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fate

accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
– marcus aurelius.

i want–so badly–to believe that fate exists.

that there’s some method to the madness. that, when the bad comes, it’s tempered by the future good. that it’ll all be okay, because of some linear plan from a higher power or being or idea.

but i’m not there yet.

in 2011, i graduated from law school with no clear plan of what was coming next. i graduated without a job and took the bar. i passed but it became clear that my dad, who ultimately had 3 major surgeries in 5 months, would need help. i gladly stayed home and helped care for him while applying for jobs. i received rejection letter after rejection letter and very quickly became disheartened. doc review happened while i continued my search for a permanent (or at least non-temp) job. as fate would have it (maybe), i had applied for a fellowship loooong before and was accepted pending placement (meaning: i’d need to find a company that would accept me 40hrs a week with some complications). a cynic, i did not expect anything to come of it. to my dismay, i got a sweet gig with my dream office.

is it fate? had i been accepted at any of the other jobs, i wouldn’t be here, doing something i believe in, so strongly, every day. had any of the other seemingly-million options gone a different way, i wouldn’t have taken this dream job, moved, and had such awesome mentors. all those rejections crushed me. was it fate? was that destruction of my soul necessary such that i could be here today?

had the offices whose rejections then-destroyed me given an offer instead, my life would’ve been very, very different right now. maybe i would’ve been working on something i believe in, maybe i’d just be getting by. who knows? that’s the thing about life–while there are many options, there’s only one route you can go down.

but my fellowship is up in may and i’m thinking about what’s next. i desperately need a job i can believe in. will i find one? i came to believe in love while here. will that work out? will something entirely different–something i am currently unable to identify–present itself and be my next necessary step?

i guess what i’m trying to say is that, because i wouldn’t have predicted this a year ago, maybe fate is a real thing. maybe there’s this life plan held together by a omniscient thing who/that knows what the future holds and what is necessary for my future. i don’t know the answer, but i know i’m afraid. i’m scared of rejection. i’m scared of being sad. i’m scared of the unknown. i’m scared of not being in control of my life.

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neil armstrong

the following speech, which thankfully went unread, was to be given in the event that the apollo 11 mission failed.

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

(via)

for a girl who loves space (seriously–space camp ’98 alum), learning of neil armstrong’s death is distressing.  some day, the pyramids will crumble, the statue of liberty will sink into the harbor, the great wall will collapse, and the greatest works of man will fade away.  but the landing site of apollo 11 will remain and neil armstrong’s footprint–on the moon and on society–will stay exactly as it is. he and NASA’s other astronauts changed the world. he was the face of bravery and, to borrow from president obama, he carried with him the dreams of this country. what a remarkable life he led. rest in peace.

 

(via)

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obamacare

a disclaimer of sorts: i refer to PPACA as obamacare. i don’t do it to be pejorative, it just seems to be a bit clearer than referring to it as the ACA, PPACA, or obama’s healthcare plan. everyone knows what i’m talking about when i say obamacare and it’s an efficient use of syllables.

as a constitutional law junkie, this week at SCOTUS was the equivalent of the super bowl. this term is already huge–tons of cases on broad, highly political issues–and to add obamacare to that is very exciting for this kid. unfortunately (or fortunately?), monday was a crazy day for my family–i started a new job and my dad had knee surgery (he’s home and doing great), so i didn’t have a chance to follow the litigation until this weekend. i had a marathon day yesterday listening to arguments from all three days (even the anti-injunction act arguments, which were kind of like watching paint dry) and then reading all kinds of analysis. holy crap, it’s exciting.

rather than get into the actual constitutional analysis (because really, we all know i’m a libertarian, your guess as to my opinion is probably accurate, and there has been exceptionally great analysis by people far smarter than me), i’m going to comment on a few things relating to the coverage that have particularly bothered me.

  1. attacking solicitor general don verrilli for his performance. first of all, oral argument is largely a charade. the justices pretty much know how they feel about something before they hear, “mr. chief justice, may it please the court.” secondly, they’re surely not going to be swayed by verrilli’s coughing and water drinking. he answered their questions clearly and effectively, it just wasn’t the smoothest of presentations. finally, his oral advocacy skills were great monday, he just had a tough tuesday which wasn’t helped by paul clement’s exceptional performance. (and ps: i totally envision a future of “justice clement.”) i don’t think anyone who has ever spoken in front of a group feels anything other than pity for him. he had a rough week and the assaults need to stop.
  2. related, the GOP ad characterizing obamacare as “a tough sell” was nothing more than pathetic hackery. there are a lot of substantive and legitimate ways to attack obamacare. but doctoring the audio and making fun of verrilli is garbage. also? if you were interested in SCOTUS allowing video, this ad is definitely working against you. a few years ago i attended a small lecture with justice scalia and his comments regarding video in SCOTUS were negative mainly because of his fear of peopl taking things out of context for political gain. this is exhibit A.
  3. much of the mainstream analysis has focused on how obamacare is obviously going to be struck down because of the questions asked in oral arguments. people. don’t read into the questions asked by the justices. it means nothing for the swing votes. so stop using questions kennedy asked as “proof he’s going to vote X way.” he may be trying to discount a line of thinking, he may be just inquiring. point is, you don’t know what he’s thinking so stop pretending you do.
  4. for the love of all that is good and holy, STOP USING THE PHRASE “ACTIVIST COURT.” it doesn’t have a meaning anymore because so many people have bastardized it. “oh, the court did something with which i disagree, they’re so activist.” their job is to interpret the constitution. sometimes that means striking down laws congress has enacted, sometimes that means upholding them. that means they’re doing their job, not parading around beyond their powers. so please, i beg of you, stop using that phrase immediately.

i can’t friggin wait until june/july. though i must say, i’m hopeful but pessimistic.

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twelve years

never forget.

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i’m with coco

after all, i must support the fellow gingers, yes?

i’ve been watching conan for years. i find his brand of humor hilarious and think he’s incredibly bright and a fantastic host. (and cute to boot, which is saying something since i don’t find male gingers attractive at all.) in high school i would stay up late secretly to watch him and in college i loved coming home from parties to find conan on tv.

i was thrilled when he was offered the tonight show. though my excitement was tempered with my fear that he wouldn’t be able to conform his humor to the earlier audience. much of his humor is split into two categories: very high-brown that seems to fly over most people’s heads or toilet humor. he graduated magna from harvard and is so suave with his ability to make fun of audiences leaving them none the wiser. funniest bit on TV: the conan and jim gaffigan collaboration: pale force.

as we all know, his move wasn’t successful.  conan left, leno came back, and firecracker was sad. his last episode is comedic genius–managing to insult nbc, play free bird, and give one of the best speeches in entertainment:

(if you didn’t watch that, mosey back on up and hit play. it is truly fantastic and a very classy speech. you can tell he’s pushing against emotion the whole time, particularly right before he gives his tirade against cynicism.)

and now he’s back. next monday, to be exact.

i.cannot.wait.

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a whole new meaning to “feeling stabby”

morning kids!

first, i’d like to say thank you to dcblogs for linking me the other day. so nice. and a big hello to the new faces around here. excited to have yall. 🙂

and now, a story.

(via)

i’ve mentioned my externship a few times around these parts. as i don’t want to be googleable, suffice to say i work for a certain state agency. the kind where they throw people in jail. the kind focused on people under 18. i spend 2 days a week throwing kiddies in jail and get school credit for it! it’s not really what i want to do as a career, but i’m getting great experience and can add something else to my resume.

even though i’m not a lawyer yet, i get to speak in court as a special intern. you know how in legally blonde elle “represented” brooke wyndham? it’s kind of like that, but on a much smaller scale. and i wear navy and gray suits, not pink ones. and i don’t talk about hair care.  so it’s the less awesome version. but still. better than sitting in class.

anyway, these kids are all kinds of awful. i only deal with the big cases and they do some scary ass shit. example: this kid i sent away yesterday stabbed 4 people with a veryvery big knife.

because i send their precious little babies away, the parents turn their wrath toward me. because heaven forbid it be their fault for raising such a kid. the kids are just misunderstood! it’s my fault for throwing them in kiddie prison! now i’m not denying the social justice problems–most are from terrible homes and neighborhoods, full of gangs and all kinds of terrible stuff where i wouldn’t last 5 minutes, let alone an entire childhood. but that’s not my problem. i advocate for the victims; my job is to protect the community and get these kids the help they need.

after sending stabby mcgee away yesterday, i’m pretty sure his mom threatened me. and by pretty sure, i mean i know she did because i told the sheriff who escorted her away. my eyes are now bugging out of my head looking for the would-be shanker. apparently shanking runs in the family.

**this is a story i will not be sharing with my parents. so if you know me IRL (coughcough BROTHER), don’t you dare tell them. otherwise, i’ll shank you.

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fear and blessings

by now, i’m sure you’ve heard about what happened at UT today. thank the good lord above that the killer did not hit anyone else. i cannot describe the terror that gripped me when i heard the news this morning, my inconsolable fear every time there is a school shooting.

you see, i’m from littleton, colorado. i was 12 when the massacre at columbine happened. my childhood ended on april 20, 1999; i was in 7th grade. childhood is marked by wonder: optimism not yet marred by the world’s nastiness, a perma-smile plastered across the face, blissful ignorance of anything beyond one’s small corner of the planet. childhood ends as one comes to realize the depths of human depravity and learns that life brings heartbreak.

i was sitting in art class working on an etched mirror to give to my mother when our teacher was called out of the room by the principal. she came back in with a somber face and said art class was extended for a bit. 3 hours later they came on the loudspeaker and cancelled the rest of the day, saying “something happened” without giving details and instructing us to go straight home. buses dropped every child off at their front door, staff escorted the walkers. my vice principal walked me home, hugging my shoulder with one arm, a walkie talkie in the other, crying softly. i turned on the TV immediately and discovered that right there–in my town–the worst of humanity was unfolding. i sat transfixed for hours and spent the next months (and years) trying to fathom what happened. my parents have never hugged me as hard as they did that night.

these kinds of things just didn’t happen here. that was new york city or los angeles, but not here. littleton is a perfect americana town: small, nestled at the foot of the rockies, extraordinarily close-knit. we all knew someone who died; we heard the stories of cassie, we saw patrick fall from that window into the arms of the SWAT team. 13 were killed, 24 others shot, a community was left in shambles. we wept and eventually healed, but we were never the same town again.

thank heavens that today’s breaking news of a gunman at a school didn’t spiral into something worse. thank heavens no parent has to wait for their child to get off the escape bus, only to find she isn’t coming. thank heavens another community is spared this soul-consuming grief.

so please, count your blessings. again and again and again.

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