Category: Uncategorized

…it’s more likely than you think.

So, I grew up in Minnesota. I was used to batshit crazy storms and the occasional tornado warning and watches all the damn time. When we moved into our house in Minneapolis in the early 80s (i was 4) we had a stump in the backyard that had been a tree that got knocked down by a tornado the year before.

(That stump by the way? BEST TOY EVER. It was the perfect size for a seat for my four year old self. I was big into He-Man and She-Ra at that time, so for a little while at least, th stump and the bushes around it were Castle Greyskull. True story- I was a dork from a VERY early age.)

(Moving on.)

Anyway, growing up on the Northern edges of Tornado alley, I was used to hearing the tornado warning sirens get tested every first Wednesday of the month at 1 pm. I hard heard them every first Wednesday during storm season (Spring through fall) my entire life until I moved to Boston.

Yesterday, I saw tweets from @UniversalHub that basically all of Massachusetts was under a tornado watch until 8 pm last night. This was odd- I cannot remember hearing about any tornado anything happening in the region in the 8 years (almost) I’ve been here. I kept an eye on the weather, because with the storms that have been bitchslapping the South and the Midwest (including Minneapolis), I wasn’t going to rely on “it never happens here.”

So there I am, in my first Personal Income Tax class of the summer, which is on the 5th floor of the school building, and windows on two sides, and I’m keeping an eye on the clouds (whihc were getting darker and crankier by the minute). The prof has 25 people in the class, and he has us all introduce ourselves and stuff, and I say that I’m from Minnesota, and I moved to get away from tornadoes and crap (whihc is not entirely true, but whatever). So the prof designates me as the person who knows what to do if it looks like downtown Boston is actually going to get hit. (Answer: stairs to the basement. Quickly!)

So a couple (four, I think?) tornadoes hit Springfield, Mass and near Sturbridge, Mass, but the bulk of that storm swung south of Boston. The next cell exploded and a long, narrow band went right across the city. Luckily, I never lost power or internet, but I did find my camping lantern and candles, just in case. The sky was looking a bit green.

The mentality is the thing I found really interesting. Some of the New Englanders were utterly unconcerned, some were freaking out “So… do we go to the basement? WHAT ID HAPPENING” which the bulk of the Midwesterners on twitter were comparing the color fo the sky, and being alert but not quite concerned.

I saw one person on Livejournal being like, “I thought Tornado watch was when you went to the basement?” and the rest of us Midwesterners scoffing and saying “dude, if we did that, we’d be spending half the summer in the basement. Who has that kind of time?”

So, yeah. Tornadoes. In New England. Didn’t expect that.


Why I love Twitter

I know, it’s not cool to admit you love Twitter. But I do. And I’ll tell you why.

About a year ago, a co-worker and the former-but-no-longer (because how dare I take time off to recover from KNEE SURGERY- I’m such a needy bitch) bookstore job asked why on earth I had a Facebook AND a Twitter. Didn’t I just say the same things on both?

Well, no. I use them for very different purposes. Facebook is how I keep in touch with people who already know my name. Twitter I’ve been using (primarily) for law school commiseration with law students across the country. (I don’t use my real name in most of my internet interactions- I’m the only one, and easy to track down.)

I also use it for celebrity stalking. Once in a great while I’ll get a tweet back from someone I follow and make random replies to, but it’s rare. Now that I’ve been doing reviews on Smart Bitches, well, that’s gone up a tiny amount. But I still have not gotten a reply back from Russel Crowe or Nathan Fillion.

Oh well.

Anyway, back to the law school commiseration thing. Early in my 1L year, I was whining about something inconsequential (as 1Ls are wont to do), and I got followed by LegalGeekery. Which lead me to laura Bergus, and on and on until I was following a small bunch of law students, including Huma_Rashid (who is fucking awesome) and her law skool BFF, BobBlahBlawg (who is awesome in his own, somewhat creepy way). And through them I fell in with Lawschoolninja, and Jose3tx, and NevilleM. Then there’s the pack of ginger law students (at last count, I think there’s five of us?). And then my circle expanded to include actual grown up attorneys, like Schantzlaw and Mirriam71.

And a number of us have blogs, which is great. I really like reading Mirriam and Marcus’ blogs because they are both doing what I want to do when I grow up (if I survive this exam season) (which is looking doubtful), which is criminal defense work. And they are both funny, thoughtful people who will, upon occasion, pat us law kids on the head and tell us we will survive.

But the real fun of twitter is when we’re all trying to study, but want to procrastinate. Last night, @obxlaw, the self proclaimed grumpy old man lawyer who wants the kids off his lawn and tell us that we’re young whippersnappers or something, tweeted about bidding on Carribean vacations, and someone should help him. I said he shouldn’t do that unless he was going to take all the law kids with him, and made sure the law kids that follow him were in on the message. Things kind of exploded after that (Mik called top bunk, Huma said we should all get puppies, Obxlaw tried to say he didn’t know ANY of us), but it was a great procrastination tool for a couple of hours.

The funniest thing that has EVER happened is I was in Evidence one day. Our SBA had organized a food drive, where if we brought in a can and had it sitting in front of us during class, we had immunity from getting cold called. Our Evidence prof, who is, in fact, awesome, knew that he still needed there to be a way to get us involved, and if scaring the crap out of us with cold calling wasn’t on the table, bribery totally was. So he said that for every person who volunteered an answer and also had a can, he would donate a dollar to the food shelf. He walked in that morning and pulled $100 out of his wallet and said “Okay. Ninety seven people in the class. Lets do this.”

So it did encourage people to at least try for answers that might not have done so otherwise, and at one point, one guy said, after flubbing his way through a question, “I feel like I’m on Fox News, getting money for saying stupid stuff.”

I thought that was pretty funny. So I tweeted it. Huma, in Chicago, also thought that was pretty funny, and retweeted it. Shannon, who I did not know at that time, said “HEY. That just happened in MY class.” So now we are all friends and will, upon occasion, tweet at each other from across the room (although I am not sure where she sits), or the lawbrary.

So that is why I love the twitter.

This is not the post I want to write

I want to write about how 2L year is different and better and worse than 1L year.

I want to write about how I did most of my PT today in one continuous stretch and how I found a gym that’s cheap enough and anonymous enough that I can work off some of my stir crazy, even as my surgeon says “I’m clearing you for the gym, but if it sounds fun, you probably shouldn’t do it.”

I want to write about how much fun I’m having with mock trial prep.

I want to write about how much the shitstorm over Christine O’Donnell is making me feel deeply conflicted, because she’s clearly nuts and not someone I want to have in an elected position, but how the shitstorm never would have happened if she were a man, and how, in one of her appearances on Bill Maher (I think it was Bill Maher) in the 90s ended with the men in the roundtable calling out her appearance without addressing anything she had to say, and that’s bullshit.

I want to write baout any of these, but instead I want to say that Raymond Chase, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, and Tyler Clementi were all probably avoidable tragedies. And people need to think before they act.

I know that’s a big order when it comes to teenagers- the thinking part. Which is why schools need to do more about bullying and harassment. I was harassed in high school. It was hell. And what I went through is nothing like what happened to these kids. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I have to give a shout out to the It Gets Better Project, where adult GLBTQ people have been making videos about how much better their lives got after high school and what they would have missed out on. Go, Dan Savage. It’s hard when you don’t have the forebrain to see there is a future, and the now is the WORST THING EVER and you can’t imagine anything else. Certainly not when you don’t have a support system, or even when your parents won;t hate you for who you are, but it seems like everyone else in the world does.

It gets better. It won’t be perfect. But it will be better.

I found out while writing this post about a sixth kid in the past month to kill himself- Caleb Nolt.

So here’s a story.

For my classes in London, we were given books. Well, technically, we bought the books, but there were books. To slightly misquote Elle Woods (Musical version), “Big sturdy books, big wordy books, books with words I’ll understand.”

And, when classes were over, we were told to give the books back to the professors and they would ship the whole lots of them back and make sure we got them so we could do our papers.

This plan was a good plan. And like the Cylon plan, it did not survive contact with the enemy. First, they were sent over by boat. So they weren’t going to get to the States until August 9th, and the original due date for the papers was August 13th. So the moved the due date September 13th.


Then we got an email saying “So…. the shipment is being held by customs. We don’t know why. So do the best you can and indicate which books you have, if any, and you will be graded accordingly.”


It’s so hot

I should be writing stuff up, but it is SO hot (90+ since I GOT HOME) that the idea is just not working.

The update on my knee is that it is most likely an ACL tear (look at all the crap I did on a torn ligament! Imagine what I could accomplish fully mobile!) and I have an appointment with an ortho on Monday to confirm and discuss options.

But msotly, it’s hot.

posts I need to write

I fly home tomorrow (well, today, really, it’s 1 am), but here’s a list of posts I need to write:

Character sketches of people I met

Being breifed on what the hell was going on in Parliament by a Scottish girl.

How to completely throw a queue into disarray and make sure that no one can in good conscience be mad at you for it.

The UK version of disability access.

Why do the Brits put up with their elevators and subways TALKING to them all the time?

West End theater reviews.

Why non-homoginized milk is the Best Thing Ever.

Imperial War Museum


So this is an image heavy post

WWI Recruitment poster
WWI recruitment poster

WWII home front propaganda poster

Ration Book
British Ration book, WWII.

Her Majesty, Queen Mary's ration book

Ration book for Queen Mary (the Then Queen Mother, 1944-45). Note: Surname: “Her Majesty.” Other Name: “Queen Mary.”

Dear Family

Christmas this year is going to ROCK and I’m now putting you in suspense for the NEXT SIX MONTHS.

Because I’m mean like that.





History on parade

Tomorrow is The Queen’s Birthday (Observed). We are going to try and see the parade if possible.

Tomorrow is also the US-England World Cup game. My roommate tells me to be careful, I say I can cheer “For Harry, England and St. George!” with the best of them, I’ll be okay. 😛

Today, after we tried to sort out the Totten Doctrine (you don’t care, really you don’t) (well, maybe you care. If you were working as a spy for the CIA and they decided not to pay you, then you might care, because the Totten Doctrine keeps you from being able to sue them), I went to the Museum of London for an hour. SO COOL.

Their display on the 1348 Plague is frighteningly effective.

Then I wandered around St. Paul Cathedral a bit, then I went on a walking tour of Haunted London. 😀 SO MUCH FUN. How many churches can you see in 2 hours that were medieval churches, then were destoryed during the Great Fire of 1666, then were rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren? (about 8, I think). How many of those got blown up in the Blitz? (2? 3? I think 3).

Ad the Wall? The Wall that the Romans built around Londinium? Yeah, I saw that.


First Day of School

Started “Comparative Counter Terrorism” today.


One prof is a former attorney for the CIA, another was a JAG officer, and the third is, well, British. We defined terrorism (not well, or even, really at all, but threw out definitions that sort of work) and talked about the structure of the US and British intelligence communities.

Did not do any sightseeing- went back to the dorm and had a nap, then I am working on my briefing paper that’s due tomorrow.

This is going to be a fairly low-key three credits- Rasdan (former CIA prof) was walking around while we were in group discussions, and asked if anyone had started the book that was required reading before the class started and we all said “…..we finished it?” and he was like “Whut” and we said “It was required?” and he said “it’s like, ‘summer’ ‘required’ reading.” and we were like “WHUT”

Seriously. This their vacation, too. AWESOME.