Thursday, January 30, 2003

The State of Things
All these political addresses, so little time.

Last night started off well enough. Lola came over, we ordered in Bluestone pizza, and we indulged in our newest obsession - the chock full of cheese phenomonon that is American Idol. I am not proud that I enjoy it so much but I won't deny it either. And then of course that ended, the way television programmes do, and it was time for the Shrub's State of the Union address.

Such an amazing piece of spectacle. I was appalled on so many levels. While I was impressed that we are now supporting ways of addressing the AIDS crisis in Africa, and would be happy to see my tax dollars go towards such an endeavor, I demand efficiency from my tax dollars. And throwing money at treatment without mention of preventative education and prophylactic measures is cost-inefficient at best and in my view flagrantly immoral at worst. $1.3 billions dollars, and the word "condom" isn't mentioned? Bush strikes again, which is hardly suprising as he mentioned minutes later his intention to strike out late term abortion. Slippery slope, my friends, slippery slope.

Then of course, before I even get to expound on the forthcoming war in Iraq, there was the downright chilling mention that while a number of el-Queda suspects had been arrested, etc, there was then mention that "other things had happened to them. In short, they are no longer a threat to American security." (I am paraphrasing, but remembering as best I can.) I nearly spit my food out. This statement, all but declaring that we had engaged in killing and possibly torture of individuals, whether here and abroad, without due process to me goes against every value America claims to uphold. It was an appalling statement, and was rewarded by a standing ovation. I fear for the state of the nation, I really do.

War in Iraq appears to be based entirely on "intelligence sources" - none of which indicate that people are being tortured, invasions are imminent, nothing of the sort. Rather, things are as they have been for the last ten years. Sure, the economy is bad, and one of the reasons it is tanking is that we're heading off to war and all that uncertainty is driving the market down. So precisely who is benefitting from all this?

Tonight, of course, was the emergency gubernatorial address from our new Governor, Mitt Romney. As predicted, belt tightening galore. Town funding being cut 2 and a half percent, but nothing was ever referred to as a percentage. Everything was "cents on the dollar," so for example this cut would be just "two and a half cents on the dollar." I'm sure this is just calculated to make people feel better about it, but that isn't going to work. Amazingly, many social services do not seem to have been cut, but equally amazingly the MDC was. People already fired, and the agency is to be entirely phased out and merged with the State Parks Commission. I don't know enough about the MDC to know whether or not I agree with this, but I do know enough about it to know that politically this is a big deal. There have been efforts to ditch the MDC out a number of times, and each time it has been blocked by the legislature. But this time, given the statements by the head of the legislature immediately following Romney's address, it looks like Romney's got a free hand, and the MDC is as good as gone. Frankly, I'm shocked. Jawohl mein fuhrer, I now live in a consitutionally suspended dictatorship.

The social services cuts that Romney has proposed are highly appalling. Many of them revolve around health care. For starters, state employees now have to pay a bigger percentage of their health insurance costs. Now granted, I think there is excess staffing in the state house and many agencies, but quite frankly these people do not earn market rate for their jobs. They do serve the state, and for this they aren't paid much. In addition to that, many free health care programs are to be "trimmed." ALl this against the backdrop of Shrub's travelling to Michigan to promote his health care plan. Health care plan? Can you say "death miasma plan?" Some of the best hospitals in the world are right here in the Boston area, and meanwhile the poorest and neediest will not be treated. This echoes a book I am currently reading entitled "Gracefully Insane" which is a biography of McClean Hospital, one of the oldest and most prestigious mental hospitals in the United States. The book is well written, and quite compelling despite its subject matter. At the portion of my current reading, there is great detai about how it was a hospital built by the rich, for the rich and the poor went elsewhere. At least then the poor had somewhere else to go. Where shall we go now?

Long live the resistance!

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

A Liberal Reaches for Her Whip
Oh, the agony of being part of what's left of the left. I feel assailed on all sides. For starters there is the fact that none other than Mitt Romney is starting to win me over. I of course remain convinced that his statement to the Commonwealth tomorrow night will amount to $500 million dollars worth of cuts in services that vitally need shoring up, not cutting. But in the interim, the man has a) denied his salary since he's a multimillionaire, b) announced that he's getting rid of as many SUVs in the Commonwealth fleet as he can, and encourage the use of Zipcar where possible, and now c) gotten rid of 14 or is it 43 press lackeys in the State House. In addition, he seems to have appointed the former head of the Conservation Law Foundation to head up the environmental department in the Commonwealth. I can seriously get behind these sorts of measures. I'm backing measures from Mitt Romney? Can I truly be part of the left? I hope so. I do suspect this is a diversionary tactic before he cuts the guts out of education and social services, the sorts of social services that experience even greater need during hard financial times like these. No doubt by tomorrow night I shall be fully in opposition to all sorts of things.

Of course, I probably won't even have to wait that long. The whole reason that Mitt's address to the Commonwealth is tomorrow night is because tonight is the State of the Nation address by his anointed Shrubness. It won't suprise anyone if I predict here that he's going to announce war, war and more war. My views on this are already known, and I suppose they just sum up into "why?"

I spent the most delightful evening last night wandering around Harvard Bookstore and then having dinner with a friend. It is good to be able to do these things again. This is despite the fact that again the temperature has plummeted. Despite a brief heatwave on Sunday when it almost got up to freezing, it dropped four degrees yesterday between when I got up for my internship and left the flat. And then it just kept on plummeting. But the time we walked to the car last night, we were both very "it is much too cold to be outside!" Amazing, but it does make me feel alive to a certain extent. Even if I can't go biking.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Super Bowl Sunday
Again, another day like the weekend should be. Woke up late (which meant I missed SportsNight, which is the only show I plan to watch, but never mind), unmolded my chocolate raspberry truffles, which I have managed to make in a star shape, which seems great fun, and then all in good time headed off to Lolo's* for brunch and her new recipe for stuffed french toast. Now I have been spending my Sunday's of late at a friend's in Somerville, and this friend makes the best basic french toast I have ever had. (I make a pretty mean french toast, but mine is far more frou frou - challah bread, a shot of whiskey in the batter, and bananas sauteed in butter and brown sugar). So the gauntlet had been thrown down for Lolo, and she picked it up nicely. After an awesome breakfast (as if the french toast wasn't enough, she laid out the sausage, eggs, etc), we went to Target, because Lolo has a new computer and wanted to get DVDs to play on it. Then, of course we watched the DVDs.

We didn't actually set OUT to watch the DVDs on the computer - she was going to wire it through the telly. But the resolution on the computer screen is HDTV quality, and the sound is phenomonal. So, compelled, we sat and watched The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring in rather small screen. It is a testament to the cinematography and the beauty of New Zealand that it was still a beautiful, gripping spectacle.

And now I'm watching the blowout that is the Super Bowl. I missed it last year for an epic romantic tale, but this year I am back watching football. Oakland is fighting back, and has just this second scored on a 48 yard catch by Jerry Rice, making it 38-21 in favor of Tampa Bay, but let's face it. Defense wins ball games. There are only six minutes left. Two point conversion has been denied.

Didn't watch the news. Every so often, this is a good thing.

Back to the knitting!

All names changed to protect the guilty.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

The Joys of Saturday
Ah, Saturday. The day when things get done in that "pootling round the house" sort of way. And I did things today. Not great, epic things like rebuilding a carbeurator (but I've always wanted to learn how to do that. First, though I suspect I would need to learn where a carbeurator is in the car.) but a bit of this, a bit of that. Some knitting. I made chocolate raspberry truffles to take to brunch tomorrow. I took a nap with the kitty on my chest. This last because I'm feeling a bit under the weather, and sadly had to cancel my appointment to go coach this afternoon. I had been looking forward to that, actually - the friend I am coaching has already dropped four seconds off her 2k time just via some e-mail help.

And then, in the spirit of relaxation and puttering, I finally re-made contact with my ex-boyfriend. It was awkward, to say the least. Hardly suprising, really. I think would have been far more suprised, and not a little fearful, had he just been "hey, this is great, let's go out sometime." But I think it was worth it. I hope it was worth it! I wasn't trying to re-create the old - not only would that be a futile exercise, it isn't really a place I want to go. Not that it was all bad. Quite the opposite. But I wasn't myself then, and that wasn't a relationship I particularly want to recreate. It makes for an interesting dynamic - I know him as a patient, kind individual, and he doesn't know me at all, apart from a 20 minute glimpse into my personality at the Head of the Charles. And of course, he's been burned. But for all the awkwardness and resistence, I do feel it was worth it. The first step is made. Let it settle for a while, and then see where the road goes from here. Who knows? Certainly not me. But to quote none other than Jacques Cousteau, "If I knew what I was going to find, why would I go?"

And then of course I had some lunch and grabbed the news. The joy of my new medication regieme is not that it makes me happy all the time, it is that it finally gives me a full range of emotions other than option 1) anger and option 2) fear, which is what happens when there is just so much adrenaline in the system for so long! Unfortunately, this means I can also get sad about things, and increasingly I get sad about the news. It is just as though no one cares! It is sad enough that I want to stop watching the news, but then I think that if I give up, why should anyone else stick with it? I just wish I was better tied into the peace activist network. I either always find out about local demonstrations at the last minute, or when it makes the news. But the ones on the news do not seem so well attended. There is strength in numbers, and I wish to be one of those numbers. I think there are more like me, more than Bush realizes. If anyone out there knows how to get hooked into the network, please leave a message here on the comment section. I'm usually very good at web research, but this is proving elusive.

Off to do more putter.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

What a Difference a Continent Makes
There's so much to write about today, much of it disjointed, but I shall start with the important things. First of all is the notable difference between the war-mongering US press, and the rest of the world's presses. My biggest resource is of course my favorites in the UK press, where there was even poetry by prize winning authors which was not only against the war, but an interesting commentary on how America is just marching on towards it. The English speaking Asian press is much the same. No one wants this war except the States. But they are sending troops mostly to avoid angering us too much. Although I also suspect that last week's ricin arrests in the UK and the Bali bombing (which seems to have affected mostly Australians), not to mention today's el Queda arrests in Italy with a pound of C4 are also fueling the drive. But I don't see the logic myself. We've raided Afghanistan, and for what? More terrorist attacks and planning. And now we're going to do the same with Iraq, despite the fact that they've complied with every edict we've given them. I do think that Saddam is pulling a fast one, I really do, but that gut feeling in the lack of being proven doesn't quantify war.

I'm miserable as well today because I had hoped to hear that I was getting a second interview for a job today, and instead I haven't. Which isn't to say that I haven't got the second interview, but rather that I haven't heard. But let's face it, it isn't good news. The job is gone, I have not got it. And I truly wanted it, so I am very very sad.

Not to mention, for some reason the other news that I've been exposed to is equally sad. Very "what is the world coming to?" type of sad. Articles on the rape of children in South Africa, which has reached epidemic proportions for reasons which seem yet unfathomable. The last night was a documentary on the porn industry. It is all really just quite amazing. And not in a good way.

Even my knitting has packed up. Somehow I managed to have to take out three rows on my latest scarf creation.

I am living on those four epic words: tomorrow is another day.

Friday, January 24, 2003

The Joys of Coaching
I have been known to coach rowing. Sweep rowing and sculling to youth and adults. I love it. I even loved it this past autumn with my adrenaline out of control. Being a relative newbie, and certainly trained only through trial by fire immersion, I coach the beginners. The "learn to row/scull" crowd. Personally, I tend to prefer the sculling coaching due to the fact that since everyone progresses indepentantly of each other, people feel as though they are progressing quite quickly. But working with the team sweep boats presents different challenges, but I do what I can to get people inspired.

As a coach, it always warms the cockles of my icebound in Boston heart to have someone really step up to the plate and commit to learning to row. I also find that it isn't always the person you'd expect. And this is certainly true of the latest person to pop up, one of my adult learn to sweep row women from the fall. She committed to erging over the winter, and entered a logbook group to row 100K between Thanksgiving and New Years. She was successful. And now she has decided to compete in Crash-Bs, also known as the world indoor rowing championships which are held here in Boston in February. (I am not competing this year. This is itself is highly unusual - I love Crash-Bs, although I will be attending to do other things.) I happened to run into her during a rather decadent evening out of curry and chocolate at Burdick's with another friend, and now we have been corresponding about how to formulate a race strategy. She seems very excited, and this always brings out the coach in me. When a person is excited about rowing, I will do whatever it takes to keep them that way. So now I am going to spend my Saturday afternoon working with her to learn erg racing starts, discuss strategies, and work on form. And I think this is a good way to spend some time. Particularly since I'm not racing!

It starts to beg the question though, what do I know about coaching?
The Joys of Modern Pharmacology
As some of you know, and some of you don't, the last couple of months have involved some rather severe medical problems, which have been remedied to an astounding degree by the administration of some medications, and the attention of a rather excellent doctor. This has freed me up to start to enjoy all kinds of things. Things that I used to enjoy. For example, today's bitchin do. I have always loved getting my hair cut. There is something about turning yourselves over to someone else's attentions and then looking up from your cup of tea and hey! Whoa! Presto! Don't you look great! This experience to me is only enhanced by the fact that my hairdresser has those chairs that massage you while you're getting your hair washed. The experience is apparently rivaled only by appearing in one of those commercials where the women get all orgasmic while washing their hair. Herbal Essences, or whatever it is. That's not the point. The point is that I can now actually enjoy this sort of thing again.

Even more amazingly, I can now do things that previously caused levels of anxiety that were astounding to behold. Such as go to the dentist. I did it today. Went in for my check up post whitening (the whole study thing), and let them do all kinds of things to my mouth, stick probes into my gums which were frankly a bit uncomfortable, and all I did when that happened was just breathe in deeply the way I do in rowing when I need to focus on relaxation. When I went to the dentist in the spring, it took so much to get me there that when I got back, the bets were on that I actually hadn't turned up to the dentist. In fact, today my very nice Brasilian dentist commented on what a good patient I was. And then we swapped information on where to get the best Brasilian food and supplies in town. Maracuja juice! Well, swapped is probably not the right word as it implies that I actually had information to impart, which I did not. But I was an eager receptacle!

Today was one of those running around types of days. Doctor's at 8, dentist's at 1:30, bitchin hairdo at 3:30, class at 4. Which served to detract from that job not calling me back yet with the yeah or neah on a second interview. Ring, phone, ring! I do feel anxious about that, but hopefully at a normal level.

My life is ruled by the voice mail light on my phone.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
First off, a brief moment of silence for the retirement of Delia Smith from teaching us all to cook. She is "recipied out" or so she says. But then again, maybe not. According to today's BBC update, she may be rethinking it all. I may yet be delivered from my own recipies. Americans don't know Delia so well, but a few generations now have been clinging on every word about her "capers in the pantry."

Having been provided with the statistics as to how many people a day read this website (not that many, really, but word seems to be spreading), and how they get here, it is interesting to note that if you search on "cotimundi" on Google, up I pop right at the top. For all of you cotimundi searchers, the story about myself and the cotimundi at Fos de Iguacu is down pretty far if you're scrolling, and dated this time last year.

Everyone's trying to impress each other with statistics at the moment. We're not just cold, the weather forecasters tell us. It is so cold that you'll get frostbite before you even step outside. The wind makes it even colder. This is the longest coldest cold snap Boston has had since 1880. I'm not sure who they're trying to impress - with everyone staying inside, there is little interaction for people to tell each other how cold they are. Maybe the weather forecasters are just bored. It has just been cold. No rain, no snow, just cold, which really isn't that exciting to predict or talk about. "How cold is it today, Morty?" "Well, it's cold enough to freeze an ice cube, Hal." I mean, really, what do you say? Cold is as cold does. Or maybe the forecasters are just ticked off that they had to go out in the cold to come to work.

Not that I'm really working today. When the temp agency tells you to bring a book, you know it is going to be quiet. And indeed it is. But it is finally time for lunch, so off I go!
Today, I am an Intern
Finally, after much negotiation, I started today as an intern with the in-house counsel at a biotechnology firm north of Boston. Despite all the jokes that have been made (ok, many of them made by me) involving my title, berets, blue dresses and the President of the United States, I was very excited to be back in the legal world, getting going. And indeed, my faith has been rewarded with some good projects, nice people, and a working environment that provides 12 different types of coffee, bagels, and all the Diet Coke I can drink.

But first, of course, I had to get there. Not having a car, this required a little planning. But the planning had been made. Bus to Harvard Square. Train to Alewife. Bus out to the industrial park where the company is. Maybe a little complicated, but no more so than necessary, still feasible, and over all a good plan. Except, of course, that today being the holiday of Martin Luther King day, I checked the bus schedule last night to discover that while I could get all the way to Alewife, the bus did not run on MLK day to get out to the industrial park. This fact was discovered at the not so convenient time of 9 last night. Phone calls were made. Indeed, *many* phone calls were made. One friend I called to ask for suggestions volunteered that he could pick me up as he had to be in the area at that time anyway. That took half the pressure off, but I still had to find a way to get there. Luckily for me, my friend Lola works nearby, but Lola was not going to be having a good day today, and I was very very very very loathe to ask her. Running out of other options, I sadly had to cave and ask her, and she was kind enough to oblige. So I was to meet her at her place at 7:30 this morning (she wanted to have enough time to drop me and still get to work early). Confirming this, I got off the phone with her. Then I checked the bus schedule to her house, which runs on the holiday schedule, but not often. So I discovered that to get to Lola's at 7:30, I would have to take the bus from my house at 6:20. Oh aye. But never mind. An intern's got to do what an intern's got to do, and Lola was already going out of her way to help me.

It went without a hitch. Got up, got showered, dried the hair extra dry, then hit the 18F streets with a vengence and a whole lot of layers of clothing, hats and gloves. Bus. Lola's. And the time was........6:47. No lights on. Not a peep. Not a sound. I know she sleeps til the last minute (who wouldn't on a Monday, and an icky Monday at that?), so I busied myself with brushing the snow off her car. This did not take as long as I thought, and I wound up settling myself on the stoop to read my book. I really didn't think I was cold until I got in the car and started to thaw. Yikes! The toes! The toes! But I suppose I really didn't need them anyway. Did Scott of the Antarctic stop for a little cold? I don't think he did. So I wasn't going to quit either.

Lola was right on time, and we did head off. A traditional breakfast of McDonald's was had by both, and then...... then...... then..... well, really it has to be said that I completly blew it. "is this the exit?" asked Lola at the right exit. "No" said I. "It is the next exit." Lola checked again, then took the next exit. Which of course wasn't the correct one. Neither, for that matter was the one after that. Way to go, Anne. Go, Anne, go. Bother Lora on a bad day, then don't even get the directions right. Eep. Luckily, Lola figured it out, and got me to the right place, and did it nicely too it has to be said. She deserves a big bunch of flowers. Unfortunately, I can't afford them!

The cold continues. And now the wind has kicked in. The heat is working in my apartment, and the radiators are all but glowing, but with the howling wind outside dropping the ever lower temperature to less than zero Fahrenheit, it is extra blanket and hot water bottle time!
To bed, to sleep in til seven tomorrow!

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Extra Servings of Peace and Love. (Minimal JLo.)
Well, at this very moment in time demonstrators who share my opposition to the forthcoming war in Iraq are showing the strength of their numbers in Washington DC, as part of a coordinated movement of such demonstrations around the globe, starting with the day's dawn in New Zealand. I wish terribly that I was there in DC. I did find out this morning that there was a vigil in Cambridge, but I sadly found out too late. If I have one complaint of the anti-war movement in Boston is that it not particularly good at getting the word out. Which chagrins me that the not wanting to be silent minority (majority? I hope.) is losing the chance to make their collective voice heard. As I said before, I am spending time to write to my congressmen and the President. But somehow it doesn't feel quite enough. Protestors demonstrating peacefully for peace. I love it. I am rather embarrassed though at the relative lack of press coverage it is receiving. I was so impressed when I spoke with a Dutch friend earlier in the week and she knew that demonstrations were taking place in DC today. The rest of the American public doesn't seem to know. And there are bits on the news today, but they are very trivial. For example, you can find it on, but you've got to look for it. (At last glance, it was under the story of how Theo (my true lurve) Epstein is maybe in possible negotiations to consider getting someone for first base.) is giving it some prominence, but once again the brits at the BBC are up front, in your face, and the whole nine yards. Go Auntie Beeb!

Now being off the all white diet, I appear to be eating nothing but rubbish to deal with the stress of my job interview. As it turned out, they were offering me an interview. The next day. At three in the afternoon. And then, after I spoke with them, at 2:30 in the afternoon. There was much frantic pressing and primping going on round here yesterday morning. As ever with interviews, I can't get a real bead on whether it went well or not. They did, however, manage to completely sell me on the job. It is in a dream place, in contact with exciting people developing cool technology. The tension of finding out if I made to the second interview is likely to give me an utter breakdown. In the best possible way.

It continues to be utterly frightfully freezing outside. This is the predominant story of the news at the moment, more so than even the war, and certainly more than the anti-war movement. So it is a good day to stay inside and do laundry. Whcih is good, as I have been neglecting this of late, and it is time to re-stock the clean nicker drawer. It is also a good day to stay inside and cook, but for me to do a really good job of that, I would have to go *outside* and go food shopping. So instead I am staying inside and doing homework, and researching in hope of that second interview. The problem with all this is that I only feel semi productive. Blech.

So now it is time to go be productive. And write my Congressmen! NO WAR IN IRAQ! NO BLOOD FOR OIL!

Friday, January 17, 2003

Peace, Love and JLo
This is starting to turn into an obsession. Wherever I turn, there's JLo. Now, I've ranted before how overexposed I consider her to be, but today I did have to laugh. I went to the dentist's for that tooth whitening study, and in the grand tradition of dentist's offices, there were People magazines to read while one waited, and they were out of date. The one I picked up was dated May, 2002 and contained a rather lengthy article about how happy she was being married to Chris Judd. There was also an interesting picture of her with "friend" Ben Affleck.

Why do I know so much about this woman? I cannot say that I actually care, she's just so omnipresent that I feel I know the details of her life through osmosis. I'm not a fan. I've never seen one of her movies, I have never bought one of her CDs. The only song I can hear and know is hers is the one with the line about how despite the fact that she's richer than Croseus she's still "Jenny from the block." And yet, it is easier to find out news about her than it is to find out news about the forthcoming war in Iraq.

More than ever, it looks like we're going to war again. There is an anti-war demonstration in Washington DC on Saturday. I wish I could attend more than I can say, but I just cannot afford the bus fare down there. If anyone who reads this can attend, please attend. Your presence does make a difference. If, like myself, you cannot, spend time on Saturday doing what you can to stop needless slaughter for Bush's oil interests. I will be writing my congressmen and the President. Maybe you would like to do the same. My nephew is already in the Gulf with the Navy, and I have a friend in the Royal Navy sailing out. They are following orders, but this is not a just cause for them to risk their lives.

Anyway, changing back to more benign blog topics, as I said, I went to the dentist today. And now I am wrestling with the difficulties of an "all-white" diet. Having been cleaned and whitened slightly, for 24 hours I can only eat white foods. It doesn't matter what foods they are, so long as they are white. Turns out, white foods are bland. I mean, I have Cream of Wheat and Milk for breakfast in the mornings quite often, but with raspberries (no!) and brown sugar (thank you for playing, but again no.) If it wasn't for vanilla ice cream, I would be a highly unhappy bunny! Cauliflour, the aforementioned v.i.c., cream of wheat. Meals of dental champions!

Of course the challenge of cooking an all white meal is just taking my mind off the fact that I appear to have been called for an interview. Either that, or they are calling to tell me to stop sending in my resume to them every ten minutes before they take out a restraining order against me. Of course, the temptation is just too much. I am playing telephone tag with the woman from HR, who in a thoroughly professional manner is returning my calls, but not providing the confirming details that there is an interview on offer. Fingers crossed. It would be a job just up my alley, at a *very* cool place to work. So I'm off to research it.
Love as ever,

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Oh, the Weather Outside Is Frightful...
But who cares! I have a day off. A delightful, 100% day off. Whee! What have I done today? Nothing really. Lined up a small bit of private client work for tomorrow. Made a hair appointment. Chatted via IM to Elenarda and Paolo for an excessively long time. All the little tiny things that mean nothing, and are good for the soul to do from time to time. The laundry didn't get done, and neither did much housework (well, the kitchen is sparkling and shiny. Or was til I cooked dinner.)

Of course, being a girly swot I decided to take up my remaining free time for the semester (and longer?) by self enrolling in a friend's class in Islamic Fiction. In what I think is a pretty impressive feat, my friend Oliver designed an entire course in Islamic Fiction, and the University has rewarded him by letting him teach it. I think this will help his future professorial prospects greatly. And with my slowly growing interest in Islam and what with re-reading "The Map of Love" (see link at the side), I took advantage of recently designed syllabi to obtain a copy. Apparently there may also be a free book or two on the booklist lying around as well. Interest and free books. Huzzah! I've never taken a college comparative lit course, so this should be an interesting start.

Lexi seems to be mourning not the departure of Zeke, who left on Saturday. Rather, he seems to have reclaimed his space as footwarmer, chest warmer, and backwarmer, depending on what needs interference with at any given time. That is, when he isn't wandering in and out of the Weather Pixie window, which I think he has given up on at the moment since it is too cold to be outside.

It's my day off. So I'm not writing any more.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

It is jolly cold outside. Even the Weather Pixie is bundled up beyond recognition. I should have looked at her when I spoke to my English friends this morning, so that I could give them the correct temperature in Centigrade. Cold weather always sounds particularly dramatic in Centigrade. Today's predicted high of 18F is a serious negative something in Centigrade, which sounds so much more appropriate when your nose feels like it will break off from being so frozen.

Of course, I woke up this morning to the ominous warnings of how the United States is ramping up for our war for oil. The press isn't even bothering to sugar coat it any more, speaking of the war as though it is a done deal. Sadly, I feel that it may indeed *be* a done deal, but at least they could pay lip service to the fact that an official decision has not yet been declared to the American public, no matter what has been bargained for behind closed Washington doors. As a contrast with the Korea situation, part of the same declared "Axis of Evil" (which to me is just another Bush-ism - an axis involving a straight line which does not apply here), actively threatening to drop nuclear bombs, kicking out the UN inspectors, and we're doing nothing.

On behalf of myself and my friends, I'd like to offically declare that all Americans do *not* support war in Iraq.

But still I was inspired today. If into every day a little rain must fall, shoudl it also not be part of the axiom that into every day a little sun should shine? Today I caught up with friends. Toni is always inspiring, just being her. And she's very enthused that I am feeling so better. Plus I spoke with Neil. Now Neil, too, is always inspiring, but in addition has that great knack for always saying the thing that I needed most to hear, but never knew it. The quote is often from Churchill, but not today. Today, I was explaining my forthcoming presentation on the English Legal System. "You've done it!" he cried. "You're finally using your degree!" I laughed very very hard. Later in the day, I had dinner with my friend Lo (not to be confused with my friend Lolo, with whom I had dinner last night) who proclaimed "you're looking skinny" - which I believe is the first time in my life that someone has said that to me. Lo now holds an even more special place in my heart.

More school tonight. I'm enjoying my class, but it is difficult to get back into it. At least for as difficult to get back into studying for my International IP class will be made up for by the ease of my topic in Comparative Legal Systems. Still, at least the work is interesting. Which makes it easier to do the homework, even when it is tougher.

The wind it howleth outside the window. And it is even a little chillier than usual in the flat. So time to bundle up good, get the kitty to sleep on my feet, and go to bed.
Love and prayers for peace,

Friday, January 10, 2003

The English Legal System
Apparently, I am trapped in a bizarre sort of world, not unlike the movie Groundhog's Day, wherein I am doomed to repeat things until I get them done right. There is, of course, the fact that I have returned yet again to legal education. But that really isn't enough. I discovered in last night's class that I will be graded entirely on the basis of a one hour presentation and leading of discussion. This is without question playing to my strengths, and the professor announced on a few occasions in the course of the hour that he is an easy grader, so I would appear to be on to a winner. But just to add that real sense of destiny about it, I will be working with the only student I still know at school - a rowing coach I used to work with. This, however, really just isn't enough for it all. My topic is "The English Legal System." Given my law degree from the University of Nottingham, and the odd bout of solicitor's finals, I think I'll do just fine.

The level of hilarity of all this has at the very least taken my mind off the layoffs at Testa (see yesterday's post), where 10 people I know (from the tally I have so far) are now jobless. Testa has wasted no time getting them off the website, although there is no announcement of the layoffs in their "current news" section. They've gone surgical on this, which is interesting in that I know another person who left there (voluntarily!) who is still on the website. They're covering their tracks, as far as I can see, which mystifies me a little bit seeing as a detailed article about it was headlining the business section of yesterday's Boston Globe. Maybe they're just trying to forget the fact that despite cutting incoming salaries, freezing other salaries, and other cuts (which in their defense I should also point out are now so common amongst the larger Boston law firms as to be standard) wasn't enough to hold off setting free newly minted first years after just four months of work.

I know some people out there won't cry over people earning $120K a year, but the fact is there's nothing for these people to go to on any pay level. The job market for first years is dead. RIP, job market. I feel very badly for them, but equally good that I'm back in school already. Like water, life tends to ebb and flow and somehow wind up where it should. These are smart people, they will survive.

I felt like dressing smart today, so I am wearing a skirt despite the freezing weather. Tights and everything. An outfit which promptly had one of my co-workers ask if I had a date. I am having drinks tonight with two friends, both male, but both married, so I don't think it qualifies as a date. But obviously I need to start dressing a little smarter a little more often.

That's it for today. Still reeling from it all.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

I suppose it was only a matter of time. Testa, Hurwitz & Thibault LLP laid off 34 attorneys. The interesting thing is that they laid off first years, as well as second years. Why is this interesting? Because they're not following the currently popular, if to my mind bizarre, business model of laying off second years to make room for the freshly minted first years. More on this later. Unlike others, I actually have work to do.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Welcome to Coding, Would You Like an Espresso to go with your Java?

I now feel as though I understand all those stereotypes and cartoons about coders just going into some sort of trance and coding all night. Today marks my first official foray into the world of coding, and though I'm quite certain that I only just got my feet wet, it is suprisingly addictive. This new addiction results in all the new fangled techno bells and whistles that you see here on the right, my most favorite certainly being the Weather Pixie, which lets me know what I need to be wearing outside, and most impressively appears to have my cat wandering in and out of the frame. It isn't consistently there, as that is the way cats are. I eagerly await to see whether it stays outside in the rain, but maybe that is just a slight indication of how sad my life has become. And then of course there is the ever self indulgent "comments" functionality, which seems to me to be the epitome of what this whole blogging thing is all about. If you want the world to read about your life, you might as well let them tell you what they think about it.

Great thanks for all the coding tips, tricks, and handholding go to my friend Elenarda, with whom I have been instant messaging all morning, who really should have been doing her BBC work, and who is far too easily distracted for her own good.

So for all that effort putting something up to look at, what is there in my life worth writing about? Not much today, I suppose. Went for dinner last night with a friend. Had dinner the night before that with a different friend. Had breakfast cooked for me the morning before that by a different friend. Having dinner with yet another friend tonight. Drinks on Friday to be had with *two* friends. Saturday, dinner with even yet another friend. Names withheld to protect the guilty. Waistline expanding at astonishing rate. Or, given all this eating out, maybe not so astonishing. Tonight=salad.

More transitioning going on. This temp job will end Friday. Internship starts next week. Teeth getting whitened next week as well (we hope - I'm part of a study.). Other new class for school starts tomorrow. Spare cat goes home on Saturday. All this transition, and yet the most exciting bit of my life today is the fact that I got hot in the office, and when I took off my jumper, I realized that my t-shirt was on inside out. Oh, the cheap daring thrill of stripping it off in my cubicle, flipping it around and putting it back on. Why did I even bother to travel last year when I could live life on the edge just like that? The mind boggles.

Actually, the mind does boggle. One of my new year's resolutions: mend what needs mending with ex-boyfriend. Of course, what I need (read: want) mended may not be what he needs mended. Of course, the start is in the approach. I feel better now than I have for longer than I can even describe. Back to the old (read: year at least) Anne, which would be a new-ish experience for him. As in, this would be the gal that he met, but really not the gal he wound up dating. So I think he'd be interested, but approaching makes me nervous. No, nervous is the wrong word. I want to do it. In constrast to the last few months, it feels really *right* to do it. So now it is merely a technical question of how. As he once said to me when I commented that while he'd told his friends he was going to date me a month before he'd even bothered to e-mail me "well, you have the power of veto." That shoe's on the other foot, even though I think if he'd be delightfully suprised at what he'd find at the moment.
Off to contemplate.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Day Two
There is now a link to the archives, which is the result of nothing I have done. It was not there yesterday, but it is there now. It does not, however, appear to actually link to the archives yet, so it is not really a link I suppose, but just a bit of text with hypertextual ambitions. Personally, I'm rooting for it to succeed.

It has happened, I am a student yet again. Class was shocking, only in that all my eager girlie swot tendencies have picked up right where they left off, only they are unleashed on a new, and therefore unsuspecting group of people. All the people I was in classes with before have graduated (naturally), so the only people I recognized were professors, of whom I bumped into rather a lot. The class itself (International IP licensing, for those who want to know) seemed interesting enough. The professor seems able, and we're a cozy wee group of six, evenly divided into three lads and three gals. Myself and one other woman are the LLM contingent, so far as I know. It was a class, what can I say? I suspect there is little doubt here in my wibbling on about the academic merits of the arguments pro and against conditional licensing and unconditional licensing. If this does intrest you, I recommend you either sign up for the class yourself, or get a good therapist because you just might need one.

What is quite amazing now to me is how I bound out of bed in the mornings, which is something I haven't done for a long while. There are a few reasons for this, most of them highly pharmacological. But it is a nice way to get up. I like having the extra time in the mornings, but really what I need to do is get up and start having more time for exercise. I have been engaging in sloth to a high degree. There is a place for sloth, but right now that place for sloth is somewhere else. My fat is starting to take over my body! I want to sign up for CRASH-Bs as usual, but don't really know if I'll be able to train for it properly. Maybe this year is the year to take off, or maybe this year is the year to just do it anyway. Hmmmmm, thinking, thinking, thinking.

The thing about being a student is that there is homework to do. Off to do it.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Cannot get archives to publish. Frustrating, but it's only day one. I suppose I should save something challenging for day two, although this looks like there is the potential to stretch into day three and possibly beyond. Advice please, to!
Lunch break.
Well, that seems to have settled that. Following my first adventure into the acutal worlds of setting up a blog (the previous one was set up for me, thank you Adrian), as my last few posts met with some error message about my template (say what?) here we are again, back on merry old web pages.

And everything shockingly is back to normal. It is almost as though I never left last year. School starts today. Shiny shoes, new Hello Kitty backpack, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils. Well, not really. The shoes are muddy from sloshing through the snow. (Love snow! I love the snow!), it is the same old briefcase as before, and of course it isn't sharpened pencils, it is laptop this time around. And less classes. Tonight? International Intellectual Property Licensing. The fact that this excites me should strike fear into the hearts of mankind. But I do find it interesting. I really do!

Is it enough really to save the world? Probably not. I can really only hope. My scariest moment of the week was seeing the News of the World in the checkout stand at the market. The headlines screamed in huge lettering how Hitler had made all these predictions, including the rise of JLo. Now, this concerns me on many levels. First of all, it bothers me a bit that while people raise a blue streak (and often rightly so) when Hitler is used to advocate and represent anything, this doesn't seem to have raised any hackles that I have heard of in the news. Maybe because it is so obviously stupid that people are not concerned, but isn't this where this sort of thing starts? Or is this where this sort of thing goes to die? I can't decide. And then of course, there is my recent irkedness with JLo. I have one word for that woman, and that word is "overexposure." Although irkedness or not, I still think to link the poor dear to Hitler is at least enough to have *her* up in arms, but again, maybe on this particular occasion she just wants to go quietly.

It is the epiphany, January 6th, which means that officially all the Christmas decorations are supposed to come down. While I didn't particularly actively celebrate the holidays, choosing instead to keep a quiet profile, I do find it sad when the decorations come down, just becuase everything becomes so much more drab without all the green and red about. Particuarly here where I'm working at the moment. Lots of grey marble and cement. Less festive, more imposing. The solemnity of the winter months is truly upon us!

Off to prepare more for school!