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the cinnamon peeler's wife

12.21.2004 at 2:18:00 AM

the creative process: suspended in the void I have a long conversation with my friend silence.


Soy un árbol sin sus ramas
soy un guerrero que ha fallado su misión
estoy encerrado sin salida
la tierra tiembla, desolada
sólo calles sin final ni destino
sólo el sonido de las máquinas
ni siquiera el canto de un pájaro.
Soy nada
no soy aire ni roca inmóvil
el peor de los ladrones ha robado mi sonrisa
el mar me traga
el cielo cae, me aplasta
soy una ilusión, un fantasma
conozco a lo vacío y el vacío me conoce a mí.


I feel like a tree, that has no branches
Like a warrior that has failed his mission.
Locked in a room with no door, no way out.
The earth like empty streets
No birds singing, only cars rushing by.
I don't even feel like the air
or a rock that never moves.
I feel like nothing
I feel like the sea will swallow me
The sky will fall upon my head
The worst of criminals has come by
And robbed my smiles
I am a ghost, an illusion.
I know nothing, and nothing knows me.)

from Soy by Ekiwah Adler Beléndez

(p.s. nagh, i am on winter break.)

12.18.2004 at 1:58:00 PM

quick internet fix

since most of you internet junkies are on winter break and have nothing better to do than watch cartoons (the audacity!), i thought i would share some interesting links. many thanks to those who passed them on to me, thus giving me an excuse to take a break from studying. whoever made up that lie that the third year of law school is easy, needs to be shot or at least flogged.

* black bush: so what would happen if bushie junior was black? an interesting proposition, well leave it to dave chappelle to answer. i know this is a bit old, but i just saw it recently and it is still hilarious! can i say that the black tony blair rocks!

* your very own south park character: i miss natasha1313 almost as much as i miss south park. sorry, if it was you or the cable, i think you would go first. but she passed along this gem which will occupy you for quite a while.

*amar chitra katha: i loved these comics as a kid and i have a huge stack of them somewhere at my parent's house. i am not ashamed to say that much of my knowledge of hindu mythology came from hours with the mahabharata and vedas sets. i was very excited when i saw they had a website!

*cyber warfare: i thought the in-fighting between muslims was already bad, but now they have taking it to takfir hacking! recently the muslim wakeup site (a liberal/progressive bunch) was hacked by a group calling themselves the Islamic OxChallenge Brigades. they, somewhat cleverly, changed the site to "Murtad Wake Up". i didn't know that in their opinion stopping something evil includes hacking. well those guys must have been following the website closely as they have plenty of details (if they hated it so much why didn't they just stop reading?). anyway, though it was sad, i just couldn't help laughing. we are now fighting websites? please just turn off your computers.

12.15.2004 at 6:23:00 PM

pineapple tidbits

on the homestretch now... 3 down, 2 to go.
everyone in the known universe is already on break and yet i and the rest of the crazies in law school still have exams! what was i ever thinking? more school, a good idea... NOT!

so some tidbits while i should be studying, feel free to comment:

1. "how could anyone not have a dog, or a trust fund, or grape jelly?" (rerun in 'i want a dog for christmas, charlie brown') what a classic!

2. people from the uk, canada, fiji (?), singapore, brazil, and other far and distant places are visiting my blog. cool, and i thought it was only my 4 and 1/2 friends (two of whom are named anonymous) who ever came here. if you are actually reading this and are not just an accidental ip address (well even if you are), leave me a comment.

3. speaking of fiji, azher has got me addicted to fiji water. i know bourgi water should be shunned and should i not just drink the crap of the olentangy? but really, this water is so smooth! It is described as: "FIJI Natural Artesian Bottled Water comes from a virgin ecosystem deep in the South Pacific. This natural artesian water is known for its signature soft, smooth taste and well-balanced mineral content including a high level of silica, a youth preserving anti-oxidant." Well who knows if any of that is true, but hey i could use some youth preservation! plus i like how the square bottles stack in my fridge.

4. just finished my family law exam (only have labor law and international dispute resolution to go). but while studying the ramifications of no-fault divorces, i read the funniest debates between feminists and economists. being an economist by training (well okay it was my undergrad major at Northwestern, but it sounds better that way) i was loving how the Chicago-school economists reduced marriage to a perfect cost-benefit analysis. My favorite part was the astute observation that women depreciate far faster than men, backed up by extensive equations and utility curves. Duh, you don't need a U of C phd to know that. Maybe i should pass on the economic analysis to my mom...

5. I just re-read the end of The Alchemist by Coelho. It is beautiful. I recommend it highly.

6. While making my labor law outline, I watched Mean Girls again. Very funny and i like the random references to Evanston. I miss Walker Bros. I also like how the Asian stereotypes are becoming more nuanced. You have your hot/snobby asians, nerdy/dorky asians, math geek/dj/ghetto wannabe desi- so true. You all know that one desi kid who can tear apart the calc problem and is also the dj at the disco dandia. oh and of course token girls on the math teams- that was me. well maybe not token, i was pres of math club and captain of our academic quiz team in high school. what a nerdy life- you can guess where i sat at lunch. must forget calculus, must forget.

7. people are sending me christmas cards and it is funny how they all apologize for it. they want to wish me something but don't want to offend me. hilarious, don't worry i love christmas. i can sing all of handel's messiah! bring on the cards!

8. multiculturalism can work only in an authoritarian society? so suggests former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt. The idea of a leitkultur? Was sollen wir tun? Lesen Sie bitte.

9. i went to career services as all 3Ls without jobs do with some trepidation. i am applying for LLM programs so i have an excuse. But thought i should just check out the market. i can't believe they get paid to give out this advice. i am interested in international public law, so the lady tells my i should work on my family's international connections. what? i am from cincinnati, ohio. everyone my family knows is either a doctor or engineer. my family's international connections could get me some rice from a field in india, if that. what does she think: that i can call on my drug kingpin uncle or my vast terrorist network? hmmmm, maybe.

the turks are really obsessed with the evil-eye. it is on everything: shopping bags, jewlery, everything. i was at a restaurant and they have toothpicks with the evil eye on the end. anyway, i had lost my favorite evil-eye bracelet from turkey but thankfully it turned up, so nazar stay away! The evil eye is interesting because it is one of those things that almost every culture acknowledges in some form. Recently i stumbled across a book on its anthropology and folklore (The Evil Eye: The Classic Account of an Ancient Superstition). Interesting...

look out NLRA, here i come

12.07.2004 at 8:00:00 PM

it is very difficult to build a democracy as pupils of foreign tutors who arrived in bombers and tanks.

the nytimes magazine offers an insightful look at islam, democracy, and what may lie in the future for iraq: an islamic democracy for iraq?

the article is by dutch-born ian buruma. i am not such a huge fan of his book 'occidentalism' (being a lame attempt at turning said's orientalism around), but i did enjoy some of his guardian columns a few year's back. he was a fellow at the woodrow wilson institute in dc. regardless, his piece in the nytimes seems to support what i have thought all along. the more a nation suppresses religion (here islam) the more people turn to it and usually the extremist strain. buruma offers up examples of indonesia, iran, turkey, and the rest of the usual suspects. but i agree that if one allows islamic parties to coexist in a democracy usually they have to listen to the people and in turn moderate themselves. by making religion forbidden, in times of tyranny and exasperation, people turn to more extreme forms. let the islamists, the sufis, the wahabis, the secularists all vie for the people's vote! usually the result after some time is some form of moderate and culturally appropriate politics. but by banning religion, govts give the extremists the lure of fighting some sort of holy crusade against secularism. anyway read it, interesting thoughts on iraq.

other thoughts:
(1) should i give up on hotmail? everyone keeps pushing gmail on me, but since i use outlook for both my hotmail and school accounts- it didn't really matter to me. plus recently hotmail increased my storage space tremendously. however, hotmail has recently been down and not available more than it has worked. is it worth all the changes to leave hotmail? thoughts?
(2) during break i have a list of things i want to read: the new boston review issue, the latest le monde articles, roald dahl's omnibus of short stories, moor's last sigh (again), germs/guns/& steel, eats/shoots/& leaves, imam al-haddad's treatises on mutual reminding and good manners and the other non-law books in my growing pile! or maybe i will just sleep the entire break.
(3)for ppl in c-bus: does anyone really pay for wi-fi at barnes and noble? especially when you can walk two doors down to cup-of-joe for free wi-fi and better coffee (read not starbucks!)
(4) 'i am not a prophet' aka the dylan interview on 60 minutes. hmmmm, lots to say, but just one thing: bob, where can i get what you are on? oh and one more thing: "Dylan has been nominated this year for the Nobel Prize in literature for his songwriting." okay i know bob dylan is great, but the nobel prize?
(5) aerosmith has been around for some 30 years and yet i think their best song was 'dream on' way back in 1973. not a huge aerosmith fan, but steven tyler did something right when he wrote that song.
(6) why am i not studying and writing this instead?

12.03.2004 at 5:12:00 PM

drowning in school

yes it is approaching that time of year, you can smell it in the air, it's on everyone's mind- no not the holidays, no nothing cheery about this- it's finals.

thus i have been incommunicado for quite some time. drowning in work, here i am on a friday evening in the library. can we say sad?

i have not much to say unless you would like to hear about the Chevron doctrine on strong deference to administrative agencies, or complex sales contracts under the cisg, or mandatory arbitral tribunals under UNCLOS (they are cool, held in a wave shaped building in hamburg!), or the NLRA's newest take on secondary strikes. yes, i have a feeling that none of you would like to know about this stuff.

some tidbits which have managed to seep into my cave of studying...

(1) the us ambassador to the un (danforth) resigned. he was a strong proponent for darfur and a minister to boot.
(2) i chaired a simulation for a negotiation surrounding a un comprensive treaty on the environment, and let me just say that it is stressful. nations like to quibble and keeping them all civil and on track was a bit trying. but i like using a gavel!;)
(3)ice cream is a cure-all! since it is a stressful time and i have two female roommates, let's just say at this moment our freezer is chock-full of ben & jerry's
(4) over thanksgiving, i attended an engagement party, a bridal shower, and a couple other fancy-schmancy parties- i am tired of heels and small talk. (little did i know that everyone i knew in high school would now be driving an suv, living in the burbs, and taking the little ones to play group- aargh).

songs to listen to while i am studying:
wayfaring stranger- jack white
mere humnafas mere humnava- begum akhtar (written by shakeel badayuni, but sung best by begum akhtar)
silent sigh- badly drawn boy
island in the sun- weezer
the other side- david gray
lola- the kinks
last train to clarksville- the monkees
ghalla gurian- panjabi mc
all of ella fitzgerald's best of ken burns jazz cd
shams-ud-doha badr-ud-doja - nusrat fateh ali khan
another one bites the dust- queen
J'Veux d' la Musique- Les Nubians
one- aimee mann