Thursday, June 30, 2005

Honeymoon Hiatus 

Tomorrow morning I'm off to commence final wedding countdown, and won't be home again until Sunday night, July 10. It's likely that blogging between now and then will be minimal, if not completely absent. I think you'll all understand.

If I can sneak off to the resort's internet room occasionally, I'll let you know how fabulous it is, but I have a feeling The Girl will have some sort of proximity alarm set up to keep me from spending much time online.

Here's what I read this week:



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Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:52 PM

ACS National Convention 2005 

I just purchased my plane tickets for the 2005 American Constitution Society National Convention, in DC at the end of July. I'm pretty psyched about it. The convention is Thursday evening through Sunday morning, plus I registered for the Student Leadership Retreat which is from noon to 7:00 on Thursday. Four days in the company of progressive law geeks! What could be better?

Okay, a week in St. Croix with my girl is better, but other than that this is tops.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:48 PM

Storm the Registrar!!! 

The Girl took a half day today so she could get her manicure/pedicure and come home to pack for the big trip. And also to check the mail and call my grades in to me. Except they didn't come. Again.

There is no way they mailed those things out on Monday. As I was writing this, one of my friends called up to see if mine arrived yet, as hers didn't again either. She's ready to call the Enforcer Dean tomorrow.

After The Girl called, I bugged out of work at 3:30 today so I could high tail it down the Mass. Pike to the Theater District. There I was fortunate enough to find a parking spot within a few blocks of the NESL admin building, and I went in to get a copy of my grades.

Not as good as I had hoped for Environmental Law, about what I expected for Property, and better than I had expected for both Ethics and Criminal Procedure. All in all I'm happy (except for Environmental Law, but I'm trying to release it to the universe), and it gets me on the Dean's List again. At least I no longer have to wonder, and can now focus entirely on tomorrow's setup, rehearsal, dinner and dancing, and the big event on Saturday. I just have to pack...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:52 PM

My Kingdom For My Grades 

Yeah, they were mailed on Monday. Uh-huh. That's why they hadn't yet arrived when Wednesday had come and gone.

Oh, you say, but as of Wednesday you could go to the Registrar's office and get a copy! Except that they're on summer hours, which means they closed at 4:30.

This is killing me.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:53 AM
Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Land of the Lost Sizes 

The Guyfriend and I used our lunch break today to run over to Trader Joe's and pick up the sparkling raspberry-apple cider for the wedding. I planned on getting 20 bottles, but they only had 16 in the store. The clerk informed me that "it's not a big seller," when he let me know that all they had was what was on the shelf. He could have left it at, "No, we don't have any more," rather than letting me know that I was making an unpopular selection. I guess they just keep it on hand in case they run out of what people actually like. Either that or he's just a socially inept asshole. Yeah, I'm going with Door Number Two. I'll hit the TJ's in Arlington or Burlington on my way home tonight.

Anyway, after placing the 16 on hand bottles in some boxes and loading them into the Jeep, we headed over to Ashland to drop them off at the wedding site (a relative's house with a 2 acre lot to accomodate the large tent). By the time we got back to Framingham, I thought the little cafe in our building would be closed, so I did the Burger King drive-thru. Now, I rarely go to fast food anymore, especially after watching Super Size Me, but in this case I didn't have much other choice, as it was time to get back to the office and I don't have the numbers of the local sushi places programmed into my cell phone yet since the office move.

Me: I'll have a chicken sandwich and small onion rings.
BK: Do you want the Chicken Sandwich Value Meal or just the chicken sandwich?
Me: Just the chicken sandwich.
BK: And on the onion rings - we don't have Small. Is Medium okay?
Me: *Rolls eyes at The Guyfriend* Yeah, Medium is fine.

If the smallest size they have is Medium, that would be Small. Medium indicates that it's in between two other sizes. You can't have Medium without something smaller. Sigh.

I get back to the office and look at the receipt.

The onion rings are marked as "Regular."

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:27 PM

Freaking Grades 

Okay, we at NESL have been waiting for grades since exams ended on May 14. Yes, six and one-half weeks ago. Finally last week the Registrar announced that the grades would be mailed out Monday, June 27. Awesome! Every semester I've received the grades the day after the announced mailing. So I had a target. All I had to do was get through Tuesday and I could go home and get my grades - the wait was over!

Wrong.

No grades arrived. Now I'm in stress overtime, which is an order of magnitude greater than stress with a known end date.

They did kindly state that anyone who hasn't received their grades by today and GO to the Registrar's office to get a copy. No phone, fax or e-mail. They don't post grades online in any form. They'll have the GPA groupings posted online sometime next week. Why do they do this to us? Why does it take nearly 7 weeks to put together the grades? Why does it take an additional week to calculate and post GPA groupings? Do they not have computers in the Registrar's office? AAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:48 AM
Sunday, June 26, 2005

Law Geek Tea 

My school buds took me out for afternoon tea yesterday at the Stonehedge Inn, up in Tewksbury, for a wedding shower. It was quite lovely, and quite filling. The Girl and I had been there once before with The Girl's sister, and I warned everyone that the "Traditional Country Tea" option was fabulous but was a huge amount of food. We all went for it anyway. There was more than one box of take home packed up at the end. I opted for the tea, Earl Grey, hot, and it was the best I've ever had! I had several cups, so was able to stay up quite late watching movies with The Girl when I got home.

The Guyfriend took me out for another bridal event the evening of Pride, with dinner at PF Changs followed by Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

My friends know me so well - dinner, tea and treats, Angelina Jolie action films and an afternoon of gossip! Thanks to everyone - you're all the best!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 4:58 PM

iCHIMP To The Rescue 


NewDesk
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
My new home base in Cubeland. My back is to the doorway opening, so I went on over to ThinkGeek and got myself an iCHIMP monitor mirror (the CHIMP has a black frame, and the iCHIMP has a white frame). I cashed in a few of my Geek Points and picked up some BAWLS mints while I was at it. They're more like SweetTarts than mints, though.



iCHIMP
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
A close up of the iCHIMP. Go ahead, zoom in and take a look around.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 4:48 PM

Lunch at the Lake 


TheGuyfriendAtLunch
Originally uploaded by RSLS.
The Guyfriend's schedule loosened up enough that Friday we were able to pick up some iced beverages and drive over to the nearby state park. This is at the car top boat launch (ie kayaks, canoes, shells, etc.), which doesn't cost to enter. The other entrance includes the beach, so not only do you have to pay, but put up with all the screaming kids on vacation. This is much more soothing and peaceful.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 4:46 PM
Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Random Ten - Wedding Countdown Edition 

I've become one with my MP3 player in the last couple of weeks, as The Girl and I are assembling our playlists for the wedding. This weekend will be the final merging and tweaking of the lists. If we can survive this, we can handle anything.

Load, shuffle, play. List 10 or so. Here, yours, feministe.

Moonlight Dance - James Bobchak - Gypsy Fire

Another Minute More - Patti Witten - Rockrgrl Discoveries 2004

Like The Way I Do (live) - Melissa Etheridge

Testimony - Ferron - Testimony (memories of college vinyl and candlelight vigils)

Fill It Up Again - Indigo Girls - All That We Let In

Mama I'm Strange - Melissa Etheridge - Breakdown (great use of this in If These Walls Could Talk 2)

Full of Grace - Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing

How Lovely to Be a Woman - Chynna Phillips - Bye Bye Birdie 1995 tv soundtrack (didn't think I could get through a week without some showtunes, did you?)

It's A Boy - The Who - Tommy

Simple Life - Mary Chapin Carpenter - time*sex*love

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:51 AM

The Week in Reading - Number Six 

No, not the manipulative blonde who'll be making her spike-heeled return to the airwaves in a few weeks. This is the sixth week of summer break from school (and yet the grades still haven't been mailed out...). Here's what I've been reading:



I know, it's not much, but I've been driving to work so I could get home sooner and work on wedding plans. Eight days to go!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:38 AM
Thursday, June 23, 2005

Still Here 

I am indeed still around and breathing. The company moved to the new digs and it's been hectic getting settled in. Plus it's just over a week to the wedding, so preparations are getting exponential.

Dance lesson last night, picked up florist supplies today for turning flowers into pin-ons, reply card wrangling, playlist tweaking, food finalizations, etc.

It's a madhouse.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:58 PM
Friday, June 17, 2005

Summer Reading - Week Five 

I finished off the Madeleine Albright memoir - fabulous read. I highly recommend it! Now I've moved back into the world of Star Trek: New Frontier. Not quite done with #8, but only about 25 pages left.



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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:15 AM

Friday Random Ten - Moving Out Edition 

Today is the last day in our Newton offices. All employees not involved in the actual move (like The Guyfriend, who expects to be working on setting up the networks and all the desktops until about 2:00 tomorrow morning) must be off the premises by noon today. Works out well for me, since my middle sister and I are heading out to Pennsylvania this afternoon for a sisters' weekend with our sister in Pennsylvania. And I'll be trying on my wedding outfit, then trying it on again after the tailor works furiously to make an alterations needed.

As a going away present, we got to have one more fire alarm, just so we could experience one more time the walk down the seven flights of stairs (not so bad) and the return back up the seven flights of stairs (I've almost got my breath back now).

I got my office all packed up yesterday except for the stuff I needed to work on this morning. Good thing I cleaned out my shallow desk drawer, because someone took it last night - hardware and everything! Looters...

Yesterday we had NASCrate races. We've got an abundance of these stackable orange moving crates that you can get from Rent-A-Crate, with the dollies underneath, so the Help Desk organized a race. Fourteen teams of rider and driver raced around the hallways trying to be the first to retrieve 6 intact balloons of the 8 per team that were taped to the walls. Each team had their own color or balloon design. I rode, my department colleague pushed (The Guyfriend tried to recruit me for his team, but I was already spoken for). We placed a respectable fourth. This was followed by slime and mud eating contests, in which members of upper management were tricked into coming to the Help Desk and shamed into taking part in a race to be the first to finish either a plate of jello salad topped with whipped cream in the slime eating race, or a plate of chocolate pudding topped with chocolate chips and whipped cream in the mud eating race. With their hands tied behind their backs. Management also picked up lunch from the local restaurants we've all frequented over the years, and we had "A Taste of Newton."

It's taken me a while to finish this post, as in the middle of it I was alerted to the fact that hidden away in the mailroom supply closet is a mountain of VERY OLD documentation, perched atop two 5 drawer file cabinets full of boxes of old documentation CDs. These things are at least 6 years old, and neither of us in the department were even aware they were there. You'd think that whoever was in charge of cleaning that closet out during our designated clean out time back in April might have mentioned it. But no - it gets dumped on us 3 hours before we're gone. But it's over now.

So here we go. Load, shuffle, list. Here, yours, feministe.

I Second That Emotion - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Return to Me film soundtrack

Just One of Those Things - Diana Krull - De-Lovely film soundtrack

Put On a Happy Face - Blossom Dearie - Kissing Jessica Stein film soundtrack

Regular Guy - Bif Naked - Purge

Lucky - Bif Naked - Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv soundtrack

A Few Words From The Bride - Uma Thurman - Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (When I woke up, I went on what the movie advertisements refer to as a roaring rampage of revenge. I roared, and I rampaged, and I got bloody satisfaction.)

21 Things I Want In A Lover - Alanis Morissette - Under Rug Swept (I picked up the acoustic CD of Jagged Little Pill this morning, to listen to in the car en route to PA this afternoon. I remember on Suddenly Susan, after Brooke Shields got dumped by her boyfriend she listened to Jagged Little Pill over and over and over again, driving her mother (Barbara Barrie) nuts. Barbara proclaimed, regarding Alanis, "That's a very angry young woman.")

Sparkling Diamonds - Nicole Kidman - Moulin Rouge film soundtrack (Tiffany's! Cartier!)

Giant - Melissa Etheridge - Lucky

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:25 AM
Thursday, June 16, 2005

Virtual Ban on Reading 

"If there are terrorists in libraries studying how to fly planes, how to put together biological weapons, how to put together chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, ... we have to have an avenue through the federal court system so that we can stop the attack before it occurs," said Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla).

The above statement was made regarding the provision of the Patriot Act that allow investigators free access to library records and bookstore sales receipts in order to see who's reading what. The House voted 238-187 not to renew this provision, but would still permit investigators access to library internet use records.

The Senate still has to vote on the issue, and the White House has threatened to veto anything that is less than a full renewal of all provisions.

But you know, Rep. Feeney might have a point - if people are reading about these things, we should know about it, right? Then again, why is this information available in the public libraries? If we don't want people learning this stuff, we should just ban the books! Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas have all had recent efforts to ban gay themed (particularly those mentioning same sex marriage or kids with same sex parents) from schools and libraries. Maybe they should also have access to bookstore records so they can find out who's reading them anyway. I mean, if they're a threat to the community in the library, they're a threat to the community no matter where they come from. Rick Santorum has gone to great lengths to link gay marriage with terrorism, so haul out the Patriot Act and track down these threats!

There better not be any information in those libraries about people who have burned flags in protest of government actions, either. People might get ideas. Root 'em out, yank 'em from the shelves. Burn the books, not the flag. Then get the records on anyone who checked out those books prior to removal.

If these books are to remain in the library, perhaps there should be some sort of ID system that keeps track of who reads them in the building without checking them out. That's the whole point, isn't it? To find out who's accessing this information?

I've got it! Retinal scans upon entering any library or bookstore, followed by tracking that clearly identifies any publication which the patron peruses for more than 3 seconds. This isn't censorship - the books are still there. We just want to know who has the freaking nerve to look at them.

Land of the free, home of the surveilled.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:54 PM

No Pride in Tampa 

In sunny Florida, Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms became stormy indeed upon seeing a Gay Pride display at a library in her county. The library responded to her protests by shrinking the display to a smaller exhibit, but this was not sufficient to complete her quest. She wanted it gone. And she wanted no other such displays anywhere in her county. So yesterday (6/15) she presented and got passed two consecutive motions to the Hillsborough County Commission (whose turf includes Tampa).

The first motion stated: "I move that we adopt a policy that Hillsborough County government abstain from acknowledging, promoting or participating in gay pride recognition and events -- little g, little p."

The second motion set requirements for repealing this now-ordinance. There must be public hearings followed by a 5-2 commission vote, rather than a simple majority. There was no public discussion or debate before these motions became law.

Opponents of these ordinances plan on taking the commission to court on grounds of violating US constitutionally based equal protection and free speech.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:36 PM
Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Senate Hearing on Detainees 

The full Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on detainees (aka Guantanamo Bay) today. You can view the prepared statements of witnesses, and check out the live webcast on the hearing site. Thus far, Brig. General Thomas Hemingway stated, regarding how long individuals could be detained without being actually charged, "I think that we can hold them as long as the conflict endures." Deputy Associate Attorney General J. Michael Wiggins supported this from a legal standpoint, saying, "It's our position that legally they can be held in perpetuity."

Senator Patrick Leahy doesn't agree.
"Guantanamo Bay is an international embarrassment to our nation, to our ideals, and it remains a festering threat to our security," Leahy said. "Our great country, America, was once viewed as a leader in human rights and the rule of law, and justly so. Guantanamo has undermined our leadership, has damaged our credibility, has drained the world's goodwill for America at an alarming rate," Leahy added.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:10 PM

Proposed Bans: Flags and Marriage 

Word on the USA Today street is that the US Senate is within a vote or two of passing a proposed constitutional amendment banning desecration of the US flag (often aka flag burning). Details on the NESL ACS blog.

Citizen and legislative activists intent on limiting marriage in Massachusetts and on denying recognition of same sex couples through civil unions are at it again. They've made the announcement that they're going to announce a ballot initiative, which could possibily amend the state constitution to reflect their own personal divisive judgment by November 2008. Details at the NESL OUTLaws blog.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:55 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Guess I'm Still Seattle 

One more quiz - The New World Order Placement Test. The description:
Eventually this failed experiment known as Democracy will come to its shuddering end, and the enlightened New World Order will replace it, reshaping the world into the glorious, organized, industrious macrocosm of human machinery it has always been destined to become. And of course, when this happens it will be important to know where you fit into the new heirarchy. Take this test to see what your new role will be after the revolution has been televised.
My results appear to be in line with my results on the What City Are You Test.
**********************************************************

Too Risky To Live
You scored 68 physical value, 67 mental value, 51 social value, and 65 risk factor!
It is with some sadness that I must tell you that the New World Order deems you too great a risk to be allowed to live. Oh, it is not that you seem particularly disloyal, but given the fact that you are strong, smart, AND socially brilliant, the fact that we aren't SURE of your loyalty makes you too great a risk to be allowed to live. You see, if you were to escape into the Lawless Lands, you would most certainly become a leader of the malcontent people, and could one day even bring about the downfall of our society. You must be able to see how we could never allow that to... hey, where are you going? Stop! Someone stop her! Guards! Seize that malcontent! Don't let her get away! Nooooo!


I scored higher than 99% for age and gender in physical, mental and social value, and (to my doom), risk factor. So bring it on, Big Brother.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:25 PM

Jedi Master I Am 

It's time to take the What Sort of Jedi Are You quiz!

"Are you an honorable Jedi or a ruthless Sith? Or somewhere in-between? This ten question test will assess your kindness and arrogance to conclude your Force alignment."

***********************************************************

Jedi Master
You scored 86% in Jedi Force Alignment
You are gracious, humble and selfless: you are a Jedi. Your name belongs amongst those of the greats: Mace Windu, Shaak Ti, Kit Fitso.


I also scored higher than 99% of test takers of my age and gender (given my age and gender, there were probably a grand total of maybe two other test takers, so take that with a grain of midi-clorian).

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:12 PM

Linkage Hell 

Crap. Now that TV Tome has become TV.com, my numerous links to various TV Tome show pages all default to the TV.com homepage. This sucks.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:36 AM

Angel: Live Fast, Never Die 

SciFi.com reports that a soundtrack CD for the five seasons of Angel has been released. Geeks rejoice across the globe! SciFi gives it a rave review, with an A- grade. Hmm, tomorrow's payday...


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:46 AM

Michelle Rodriguez, Castaway 

For anyone who's interest was piqued by the teasing cameo by Michelle Rodriguez at the end of Lost's first season, here's a little something to pique you a bit more: she's joining the cast as a regular next season. According to Sci-Fi Wire, she's another survivor of the plane crash. Given that she (as Ana-Lucia Cortez) and Jack interacted in the airport lounge in Sydney, yet we haven't seen hide nor bulging biceps of her on the island, I'm guessing there's at least one other rag tag collection of survivors loitering on the land mass. This new group would be from the vanishing tail section.

In other Lost trivia, I see that Madison has her own IMDB page. Who's Madison? The plucky female golden lab who plays the ever loyal and supportive male golden lab, Vincent.

For anyone who just can't get enough Lost and/or who has crossed the line from enthusiastic to obsessive, you'll be glad to know that Lost magazine is launching this coming October. You can pre-order your subscription to the bimonthly (6 issues/year) mag that includes "fireside confessions of the cast, news and reports direct from the island," for the low, low price of $40.45/year. Where did they come up with that number?

I also see from the official Lost site that while new cast members for season 2 have yet to be added to the cast page, poor Ian Somerhalder's bio has already been removed. No Boone, no bio. That sucks, especially since he was still appearing in the postmortem episodes via the flashback cam.

And whoa! What the f happened to TV Tome? I surfed over to check out their cast listings, and it appears that they were perhaps bought out by a larger corporate entity, because it's all slick and shit now. They're now found at TV.com (you'll be automatically redirected if you try to go to tvtome.com). Anyway, they still list Ian, and they've also added Michelle (no official island photo yet, though). You can find links to several articles discussing her addition to the cast on their news page.

Back to Lost - the show is colliding a bit with Boston Legal. Zap2It (through tv.com's portal) reports that Julie Bowen, who played Jack's flashback bride/island time ex-wife, will be joining the cast of Boston Legal for season two. Rhona Mitra will be gone, since she's jumped over to Nip/Tuck (did you know she was the original character model for the Lara Croft video game?), and Monica Potter won't be in the picture either. Big changes. But Candace Bergen will be hanging in. The official site doesn't yet reflect any casting changes. Lake Bell, who departed earlier in the season, will be surfacing in NBC's new action-adventure/sci-fi series Fathom.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:49 AM
Saturday, June 11, 2005

Change of Pride 

Well, the reality wasn't as bad as the nightmare, but it certainly didn't go as planned.

In contrast to my dreams of last night, I was able to find my NESL shirt to wear this morning, was out the door at 8:30 and arrived at Copley in plenty of time to check in at registration (our section's designated check-in was 9:30-10:00). Armed with two Parade Marshal badges, I headed to Starbucks for an iced venti decaf nonfat caramel macchiato, then over to our designated line-up spot. Checked in with the E section Parade Official, and had a seat where he directed me to wait. This was 10:00. Marchers were supposed to be grouped by 11:00, and the parade would start at noon.

Fortunately I had brought a book with me (I'm now nearing the end of Madam Secretary), because my ass was on that sidewalk for two hours. I chatted with the pleasant Parade Official periodically, and he said if no one showed I could always be a group of one. But at 11:59 I gave in to the reality that no one would be joining me to represent New England School of Law, and I thought it would be more of an embarassment to the school than a show of pride to have our entire group consist of a single 5'2" woman walking by herself behind the booming bass and grinding black leather that was the Ramrod float. Instead I would find a gang of lawyers with which to throw my lot.

I checked back with the Parade Official, and he directed me to Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), one of only two legal-related groups (the other was the ACLU of Massachusetts). I asked him to direct any NESL late arrivals to GLAD, and he assured me he would. One block down I found GLAD's Parade Marshal, told him my plight and asked if I could join them. He heartily welcomed me, introduced himself and retrieved an official GLAD shirt for me to wear. Yeah, I wore two layers of t-shirt on this really, really hot day. After sitting in the sun for two hours waiting for, well, no one to show up.

After a few tease starts in which we moved 10 or 15 feet, we finally got moving for real around1:30 or so. I had a pleasant chat with a woman who wasn't really sure of the ins and outs of marriage in Massachusetts, the proposed anti-gay amendment and that whole process, and the 1913 law. I also got to witness lots of people cheering, calling out "Thank you GLAD," and some who ran out from the crowd to personally thank GLAD for their work on Goodridge that led to their being able to marry after many years together. One woman had been in her relationship for 31 years, and last year they finally were able to marry.

So while I wasn't representing my school, I was helping represent a group of attorneys who have done good things, and who strangers thanked on a hot summer day in the streets of Boston. It made me proud of my choice to go to law school, and hopefully in two years I can take part in Boston Pride as a law school graduate, and the year after that as a member of the bar.

And I'm making it my personal mission to have a visible law student presence at next year's event. Check back next year to see how that went.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:21 PM

Happy Pride Day! 

Today is Boston Pride 2005, and I'm up getting ready to go into town and take part in the parade, with the New England School of Law OUTLaws. I'm not sure how many people are going to show, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We need at least five to take part. If you're in Boston and reading this before noon today (6/11), come join us. We're group E2, assembling on Exeter Street between Boylston St. and Blagden St. Marchers are supposed to be in place by 11:00 for the noon kickoff (but if you feel like joining and can't get there until 11:59, I won't tell...).

Remember - you don't have to be GLBT to be an OUTLaw. It's for GLBT students, faculty staff AND THEIR SUPPORTERS!!!!

The Girl was going to join us, but her friends are throwing her bachelorette party today, and they're beginning with an 8:49 tee time. My party starts tonight at 5:00 when I'm being picked up by my best man, The Guyfriend.

I had a horrible nightmare last night about the parade. I couldn't find the shirt I wanted to wear, there was some annoying woman at my front door trying to sell me something, I missed the registration time, couldn't find the group, and the parade started while I was still running through back alleys (which were more like NYC than Boston), trying to find group E2.

Hopefully the reality will be better than that. I mean, our group is directly following the Ramrod float, so it shouldn't be hard to find... Who on the parade organizing committee thought it was a good idea to put a small group of law students behind the group representing Boston's Leather & Denim Cruise Bar? I fear we will be overshadowed in the wake of their free expression.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:44 AM
Friday, June 10, 2005

Internet Freakishness and General Updates 


My workplace internet access has been intermittent at best this week.  We're getting ready to move the office, and right now our servers are about 15 miles away from our keyboards and us.  So rather than continuing the silence, I'm trying the e-mail posting option again.  Of course I can't check to see if it goes through, but at least I'm trying.  Our mail router is on a different path, so at least that's been staying up.  

I know I haven't done the Friday Random Ten in a while.  Combination of leaving my player at home and just losing interest.  Riding the wave of whim, you know.  But here's a list for today, without handy links, since I CAN'T GET ON THE WEB!!!!!!  

1. Main Title - Cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Once More, With Feeling soundtrack

2. Just Let Me Cry - Ashlee Simpson - Freaky Friday soundtrack (I don't want to hear any shit about having Ashlee Simpson on my Nomad.  It's a good soundtrack album, and The Girl and I will be jamming out to Ultimate during the dancing portion of the wedding).

3. The Point of No Return/Chandelier Crash - Phantom and Christine - Phantom of the Opera film soundtrack

4. It Is You (I Have Loved) - Dana Glover - Shrek soundtrack (I kind of wanted this to be our first dance song at the nuptuals, but it lost out to another song we thought would work better.  I'll still be including it in the dance playlist though, and pulling The Girl out for a waltz.)

5. It's Alright - Bandits - Bandits soundtrack (the German one, not the Billy Bob/Bruce/Cate one)

6. The Trouble With Love Is - Joss Stone -  Love Actually soundtrack

7. The Devil You Know - Face to Face - unknown album (incompletely labeled MP3, and I CAN'T LOOK IT UP!)

8. In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning - Carly Simon - Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack

9. Lucky - Melissa Etheridge - Lucky

10. My Baby Just Cares For Me - Cyndy Lauper - At Last


On the book front, I'm still plugging away at Madam Secretary.  It's really a great read, I've just been distracted with various pre-wedding activities and West Wing.  I never watched the show before this summer, but now I've got Tivo recording all the reruns they show all the time on cable.  Anyway, I'm up to page 478.  
On the wedding front, we're receiving reply cards every day, including one mystery card on which the replier neglected to fill out, with name and a check mark under either "Accepts with pleasure" or "Declines with regret."  We figure by next week we'll be able to figure out who it is.  We filled out the forms for the marriage license yesterday, raised our right hands and swore that we were being truthful, and submitted the forms with our $25 fee.  Tuesday we'll have a marriage license in hand!!!  My sister received her one day authorization to solemnize the marriage, but unfortunately the date of the ceremony was listed as being July 2, 2004.  I called the Secretary of State's Office of Public Records, and they'll be sending out a new one.  Then we need to bring that to the Town Clerk as well.  We returned to the rental place and added a few things to our long list of rentals, plus we changed the colors on the tablecloths and napkins.  

In other words, we're cranking right along.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:02 AM
Wednesday, June 08, 2005

White House and Oil-Friendly Edits 

The NY Times reported today on the editing activities of Philip A. Cooney, the chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Cooney edited government-issued reports on climate change in such a way as to downplay or even dismiss any causative links between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. In many cases these edits changed the meanings of the reports as written and approved by government scientists and other White House senior officials.

Prior to his current position, Cooney was:

"...the 'climate team leader' and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. A lawyer with a bachelor's degree in economics, he has no scientific training."

This situation of a political appointee overriding the reports and processes of scientific professionals resembles the news earlier this year that administration appointees directed career EPA scientists to follow less strict standards in setting mercury emission guidelines, so that the guidelines would be in line with the president's proposed Clear Skies Initiative.

In his defense, I should point out that it appears that many of the edits were minor changes, sometimes involving just a few words. In one case he changed "is" to "may." A simple debate over fact vs. possibility. In another case he just added three words in front of "uncertainties." Of course, those three little words were "significant and fundamental," which could be interpreted to amplify the level of uncertainty, if you want to look at it that way. Okay, so maybe a couple of little well-placed words can make a big difference. Yeah, that's one of the standard tools in the Bush administration toolbox.

The NY Times has published copies of two documents with Cooney's handwritten edits here.

In 2000, while Cooney was still with the API, he addressed a meeting of the National Assessment Synthesis Team of the US Global Change Research Program. Minutes of the meeting indicate that Cooney's concerns on behalf of the petroleum industry at that time are the same as his edits indicate now that he is working for the Council on Environmental Quality. The minutes also show that he was the only one voicing these concerns, and that they were pretty much dismissed by the group.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:23 PM

Anne Bancroft: 1931-2005 

On my drive to work this morning I heard the sad news that Anne Bancroft passed away Monday night/early Tuesday morning of uterine cancer at the age of 73. She leaves her husband Mel Brooks and their 33-year-old son, Max.

Bancroft is most often remembered as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, but I'll remember her best as the ballet star facing an age-related turning point in her career in 1977's The Turning Point, the disapproving mother of a gay man (Harvey Fierstein) who eventually comes around in 1988's Torch Song Trilogy and the powerful Senator trying to balance a desire for women's equality in the military with the reality of Washington politics in 1997's G.I. Jane ("You read, I'll pour."). But these are but a glimpse into the career of this most outstanding of outstanding women in Hollywood, winner of the Oscar, Tony and Emmy (one of eight actors to earn the Oscar and Tony for the same role on screen and stage, in The Miracle Worker). Her Oscar win is accompanied by four additional nominations and a slew of other awards and nominations.

Boston Globe obituary
Advocate obituary
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UPDATE: The lights on Broadway will be dimmed tonight in memory of Anne Bancroft.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:38 AM
Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dance Quest 

The Girl and I have been continuing our quest for polished dance skills for the upcoming wedding reception. Saturday night we attended a Swingtime dance, which involves a one hour group lesson followed by a two hour dance. This is a monthly GLBT event (October through June), held at the Brookline Academy of Dance, hosted by Liz Nania of Out To Dance. This month's event was the Pride Event (Boston Pride is this coming weekend), and apparently it was the largest turnout they've had, with the most newcomers (The Girl and I included in that category). A couple of friends came with us, and soxfan and soxfan's wife were already there, as they have been taking part in the dance scene for a number of years, and were the ones who convinced us to go. Now we have some basic swing dances under our feet, along with a number of ways to twirl.

We were scheduled to attend a Wedding Prep Workshop on Sunday, but that was cancelled because they didn't have enough people register. Instead we're having a private lesson with Liz Nania later this month. In the meantime, soxfan and soxfan's wife (I'm going to call them SF and SFW from now on) have graciously offered to provide us with some dance tutoring. Last night was our first tutoring session, at our house. They decided that a basic merengue step would be best for our First Dance at the event, and we also learned box step for some of my jazzy selections (my favorite was Alanis Morrisette's remake of Let's Fall in Love, from the De-Lovely soundtrack). I must say, we looked marvelous! We were playing tunes from the MP3 players, and at one point Lindsay Lohan's Ultimate, from the Freaky Friday soundtrack, came on. We already knew how to dance to that one, so we took a break and the four of us were rocking out in the living room for a few minutes. SFW (a college classmate of mine) remarked that she felt like it was a Thursday night in the dorm!

Next week we're off to their place to learn foxtrot. Their apartment is better suited to dances in which you move about the floor (through the kitchen, living room, dining room, etc.). We have too much large furniture blocking the paths. They were unable to give us guidance on my favorite song from Kill Bill Vol. 2, Malaguena Salerosa, however, so we'll have to save that one for the private lesson. Any suggestions?

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:18 AM
Friday, June 03, 2005

Woodward's Deep Throat Book Coming In July 

Bob Woodward has been working for some time on a book detailing the story behind his relationship with then-anonymous source Deep Throat during his work on the Watergate break-ins. Woodward anticipated publishing the book after the death of the man behind the pseudonym, but now that the mirror has been broken and Mark Felt has been revealed, Woodward's publisher is putting the book on the fast track for summer reading. The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat will be published by Simon and Schuster, and will be available in a bookstore near you in July. It doesn't seem to be available for pre-order yet, either on Amazon or SimonSays (Simon and Schuster's site), but I'll check back and let you know.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:17 PM

Summer Reading, Week Three 

Not as many books to display this week. I finished up Dark Victory on Saturday (listed last week), then the next Shatner book, then on to something a little more substantive. The Trek books are mostly under 200 pages, and are pocket book size. Madam Secretary has a larger per page footprint, plus it's around 700 pages. Add to this that I've driven to work a couple of times this week (thus no transit reading time), and it's taking me longer to wrap it up. I'm on page 177 at this point. Hopefully I'll have some time over the weekend, but who knows? We're going to a dance lesson/dance with friends on Saturday, then a Wedding Prep Workshop (dancing, again) on Sunday, plus we need to return to the rental place to add more tablecloths, some pitchers and double check our color choice on the napkins, and finish off our registry stuff (this will entail a trip to the mall, which doesn't please me...).


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:32 AM
Thursday, June 02, 2005

Flashback 

With the headlines that have been flying around over the last few days, I feel like I'm flashing back to my childhood. For example (then and now):

Red tide - Shellfish beds closed
Watergate - Deep Throat revealed
Star Wars (the movie) - Star Wars Episode III
Star wars (the weapons) & Outer Space Treaty - Russia warns against space based weapons
Gas prices - Gas is finally coming down, but still high
Jaws - 30 year anniversary

Now all I need is an Oscar Mayer bologna sandwich on Wonder Bread with yellow mustard and the setting will be complete.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:22 PM
Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Martha Stewart Can Kiss My Lesbian Ass 

The Girl has finished addressing all the invitations by hand, in lovely calligraphy, including redoing the ones that fell victim to various printer mishaps.

We have finished printing envelopes, invitations, reply cards, reply envelopes and directions to the wedding.

We have finished cutting the directions from two per page to individual directions suitable for enclosing in invitation envelopes.

We have applied Love Bouquet stamps to all invitation and reply envelopes.

We have not yet erased the pencil lines from the invitation envelopes, or assembled and stuffed each invitation set (invitation, reply card, reply envelope and directions) into the addressed envelopes.

We must draw the line somewhere, and right now that line is leading to a pillow. And why are we putting ourselves through this? The answer, as always:


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:35 AM