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Monday, September 26, 2005

My Liver Hurts

So I promised I'd update my life-type doings of the past two weeks or so.

In order:
-Salsa dancing. I pretty much suck. Somehow looking cute drunkenly frolicking to 80s and Britpop does not translate into actual formal ballroom dancing ability.
-Free beer and lots of it, cute drunken Rachel, talking to a Canadian for hours. I am no Canadiana dilettante, I am the real thing. Damn straight.
-Goodbye dinner with a friend who has sadly relocated to Orlando.
-Party at which I learned a very valuable life lesson that I would like to share with all of you: if you are at a party and you've already been drinking (a drink, three beers, and two jello shots, not that you're counting) and you decide to play drinking games and the only beer left is Coors Light or Golden Monkey and it is already late and everyone else is having the Coors Light and Circle of Death (which apparently the rest of the world knows as Kings) is on the agenda, please for the love of God go for the Coors Light! And extra super please don't get another Golden Monkey to continue the game with after you finish the first one! Because that sort of thing ends in unconsciousness. Not sleep, total deadness. To be followed by the Raging Infernal Hangover of Doom. Yeah. Now you can all learn from my mistake.
-Dinner at Susanna Foo's for Restaurant Week
-Another party, mostly comprised of people who are not scientists. In spite of this, I was in a totally antisocial mood and regretfully didn't really meet any of the said nonscientists.
-Beatles and Stones, with pre- and post-ness at my apartment. I need to bake my upstairs neighbor some cookies by way of an "I'm sorry we were loud crazy drunken idiots continuing a dance party at three am and woke you up" thing. Nothing too bad, just me drinking a little much and being wacky and then bemoaning the sad state of singledom with Arielle, who is engaged and thus out of the loop.

And I've missed Tim two weeks in a row now. Oops. Maybe I really do have a drinking problem.

My mom also suckered me into booking a flight home for Thanksgiving. Somehow it was $100 less to leave on the Sunday before, so I'll pretty much be taking a full week at Thanksgiving. Fuck it, I haven't taken any time off since April and that was less than a week. Now I just have to try and get money for it from my father, which will be really difficult but as it was still $300 I can't really pay for it myself. Also, can somebody explain to me why it is $200 less to fly into Erie than Buffalo? I didn't even know Erie had an actual commercial airport until last year as it is a really pathetic excuse for a city. And can someone also explain why USAir is the only damn airline to have nonstop flights between Philadelphia and Erie or Buffalo? I am SO NOT flying all the way to Detroit first to save $50 on a flight, Airline People. Though considering I'm now going to be there about a week, I probably should have just driven. Damn mom and her evil mom-ness of being all "Oh, just book the flight now, why wait and actually use logic on this?" I haven't really been home in awhile, I'm sure it will suck. It always involves me hiding from pretty much everyone I went to highschool with, mostly by not going to the grocery store, Wal-Mart (actually really hard to avoid as it is basically the only store in town, damn evil bastards), and BJs, where I did much underage drinking. Despite my periodic bouts of creepy Western NY nostalgia, whenever I'm actually there I just sort of retreat and hide at my mom's house, broken by scamming food and booze off my dad and maybe going to the yarn store. I think deep down, I'm just a hermit.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Roberts Wrap-up

I was going to title this "Russ Feingold, Will You Marry Me?" but then he voted to send Roberts to the full Senate. Sigh. And his performance in the hearings made me so happy, too. Why yes, I did sit and listen to the questioning for two days straight. Just ask my labmates, they'll tell you AND roll their eyes! Lex thought it was funny though, since he hadn't seen me that excited (he refers to it as "enthusiastic Cara") since we got a free lunch at La Terrasse. So Enthusiastic Cara only comes out for free swanky food and Supreme Court hearings. Now you know.

I don't really have that much to say. Roberts totally answered fewer questions than Ginsburg and he looks sort of psychotic (though that could be because most of the pictures I saw of him were on NYT). I love Ted, especially since he hasn't lost his accent and I think Boston accents are really hot. The hearings also reinforced my loathing of Southern accents, particularly the one of Alabama's Jeff Sessions. It didn't help that he's a really evil heartless cruel Republican. Enunciate, dammit! English has consonants! The way his syllables ran together made it seem as if he were drunk. Which I would've been okay with. Seriously, to my ears Southern accents just make people sound dumb even if they aren't.

I really like the term "super-duper precedent" and am glad I didn't play the hearing drinking game (drink every time the phrase "stare decisis" is used) because I would have been falling out of my chair by about 10:30. We need some more terms for that. One pet peeve about something Roberts actually answered: he expressed contempt for ever referring to international law in actual decisions. However, many other extraconstitutional sources are cited all the time - the Bible, historical documents, the Federalist Papers, even Robert Frost - and that hasn't been quarreled with (at least not by the Right). Why should we, an ostensibly secular nation, give any credence to the Bible in Court decisions, then? You could apply Roberts's argument that you can basically justify anything you want by citing the codes of some country to the Bible: you can justify anything you want with some obscure passage or other. Or some faith's interpretation of a passage. I really really wish I could've asked about that. Burger's concurrence in Bowers actually cited "Judeao-Christian moral and ethical standards" as a reason for upholding antisodomy laws. But what does that have to do with the Constitutionality of said laws? Is the Bible somehow more relevant to current US Constitutional interpretation than the standards and practices of other contemporary Western democracies? If so, why? And if not, well, I bet that would have changed how some of the Republicans voted.


I'll post an update on my life soon, really. I've just been having an actual life and doing stuff outside of both the lab and my apartment.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Timwatch 9/11 and Life Effluvia

First: who the fuck is Natalia? Seriously, I have no clue who this girl is so if someone could enlighten me...thanks.

Tim: First off was NO mayor Nagin, much calmer than he was on that fantastic radio interview. And he's actually admitted that he's do things differently is he could have, and I'm always pleased when a politician admits mistakes. And he kept up the criticism of Bush, FEMA, and Blanco. I wonder if he has a future in higher office? He's gotten a lot of national exposure from this, which could go either way. Then were a hurricane science guy (woo, science!) and someone who wrote a book on the 1927 flood. Rebuilding will be super expensive and will expose even further the class/race/ideological divisions. Yup. Constant coverage of any one event bores me. I know I'm a horrible person and all, but I just can't keep paying attention to just the one story for two weeks. Sorry. Luckily, we now have the Roberts nomination!

So on Roberts, PA's own Senator Arlen Spector! I wouldn't have voted for him, especially since I met Hoeffel in the Melrose Diner one day and really liked him, but I will begrudgingly praise Spector as "less evil than 95% of his Republican peers" which isn't too bad coming from me. Anyway, he looks so frail and old and egg-like because of the cancer and its treatment. I respect him a lot for sticking to his guns, bucking the will of his party's leaders, and actually questioning (or promising to question) Roberts even though his party wants him to shoot fluffy cupcake questions. Maybe the cancer has made him not care, since I remember back when they were threatening to rescind his chairmanship of Judiciary he was a lot more conciliatory that he's been lately. Anyway, Spector expressed his disagreement with some recent 5-4 federalism cases, like the one that overturned the Violence Against Women act and parts of the ADA and reaffirmed his support for Roe/privacy. Of course, Spector and everyone else can question Roberts all they want, they can't actually make him answer. I cling to optimism on this one, after all Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren and look how that worked out! Plus, writing memos in the DOJ really doesn't mean that's what you actually think about issues, I've played devil's advocate lots of times just because I love to argue (who, me? Argue for fun?). And even though I totally and completely fundamentally disagree with basically everything he's ever written or said, he's got a sharp little legal mind in there. So here's hoping he puts on the robes and his brain doesn't get infected by a Scalia earwig and that he turns all Warren-y, since he'd basically have to be exposed as a child rapist to NOT get confirmed at this point. Strict constructionism and Constitution-in-Exile views are totally legislating from the bench and judicial activism, let's hope someone calls Roberts on that.

Um, so, life:
Someone other than me had the idea to go to Goth night at Shampoo Wednesday and somehow I've managed to live here for three years without going, so I was all over that. And I dressed up, of course. Though my dancing-in-six-inch-heel-vinyl-boots stamina is not quite what it used to be, I still did well. And most of my peers at least wore black, so it worked. Yay dancing! Seriously, I cannot believe my peers went to Goth night. I really wish I had pictures, especially of Lex. Because he wore eyeliner AND the cat ears and was drunk. Friday was a psych party so after that Lex, Kathy, Alexis and myself went to...700, of course. I would like to state for the record that I didn't get super drunk. For once. Seriously, I started drinking at 4:30, kept drinking, went there, and yet I remember the entire evening. Either I'm finally learning or my tolerance is insane. Anyway, I was just drunk enough to dance and flirt and be social but not so drunk that I was in pain on Saturday. So I danced with some guy who was 6'4" and that was fun. Kathy and Alexis were super trashed, I split a cab with Alexis so she could crash on my couch but she got us kicked out of the cab. Ostensibly for swearing but really because the driver was totally taking the long way and she called him on it. But hey, we didn't pay for it, we just got another cab the rest of the way. And the cabbie was a super ass, we're not tourists and I know the way to my own goddamn apartment and I wasn't drunk enough to not notice he was going a really roundabout way, so I'm not upset. And I saw The Aristocrats. So lots of dancing and social productivity of late. And lots and lots of free food and booze, woohoo!

This week should be fun too. And next week. If only I didn't have to go to lab, my life would rock.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Timwatch 9/4

First few minutes on the death of Rehnquist. And let me just state for the record that I totally predicted that Roberts would be up for chief, confirmed (come on, there really isn't any way that's not going to happen), and that O'Connor would stay longer until she can be replaced. Look, I'm rading the admin's mind!

Then, of course, hurricane coverage. I haven't seen Tim that outraged in awhile, I'm really glad it was him this weekend interviewing Chertoff, who just looks really Grinchy. This "we have to wait until later to analyze how/why we TOTALLY FUCKED UP" attitude that the admin always takes after a tragedy has to end. Because then something else happens, we never go back, nobody gets punished/fired, and we don't learn from our mistakes. Oh, wait, maybe that's the point. Tim also brought up the class issues of the evacuation, much to Chertoff's discomfort:
"MR. RUSSERT: But that's the point. Those who got out were people with SUVs and automobiles and air fares who could get out. Those who could not get out were the poor who rely on public buses to get out. Your Web site says that your department assumes primary responsibility for a national disaster. If you knew a hurricane 3 storm was coming, why weren't buses, trains, planes, cruise ships, trucks provided on Friday, Saturday, Sunday to evacuate people before the storm?"
I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that Jeb isn't the governor.

But the real part that blew me away was Tim's interview with the president of Jefferson Parish. You should really just watch it, under the free video section of the MTP site, here.

Philly is taking about 1000 families via Project Brotherly Love and the Red Cross. So if you want to donate locally, here is some info. Or try the Etsy store for Crafters United, whereby you get stuff AND feel good, etsy.

Anyway, rest of weekend: housewarming at Caroline's. Her house is really, really nice though unfortunately located out in Manayunk. Then to Anderson's annual barbecue, with its weird mix of the Mexican community and econ people (via Juan Ramon), med students, and neuroscientists. There was more dance party, mostly to the Spanish pop, that I didn't participate in as I was still feeling the previous evening and was just way too tired/sore/not drunk enough/cranky to partake. So Rachel and I left a bit early and had a little sleepover at my house. Next time we'll French braid each other's hair. And talk about boys more, and lament how we never seem to meet boys outside of science but not think of any plans to, like, remedy that.

The new students are here, and all the little frosh are everywhere, roaming Locust Walk in packs. Slow-moving packs. The truck lines are insane! And they look really, really young. I feel dirty whenever I think one is cute: they're children! Arrgh! perv perv pervy perv perv!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

And What She Was Stirring Was Up Trouble

First off, I have a raging hangover as I type this, so please excuse any grammatical and spelling errors. My brain hurts and my hands are still shaking.

So last night we went out for Rachel's birthday, which was fun except we wound up at SoMa which only seems to play rap stuff and as I am the whitest girl ever I can't actually dance to it. Not well, at least. I'm so white I was once approached in Ghetto Eagle by some guy with the line "Damn! You the whitest girl I ever seen! Where you from, Scandinavia?"

And after the bars closed I, in my infinite wisdom, decided it was a good idea to have afterhours at my place. And everyone but Ingrid came. I'm beginning to think that maybe the bars close at two for a reason: because when you keep drinking after that weird shit happens. So yeah, people came here and I drank more but so did they. And we wound up having a dance party, which was good since I was totally unsatisfied by the dancing at SoMa. Plus, my house = my music so while a lot of what we played is lost to my booze haze, I distinctly remember that we were dancing to Blur and the Smiths at some point. Yay! And I learned that Cristin is a Future Bible Heroes fan, which is not something I was expecting. And then, and I believe this was Lex's idea, we played spin the bottle. Yeah, we're all in our mid-twenties but for some reason it seemed like a good idea. I have to say it was a rather chaste version, nobody got any tongue or anything, but I'm still trying to figure out just how that one happened.

And then we were sitting around talking when Ethan, for reasons I simply cannot fathom, decided to bring up the topic of...this very blog. Which I didn't know he knew about and he insists he hasn't read (Ethan, I so do not believe you). Apparently it is the "talk of the program" which is sad on so many levels. First off, my peers aren't leaving comments to make me look popular. Second, I'm pretty sure I know who started telling people and if I'm right it is someone with a weird drive to make drama everywhere. Third, it isn't like I keep a lot of secrets from the people in my program. What are they really going to learn about me from this that they don't already know? It is pretty well-established that I drink far too much, flirt WAY too much (especially while drunk) and with absolutely anyone, just for sport, and that I make exceptionally bad decisions when it comes to boys. At all levels, from flirting to crushing to the naked. Who out there didn't already know that I totally go through crushes like it is my job? Or that (gasp!) sometimes I find this whole grad school thing to be really unsatisfying? Really, the only thing my peers might learn about me from this is my totally out-of-control Meet the Press Habit. And I will defend my love of Tim until my very last breath, dammit! I don't use anyone's names if things are incriminating, not that stuff can't be figured out but anyone who wants to sit around and put together all the clues needs a fucking life.

So what's the talk of the program now, bitches?

Sidebar to Tiff and Jessy: If I marry Brian (ha!), you both totally get to be my bridesmaids and I promise the dresses will rock. And you know I'd have a fantastic open bar.