Sunday, August 28, 2005


When I read this article I just knew the phrase "governement intelligence" was an oxymoron. Derek Sparks was involuntarily separated from the Navy and a promising career was ended because he admitted that *gasp* he is gay. First of all the article states:

He was discharged in April 2002 after he was questioned by an officer and acknowledged he was gay.

Now let me get this straight, even if the official policy is "right", and I am not saying that it is, doesn't "don't ask" imply that you don't ask someone about their sexuality?? The last time I checked "questioning" someone constituted asking them something. If the government cannot follow it's own procedures I don't think other people should be expected too either. You said you wouldn't ask, so if you do then the responses shouldn't be counted against the respondents, right?

Ignoring that breach, let's look at the situation pragmatically. Here is a trained petty officer in the Navy; he along with others similiarly situated, were performing their duties adequately if not exceptionally. They joined the armed forces voluntarily. The government is currently experiencing a severe drop in recruits and is facing a volunteer shortage. Congress recently explored increasing the maximum age of new recruits in order to facilitate an increase in volunteers.

Given all that, and the situation our country finds itself in around the world today, the government decided it would be a good idea to kick out soldiers and sailors who are already trained and functioning within the military. They decided to take volunteers already in military service willing to risk their lives for the sake of their country and kick them to the curb. In the years since the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy was enacted nearly 10,000 gay servicemen and women have been discharged from the military.

Why? Why would the government do such a ridiculous counter-intuitive thing? Because the government doesn't approve of who they have sex with!

Now I don't believe for a second that it is the government's business who is in bed with their military personnnel when they are off duty. Yes, there are arguments against homosexuals in the military. These are the same arguments that were used to keep blacks out of the military. Anyone remember how that turned out? Ever heard of Colin Powell?? Thought so.

Also, if the military is going to judge soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines based on who they sleep with and react accordingly then our entire military is in deep trouble.

Single military personnel are notorious for debauchery and vampid sexual liasions. Ever heard of the saying "a girl in every port"? And yes I know this is a stereotype. Not ALL military personnel subscribe to such behavior. However, I am willing to bet there are still scores of people in uniform frequenting brothels around the globe and sowing their oats all the way from Germany to Japan.

Just consider the gamut of sexual behavior in general. There are people out there who like golden showers or S&M and the list goes on and on pertaining to specific sexual practices and fetishes. How is any of it the military's business? Yet those people are never questioned or reprimanded even though a majority of people would find certain practices repugnant. And somehow it seems to make perfect sense to the powers that be to dismiss military people for being gay, regardless of their relationship status?

So what this boils down to is that a heterosexual sailor can visit street walking prostitutes in Hawai'i or pay for sex with underage girls in the far east, but if he drops is drawers with another man in the context of a stable monogamous relationship in his own home that gets him discharged.

I have a great deal of respect for people who serve in the military. It takes bravery and dedication and discipline. I could never do it myself and I commend those people who do. Without them we would all be goose stepping our way through life wearing burquas with little or no freedom. I don't care who the men and women are in our military are having sex with, they put their lives on the line for me every day and that alone should earn them the respect of their countrymen and their government.

Judging and discharging someone from the military based on sexual orientation screams excessive entanglement by the government in the private lives of citizens. Last time I checked we had something to prevent that. What's it called? OHHH YEA - the CONSTITUTION! Hopefully SCOTUS agrees with me.

Hear this Uncle Sam: If you are going to cut loose 10,000 servicemen and women because you are brash enough to think that you are better than they are because of who you lay next to at night, then I don't want to hear any more snivelling about lack of volunteers. I don't want the heartfelt commercials about "be all you can be". I don't want you activating reserve units and sending loved ones into harm's way. You have at least 10,000 people out there right now who are already trained and are waiting to follow your command into battle. If someone puts their life into your hands and says "here, I am willing to die for you and your ideals," you don't say "but wait, who do you like to have sex with?"


Mars Inc. is apparently in talks with several large pharmaceutical companies for the next big breakthrough in prescription drugs - chocolate.
The McLean candy and food conglomerate for more than a decade has pursued research on the possible health benefits of cocoa flavanols, compounds contained in one of the basic ingredients of chocolate.

I can just picture Willy Wonka in a white lab coat dispensing little pill bottles like a pusher on a Times Square street corner. Take two M&Ms and call me in the morning ....

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I give you a love poem fully compliant with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure posted over on Begging the Question. I can't decide if this guy is brilliant or has WAY too much free time. You decide.

Via Inter Alia

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Apparently I am most likely to say "you suck big time".

What "Happy Bunny" phrase are you?

you suck big time

You are a very honest person. You tell people how it is with no remorse.

Personality Test Results

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Anyone else take the quiz? What phrase were you??

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Scott Adams has come up with another amusing strip, this time about a profession close to my heart ...

Everyone wants to take a stab at the barristers once in awhile. I guess sarcastic press is better than no press, right?

Sunday, August 14, 2005


I was watching Inside the Actor's Studio this morning on Bravo (it was the episode with Angelina Jolie if anyone cares) and as fans of the show are aware, James Lipton comes to the end of his interview and he asks the infamous "questions". These questions are actually Les Questions 'boullion de culture' de Bernard Pivot and are posed by Lipton to everyone he interviews.

Now I bet you are wondering where is the "invitation" referenced above, well here it is. I love these questions. I think they are so much more adept at finding out about a person than asking someone's favorite color or whether they like coke or pepsi. I have listed them below, wtih my own personal answers. Those of you that know me "in real life" might recall that I sent out a similiar email a couple years back asking for your answers to these questions. I am asking here, again. Please answer the questions below and put them in the comments.

It also occurred to me that a majority of people who surf onto this page don't know me personally. I invite those of you from the blogosphere to answer them as well. I am a nosey person, I'd like to know more about the people that stop on by. Anonymous comments are allowed so feel free to bask in your anonymity if that suits your comfort level. Also, if you have your own blog you might even want to answer your questions over there and slip a link into the comments here. Whatever you fancy, I'm not picky. I'll just be tickeled pink if you participate.

Without further ado ...

1. What is your favorite word?
eclectic because I like the idea of drawing from various sources and not limiting yourself to one thing or another. A little of everything is best, like the buffet of life.

2. What is your least favorite word?
Actually there are three, used together; "That's our policy". It reeks of "I know it sucks for you but I don't give a damn I am just repeating what someone else told me to say without any original thought".

3. What turns you on?
Intelligence and on a more basic level the smell of Drakkar Noir cologne.

4. What turns you off?
dishonesty and not being straight forward

5. What is your favorite curse word?
Fuck it's versatile and strong

6. What sound or noise do you love?
the doorbell when I am expecting someone or my niece saying my name

7. What sound or noise do you hate?
screeching brakes

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
wedding planner/caterer

9. What profession would you not like to do?

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
"You did OK, I'm proud of you."

OK, it's only 10 questions - you can do it!


A comment from a friend in Florida who buys fireworks for "agricultural purposes":
Well these are not the dangerous roman candles, these don't even explode - they just shoot off balls of fire.

Just balls of fire?? Oh well then, why didn't you say so! Let's start handing them out at the grammer schools then!

Friday, August 12, 2005


I have to seriously wonder about the intelligence level of the people at the Department of Homeland security when I read articles like this.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Friday lowered its terrorism alert level for buses, subways and trains effective on Friday night -- a month after raising it in response to bombings in London.

"These changes will be effective at 8:00 p.m. local time on Friday, August 12, following local rush hours across the country, at the discretion of state and local authorities," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a statement.
And somewhere, in some cramped headquarters in the desert, some extremist with a jihad death wish and visions of 72 virgins in paradise is emailing that article to some terrorist cell in a dirty apartment in Newark, NJ littered with bomb making materials. All the while they are thinking, “ok subways and trains, ok any time after 8pm on Friday, August 12 – got it.”

Would someone, ANYONE please explain to me why this type of information goes out on Reuters??? I am all for freedom of the press and keeping the public informed. But REALLY, people, why not draw them a map to your house and sit on your front porch sporting a tee shirt in day-glow hunter orange with a BIG RED BULLSEYE ON IT sipping on a beer and waiting for your world to end in a fiery explosion by an insane suicide bomber!!! Because THAT would be only slightly more idiotic than broadcasting information like this.

I understand that there are likely things going on at the Department of Homeland Security that the general public is not privy to. I also understand that they are not going to send ME a memo on what and how they are doing things. However, I also don’t think we should make it easier on the terrorists. Let’s not, oh I don’t know … say publish over our newslines exactly when and where we are most vulnerable. Let’s not GIVE them targets on a silver platter with a nice lemon wedge and wait for them to ram us up the backside with it. Since we’re talking about the security of our nation here, maybe some discretion is called for? Ya think?!?

If the powers that be want to lower the terrorism alert level for buses and other mass transit because they have access to information that I don’t and they think it’s prudent, then by all means go ahead. Do whatever is necessary within the existing infrastructure to conserve manpower and resources when the situation calls for a downgrade, but please don’t call attention to it! Why proclaim to the world the exact location of all the kinks in the armor? That would be akin to putting a big sign on the front of your brownstone in some crime hidden part of NYC announcing, “I will be on vacation for the next two weeks, and oh by the way, the alarm system is broken so please try not to steal all that new electronics equipment inside that I just got at BestBuy – thanks.”

Yup, that’s how dumb we look. That’s worse than asiNINE, that’s asiTEN. (It’s a bad pun, but you get my point.) "Government intelligence", now there is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. I KNOW you people at the Department of Homeland Security have a lot to worry about these days and I sympathize, I really do. It is a big responsibility working in government in these times of crisis. But we are talking about the safety of our citizens here. Shake your head, feel that big 3 lb. blob of meat in your skull? Try turning it on once in awhile, we'd all really appreciate it.
Note: It’s called TSC Girl Tees Off for a reason. Don’t say you weren’t warned. It’s all about the constructive notice!


Well, I finally found a job. It's not glamorous and it doesn't pay that well, but it's something. I think getting up every day and going to work will be good for me no matter what. Now that studying is over I need to feel productive again.

So... I may not be a barrister just yet, but come Monday I will at least be a barista. They sound similiar!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


I took some time off from job hunting today and went to the beach. It was a fantastic day weather wise, and because they had originally called for thunderstorms and were completely wrong – shocker – there were hardly any crowds.

The ocean looked like frosted, sparkling emeralds and I could see clear down to the sandy bottom even in about eight feet of water. I did some wave floating and some unintentional body surfing. That would be where you think you are out beyond the breaking point of the waves lazily bobbing in the swells and a wave decides to break way early and you are shoved underwater then pounded into the sandy bottom. That was how I lost my sunglasses. Luckily they were a cheap pair so I was not too upset, except when I had to squint the whole drive home. All in all it was a great day, except for a scorching sunburn.

The last time I was at the beach was last summer when I was studying for bar exam #1 (BTW actually lugging your BarBri books to the beach does NOT in fact make you more likely to use them.) and I have not spent a whole heck of a lot of time outside this summer (bar exam redo) so even though it is mid August, I didn’t even have so much as a base tan. Therefore, I am now red as a lobster and my skin feels like oozing hot lava. Ce’st la vie, it’s my own fault. My sister in law who spearheaded the beach adventures told me that she was never concerned when I disappeared into the surf because, “not to be mean, but you were the pastiest one out and there and you were easy to spot”.

It was worth it, I was floating among the seaweed, finally actually relaxing, bookended on both sides by piers of stomach churning rides, and yet I felt like the only person in the world. Until, that is, the adolescent lifeguard screeched at me with his whistle because I was too far out and adjacent to the pilings under the pier which would have made for a messy situation if the waves drove me into them.

So I swam, parallel to the beach just like I was supposed to in order to avoid the undertow. Then I was amazed, I was making headway, I was moving. I used backstroke and breaststroke and even some doggie paddle thrown in for fun. I remember how to swim, like really swim! You think I am being melodramatic here, but the backyard pool while fun, doesn’t exactly lend itself to laps. It has been awhile since I needed to employ my actual swimming skills. It felt wonderful.

I laid out for a bit after that, did some reading, some people watching and enjoyed using my disc man for something other than PMBR lectures. I would like to note that the flavors of Sunchips and licorice are not at all enhanced by gritty sand – just in case you were wondering.

My muscles are now mad at me and staging a painful protest the likes of which the Teamsters have never seen at being forced to actually work, but it was worth it. These same muscles have seen fit to join forces with the sunburned skin and I can see it is going to be an ice pack and Tylenol before bed tonight. Incidentally, isn’t it a cruel joke of nature that sunburn itches? I forget, momentarily, that I have used the sun’s rays to singe my epidermis to a bursting red and I scratch, and then …. I remember. I remember that raking my nails across my raw flesh is NOT a good plan. (And for the record, yes I was wearing sunscreen.)

So now it’s off to bed. Amazing how the sun just zaps all the energy out of you, it's just barely 11pm. Tomorrow I have an appointment – this could be interesting.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Apparently I am not the only one who found "The Law Firm" disdainful. And I had such high hopes too. I never did post my commentary on last week's episode (it wasn't pretty).

After the first episode it became like slowing down for a car wreck. It was so horrid that I couldn't not watch. NBC has apparently seen the error of its ways .... it was a great concept, if only the execution had even a smidgen of forethought, creativity or even reality ......

Better luck next time.


Am I the only one who finds it weird that throughout the series they point at that no one can apparate into, out of or within Hogwarts school and yet the house elves have no problem doing just that??


In the recent installation, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry and his friends are learning to apparate, and the restrictions are lifted from the great hall for only an hour. This, once again, accentuates that no one can apparate within the confines of Hogwarts, and yet Dobby and Kreacher both apparate and appear to Harry when he calls them from the kitchens in the basement to wherever he is.

If anyone has an explanation I'd love to see it in the comments. :)


Leave it to me to be the overly intellectual, scary guy ... at least it's the green house.

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

Which HP character are YOU most like???

Friday, August 05, 2005


Today's Dilbert mentioned the Sarbanes-Oxley act. For some reason I find this hysterical. Don't ask me why, could be after effects of studying. Corporate execs, lawyers, accountants and the like are really the only people who have reason to even know what the SOA is, and trust me, if you don't you are not missing much. It's as exciting as watching paint dry, and yet here it is in the funny pages.

However, the strip is amusing in its own right ....

Anyhow, back to your own lives - Scat!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Well, I promised a post on my weekend. I had a great time, whether you will find it as riveting is anyone’s guess. Friday I slept late (fabulous experience, highly recommend it) then I set off north to visit an old college friend I had not seen in over a year (maybe even two!). It was almost a two hour drive and I took full advantage of that. First I sang along with some music, having not heard any in quite some time. The only thing going in my ear for the last few weeks was Bob Feinberg and the rest of the PMBR crew.

Off topic: He is being sued! Well, now he can join BarBri and Kaplan and they can all cry in their beer together about their impending litigation – but I digress.

After some spirited singing in the privacy of my car, I grabbed my cell phone (and headset) and attempted to make contact with some people I have been missing. As I said in my previous post, a lot of people have been very patient and understanding at both my manic moods and utter distraction as I prepared for the bar. I also came home Thursday from the exam to a slew of emails and voicemails wishing me luck and asking how I was. I still owe a few people calls. Rest assured, if you left me a message I will eventually return your call!

Anyway, after several loops around the block to find parking I finally made it to TM’s apartment. I was overjoyed to see her as it had been really much too long. We relived our glory days in college and in general had a great time. I love when you are such great friends with someone that you meet up with them after a long time apart and it is as if nothing has changed. We both agreed that while we don’t particularly miss the classes, we really do miss living within walking distance of all our closest friends.

TM took me to Rutt’s Hut at my request. It is a “New Jersey Institution” and after hearing about it for years I had to check it out. I had heard personal recollections from family several times, but the main idea I got from the numerous times it was featured on the Food Network was that the big draw was the hotdogs. Apparently they deep fry them in hot oil until they split or “rip” open, thus giving them the nickname “rippers”. I tried it. It was tasty. But when it all comes down to it, it’s just a very greasy hotdog. Luckily I was still packin’ antacids left over from the bar exam.

Our next stop was the track. I had never been there either and it seemed like as good a place as any to hang out for a bit before hitting the bars. I was all about freedom this weekend; no schedules, no deadlines, just going “wherever”. The first race we watched I bet on “Copy Righter”, it seemed appropriate. TM’s horse was knocked out of the race (literally) and mine came in third. What I didn’t know, this being my first visit to a track, was that you have to bet the horse to “win, place or show” in order to get paid for a third place finish, which TM neglected to tell me. She explained that this was only her second experience with betting the ponies and I immediately forgave her. The next race I bet on “Lovely Shark” purely for the attorney reference. He started out well then lagged behind and came in near the back. That time I bet to “win, place or show” so I lost $6 instead of $2, but it was still fun.

TM and I had enough of horse racing so we dropped the car at her apartment and walked to the local bars. We hit three places all in all. I wasn’t into the scene, I was just pleased as punch to be saddled up to a bar, drink in hand, visiting with my friend, not even remotely caring about the exceptions to the hearsay rule. TM is a vehement Mets fan, and I adore the Bronx Bombers. Baseball was on TV everywhere we went so that sparked some spirited conversation and we just caught up on each other’s lives in general. I was dismayed to realize that the main focus of my life has been the bar exam for quite some time. I am going to have to make a serious effort to change that. It was fun times and TM had to remind me not once, but TWICE of our old college adage, “You have to drink PAST tired.” Aside from the oppressive humidity we had a great time. Incidentally, TM paid the tab, isn’t she good to me?! I really am blessed with some amazing friends!

I crashed at her place that night, then set out the next day to go one town over to see a friend I worked with before law school, DC. She updated me on all the office gossip and her life in general and took me out to lunch. (See what I mean about my friends?! Fabulous personalities AND generous.) I hung out with her all day, thoroughly enjoying every minute. I had initially intended to "stop by" but my lacadaisacal attitude towards a schedule changed that.

Afterwards, I scooted further south to meet some other former co-workers at a comedy club. I don’t know if everyone found it as hysterical as I did. Maybe it was just the joy of being out in public rather than quarantined in a small room surrounded by books. The funniest part of the evening was at the end when I was standing in line to use the ladies room. A very slim, tan girl, in her early twenties somehow got ahead of me while her friend was behind me in line. Consequently they were having very animated conversation “through” me. Suddenly, one girl looked at the other with intensive seriousness and said, “OK, I have a Jewish question for you. I have to go to an Orthodox funeral tomorrow, can I wear sandals?” I started to snicker. I could not help myself. I laughed because I have asked that very same question! (Although at the time it was in reference to a wedding, not a funeral.) I have a few very religious friends from law school and these issues do arise. However, I think it was the circumstances that had me amused. After all we were in a comedy club in line to use the facilities and the girls were stereotypically Barbie-esque and could have been stand-ins for the movie Heathers in a heartbeat. I could just picture it, “Like OMG Becky, like what am I doing to wear to this funeral. I, like, don’t have like ANYTHING that says ‘stylish mourning’.”

After a minor tiff with the parking garage attendant I made my way homeward. (Validated does mean you don’t pay right?! Just checking, because this woman informed me that I was only “validated” for an hour which seemed odd to me given that the show is always longer than an hour, but I produced the additional $8 mainly because I was glued to my cell phone again and was not in the mood to argue.) I decided to stop and see a favorite aunt of mine who I had not seen in quite some time who was on my way home. True to my weekend trend of just meandering along I stayed longer than anticipated, but it was good to catch up with her. This prompted a phone call to my cell on the drive home at 1:30am. Anyone want to guess who it was? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?? It was my mother and *poof*, I was transformed back into a teenager when she demanded to know where I was at that time of night. I guess I can’t blame her too much for worrying since I am staying with her and it was late, but the exchange did elicit an exasperated “Will you stop mothering me!” from my end of the phone. (Shut up, I know, she IS my mother, damn that logic!)

Sunday I slept late again (Did I mention how great that is? OK, just checking.) then had a very long overdue date with Harry Potter. (Oh you hush, it’s a fun read and WAY better than the Rule against Perpetuities.)

So, all in all it was a fantastic few days. No over the top antics or anything, didn’t need to call anyone to post bail but I was out in the world and did NOT feel guilt about not studying!