April 2007


In the hopes of lifting my mood on this gloomy Friday morning after a horrid Thursday, I am offering as my Friday Five, five things I appreciate about the place I now live and work:

1) We can afford a house with a backyard for the boys to play in.

2) I can walk in a park two blocks from my office at lunchtime on nice days.

3) The pre-school the boys are in is absolutely wonderful.  And we didn’t have to subject the kids to testing or interviews to get in, nor did we have to stand in line at 5am to get a spot (this latter we actually did to start BB in pre-school in the big city, I made mr. jolt go because I was 8 mos. pregnant & it was December (yes, December, to enroll for the following September! 5 am to ensure a spot)).

4) There are lots of kid-oriented or kid-friendly museums and such within a day’s trip distance.

5) You can get tickets to concerts (some, anyway) for a venue in the area by calling only 2 days in advance as opposed to hitting re-dial frantically the moment they go on sale.

What do you like about where you live?

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I almost had a rage-induced anuerysm on the way to work today.  NPR was interviewing the head of the National Right to Life organization as part of this week’s series on the fallout of the Supreme Court’s decision last week upholding the federal late-term particular type of abortion ban.  Yesterday they interviewed someone from the Center of Reproductive Rights.  Tomorrow, an ethicist to discuss how medical advances are changing the debate.

Anyway, aside from shrieking at the radio when the interviewee was expressing his dismay that there appears to still be five votes on the court that would require health exceptions on any abortions done past viability (Really?  Mr. Johnson, you may be happier with the outcome of this decision than you think based on some of the analyses I’ve seen), I further lost it when the interviewer, as part of a question, said “Now you’ve been personally involved in this issue for a long time . . .” I’m surprised I didn’t wreck the car.

Personally involved? Uh, the interviewee, a MR. Johnson, is a MAN.  And presumably always has been.   Therefore, unless he’s been in a situation similar to that of DBB’s in this post, this guy has NEVER been and never will EVER be personally involved in this issue.

Yeah, and Mr. Johnson’s comparison of the NRL’s work to the pre-civil war abolitionists was extremely offensive, too.

I have a headache from screaming so loud at my radio. 

It’s always a good idea to read a contract before signing it.  For instance, if you read the contract, you might discover that the termination/expiration of the contract has already passed.  Over six months ago.*  Making the contract completely moot. 

*Presumably this is a typo, but several parties have signed this agreement already and no one caught it.  Read the contract! Before you sign.   Sheesh.

So, I may not do a cheese post every week in the summer.  I don’t know about you, but as much as I love cheese, I don’t eat it as often when it’s hot out.  And today it was 83F.  But I promise to talk about other yummy things.  And I will post some cheese items while it’s hot.

Vinho Verde (also spelled Vino Verde) – aka green wine – apparently so called because it is a young wine – is a Portuguese white wine* that is phenomenal for summer.  It is extremely light and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day.  It also has relatively low alcohol content compared to most other wines, which is a good thing because it’s very easy to drink it a bit too fast because it goes down quite easy.  It is crisp and and can sometimes seem a bit sparkling.  I have had several different labels, but the one I’ve had most often is Aveleda, which is pretty reliable.   We have been able to find Aveleda even in our relatively limited wine shop here, so I’d think it would be widely available. 

*One of the sites I popped onto for background said that the Vino Verde region produces more red than white wine, but I’ve only ever seen white ones.  I can’t comment on the reds.

This space will be sparser than it already is for the next two weeks due to a hearing I have next Tuesday, followed by my law school reunion in the big city the following weekend.  I am ambivalent about both events.

For the hearing, I’m a bit anxious because I haven’t done as much on my feet litigating of late (too successful in getting the cases dismissed, haha).   So, I’m trying to look at it as good practice.  I have a love/hate relationship with litigation.  On the one hand it is far more interesting and challenging than the transactional work I do, but on the other, it makes me far more stressed. 

For the reunion, I am really looking forward to seeing my buddy A who is flying into big city from Wisconsin – I haven’t seen her in a couple of years.  We’re both going solo because our spouses have other commitments that weekend so we’re going to have a real fun time on the town.  I’m sure there will be a handful of other people I will love talking to at the reunion itself.  Unfortunately, several of my friends who still live in the big city will be out of town and thus unavailable for gallivanting with moi. 

And I’m being a bit weird about the inevitable “so what are you doing these days” question at the reunion itself because I’m not very excited about my job.  It is an incredibly unsexy law job, unlike my last one.  On the other hand, I can say I’ve only worked one weekend in the past two years, which should make a lot of people drool with envy.  Legal career tip of the day: the sexy jobs are often those that require 80 hour work weeks.

I think the reunion itself will be a bit odd, but also perhaps really interesting.  At the five year mark, the vast majority of us were on the law firm treadmill, steadily marching for the partner-brass ring.  Now, some people will have made it, others will have opted for other career paths, a few might still be hoping to get the brass ring next year.  If other reunions are anything to go by, the people doing the most interesting stuff won’t even be there b/c they are off writing constitutions for new developing world democracies or other intriguing things.

A potentially regular feature here at Gangly Thoughts: Friday Five.  As in five random items for Fridays.  Now most people I’ve seen that have Friday random posts list songs from their mp3s.  I will confess that I have very little music on my mp3 player- no time to upload/download! So, it wouldn’t be so random.  It’d be the same damn songs over and over.  Instead, you get five random thoughts.

Today: five utterly trivial pet peeves.  Feel free to share your own in the comments.

1) Being served cappucino when I asked for latte (I said these were trivial).

2) The lame live tracks played Friday mornings by my local radio station.  This morning: Bad Company in concert, from like 10 years ago. Whatever. It was not a good live track.

3) The massive Ford 150 that parks on the first floor of the parking garage at work thereby blocking half the roadway up to the higher levels.

4) LB being given homework from his toddler music class that involves “building a small cardboard house.”  Sorry, I did not sign up for homework that I  have to do for a 3 year-old.  Not happening. What do cardboard houses have to do with banging on drums and singing?

5) Being tempted to eat one of the donuts brought in by a work colleague and it is stale. Yuck.

So the other night, mr. jolt and I were watching the Daily Show on the tivo (meaning, as usual, we’re about 2 weeks behind – it’s still funny).  The guest was Halle Berry- the clip is here.  I don’t know much about Halle Berry, I’m not sure which of her films I’ve seen, but she is obviously damn gorgeous.

Now Jon Stewart in his interviews has various approaches: (1) with celebrity/hollywood guests he usually keeps it light unless the person is known for some issue; (2) with author guests he will discuss the book and either politely poke fun at its absurdity or praise its thoughtfulness.  Ms. Berry obviously fell into the first category. 

Now, I’ve been watching this show for years and seen him flirt mildly with the various female celebrities or at least get them to giggle with meandering absurdities.  I was extremely struck by, however, of his complete inability to see her as a person.  I don’t know how well they know each other, but I swear in a clip of maybe 5 minutes he basically said in about 20 different ways that he would love nothing more than to fuck her.  Now, he obviously said it more humorously and with more charm, but it really did interfere with the flow of the converation at various points.

So I said to mr. jolt – I wonder if she has ever been able to have a serious conversation in her entire life?  Look, there are huge advantages to being attractive.  Studies show you are more likely to get ahead in school, at work, and obviously it can make meeting people easier.  But.  The level of Jon’s objectification  of her was staggering – and this from a guy that seems, most of the time, to get it, or at least get it more often than most male comedians. 

I don’t really follow show bizness, so I have no idea where Ms. Berry is believed to be in terms of wit/intellect.  I’ve certainly seen other actresses he’s had on the show that have literally done nothing more than giggle at his jokes, apparently due to nervousness or complete lack of anything to say other than the 2 prepared sentences about the movie they are promoting.  But, it seemed that Ms. Berry was attempting to have one of those semi-serious conversations about nothing that you see on these programs, and the converation had no flow because every 30 seconds Jon would make some comment about her body, face,  etc. 

 It brought home to me the way that beauty, which  many anti-women men will say is power, is really nothing but a cage.  And lack of attractiveness isn’t any better.

(updated to fix typo)

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