of the most ridiculous I have seen in a long while. I had to watch it twice. The first time I saw it, I was looking for a way that Angier's trick could have been performed absent a body double. I searched and searched, looking for any way to explain the phenomenon, short of a people duplicating machine. Because honestly, the duplicator would have been the easy answer, as it is so fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, as to defy reality. Thus, when I finally figured out that the entire story was based on this duplicator, I felt cheated. It felt like a cop out... like the movie that ends when the protagonist wakes up and the audience learns that the entire thing was a dream.

Regardless, the movie does elicit some ethical and perhaps metaphysical questions. Near the end of the movie, Angier laments that he entered the machine each night, never knowing whether he would be the dead man in the box, or the Prestige -- the guy who appears on the mezzanine. He kills one of himself each time he performs the trick. Is he suicidal? Is he a murderer? Which is the original? The man who appears on the balcony, or the man who falls into the pool beneath the stage?

Perhaps the more important question is: Who cares? Who cares which the original is? The plot and the concept is so far fetched, that the ethical questions become lost on me. I want a movie that makes sense, and an answer that doesn't require science fiction.

When I first began typing this, I had enjoyed my movie rental experience. I was a tad baffled, but had been entertained for the requisite two hours. However, now that I've actually written out the plot, I am just pissed.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The bar.

I am taking another bar exam.

Last time I took the bar, I studied for two months. This time, I'll have studied for two days. Why do I say that? Well, because I've not really studied yet. And the damn exam is on Thursday. What's legalise for "I'm fucked"? Because that's exactly what I am.

I have a friend who took the New Jersey bar years ago. He recently got a job out west and is also taking another bar exam. The poor bastard also has to re-take the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), which consists of 200 multiple choice questions. Trust me when I tell you it sounds easier than it is. The only good think about my situation is that unlike my friend, I do not have to take the MBE. I only have to write twelve essays in six hours.

In the lunacy of studying, however, my friend did send me an MBE question that he authored himself:

Intending to cause himself severe bodily injury, Marc attacks his head with a dull spoon. Unknown to Marc, his skull is made of eggshells, and the repeated thumping of the dull spoon eventually, after many long, tedious hours, cracks his skull, and he dies a long, slow death, with lots of moaning and shit.

In an action by Marc against Marc, Marc will most likely:

A) win, because he had intent to cause himself severe bodily injury.

B) lose, because he killed himself in a public setting during the daytime.

C) win, unless it can be shown that he had vertical privity with himself.

D) lose, you stupid moron, because he's already dead.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Brains on drugs.

Remember the brains on drugs commercials? With the butter ("This is drugs."). And the egg ("This is your brain."). And the breakfast. ("This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?"). Kinda funny.

See: Brains on Drugs PSA.

Remember the one with the father who approaches his son? "Where'd you get this?" he asks, incredulous. And that wonderful response: "You, alright. I learned it by watching you!"

See: "I learned it by watching you" PSA.

And there is, perhaps, my all-time favorite. Pee-Wee Herman in his oh-so-sobering voice telling the world not to do crack, cocaine. He says nothing, however, of frequenting adult movie theaters.

See: Pee-Wee Herman PSA.

Anti-drug commercials have always been ridiculous. They take themselves too seriously to send an effective message. So now they're apparently trying to be a little more kid-friendly and less somber. Which must be how we ended up with this silly anti-drug campaign.

Silly anti-drug commercial #1.

Discussion: The guy just offered his dog some pot. The only people who ever think of offering animals pot are complete stoners. Kinda makes you wonder about the person who created the commercial, don't it?

Silly anti-drug commercial #2.

Discussion: Now, was I completely stoned, or did an alien just come from the sky in Commercial #2? Did a kid just offer an alien a joint? And... wait, I did see that, right? I saw the girl fall in love with the alien for refusing the aforementioned joint.

Silly anti-drug commercial #3.

Discussion: More with the dog? Do I really need to point out the fact that the guy is talking to his pet? And more importantly, the dog is talking back. Riiiight.

You've gotta be kidding me.

Every time I see these commercials, I laugh out loud. Why?

Only someone really high could have come up with these asinine advertisements.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Conspiracy theory.

I think that Hollywood runs the country. Poltically speaking. I was watching Good Will Hunting today and listened to Will's little speech when he talks about why he doesn't want to work for the government. Having been released in 1997, I found the speech prophetic:

Say I’m working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. So I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I’m real happy with myself, ‘cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never had a problem with get killed.

Now the politicians are sayin’ “send in the Marines to secure the area” ‘cause they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot. Just like it wasn’t them when their number got called, ‘cause they were pullin’ a tour in the National Guard. It’ll be some guy from Southie takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, ‘cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks.

Meanwhile my buddy from Southie realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish to scare up oil prices so they could turn a quick buck. A cute, little ancillary benefit for them but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And naturally they’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the oil back and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink seven and sevens and play slalom with the icebergs and it ain’t too long ‘til he hits one, spills the oil, and kills all the sea-life in the North Atlantic.

So my buddy’s out of work and he can’t afford to drive so he’s got to walk to the job interviews which sucks ‘cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’ ‘cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue-plate special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State.

So what’d I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure I’ll eliminate the middle man. Why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? Christ, I could be elected President.

Harmless error.

I've always been baffled by the term "harmless error" in the legal world. An appeals court will often find that an error has been made, but will find it harmless.

When a term in a statute is not defined by the legislature, the courts often look the dictionary definition. In the same spirit, I look to see what "error" means. Error is defined as: "a deviation from accuracy or correctness; a mistake." The definition goes on and provides the legal definition of error as: "a mistake in a matter of fact or law in a case tried in a court of record."

And so I am left to wonder, yet again... Is an error really ever harmless?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

On dating men with children.

I got into a conversation today with someone I met. He's forty-two years old and has been divorced for a year. Already, the red flags were popping up hither and yon, telling me to stay away from this individual. But because the red flags arose, I just couldn't help myself. My morbid curiosity to see what happens next got the better of me yet again. The dialogue continued. He works at a prison. He rides a Harley. He's sarcastic and smart. All good points. The illusion of a dangerous, animalistic man. I liked it. And then I asked the question -- you know, that question, the dangerous question, the question that makes all the difference.

Do you have children?

The answer was yes. "I don't date men with children," I boldly stated.

His response: "Are you shitting me?"

I was immediately on the defensive, having to explain my position. The truth is that I don't like children. I find them to be vile creatures. I appreciate my parents for bearing and raising me, but I don't see the point in procreating. To have my life destroyed? To have the responsibility of raising youngsters? To have to get a sitter every time I want to do something fun? That's worse than having to kennel a dog when I go away. I'd have to learn to cook! I'd have to subside on more than Cocoa Crispies and half-off Valentine's Day chocolate! I'd have to do laundry on a regular basis and make sure there's no lead paint in my home! Surely, having children is not worth giving up my freedom.

I explained all this to my suitor. "You wouldn't have children," he said. "I'd have children." Well, sure. For now. But what if we got deeply involved? A cup of coffee or an evening of drinks could turn into a torrid love affair. We could fall for each other. Months, years, would pass by, and eventually I'd have to be introduced to the kids. "This is Daddy's very special friend." I cringe at the mere thought. After the introductions, time would pass, and I'd end up the stepmother of someone else's spawn.

I explained all this to the gentleman caller. He, of course, was offended by my capricious use of the word "spawn."

The moral of this story? Add another one to my life. I will not sleep with or get romantically involved with men who have children. I don't want children of my own. Why the hell would I want theirs?

Kindred spirits.

My best friend called me the other night simply because he and I haven't talked -- really talked -- in a long while. I asked him about his new main squeeze, and we chit-chatted about all sorts of nonsense, as we usually do.

What I love about him is the fact that I don't need to explain anything. He gets what I'm saying... really gets it without the need for further exposition. I began describing the bored and restless feeling I've had lately. The need for some sort of dynamic lifestyle. I started explaining to him that everything is good in my life. Work is good, friends are good, everything is as it should be... but I am bored nontheless and need something -- anything -- to liven life up again.

Instead of mountains of questions and requests for clarifications, he simply agreed with me. "You don't have to explain," he said. "I get it." And he does.

We talked some more and it was then that I realized that when he and I spend time together, I'm never bored. We are vastly different people, but have a strange symbiotic relationship that just works. It's great. It's fabulous.

Why can't I find this in a romantic context? Why is it so hard to find someone who will let me be myself without getting jealous and possessive?

I've often told people that I have a morbid curiosity to see what happens next, which is how I end up in ridiculously comical situations all the time. My best friend has that same insatiable curiosity. And that's what I need in life. A partner in crime willing to take on anything, no matter how ridiculous, and no matter how nonsensical. Someone brilliant and wise and passionate who understands my need for perpetual motion.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I worked on my first trial as an intern at the public defender's office. It was an amazing experience. The case itself involved nearly every issue of criminal procedure that exists. If you can think of it, it was probably in that case. Suggestive identification procedures? You betcha. Agency issues? Of course. Canine tracking, recorded phone calls, expert testimony, search and seizure. We had it all. Suffice it to say, there were lots of motions to suppress. Thus, the suppression hearings alone took more than week.

Now, here's a little known secret for all y'all non-lawyer folks out there: Court can get really boring. It's true. It's not like is on TV. Sure, every now and then you'll get that made-for-television cross examination moment. But many times, it can be rather tedious. So you know what we do when court gets slow?

We doodle.

Oh, it looks like we're taking copious notes on our legal pads. But we're doodling. Yesiree. Now, back when I was an intern, I had some very important tasks. One such task was to sit at counsel table and look pretty. Luckily, this was not difficult. However, I quickly tired of this task, and found myself doodling. I drew boxes. Little boxes. Big boxes. Cubes. Boxes within boxes. Cubes within cubes. Rows of boxes. Cubes full of boxes. Sometimes, when I got bored with my own doodling, I'd check out the doodling of the attorney and the other intern. You know what they drew?


You got it. A row of lawyers and lawyers-t0-be, and we all drew boxes.

I have not given up my doodling habit, nor have I given up checking out other people's doodles. And more often than not, I see lawerly types doodling in geometric shapes. I've come to the conclusion that our doodles are represenative of our personality types. We compartmentalize. We feel the need to put things in their proper categories. This is likely why we became attorneys in the first place.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Whenever I get what I want...

...I never seem to want it anymore.

A crazy woman once told me that people use other people the way a ten-year-old child uses a toy. We cast folks aside once they've fulfilled our purpose. We turn to someone new when we become bored with the novelty.

While the person who told me this was not only certifiably insane, but also a drug addict, she had a point. I hate to think of myself in such a callous manner, but it's true that I have a very short attention span. This isn't to say, however, that I cast people aside once they've served my purpose. I do have the ability to maintain friendship longevity. That said, when it comes to sex and lust, it's the chase I enjoy. The seduction. The anticipation. Sometimes, the culminating event is as good as the anticipation. But once it's over -- once I've got what I want -- what more is there, really?


Eleven is the natural number following ten and preceding twelve. It is also the smallest positive integer requiring three syllables in English. It's the fifth smallest prime number. It's the smallest two-digit prime number. Eleven is the fourth Sophie Germain prime, the third safe prime, the fourth Lucas prime, the first repunit prime.

Eleven is the atomic number for sodium. It is the number of spacetime dimensions in M-theory. The eleventh moon of Jupiter is Himalia.

A complete eleventh chord has almost every note of a scale. There are eleven thumb keys on a bassoon. While most amplifiers go only to ten, the band Spinal Tap's amplifiers go up to eleven. In fact, in 2002, the phrase "turning it up to eleven" entered the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, with the definition "up to maximum volume."

World War I ended with an Armistice on November 11, 1918, which went into effect at 11:00 a.m. -- the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year. Armistice Day is still observed on November 11 of each year, although it is now called Veteran's Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations and parts of Europe.

Eleven is the first number that can't be counted on a human's ten fingers.

In tarot, the eleventh card is Justice. In Basque, the word hamaika ("eleven") has the double meaning of "infinite." In numerology, eleven is the first of the Master Numbers.

The number eleven is mysterious and beautiful.

Happy 11th!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Crunchy stereotypes.

When I tell people (especially people at work) that I go to drum circle, their preconceived notions of what it is we do always entertains me. They generally have a mental picture that includes copious amounts of sex and drugs, as well as ritualistic headless chicken sacrifices. When it comes to the people involved, they always assume that my drum friends are crazy, flighty, wifty sorts who don't lead productive lives, hold down jobs, or use deodorant.

But today's weekly meeting entertained me more than anything else. One of my colleagues accused another one of my colleagues of being "crunchy" (which she happens to be).

"I am not crunchy!" she exclaimed. "Becca's crunchy!"

"No," was the response. "Becca's a hippie."

I love that in an office of liberal public servants, I'm considered the hippie.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


For those who haven't seen this little rant yet, take a look:

I've always hated Pachelbel's Canon as well. The bass part was half notes. Unlike the cello section, we didn't even get quarter notes. After watching this, however, I went and downloaded the Vitamin C song that is referenced in the above video. And even though I can't stand Pachelbel, and even though the Vitamin C song is as awful as awful gets... well... it's still kinda catchy.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Instead of just waiting on the world to change... DO SOMETHING!

You know, I did like the song when I first heard it. It was kind of catchy. Sometimes I wish that I didn't listen to song lyrics. If I didn't listen to song lyrics, I'd never know that the dude who wrote Horse With No Name was tripping on acid. If I didn't listen to song lyrics, I'd never know that being a swinger is like living at the Hotel California. If I didn't listen to lyrics, I'd never know that Escape ("The Pina Colada Song") is the saddest ditty ever written. I would live in a world of ignorant oblivion if I didn't listen to song lyrics.

Alas. I listen to words.

(Ed note, Over this weekend I was talking to two friends. One of them said to the other, "She'll remember everything you ever say. Word for word." It's true. Because I listen to words. But it was a very odd observation from someone who doesn't know me very well.)

I can't help but listening over and over again to that damn John Mayer song. And I don't even like John Mayer. (Your body is a wonderland? How ridiculously cheesy is that drek? I mean, I suppose it's less offensive than saying what you really think. "Hey baby... your body is a slip 'n slide." Vulgar? Perhaps. But at least it's a tad more honest.)

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting for the world to change while we sit back and watch, hoping that things'll magically get better. "It's a song of hope," my friend just told me. It's not a song of hope. It's a song of fucking complacency. It's a song that has offended my delicate sensibilities.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Waiting on the world to change?

When I first heard John Mayer's song Waiting on the World to Change, I didn't pay much attention to it. However, it seems that that song plays in my car every time I'm heading home from visiting the jail. Believing that there must be a reason for this, I began listening to the words. And in listening to the words, I became disheartened, disenchated, and drifted into a state of meloncholy. Here are some of the lyrics:

Now we see everything that's going on
With the world and those who lead it.
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it.

So we keep waiting.
Waiting on the world to change...

It's not that we don't care.
We just know that the fight ain't fair.
So we keep waiting.
Waiting on the world to change.

This is the sort of attitude that maintains the status quo, people. Even when a fight isn't fair, that doesn't mean it's not worth fighting for. The older folks have been lambasting my generation for ages because they say we're apathetic and don't stand for anything. Well, here's my message for all you 20- and 30-somethings. Caring isn't enough, regardless of whether Mr. Mayer agrees. Sure, the world sucks. Sure, there are many obstacles in our way and hurdles to overcome if you actually want to change the world. But waiting for the world to change on its own will accomplish nothing. Sitting idly by as a parade of horribles marches through our cities isn't going to make the world a better place. Wait all you want for the world to change, folks. But until you actually start actively trying to change whatever it is you find grotesque or offensive, all that waiting isn't going to do you a damned bit of good.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

On sleeping with addicts.

I was hanging out with some friends last night and I thought of another category of folks that I shouldn't sleep with or get romantically involved with. Drug addicts. Understand that I don't have a problem with drugs. In fact, I think all narcotics should be legal and regulated. I have a whole plan that involves the legislature as well as the criminal sphere; it deals with the argument that drugs bring with them a criminal element. The plan would require lengthy explanation, so for once, I'll just leave it at that. My point? This isn't about judgment or ill will towards addicts, or any of that stuff. It's just something I don't want to deal with in a relationship.


Drug addicts lie. About how much they use. About if they use. About how much money they spend on whatever they're using. This lying isn't a character flaw, per se. It's just goes along with the addiction most times. Furthermore, so many addicts are in denial. I've explained to people that I don't think less of them because of their addictions, but that I won't get involved with them nonetheless. "I'm not an addict," the guy who blows through two eight balls a week tells me. According to him, because he doesn't use every day, he's not an addict. Right.

Even more importantly, the drugs will always come first. Before me. Before us. Drugs make an awful mistress.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Dangerous curves.

I drove home today. There was a rather slow truck ahead of me on aserpentine single-lane street, so I actually looked around during my drive and noticed things I'd never seen before. A sign. Yellow. "Dangerous Curves," it said. And then it struck me. Much like the winding road, I've got some pretty dangerous curves.