Wednesday, February 26, 2003

In Which Our Heroine Better Understands Her Bizarre Array of Knowledge
If there's something I'm known for, it is the fact that I know the things that other people just don't (well, that and the fact that I'm just a wee bit taller than most other people). My knowledge isn't necessarily in any particular depth, but it is certainly an odd collection of facts. I always thought this was just because I travelled a lot and had different sets of experience to other people was the reason why. But I'm starting to wonder about that. I think there may be a corrolation between this odd set of facts and my odd curiousity. Particularly of late. As though I'm not involved in enough things, enough projects, I've been spending my time on the T reading. Free reading. I met a friend for dinner last night, at our common waiting spot - the Harvard Coop Bookstore. It is a handy place to wait, as I can fritter away hours in a bookstore like no one else. I love to just get lost in them. Plus, last night I wanted to purchase a book. I needed a new book, and I even knew which book I wanted - "Just and Unjust Wars." My friend was aghast. "The last time we met here two weeks ago you bought books. Have you read them all?" "Yes." Then he found out which book I wanted. "Just a little light reading there?" Well, yes. I seem to really be thirsting for knowledge lately. Fiction doesn't hold as much appeal at the moment. I want to know about things, and then I want to fix them. I wound up with a book entitled "The Key to My Neighbours House" which is about the atrocities and the quest for justice after the genocides in the former Jugoslavia and Rwanda. I'm a quarter of the way through it already. Fascinating, but very sad. I'm hoping that, almost like a novel, there is indeed justice found at the end.

When we went to check out, I figured out the other way I know so many weird facts. It is because I know a lot of delightfully weird people with funny backgrounds. We were there waiting to check out, and my friend picked up a newly released book on the sociological history of sex. A quick skim revealed he didn't think it went back far enough. The next thing I knew, I was learning all about how yeast reproduce. Turns out yeast has sex. Except it isn't called sex, it is called "schmooing." Really. Schmooing. This is the way yeast do when thoughts of a young yeast turn to thoughts of love and apparently it is all very complicated. It takes more to schmoo a yeast than just some flowers and a cheap bottle of chianti.

I really do have these sorts of conversations with people all the time. Last week, it was all about learning about the pirates in the 19th century that operated off Cape Cod. This week it is the intricacies of schmooing. And a little insight into the artworks of Marc Rothko. Next week, who knows?

I sat and read for an hour last night on genocide in Bosnia. And once I fell asleep, there was a very complicated dream about kittens being born, which is kind of amazing seeing as I've never actually seen kittens be born. There were three kittens, and I was going to name them Iris, Henry and Peregrine. This is significant somehow, but I think it would take Jung himself to figure out why.

Monday, February 24, 2003

In Which Our Heroine Meets Even More People You've Never Heard Of
Please forgive me if I act a little strange (ok, apologies to David Gray there), but I am exhausted. It has been a busy busy busy weekend. There were some last minute e-mails on Friday, which established that I was helpfully minded, and would therefore be at Howie's house early Saturday morning to make 180 sandwiches. Ok, to help make them. Who needs 180 sandwiches? CRASH-Bs. They need them for the volunteers that help man the event. What are CRASH-Bs? The World Indoor Rowing Championships. They're held right here in Boston, and up until now, I've raced them. But this year I didn't. Why not? I'm really not sure, but at the end of the day, it just wasn't what I wanted to do this year. But I still volunteered. Starting with making sandwiches. But the making sandwiches got me an invite to the luncheon for foreign competitors. This set into motion a few things. For starters, it marked a good kickoff to auction co-chair season, as I grabbed Sir Steven Redgrave and had him autograph three CRI shirts. One for me, two to sell at the auction. Now, if you're not a rower, or you're not English, you probably don't know who this chappie is, so I'll tell you. Winner of 5 consecutive Olympic gold medals in rowing, 9 world championship gold medals, and the UK's "sportsman of the year" for 2000, he was knighted for his services to sport the same year. In short, he is the greatest oarsman to ever live. He was also very gracious in the signing of the shirts. I, on the other hand, was genuinely suprised. He just wasn't as tall as I thought he would be. Then again, this was exactly my reaction when I met Janet Reno.

Sir Steve wasn't rowing due to recent shoulder surgery, but was there to captain the British contingency as they attempted to win hammers. Bits of PR, bits of coxing, bits of autograph signing. But it was an interesting thing. The Brits were eager to be photographed with him, but the Americans didn't really do much about it. To me, and even more interesting, was when he attempted to address the crowd and just no one paid attention to him. It was hard to hear him, but no one was even trying.

Auctioneering just brings out something in me. Frankly, there are few things I dislike more than meeting new people, but if I'm in auction mode, I'll walk up to any old OBE and thurst things in front of them to sign. And apparently I will also throw myself in national team member's paths as well. Poor Carol Skricki fell victim to my high velocity, but she was exceptionally nice about it. Carol learned to row at CRI about 10 years ago. Since then she's been on the national team. Still is, actually, and she was sporting a rather impressive ring from the Sydney Olympics. She was also kind enough to donate to the auction. National team polo shirts, Olympic polo shirts, Olympic unisuit, a great windjacket and two pairs of training shorts. Huzzah!!!!! She also proceeded to set a world record in her age group, and inspire me to get going back to training, and row my little legs off. Can't wait for it.

In between all the signings, Maura explained to me that about 20 volunteers had bailed at the last minute, and could I please fill in this morning? Oh, and could I be there at six? Well, I couldn't since the train didn't start running til 6, but I could be there shortly after, so I did. In fact, I spent the night at a friend's in the Back Bay so that I could be there as early as possible. In return I said that "I want to cox hotties." This seems to have become a bit of a mantra. I suppose I did get to cox two of them who were pretty hot, but generally I coxed men in their 60s, who are too old for me, or junior men, who would make me a felon. Not much hottie potential there. But I was offered the chance to cox the finals, but almost every one brought their own cox with them. I headed back to the sidelines. Ten strokes into it, my friend Howie, not even looking back at me, informs me that I missed my chance, and the hottie on the end had been looking for a cox. Ah, the cosmic humor of injustice!

As aforementioned, I am pooped. To bed! Sleeping, sleeping, and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

In Which Our Heroine Does a Little Drinking and Blogging
Ah, drink. Now, I'm not a huge drinker. If for no other reason than I do take a bunch of medication, so I tend to get drunk pretty quickly (on the converse side, it does clear my system quickly as well). Generally, this translates into two words. Cheap. Date. But tonight we just had alcohol thrown at us, so I became an even cheaper date, and now I'm typing a bit buzzedlike.

Anyway, tonight was one of those fun evenings where things come together. I had dinner plans with Matt. I always enjoy my dinners with Matt. We were trying to sort out the wheres and the whens, and he e-mailed me to say "I'm going to be late because I promised my friends I would go get CDs autographed at Virgin Megastore by Dar Williams, although I don't know who she is, or what she even looks like. It starts at 6 and I won't even get there until 6:45, so I hope I don't miss her. But I can meet you after that. Is that ok?" I flipped. *Not* because it was going to be a problem if he was late, but rather because I am a big fan of Dar's, and had never seen her perform live. And I could most certainly be at Virgin by 6, seeing as I was already at the library, grinding away. So we rescheduled curry into tapas, and he would meet me at the store, and I would pick up the CDs for his friends and get in line and wait.
The CDs were on sale, and since I bought five (three for his friends, one for me, and one for Lolo who is an even bigger Dar fan than I am.), and it was double punch Wednesday (do big stores even do this sort of thing? I guess they do) I get a free CD out of the deal. And I went upstairs and started waiting with the rest of the crowd. The crowd was interesting. She has a big lesbian following, and the more overt ones were certainly present and accounted for. The majority of the guys there were there with their girlfriends, and there was one very odd looking guy who to me seemed like he might cross the line from "fan" to obsessive. For starters, he was the only person in the whole place wearing a Dar Williams t-shirt. Secondly, the minute she mentioned taking a request, he started out shouting anyone in the place. Thirdly, there was just a vibe. Maybe it was the digital camera, the dyed hair, the pancake makeup. I dunno. But anyway, there I was with the crowd, standing in between some bookshelves to get a good view. Unfortunately, I was standing in front of the shelf that said "erotic", so that was my view. "Erotic" to the left, Dar Williams to the right. When you really need a camera, you never have one.

The performance was good. She's fun live. Apparently it is ok to be left for a woman named Marigold, because you just know that she's nice, has a good pancake recipie, and isn't that much of a threat, unlike say someone named Genivieve or some other multisyllabic French name. Thus sayeth Dar. And the music was great. But then the line was made for the signing. I lucked out, and was relatively near the front. But I lucked out. I was straight behind odd guy, who seemed to be about to wet himself due to the fact that he was going to meet Dar. Luckily, this is about the time Matt turned up to wait with me in line. I could hand off the three CDs for his friends to him, so I didn't look so obsessive myself. Watched while odd guy got his photo taken with Dar, who took it in stride. And then for us a Bit of signing, life was fun.

Then Matt and I headed to Tapeo for dinner. Some sangria, which is always good, but the food was even better than I remembered. Even more fun was the fact that the waiter kept flirting with Matt, and Matt kept flirting with the waiter. Everyone was having fun, and then dessert came. Matt and I opted not to have coffee, or an aperatif, and to split a dessert, since we were full from all the tapas. But this is when the flirting came in. Our waiter turned up with two coffees, a liquer for me (I forget what it is called, but it is Spanish, and has 43 herbs in it. You can drink it straight, which we tried and liked, or over ice with milk, which we also tried and loved.) and an extra slice of chocolate flourless cake. Holy Hannah! Flirting with waiters, good. I think Matt and I shall return there again! But the sangria, the chocolate, the liqure? I"m a little giddy. So I'm going to bed to try to sober up before my 8am doctor's appointment. The last time I turned up bruised, this time hungover. He's going to start to ask even MORE questions.

Then we went

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

In Which Our Heroine Has a Snow Day
For those amongst you without access to the news, we had two and a half feet of snow here in Boston in the last 24 hours. This seems to have enabled me to have the best of adulthood mixed in with the best of childhood all at the same time. How can this be, you ask? Ah, I shall wax happily on this topic for you. What else is a blog for?

I love the snow. For a gal who can't ski (and should not be allowed to strap herself to a couple strips of fiberglass and point herself down a mountain), I love the snow. I like to throw snowballs, at which I am crap since I throw like a girl. I like to to build snowmen. I like to cross country ski. I like to walk in the snow. When I was a schoolgirl, my favorite thing was to saddle up my horse while it was snowing and ride out across the cornfields. Being out when it actually snows is to me a wild thing, since it makes no sound. All that pelting snow, and yet no sound. There is just this great, white muffling quiet, and you can just get around and play in it. I actually went and made a snow angel. A very large one, at that. And then I was faced with that classic problem - how do you get out of a snow angel without messing it up?

Suitably played out, I came home and actually spent most of the day finally painting. To heck with the spackle, it was time to paint. It is just amazing what one coat of white paint (snowdrift! Honest, it was the name of my paint!), one thin coat at that, can do to a room. The room was sort of a dirty tea colour. The change is not *that* profound, for example when compared with painting the living room blue, or the overhaul of the loo, but it will be when I finish painting the mural on the wall. I went so bananas, I painted half the hallway.

This is while it was snowing. And then it stopped, sometime while I was sleeping. First thing, I had to head to Kinko's, which is a long story, but I was glad to do it. Two and a half feet of snow? Got to get to Coolidge Corner? Not a problem for me. I live near three lines of the T, which never stopped running, and it goes right to Coolidge Corner. I don't have to shovel the walk - I live in a professionally managed building. I don't have to dig out the car, since I don't have a car. I don't have to drive either, for the same reason. And I have big high Barbour wellington boots which were high enough to keep out the snow. I did discover though that the wellies are a little interesting in the snow since the soles are completely flexible. It was like walking in the snow barefoot, from a traction standpoint. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

To top it all off, I had a snow day. I don't usually have school on Tuesdays, but we were on a Monday schedule due to yesterday's holiday. Homework done, check. And then a snowday! It is just like being 7 again and having my ear pressed eagerly to WZZO to find out if Saucon Valley School District was closed. Except now I found it on the internet and that was the day beforehand. The joy of a snowday! These things don't happen often. Then again, Saucon Valley School District didn't cost me this much!

This joy kept threatening to turn into a schadenfreude all day as I watched people try and extract out their cars. That didn't seem right somehow, so I just went out and played some more. I think I tracked in as much snow as humanly possible.

Snow, ah snow.

Monday, February 17, 2003

In Which Our Heroine Ponders the Symbolism Inherent in Things
After another long day of violating the sixth? Seveth? Third? commandment - which ever one it is that involves remembering the Sabbath day and keeping it holy, even though no one can quite decide which day is the Sabbath Day, although various points in the weekend seem to prove popular with many prominent faiths - by grinding it out in the library (although I did pick up some copies of two books by Lord Denning for recreational reading), I headed my fat butt to church for a spiritual check in. I arrived to a little weirdness, as they inaugurated the brand new longstanding tradition of "Commitment Sunday." They're only doing this for the evening service apparently, and it was very nice. For starters, there was a much larger congregation than normal, and the choir had really gone all out with music, and thrown in a couple of excellent trumpets and an oboe. Then they changed many of the key parts of the service. It is certainly the first time I had gone to church and heard the lesson as "A Reading From Elizabeth Barrett Browning." This is Trinity, we're not one of them liberal churches like. But never mind, it was all very beautiful, if just slightly unusual. Then, as usual for the evening service, the congregation gathered around the altar for the communion portion of the evening. As we did so, something fluttering made me look up. I suddenly realized there was a bird soaring around above our heads. I glanced again. I"ve spent too many evenings outside on a country evening. That wasn't a bird. That was a bat. Conveniently, most people being more devout than I am, their eyes were pitched down in prayer so they didn't see it. The only other person who seemed to notice was the verger, standing directly opposite me. We were both stifling giggles for the rest of the service, arguably not the best mindset for comunion. But to my mind, arguably the best mindset for communion. Anyway, the bat just kept doing huge loops through the church, occasionally coming pretty low. Still, amazingly no one noticed.

I started to ponder the symbolism of it all. But really couldn't come up with it. The thing about symbolism is that you need more context to interpret it. Otherwise, it could be anything from a harbinger of the forthcoming war, to an invocation against changing the service, or even the church as church. Or it could *even* just be a bat nesting up in the church because it is warm and dry in there, making it a handy place for a bat to be spending its non-flying time.

I guess the symbolism will reveal itself eventually. Which is more than I can say for the book I read on the train out to town this morning. I just grabbed it off my bookshelf. I had read it before, and didn't remember it being particularly great but thought more in a sort of "chick flick" kind of novel way. This book only aspires to such heights. It is called "Almost Engaged" and is supposed to be some frothy bit of fluff about what goes through a woman's mind when she actually gets engaged to get married. The writing is good enough in itself in that there are some good lines in the book, but the overall plot unfolds as such that you're jumping for joy when her fiancee considers calling off the wedding, and want to throw the book through the window when she actually does get married. In short, the main character is the epitome of the kind of girl I can't stand anyway, and find it difficult to get sympathy for when she's hoisted by her own petard. All this in a book it takes under two hours to read. Avoid it like the plague.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

In Which Our Heroine Does Too Much and Revels in Colours
Ok, it is my blog and about me. But screw that. Far more important than I is the fact that today *millions* yes I said *millions* of people around the world came out today and demonstrated the strength of the anti-war movement. In London alone, THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION people turned out to say chant for "tea, not war" to say not to send our troops into harms way over this issue; to let the inspectors do their jobs. And the press is covering it! I'm so thrilled! Peaceful demonstration. Freedom of speech. Can truly representative democracy be far behind? This is what America is based on. Ah, happiness. I dream of Bush standing down our troops.

I, on the other hand, have spent the day up to my eyeballs in projects. The e-commerce book. The Privacy Rules project. Some laundry (it actually happened), and spackle. I went utterly berserk with my big tub of spackle and just spackled every crack in the apartment, wherever it was, whatever room it is in. A spackle spectacular. The walls are covered with white patches, and I don't think I'll ever get the dust from the subsequent sanding of the spackle up off the floor. I feel positve. I have accomplished something. I am queen of spackle!

I feel exceptionally lucky of late. I have been leaving the library when I feel like it in the evenings, and it is though something in my stamina level is pegged to the colour of the sky, which is amazing as I work in a windowless room. But almost all week, I have bee leaving just as the sun starts to set, when you look to one side of the sky and it is a gorgeous shade of cerulean blue, and you look 180 degrees the other way, and it is the most gorgeous shade of bluey black. I nearly get whiplash looking from one side to the other. Who else would be made so happy merely by the colour of the sky? Who cares. I get that happy.

I celebrated Valentine's Day by having drinks arranged at the last minute. And then a few more as the evening got going. So today has not been productive as it could have been. Hangovers do that to one.

Friday, February 14, 2003

In Which Our Heroine Discovers the Wonder of Being a Duck
My friend Liz works for a non-profit in town. They're called Historic Something or Other. It's important, but I'll remember it later. Anyway, her non-profit does all kinds of educational things in town, mostly with architecture. But one of their biggest fundraisers is the annual Mother's Day "Make Way for Ducklings" parade. Children dress up as their favorite character from the book, which is usually a duckling, but can also be the policeman, or even the boy on the tricycle. I have seen pictures, but never seen the actual parade. But through my connection with Liz (who is still looking for others, btw) and a handy "first come, first served" plus "priority to friends" policy, I am now the official photographer. This should be lots of fun. I will also help out in the beginning, handing out stuffed ducklings to kids who have tickets. (Anyone can be in the parade. But it is a fundraiser, so kids who buy tickets get perks. Entertainment after the parade, ducklings for participating in the parade.) I am very excited about this, even though it is not til May. Quack, quack, quack.

There is also the opportunity to lead the "Make Way for Ducklings" tours in May, if I"m still not working. It would be fun, and it would pay for my meals that day. If nothing else, Liz will give me the material for it, so that I can give the tour to Michaela when she's here. I gave her that book when her daughter was born, and now the daughter is hooked on it. Photos must be taken.

In trying to strike one thing off my "to do" list, I gave my presentation today. This was on schedule, but now is off schedule as I due to overrunning time by others last week, I could only get through about half my presentation this week. It is a little annoying, but also gives me the time to insert other material to only strengthen it all. But still, I was looking forward to striking it off the list. Bleh.

The cold is striking again. No more snow for a bit, just bitter cold. Off to bundle.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

In Which Our Heroine Picks Up the Pace
Things are busy. And things are getting busier. I had a fun weekend, but again a busy one. Movies with Lola on Saturday, where we saw "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" which was spectacularly better than I thought it would be. Personally, I was all for opting for "The Quiet American" which I still want to see anyway, but never mind. It was chick flick time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Really, the movie was so much better than it looked from the previews. A delightful suprise.

THings started to pick up on Sunday. I went to a friend's for brunch, and after a good nosh on french toast, mangos and bacon, we lounged around doing what you do on Sunday afternoons - putting together furniture, moving other furniture and cleaning! Then a quick shopping expedition to Home Depot, from whence I came home and commenced spackling the bedroom. There are a LOT of cracks in the bedroom walls. It was only a small tub, but I am already out of spackle. Never mind, it leaves me more time to figure out the layout of the mural I want to paint on my bedroom wall. I am trying to make an arrangement of my favorite poem ("Your Laughter" by Pablo Neruda), but I can't even decide whether to do it in English or the original Spanish, much less decide my definitive method for laying it out. What I do know is that I am painting it in a pale green (I was thinking something darker, but the paint chips proved that the options were not ideal.) because a) I like green, and b) Neruda wrote the poem in green ink, as he believe that green was the colour of love. Like many great poets and artists, he was a little loopy.

The quest to HD for paint is always an interesting one. I feel that all I have learned about painting, I have learned from Siouxie and Chris. Tip one: make *sure* you take the paint chips out from under the flourescent light of the paint chip display. It really does make a difference. Show no fear. The fact that there are 27 different shades of white by each paint manufacturer should not phase you. Ignore the names. The fact that the paint I chose ("snowdrift") seems to be whiter than the "white on white" chip is not a problem. It is a colour I like. That's what matters. The snowdrift is a softer white. Given the weather this week, if I get my act in gear, there will be all kinds of opportunity to match it up and see if it is a true name.

And then of course it was Monday. Monday is internship day. Now, I love my internship, but it is way the heck out in Bedford, which is a schlep involving the bus to the T to another bus. All in all, it is about an hour and forty minute trek. There's no question it is worth it, but on a cold morning to get up extra early to get ready and make the trek seems daunting. But I did, and got there, finished my memo, and then had some time to kill before getting my next assignment. I busied myself with auction stuff (donations are starting to come in), the e-commerce book (I'm getting a lot of freedom and responsibility, but with this comes a lot of time consuming work), and in fact I managed to get yet another assignment from a friend regarding French Privacy Regulations. All the lines on the resume I can get. And it is all interesting. Throw in homework, trying to get temp work, trying to get paid legal work, and I'm a busy girl. Oops! Forgot Thursday's presentation on the English Legal System. I'm almost ashamed to admit this is taking research. But it is. First of all, since I've graduated, they changed all the terminology. There are no more articled clerks, there are instead trainee solicitors. Barristers don't go to bar school any more, they attend bar vocational training. And so on and so forth. Plus, when actually presented with the opportunity to give a presentation on this subject, it is difficult to see what people are going to want to know about it. Never forgetting, of course, the overriding consideration of actually putting together a cohesive presentation. Last week started off well with a history of Roman law, but then faltered on the introduction to the English legal system. Quick summaries of history, veering off in all directions. I"m more confused than I ever was before. Just because you get a Power Point presentation, it doesn't mean that you have to abuse it. People need to learn better how to use PP, in my opinion. I'm not sure I use my slides enough, actually. To me, they're just reference points. You don't want too much text on them - the goal is to give a presentation, not to read off what you have on the slides. Or at least that's the way I was brought up. And for goodness sakes, make it interesting! Throw people a bone. A little trivia, something they will walk away with, go out and use some day. For my part, if I can discourage people from saying "British Law" (there is no such thing - there are six different jurisdictions within Britain and while most overlap at least a bit, they are far from interchangable) then I feel I will have done something.

People do seem suprised that I am taking this seriously. Maybe too seriously? I do not think so. My grade is at stake, and if I don't put anything into it, I have no one to blame but myself when I come out of it.

I am even, as a handout, putting together a list of weblinks that give more information or might be interesting, and carrying on the tradtion of Di Birch's evidence class, am even trying to put together a list of handy "bedtime" reading sort of books for people with any further interest. Rumpole, that sort of thing. It is a little tricky, actually. Crime barristers get some good reads, but no one has really written the great excitement about a desk bound solicitor talking about trademark applications all day. For good reason! But there has to be some books somewhere with some interesting solicitor characters? If you know of any, please post them here in the comments section - I'm getting desperate.

So I'm swamped. And exhausted, for good reasons. It is a good, mental tired, but there is more work to do! Back to it!

Friday, February 07, 2003

In Which Our Heroine Heads Towards A Career In Academia
The great unpaid progress towards gainful employment continues on. I have now committed for the summer to writing a paper. The topic is totally unrelated to anything I have studied before, but never mind. I want to know, and there seems to be enough interest so that I can write a paper comparing Hearsay under the English and American Traditions with the concept of the Mutawadir under Islamic Sharia law. (Whenever it is finished, I will post it here for those who want to see it.) I spoke with one of my professors this evening. The deal seems to be that I will write the paper, and officially be titled as his "research assistant" although I won't have to pay for it, and therefore won't get credit for it. That's fine with me - between advanced standing and two concentrations, I don't have any wiggle room to play around with. But the professor seems psyched for me to do this, and is already suggesting tips to help gtet it published. Off to work I go this summer. So far as I have it figured out, the ladder goes a little like this: you pay them for course credit to write papers, you don't pay them to write papers, they pay you to write papers. I am trying to convince myself that I have moved up the ladder.

First though, I have to get through my presentation next week on Legal Actors in the English Legal System. We had the first of our class presentations tonight. The first one was done quite well, but was unfortunately limited in time. An amazing amount of Roman Law was crammed into forty five minutes. No props, nothing, just well organized legal presentation. But then we got to the next one, which was an explanation of the history of common law. Now, this is a vast topic, I will concede this. And she tried to do what she could to get it all into the presentation. But it was off the mark. There were a lot of references that *I* know why they were there, because I have studied this. But just taking the presentation at face value, it made no sense. It then veered off into the Pilgrims arrival in America. Now, this could have been an understandable detour, but it wasn't presented well. It has put the pressure on me to make sure that my presentation next week is much more coherent. But I think I will be fine. I suppose I should touch base with my partner on this, however........

Writing is figuring prominently in all this of late. The E-Commerce book. My new paper. The paper I already want to write after that - I already want to contrast the Anti-Terrorism Act in Britain and the fiat edicts that Ashcroft shoved through. Suddenly, in my free time I'm a comparativist.

My doctor did look at me askance this morning with my stiffness and bruises. I seem to have pulled a muscle in my neck/shoulder, so every time I try to turn my head to the left at all, or lift my chin, I wind up wincing. I think he finally bought my "story" that I "fell", which is of course what actually happened, but I suspect that I should not keep turning up bruised! That'll be fine with me!

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Blizzard of '78. I suspect that this is the real reason why the weather forecasters are going completly wacky on the storm that's coming in at the moment. Ok, there's snow. Which is hardly suprising for Boston in January. And ok, we're going to have about six inches or so they are predicting. We can do this. We do this all the time. We're New Englanders! So why have the weather men been in a froth since early this morning? This is not standard Boston weather operating procedure! Get a grip folks! Get a grip!

I always think of what I want to write here, and then I forget it. No wonder they're so dull! I shall try to be more exciting! Sex! Um, no. Drugs! I'm not sure anyone wants to read about my taking my prescriptions as the doctors ordered. Rock and roll! Well, I do have that, but I've been in a real Bach and Norah Jones mode the last couple of days, as I come down from the Neil and Rhett concert over the weekend. I guess I just ought to get writing.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

In Which, Our Heroine Gets an Owie
I am not generally considered a graceful person. This is despite the fact that the name "Anne" apparently means "graceful." All my sports involvements are very, very, very trained reflexes. I can learn a skill, and I can see something and translate it well into my body. But as an innate grace, I am rather a failure, and it certainly failed me this afternoon.

It isn't even that interesting a tale. I ran to catch a bus, slipped on a teeney bit of ice, thought briefly that I was going to pull it out and remain vertical, but then the scale tipped and I went down. Hard. I distinctly remember my face crashing into the asphalt. Ow. No permanent damage, but lots of bruises and sore spots that I discover as I move. My face is only a little red at the moment, but Matt said it was swollen, and I suspect it is going to come up in a nice bruise on my cheek. Yuck. I happen to have a doctor's appointment at 8 tomorrow morning. I suspect I might have a bit of explaining to do. "I swear, Doctor, I am not being beaten at home."

Initially, this appeared that this was going to put a damper in my plans to have dinner at the highly ideal Cafe Habibi with Matt. I had a headache, and felt like I had been hit by a truck. So I called to cancel. But no! Matt, who is an exceptionally sweet individual, stated that he wanted to see me, and that I should look on the menu on line and then call him back so that he could pick up the food and bring it here. We like Matt. Then he offered to take me to the hospital, but I was quite adamant that it wasn't necessary. It is, afterall, just a headache and some bruises. I've had concussion. This isn't it.

Or maybe it is. I am busy revelling in my newfound respect for Catherine Zeta Jones. Lola and I went to see Chicago on Sunday, and I was just floored by the whole experience. They did an excellent job of capturing a musical on film. I kept wondering how theywould have done certain aspects on the stage. And my jaw just kept dropping at CZJ. Pulling dance moves I can't do in my wildest fantasies, only in three inch heels, and whie in the early stages of pregnancy. I've always had this weird predjudice against her since she was dating John Leslie back in the early nineties. Of course, I was no where near next in line to date him if she wasn't around, but still the predjudice developed. I did feel badly for her though when John Leslie was then arrested, etc this summer on rape allegations and in every profile of him, there was a picture of her. So maybe the predjudice started to erode. But this movie? I tip my cap in respect to the woman. I even want to see the movie again.

Oooo, my head. I think I better go to sleep now. Be well, my friends.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

What Defines Gainful Employment?
The news of the day is that I am so busy, I really don't have the time to write the news of the day! But all of it is for minimum wages. At least I justify my unemployment. When they say "in the week ending ___, did you look for work?" my answer is always an emphatic yes. Or at least it is as emphatic as one can make pushing button number one on a telephone. And it is slooooowly paying off. As I said before, I am helping with the new edition of a book on e-commerce. Gainful, good connection, excellent work, but no pay. And I am doing my internship. Gaining of excellent knowledge, good connections, great work, and free food. But not only no pay, but I have to pay tution for it. Some legal work for a friend, but at a low rate, and he did let me borrow his car the other week, so I'm not charging him for the rather minimal amount of work I'm doing for him this week. Again, interesting, and a good connection, and when I really needed it in a pinch he was kind enough to lend the car most generously, so no pay.

I did accept paid employment yesterday, but it a) doesn't pay much, and b) doesn't start until March. I am the new novice boys rowing coach at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. I'm suprised how excited I am by this job. I do enjoy coaching, and I have done some coaching of racing crews before but it was for a short time period, and it was girls, not boys. This is for their whole spring season, start to finish. My understanding of the term novice means that these boys will not have rowed before, so it is starting from square one. Should be an interesting and fun challenge.

Then of course there will be the looks on these boys faces when they discover their coach is a girl. And the subsequent looks when they discover that I am that girl. Should all be very interesting.

After an acupuncture session last night I am gunned and ready to go. So I ought to go do it.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Love is All That Remains
A day of emotion all around. I woke up yesterday to the Challenger disaster. On the news today, there was a montage of the debris, and one of them included a clip of a space helmet, charred, lying on the ground, and obviously devoid of anything human. It just brought it home for me. Another part of innocence lost. My thoughts go out to the families, even though they may never know of it.

On to other things. I can't believe I haven't posted since Wednesday, but things have been awe-inspiringly busy. Temp work, classes, getting internship work done, and now I am involved in the updates for a new edition of a book on E-Commerce (the "E-Commerce Legal Handbook, 2004 edition, for those who would like to know.) It is due to the printers in April, which seems like a far way off, except that the book is currently 1800 pages long, and that is with switching to a smaller font. I'm not updating all of it, far from that. I am helping with the updates on certain chapters. Although there is one chapter (not written by the chap I'm working for) that needs a complete re-do. I wonder if I am very good and do my work like a good little girl, if I can have a crack at it. Step one: do good job on current assignments. THEN attempt to take over world, um, I mean book.

In addition to all this, I had been given two tickets to see Neil Finn on Saturday night. But I couldn't get anyone to go with me. I had a number of people who would have gone, or at least said they would have gone, but already had other plans. So I already seemed to have a ticket going spare, but then I came home Friday at 6:30 from work/the doctor's, and discovered that I had won a contest by the local radio station. Two MORE tickets to the concert, plus the sound check party and a meet and greet with the man himself. More phone calls in order, but of course at that time everyone was out doing what they do. The next day, resigned to going myself, I got a phone call from my friend Sarah to say "what's up?" I told her. I invited her. She couldn't come to the meet and greet, but she could come to the concert. Fun!

The meet and greet was a blast. But first I feel the need to comment on the nature of obsession. Now, I am a fan of Neil Finn. A big fan. I own all the CDs, etc. I was happy to be at the sound check. I enjoyed meeting the man and shaking his hand. But that's really where it ends - I missed the last concert and while it would have been fun to go, it is not a symptom of failure in my life. When we arrived for the sound check and lined up, I noticed a few people at the front of the line who were settled in for the long haul. Chairs, blankets, bundled to the hilt. In my naivete, I assumed they were there for the same sound check I was. Not true. They were there for the concert, and the doors weren't going to open for another couple of hours. Later, when the doors did open, they made a MAD rush and pinned themselves to the front of the stage. Even though no one was behind them yet. I can't understand. It is a small venue. There's not a location in there you can't hear everyword and see everything. So why? I don't know. I suspect the answer lays somewhere between "because it's Neil Finn" and "why not?" and leans more towards the former than I can appreciate.

But anyway, on to the music itself. First off, the opening act. I was utterly captivated by him. Chap by the name of Rhett Miller. Performs as a man and a guitar, but there's some drum, etc backing on the CD. He used to be the singer for the Old '97s, which was another group I'd never heard of before last night. And he was wonderful! "I'm in love with a four eyed girl." - loved it. Highly recommend to anyone who likes word intensive folky pop. Turns out a song of his was on the telly show "Scrubs" this week, so maybe you've heard of him anyway.

Then of course it was time for more Neil, who was in fine form, playing more classics than songs off the album he was supposed to be promoting. Sarah was turned on to the music, and I was blown away by a song that isn't on any of the CDs, but hopefully will be on the next one. It is called "Love is All That Remains" and goes a little like this:
Those who turn on the news
Terrible insight has come
Waking dreams of our destruction
Love is all that remains

I saw you run for the gate.
We both ran out in time.
There is only one destination -
Love is all that remains

Who can tell what end will come?
Be tender now with your heart.
Is this what we came here to do?
A beautiful life to create,
Living proof of our existence.
Love is all that remains.

And there is a light for you.
We won't get left alone.
Along the river we slept
I can't help thinking of you.
Everything's turning to dust.
The living proof of our existence -
Love is all that remains.

Love is all that remains.

Tears came to my eyes, as it spoke to me on such a personal level. I don't know if it was crafted in response to the WTC disaster, but it sure could have been. I have my doubts that it was, due to the line about sleeping by the river, which to me refers to another Neil Finn song back when he was in Crowded House that was about the suicide of his aunt, who drowed herself in a river (Hole in the River, it's called.) but that is how it spoke to me as I continue to work through the death of a friend, and I coached this friend in rowing at an early hour of the morning, so it continued to work for me. Yes, I cried, but it is a more positive cry, a more positive direction, more positive emotions I have had on this subject since it occurred. Because when I think of my friend, I think of someone with an overbounding love for everything and almost everyone I saw him come across (granted, I saw him in a limited setting but this is how I saw it.). And that still remains. And it can remain with me as well. I can get up every day and create a beautiful life for myself, and more importantly for others. Of course, today it also seemed to speak towards the Challenger disaster as well.

Quoting song lyrics somehow strips them bare to me. I guess it is because it lses the full effect of coupling them with the music. The musical arrangement for this is in the vein of what to me Neil excels at - it isn't a ballad, but it is a slower take. For example, his classic "Message to My Girl." There was a certain hymn like quality to this track.

It is snowing. I love the snow! But it is time to do work. E-Commerce Audits ho!