Tuesday, November 30, 2004

...okay, so my goal for a meme-free blog is dying even harder today. the result of this quiz is just too great to let it disappear into web oblivion. i used the islove generator on my lj account (that i only use to comment on friends' blogs, and here's what i got:

genderfuck is love
brought to you by the isLove Generator

genderfuck...is indeed love.
i was reading the maroon this morning, and i read the strangest article. there was a guy i worked with in the physics lab the summer after my first year, the summer i had the physics internship. i didn't know him all that well, but we worked on the same project, in the same lab. he was one of the rising fourth years who clearly knew what he was doing, i was a lowly rising second year who didn't have the foggiest idea. he was using the cdf data to work on his senior thesis, i was trying to get my dinky little c++ data analysis and modelling programs to work.

anyway, he was just found guilty of firebombing SUV's for the earth liberation front.

i know it's what they all say, but he was a really quiet guy in the lab. i wouldn't have pictured him bombing SUV's...i'd have pictured him locked up in academia for the rest of his life, doing physics. not that i knew him well at all...but i'm still freaked out.

Alumnus found guilty in SUV sabotage
by Daniel Gilbert

November 23, 2004 in News

A recent University alumnus and doctoral candidate in physics at Caltech was convicted last Friday of participation in a series of fire bombings of sport utility vehicles that took place last year in California’s San Gabriel Valley.

William Jensen Cottrell, A.B. ’02, was found guilty by a federal court jury of seven counts of arson and one count of conspiracy. Following Friday’s conviction, Cottrell faces at least five years in prison for a spree vandalism targeting SUVs that included the use of Molotov cocktails.

Cottrell was acquitted of the charge of using a destructive device in a crime of violence, which carried a mandatory sentence of 30 years.

Investigators are still looking for the two other suspects who executed the destructive acts, which took place on August 22, 2003. They are believed to have fled the country. The Earth Liberation Front—a group advocating militant environmentalism—claimed responsibility for the destruction of some 125 vehicles and a building, at an estimated cost of $5 million in property damage. No evidence linking Cottrell and the other two suspects to the ELF was presented in the recent hearings.

Cottrell’s defense attorneys argued that he suffers from a form of autism known as Asperger’s disease, which makes it difficult to recognize the intentions of others. Their case was that Cottrell was duped into the fire-bombings—and that he wanted no part of them. The judge in the case ruled a psychologist’s testimony irrelevant, and barred the defense from presenting it in the case. The defense attorneys said they will appeal for a new trial.

Cottrell admitted his presence in the string of bombings, though he claimed to have been surprised and upset by the violence. Prosecutors used anonymous e-mails traced to Cottrell that boasted of the fire bombings to prove his guilt.

Here at the University, Cottrell was known as much for his brilliance as for his eccentricities, and pieces of Cottrell’s testimony were true to his undergraduate form. Cottrell acknowledged during the trial that he offered to marry a friend whom he had told about the vandalism so that she would not have to testify against him. The student did in fact present testimony at the trial. Cottrell also admitted to leaving a signature of sorts at a Mitsubishi lot in which he scrawled a mathematical formula on SUVs known as Euler’s Theorem.

Cottrell’s friends at the University have been avidly following progress on his case since his arrest last March. Joe Tonna, a fourth-year in the College and teammate of Cottrell’s during the 2001 Cross-Country season, said he thought that Cottrell probably took the whole thing more lightly than those who judged him.

“In general, Billy was good at doing those things that existentially or principally should be done. Sadly, many of these things are at least legally questionable,” Tonna said, adding that Cottrell staged three such acts, albeit without violence, during the time Tonna knew him. “In retrospect, I regret I was only involved in two of them.”

A member of Cottrell’s graduating class, Jerome Tharaud, now a first-year doctoral student in English at the University, said he was relieved to learn of the trial’s outcome. “We were all afraid that the sentence would end up disproportionately punishing Billy, due to the current hysteria surrounding terrorist acts,” said Tharaud, who was originally surprised by Cottrell’s arrest. “My understanding was that the acts were environmentally related, and as I knew Billy, it didn’t seem to fit with his personality.”

Cottrell will face sentencing in March.
link seen on the chicago tribune website:

"botox, botulism connection suspected"

thank you, captain obvious.
i don't usually like to do memes or surveys on here, but i like this one, since it touches explanations i wanted to post in here anyway. i edited out a few features of the survey that are livejournal only, since blogger is a little simpler (my journal title is the same as my journal name.) anyway, explanations.

My journal title is: alone with all my wrongs. it's part of a line from "letters" by stroke 9...and a perfect description of why i blog. my blog is where i go when i'm alone with all my wrongs...if i don't have anyone i can talk to at the moment (as when i'm at work), or when something is so insignificant that it would not make the least bit of sense to anyone but me. there are a few happy entries here, but most of them chronicle...my sadnesses, my wrongs.

My subtitle is: "building my comfortable defense stronger still...". it's an adaptation of a quote from "absent elements" by finger eleven. this blog is full of all those little building blocks, all those absent elements, all those insignificant things that are so easy to hide behind. i very rarely touch on the larger issues here, it's a wall of the small things. that wall is my comfortable defense.

My blog domain is: absentelements. again, a reference to "absent elements" by finger eleven. i think i said it all in describing my subtitle, since the references are so inextricably tied together.

My profile picture is: it's just a random picture of me. it was taken this summer, when i was out at the lake on my boyfriend's family's property in kansas. i thought it was a cute picture, so i put it on my profile.
this morning, my apartment felt alien.

of course, i knew where i was. it was pitch-dark, but i knew the mess in the living room that i have to clean. i knew the clutter cart in the hallway...which i bumped into, but only because i was carrying two bulky bags. i knew my room, my bed, the fact that it looks like a tornado blew through it while i was away, and exactly what debris it left strewn about.

still, it felt alien.

chicago even felt alien, as i rolled along the streets in the bus, and later the taxicab. it was too foggy to see the skyline, all i could see were the closest buildings, the manufacturing plants and warehouses and shops.

i've never felt that before, even after being away for weeks, for entire summers, for years between visits to relatives as a child. i was only gone six days. maybe it was the disorientation of 2:40 am, of my bus getting in to the station an hour and twenty-three minutes late. still, i've gotten in later, and not felt this strange. i've slept a few hours, and now i feel a little better, although it's not back to normal yet.

hopefully i'll figure this out soon, and my home will feel a little less alien.

Friday, November 26, 2004

happy belated thanksgiving, all!! :) (i didn't post yesterday...too busy going from st. louis to overland park, and then eating lots of turkey. mmmmmm, turkey...)

i don't have much to say, other than i'm having a blast here in kansas. i slept in today, which was absolutely beautiful. i've been lazy today, i've watched football, the end of history of the world part 1, and three episodes of venture brothers. (venture brothers is so silly...there's no other way to put it...) dinner's coming up soon, and then a few of us are going out, we don't know where yet.

this weekend shouldn't ever end. :) i'm the happiest i've been in a long time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

...so i finally made it up to the post office at 46th and cottage grove to pick up my birthday package. it came in about a week and a half ago, and my birthday (22nd...i'm getting old!) was this past friday, but i couldn't make it up there during post office hours until today. i was going to take the bus, but one of my awesome roommates drove me there this morning. :)

anyway, i was opening the box, and i'm pleasantly surprised. last year, for my twenty-first birthday, i got three books from my aunt--and they were all ones that she had read for her adult children of alcoholics class. i hate self help books, everyone knows that. i found those to be very insulting gifts. this year, though, she was dead-on with the books...she gave me a bruschetta cookbook, and a copy of devil in the white city, which i've been dying to read. she did a much better job picking books for me this year.

although, my hands do hurt. my mom wrapped twenty or thirty fun size candies (m&ms and milky ways) individually and left it to me to unwrap them. kind of annoying, but rather silly--and a very my mom thing to do.
so many chores and errands to do. ditching work today to do them.

i'm reeling about last night. i'm reeling about last night for way too many different reasons...all of which are driving me absolutely mad, but none of which are appropriate to post here. if you know about any or all of it already, you know who you are...but otherwise, it just suffices to know that i'm in a bad mood about all sorts of mock trial related things. hopefully it'll get better on all fronts soon, i don't know.

and, no matter how much continues to hit the fan over the next 24 hours, it's off to st. louis tomorrow. 10:30 am i'll be on that bus, and at 4:50 pm i'll be with my boyfriend. i really need that.

Monday, November 22, 2004

breathe in. breathe out.

breathe in. breathe out.

don't die.

let's just say...i love my friends. no matter how insane anyone else may think i am, or off base, they know my intentions, my motives, and my honesty better than anyone.

"i'm not a failure
i'm just true to myself"
"Can't Talk To You"

so, i was listening to my friend's radio show on wvfi...apparently, all liturgical christian churchgoers are victims of the "cancer causing candle conspiracy".

yay for silly satire. apparently some study said that candles burning in churches made the air a lot more polluted and carcinogenic...and the show spent an hour pretending to be serious about it, discussing the legal implications of this on the victims of cancer causing candles in church.

they talked about this for almost an hour. i'm amused.

i know weird people.
well...i'm back/not dead/all that jazz. it was a splendid weekend in bloomington/normal at the illinois state university mock trial tournament... my kids all did SO well--one of our teams took fourth, and one of them took fifth. we've still got a lot of stuff to improve on, of course, but things are happy for this point in the season. we haven't even stacked yet--that fun comes tonight, though...and by fun, i mean insanity.

i didn't get to see any of my teams in action, though...i ended up judging all four rounds at the tournament. second, third, and fourth rounds were okay...there were some really bad mockers in each of these rounds, and some decent-to-good mockers. two of the witnesses in the third round, UIUC B's trienen and Lewis B's girken, were absolutely amazing. the girken got a witness award...the trienen, sadly, did not although i thought he was even better. then again, the third round also included such gems as a kissner who spent her entire time on cross denying her previous shoulder injury (despite the fact that siegfried, who does not have millions of dollars to win in the case, would testify to the injury later), and a dehnert who said all of the following, in response to cross questions:

attorney: "you were fired from your job in december of 2003."
dehnert: "i HEARD i was fired..."

attorney: "other psychiatrists at the hospital disagreed with your medical opinions."
dehnert: "they probably did."

attorney: "you were offered a large retainer to testify today."
dehnert: "i was offered a large retainer, but i didn't take it."

both of those witnesses lost all credibility on cross examination.

first round, though, was a crime against mock trial. i refuse to describe it any other way. i had a siegfried, dressed like a ho (she's the second ho-siegfried i've seen all season, i don't know why teams feel it's necessary to dress their family doctor characters like crack whores!), yell at the attorney (who was just as bad with yelling at her back), talk after objections were made, and YELL AT ME although witness aren't supposed to talk to--much less yell at--judges. that same siegfried, also, had a choice comment during cross examination:

attorney: "you never saw kissner's shoulder injury affect his handicap, right?"
siegfried: "normal people couldn't see it. i'm his family doctor--i could see it! tony kissner was handicapped, he had a shoulder injury!!!"

in that round i also heard an attorney, the smuggest guy i've ever seen in my whole life, say some choice things. one of his kaplan cross questions was, "of course, you can't trust anyone who's been in a mental institution for the last three years, right?" then, in his closing, he kept telling me what i should be thinking. (NEVER tell the judge what to think, just tell the judge what you've proven and why.) he said, in his closing:

"i know what you're thinking. and, i know it's hard for you to stomach all that baloney."

that wasn't the WORST round i've ever seen (that crown still goes to the fourth round i judged at the jayhawk invitational three weeks ago), but it's a pretty close second.

okay...next on my plate, restacking my teams tonight. then work tomorrow, then i get to see my boyfriend on wednesday. thank goodness for thanksgiving break.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

i haven't seen the sun for at least at week. it's not raining today, and it's too warm (in the sixties...), but at least it's nice and grey...i don't have to worry or be annoyed with the sun beating down on me as i cross the midway, or shining right in my eyes as i sit at my desk, trying to work.

i love midwestern fall.
i was barcoding books today, and on each of the Laws of Malawi binders was affixed a warning sticker. the warning sticker said:

"a poisonous insecticidal solution has been used in binding this book."

i have a wonderful job.

i also have a certain song about a certain helpful phone number ringing in my head.
work sucks. the basement is still so hot, even though i opened the windows yesterday to air it out. i've been down there about an hour or so, and already, i'm yucky and sweaty. for some reason, the idiots in charge of it have the radiators on, and i don't see any knobs to allow me to turn the radiators off. it's been worse down there yesterday and today than when i had to barcode those books right by the boilers. i need to get my books for the day done, and get the heck out of there...i've only got about half of them done, though. grrr...

then, i still have to go home and pack, since i didn't do so last night. i need three days' worth of cute judge clothing this time...i've got some of my outfits in mind, not all of them. oh well, guess i'll be throwing things into my bag at the last minute, since i get off work at 5 and we're leaving for ISU at 7.

ugh...i'd be in such a better mood if it weren't so nasty in the basement of harper. here's hoping i get my books barcoded and get back to the law library as soon as possible.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

i'm so obsessed with mock trial. it is, without a doubt, the greatest thing ever. i love mockers. i love judging rounds. i love judging scrimmages. i love coaching my team. i love talking about mock trial. i love arguing case theory. i love it all.

i've been spending way too much time either on perjuries today, pondering about mock trial, recapping last weekend's tournament in my head, or looking forward to the tournament this weekend. as one of my roommates keeps making me repeat over and over again...i'm a mock whore. :)

and...irrelevant tangent, but i just had to mention it because it's bizarre. there's just something unholy and, well, dirty about having kris lyons and greg weintraub tag-team to make fun of you in the judges lounge. just...absurd. (if you know who either of these people are, i'm sure you'd agree with me about the idea of the experience. if you have no clue who either of these people are...just nod, smile, and take me at my word.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

well, mock trial regional assignments are out, and posted on the AMTA site.. all four of our teams have been assigned to joliet. here's the lineup...

JOLIET, IL. (FEB 19-20, 2005)

Bradley (2 teams), Chicago (4 teams), DePaul (2 teams), Eastern Kentucky (2 teams), Illinois-Chicago (1 team), Illinois-Urbana (2 teams), Illinois Institute of Technology (1 team), Illinois State (2 teams), Lake Forest (2 teams), Lewis (1 team), Loyola-Chicago (2 teams), North Central (1 team), St. Ambrose (1 team), St. Francis (1 team), Wheaton (1 team)

this is such a weak regional. UIC's pretty good, and UIUC, ISU, IIT, and (gag) EKU aren't completely rotten (well, EKU is rotten in that their coaches are just not nice people)...but i'll be so disappointed if our teams don't get two gold bids, if not take the top four slots at this regional.

time to work our butts off, between now and february.
i retired to my bedroom at 8:30 last night, and was asleep by 9:15. except for about half an hour on the phone around 11:30, i didn't budge all night. i got lots of sleep...and have finally recovered from the long, sleepless weekend in iowa.

i really don't want to be at work. i'm antsy, and i'm bored out of my mind. for once i don't desperately need to be sleeping, but i want to be at mock trial practice...or editing that kissner direct i have to get edited over lunch...or reading my vapid, girlie novel...or inventing teleportation so i can go to st. louis at will. that would be the best use of my time. :) ::thinks evil thoughts of teleporting to st. louis and sneaking up on my boyfriend in class::

i swear, i was so sappy all weekend. i'm still ridiculously sappy, sappy enough that people probably want to smack me. i still can't believe it's been seven and a half months since des moines...especially since i'm still as giddy and excited and silly when i get to see my boyfriend as i was back in april...and the time i got to spend with him this weekend was absolutely amazing! i say this is a great thing. :) i still wonder how i got so lucky, so lucky that he ever even acknowledged my existence, much less loves me. good things like this aren't supposed to happen to me, they're supposed to happen in movies, or to Beautiful People and Good People...sometimes i just have to pinch myself. but, it's true.

Monday, November 15, 2004

...so i'm back from iowa. all in all it was an alright tournament...a tough weekend for the chicago mock trial teams, but both teams pulled it together really well the second day. i'm proud of all my kids...they all get lots of hugs from coach nicky. :) they were thrown into the fire, and now they're all better mockers for it.

i judged in all four rounds, and i'm glad to say the quality of the mock trial i watched was very, very good. i saw some decent lawyering, a few truly excellent witnesses (NYU's Cotone, and Miami (FL)'s Leo come to mind),and two out of the four rounds i watched were very, very close. i even got to judge third round with my boyfriend, which made me very, very happy.

the only enormous gripe i have about the tournament is the person i was set to judge with second round. it was iowa's head coach...and i must say that he was one of the most unpleasant people i've met during the course of my twenty-one years on this earth. except for when i introduced myself, and when he grunted at me that he was going to preside over the round, he didn't say a word to me, didn't acknowledge that i existed. i wasn't expecting much, of course, but common courtesy. that seemed to have been lost on him. during the round, he was so rude to the teams that were competing...he was slouched in his chair, not even pretending to look like he was paying attention. it was clear he knew mock trial well, that he was competent, but his courtroom demeanour was reprehensible. after the round, he gave his comments, and i gave mine. he disagreed with some of them--which is just fine, pretty much every judge i've ever judged with (up to and including my boyfriend!) have disagreed on substantial points of comments given to the other teams. but, he wasn't nice about disagreeing...he cut me off, and completely dismissed my advice (of going for just medical damages with a kissner-cotone-dehnert plaintiff lineup) as disingenuous. he cut me off one other time during my comment-giving, although his dismissal of my comment wasn't quite as rude. i tolerated it because i didn't want to make a scene in front of the other teams, but inside i was seething, just ready to yell at him or rip his head off. maybe i haven't coached a team to two national championships or won a boatload of all-american awards, maybe compared to him i'm a mock trial also-ran, but i'm not completely stupid. i mocked for chicago for three years, and now i'm coaching. we're a good program. i know mock trial rather well, and the fact that i have a different perspective, and maybe a few less plaques on my wall, doesn't mean that i deserve to be treated worse than a piece of trash on the ground. he has no business being rude enough to make his scoring judge (me) cry after the round. the sad thing is, apparently he's always this rude. fourth round, he judged kansas' novice team against rhodes, and apparently he told kansas in so many words that they weren't prepared, and that rhodes was slighted and deserved to go against a better team. yes, 865 is a novice team, and they just restacked a week and a half ago. they probably need polish. but, he has no right to be so rude to them that several of them were crying after the round. making me cry may be one thing...he's a jerk, i can deal with that and move on. leaving a trail of people crying in his wake is absolutely another thing. it's uncouth. between his behaviour second round and fourth, i don't think i i will ever look him in the eye or respect him at all, mock trial competence aside.

okay, end of rant about that. i should go back to work.

Friday, November 12, 2004

...and so, i leave for the shucker at 7. :) wish my kids luck!!! wish me luck judging--luck in that i see teams that are at least decent, if not good, luck in that i don't see anything this weekend worthy of a 1!!!
what's the deal with spam that's written as if it's a letter from a friend?!?!?! it really pisses me off. i got a piece of spam, with a random link, and the text was something to the effect of "that party last week was really great...i caught the highlights of it on my video camera...i got my camera absolutely free by clicking this link in an email...it'd be great if you got one so then i wouldn't have to lug my camera everywhere." that was the gist of it, anyway...but make it into a long, rambling, ditzy paragraph. first of all, the closest thing i did last weekend was spend friday night getting trashed with two (count them--two--not enough for a "party") of my friends. they were both male, although the person who wrote that email was purportedly female. no one videotaped it. the highlight was a game of porno scrabble, which would have been better captured with a regular camera, not a video one. even when i do go to parties, no one videotapes them, and i sure wouldn't lug a video camera to any of the parties i went to, even if i did own one. for that matter, i don't even want a video camera.

in other words--anyone who writes spam should just make it a blatant advertisement, and not a mockery of a friendly letter.
so it's off to iowa tonight for a mock trial tournament. (finally, shucker time!) i won't be competing, of course, since i'm old. i'll be coaching and judging. it'll be a blast...hopefully i'll see some better rounds than i saw at most of the kansas tournament two weekends ago. i need to have my faith renewed in college mock trial after seeing a few of those teams.

...once more into the breach, as my roommate would say.

and, on a tangentially related note...i'll get to see my boyfriend there, as he will be there to coach/judge for kansas. yay!!!! :D hopefully i'll catch up with him tonight when i get to iowa...it'll be late, of course, but i want to see him.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

funny mental picture of the day:

someone smoking a cigar full of crack.

this mental image brought to you by Wesley Willis, whose most excellent song "my mother smokes crack rocks" contains the quote "my mother smokes that crack like a cigar. she has a good time at it."
ah...it's 44 degrees outside. toasty, for november. usually by late-september, early october, the midway becomes a wind tunnel. no...today was the first day i'd ever noticed it...and i've been walking across it two to three times a day, five days a week, for at least the last month. i brought my coat to work today, but i left it hanging on my chair, at my desk, at the law school. there's just something about that little walk across the midway...it's not that far, and i can do it without my coat. today, it's in a short sleeved shirt...the one where one of the sleeves is tied off thanks to an incident from scavhunt last year. the wind was whipping what little hair i had around (not that it wasn't messy already, i should have fixed it, or worn my baseball cap...), and it just felt good. good to be alive, good to be in the wind, good that it's finally starting to feel like fall in chicago.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

i'm so bored, and starved for human contact, that i'm writing sonnets about past phases of my life. this is a bad sign.

sometimes i find it rather hard to beat
the silly songs that narrate days gone by
of waking up between illicit sheets
and drinking all the beer that they could buy
some would say that i partook in more
than one man's prudent portion of that spice
but young adulthood's tailored to explore
the line between immoral acts and vice
i learned immoral acts are of the sort
that hurt deceive or wrong another man
whereas in vice the actors don't distort
the shallowest intent of their demands
so by all means explore debauchery
but make sure you're what you purport to be
who would let a ten year old build a space station?
okay...doing a little better. had myself a little cry, a little pity-party (part of which, of course, included that last blog post)...and then i just started to forget. forget, and sing. that's the beauty of harper basement...if no one else from d'angelo is working there, i can sing as loud as i want, until my voice gives out. thank goodness for that.
i'm having another wave of paranoia that had me in tears in the basement of harper library. it's about--what else--law school. i haven't been able to do anything about law school applications since drafting my personal statement a few weeks ago. i want to go next year, but i can't bring myself to apply. thinking about applying continues to make me feel like the most worthless candidate ever, despite the encouragement from everybody. it's like...half of me feels like i need the encouragement, but the other half just gets worse from it, as if it knows that i have everyone fooled. don't even get me started on recommendations--i can't ask for them. i don't deserve them from a single professor i had in four years at this school. i was the one who ditched class every chance she got, who fell asleep every day in class, who just didn't care. my grades sucked--a 3.69 gpa is nothing for law school, absolutely nothing. i need to stop kidding myself, stop even trying to convince myself i can cut the mustard in applying for law school, and resign myself to being a library monkey for the rest of my life. i'm setting myself up for disappointment just by trying to apply, write essays, get recommendations...and i can't deal with that right now.

everyone's wrong about me, and i just need to come clean. i'm chaff. i'm nobody special.
--you know you're a huge nerd when you're on the phone with your boyfriend at 11:30 pm, watching adult swim together and commenting on it. :) one more reason why he's the silliest, most adorable guy ever.

--plaintiff cotone is dangerous. plaintiff cotone is awesome. more teams should call plaintiff cotone.

--okay, so i guess my first goals at the shucker this weekend should be to be a good coach and a competent judge. but, i have a secondary goal--look really hot while doing it. i'm not wearing suits this weekend, i'm going the sweater-and-skirt route. between my hot new skirt from last weekend (that i haven't worn yet--it gets debuted at the shucker!) and whatever else i choose to bring...i'm going to be a bitch of a judge, and look hot while doing it.

--i realised this morning that i have seen the platonic form of the judge i hate. i really can't stand judges that give high scores out like candy, and then fawn "awwww, you all did so well!" and give no useful comments. the platonic form of this judge is the fawning female judge in team north's round against bradley A, second round at loras in 2003. (my team north readers--i'm sure there are at least two of you--remember her, i hope?) she gave eights, nines, and tens to just about everyone...and still managed to give bradley her ballot by SIXTEEN without giving us any useful feedback as to why bradley won her ballot by that much, or anything. thank you, ms. whatever--you were the formative experience for the meanest judge in the American Mock Trial Association. hope you're happy.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

ah, tuesday morning. i was working on mock trial this morning at the breakfast table, and i didn't want to stop doing that in order to work. why can't being a mock trial coach be my paying job? (my roommate said that i want to be brad bloch when i grow up. i can't tell him he's completely wrong.)

i think i'm going to throw in the towel on nano--i just don't have time this month to write 50000 words, between the fact that my computer at home isn't working (so i'd have to go to the library and live there), and the fact that i have three mock trial tournaments this month (the one a week and a half ago, the one this weekend, and the one the following weekend.) and then, thanksgiving...which will involve probably the better part of a week in kansas. i really feel bad, but i have no choice...hopefully i'll get some writing done, and write this thing in its entirety eventually--i have a good plan for a novel and i have some characters that i really like. but, it's not getting written--november's too busy a month for me. i know, i'm a huge rotten loser.

other than that...not too much is up. i need to go to the basement and work for a while. the sooner i'm done in storage, the sooner i can go back to d'angelo, type in cards, and chat on instant messages with everyone.

Monday, November 08, 2004

...interesting link my boyfriend sent me. it's a couple permutations of the electoral map, geography versus population. looking at the population cartograph weighted for proportion in each area is a little more encouraging than looking at a state map, but the swaths of red (not even purple...RED) through mid-america and the south are still rather disconcerting to me. also...it's hard for me to take much hope out of things statistical, i get hung up on the ideological and the tactical. still...it was a neat thing to take a look at.
am i the only one who thinks a nice little swap from "the state of mississippi" to "the red states of the union" would be more than apt here? few other lyrics would really need much changing...maybe change "black man" to "gay man" or "muslim" and "klan" to "christian coalition" or "homeland security department" (but then again, maybe the old and the new are equally apt...)...and "governor" to "president". but, other than that, i can think of very little i'd need to change to make it work for 2004.

sad, right?

"here's to the state of mississippi"
by phil ochs

here's to the state of mississippi
for underneath her borders the devil draws no line
if you drag her muddy rivers nameless bodies you will find
where the fat trees of the forest have hid a thousand crimes
the calender is lyin' when it reads the present time
oh here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

here's to the people of mississippi
who say the folks up north they just don't understand
and they tremble in their shadows at the thunder of the klan
the sweating of their souls can't wash the blood from off their hands
they smile and shrug their shoulders at the murder of a man
oh here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

here's to the schools of mississippi
where they're teaching all the children that they don't have to care
all of rudiments of hatred are present everywhere
and every single classroom is a factory of despair
there's nobody learning such a foreign word as fair
oh here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

here's to the cops of mississippi
they're chewing their tobacco as they lock the prison door
their bellies bounce inside them as they knock you to the floor
no they don't like taking prisoners in their private little war
behind their broken badges there are murderers and more
oh here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

and here's to the judges of mississippi
who wear the robe of honor as they crawl into the court
they're guarding all the bastions with their phony legal fort
oh justice is a stranger when the prisoners report
when the black man stands accused the trial is always short
oh here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

and here's to the government of mississippi
in the swamp of their bureaucracy they're always bogging down
and criminals are posing as the mayors of the towns
they're hoping that no one sees the sights and no one hears the sounds
and the speeches of the governor are the ravings of a clown
oh here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

and here's to the laws of mississippi
congressmen will gather in a circus of delay
while the constitution's drowning in an ocean of decay
unwed mothers should be sterilized, I've even heard them say
yes corruption can be classic in the mississippi way
oh here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

and here's to the churches of mississippi
where the cross once made of silver
now is caked with rust
and the sunday morning sermons pander to their lust
the fallen face of jesus is choking in the dust
and heaven only knows in which god they can trust
oh here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
mississippi find yourself another country to be part of
i just had the most depressing conversation i've had in a while--and yes, it was about the election and its aftermath.

bush is a second-term president. he's not responsible to anyone. they're not going to repeal the 22nd amendment to let him run for a third term--since that would just make him responsible again, and that would also make eligible our most viable democrat--bill clinton.

no one in the bush administration is probably going to run in 2008. they have carte blanche...if people like it, the republicans will spin 2008 as continuing the bush legacy through their party. if people hate it, the republicans will spin it as a new direction in '08, since it won't be someone from the bush administration.

we need 2006 so badly. if the democrats gain ground, even if they don't get a majority in both houses, we've got a shot in '08. but, i'm not optimistic--if bush did what he did these last two years and still gained ground, i'd hate to think of what he has to do these next two years to lose any.

i want to cry.
"you know i'm not dead
i'm just living in my head"
"The Everlasting Gaze"
by Smashing Pumpkins
finally, blogger's letting me post again. i've had so much trouble with it these last couple days...grrrrr!!!

i can't believe the shucker is this weekend. i can't believe chicago's tourney season is finally starting in earnest. i also can't believe that i'm not actually going into battle, playing a witness. it'll be so weird...i'll be okay, because i get to judge, but still--it's not quite the same.

speaking of judging...it's funny. when i was a witness, my persona is whatever the witness demanded my persona to be. as a judge, i pretty much got to fall into my persona--and that persona is definitely the ├╝berbitch. back my second year, that term was used to describe my brook sills--but in that respect, she had absolutely nothing on nicolle the judge.

as for being a blatantly lesbian ex-marine, though...i think ms. sills still takes the cake.

Friday, November 05, 2004

a few things for the morning...yes, this is another one of my snapshot/bullet point posts.

--i have the greatest friends ever. i don't know how i'd have gotten through this week, much less the last several years of my life, without them. i love them all so much.

--after a bit of a scare, it's a sure thing...i'm going to the cornshucker next weekend, there's more than enough room in the cars with me, even with a certain coach going along. funny exchange at jimmy's last night...i guess the only real context for it is that i'll be able to see my boyfriend at the shucker. oh yeah...and the fact that the "certain coach" is not only someone who never comes to mock trial practice, but is not a very nice guy...and nobody on the team likes him very much.

me: "not only has he not been in the trenches like me all season...but he's NOT stopping me from having sex!!!"
friend: "nicky...normally, if you mentioned having sex, i'd shudder. but, this time...i understand."

--my body still has no clue what day it is...but it's indeed friday. not having to go to work tomorrow or the next day makes me happy.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

yes, i'm sure i've posted these same lyrics in an entry before. i really don't care. it's mood music for the day...maybe a little more optimistic than i'm actually feeling (since i'm not sure i'll ever be beautiful), but it's a picture.

by escape from earth

here i am
nobody's man
nobody's hero
i'm confused
sick and abused
and everything's fine

what about your life
is all i hear now
i walk around and turn around
but nothing looks right through my eyes
my eyes

some days i am beautiful
oh so beautiful me
some days i am pitiful
oh so pitiful me
i feel angry
i feel silent
i feel so far away
i feel beautiful
just not today

it's all smoke
my life's a joke
no rhyme or reason
no one knows
how deep it goes
and everything's fine

what about your life
how should i know
you're so damn blind
you'll never find
the pain that i carry inside

some days i am beautiful
oh so beautiful me
some days i am pitiful
oh so pitiful me
i feel angry
i feel silent
i feel so far away
i feel beautiful
just not today

some days i am beautiful
is this real
'cause i don't feel

i feel angry
i feel silent
i feel so far away
i am crazy
i'm amazing
i've got nothing to say
i'm pathetic
i'm a giant
i'm a moment away
i'll be beautiful someday
that's what i'm doing after mock today. going to the reg and finally starting my nano. i need to get working on that...i tried starting it on tuesday, but the computer froze up and erased everything i had done.
yesterday was a day of rage.

today i'm just numb.

yesterday sunk in a deep, profound belief of what happened.

today i'm back into disbelief.

never has the retention of the status quo been such a shock.

i feel sapped of all my hope.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

four years.

four years of people mad at president bush. four years ago, there were so many people flowing through the streets of washington, dc, angry that bush stole the election, righteously indignant because gore got more votes, afraid of bush's policies on women's rights, the death penalty, and everything under the sun.

four years, so many reasons to get him out of office. i'm no safer than i was on 9/11--i'm less safe, since clearly the president does not care that he's angering the world, and he's only doing more to get possible terrorists mad enough to strike. my roommate made a wonderful point this morning--all of the big city areas, the ones that would be most likely affected by terrorists, went for kerry.

four years, a war we should not have fought, tax cuts that have left necessary programs underfunded, a social security crisis, a health care crisis, the dying of our civil liberties...four years, and we're all worse off.

four years that the republicans have done a wonderful job of scaring people into line, scaring them into submission.

four years...and now four more.

four more years over which bush will have control over who gets on the supreme court. goodbye abortion rights...goodbye gay rights...hello chief justice scalia.

four more years of empire, of disregard for other nations, of reckless use of the military, of an administration too incompetent or uncaring to stick around and at least do some nation-building to clean up after its messes.

four more years.

and who do i blame? sure, i blame the republicans, to an extent, for their scare tactics. but, there's a group of people that pisses me off more: the whiners and complainers. i know in my heart that every single person who has railed against bush in the last four years, who has protested, who has begged other people to get bush out of office, voted yesterday. and, quite frankly, i want to slit the throats of everyone who complained and didn't vote. if you don't vote, you lose your right to complain about politics--it's that simple.

his election was a game of turnout, and we lost.
this hurts me so much.

the republicans are about to win the election.

i have cried, earlier tonight.

the republicans are about to win.

as rotten as it is, it's enough almost to make me feel guilty to be dating a boy, but i feel so.

i hate life.

(edit: wednesday morning. that second to last line of rant...eleven states decided to ban gay marriage yesterday. they have made queers second-class citizens, in so many words. i hate sexual politics so much, but sometimes i can't shake it...despite the fact that i'm dating a guy, that doesn't make me any less bisexual, and these anti-gay efforts make me crazy on that personal level. sometimes it drives me nuts, the fact that people think i'm straight, or that i can pass for it--it's really freaking hard to explain, and have it make any sense, but after yesterday doing anything that republicans approve of, even on the surface, is enough to make me retch. it's silly, it's stupid, and it's clearly not enough to undercut the fact that i'm the luckiest girl ever for having my boyfriend in my life...but at times like this, the personal feels so political that it makes me just want to cry.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

...so Don Racheter is leading some of the Republican get-out-the-vote efforts in and around Pella, Iowa according to the National Review. there's clearly nothing wrong with getting out the vote, of course...but Don Racheter is the biggest jerk on the AMTA (American Mock Trial Association) board, and i guess it's just strangely fitting that he's stumping for Dubya. i'm about to fall on the floor, in stitches.

Don Racheter: is that guy a dick or what?
one of my friends paid me the greatest compliment ever today. i was telling him about the tournament this weekend, and he told me:

"you're the severus snape of the mock trial world."

i couldn't agree more.
alright...a little advice for everyone who might be reading this...


it's election day. you live in a democracy. get your butt to the polls. this election is important, this election is contentious--you have opinions, i know you do. voice them.

besides...if your candidates don't get elected, you have no right to complain if you haven't voted. that should be reason enough.
thanks for the hugs, everyone. :) i'm doing a lot better...i was just having a very bad night on thursday. friday morning was fine...once i hit the road for my weekend in kansas, life was better. i had a nice weekend...it was great to see my boyfriend again, and i had a blast judging the tournament. i might just be the bitchiest judges in amta, but i hate so much the judges that fawn, "awwww, you guys all did so well..." and don't give any helpful comments. i write books for comments, and i don't give 8's, 9's, or 10's out like candy. kind of puts me in ballbusting mode after a weekend, but so be it. other than the tourney, i had a great time...saturday night i played poker with some of the kansas mockers (took second in the tourney, and had a blast going all-in every hand for about 45 minutes, as the short stack heads-up...hehehe). saturday and sunday nights i had nice nights out, dinners with the kansas mockers...i love that team. they rock. sunday night was crazy, as we drove all the way back from lawrence to st. louis overnight, and then my boyfriend had to finish a project--so we went to the library. so tired yesterday, but i'm recovering. monday i also sat in on a property class...once i learned some of the jargon, it was actually pretty interesting. :)

well...should go back to my desk, back to work. more later.