Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

I got jumped

I was just about to walk up to my outside door when a kid that was like five feet tall pushed me. I thought it was weird, and I said "Hey, what you do that for?" The another kid pushed me from behind so I went forward, and then another one punched me. I think it was a girl, but I didn't really see. I tried to run away, but I couldn't. They knocked me down, and then just started grabbing in my pockets and kicking me. They took my wallet, which had my foodstamp card in it. I'm really sore today, like it hurts a little to breathe.

Remember last year when that little girl shot that woman on the Lower East Side. Sje was like 14, and she had a gun, and when the drunk woman said what are you going to do, shoot me?, she did. And the little kid's fatwer was a cop.


I am just about to embark on another decade. One day being the same as any other, this day is yet invested with much expectation. I don't know what to make of getting older. Don't know how to understand it. I resist the notion that my youth is something to be mourned, and tighten at the certainty that each day brings me closer to my death.

Every moment is new. My understanding of zen is that pain comes from attachment to moments past and moments future. We can visualize and emotionally relive the future and the past, but cannot control them. The past and future moments that dominate thought are populated by awful choices we cannot unmake, unbearably joyous moments we cannot prolong. We treat the past and present as bars or walls confining us in the present, when in fact the singular continuing moment is boundless.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I have never seen so many people reading the same book. The closest I've seen was when many folks were reading Motherless Brooklyn on the subway. This is a whole other level, though. On the subway, at work, on the Long Island Railroad, adults not only do not hide their engrossment in children's literature, but flaunt it.

I have staunchly resisted reading the Potter books, as I resist most trends. Generally, I find the taste of the masses to be not only not my taste, but flat-out terrible. (See Chuck & Larry, Beyonce, and Tom Clancy, W., for instance.) I think, though, I will start reading the Potter books, beginning with number one. I have been turned, not by the release of the new book, but by the Goblet of Fire movie, which played on HBO ceaselessly for a while. It's really enjoyable.

Sometimes the masses are right, I guess. (See the Beatles, for instance.)

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Things not good for teeth: grinding, sugar, being in my mouth. A tooth in my mouth is as likely as not to be part tooth, part amalgam. One tooth has been tunneled through to kill the nerve and drive a post to anchor a crown. Tomorrow, the dentist will "open up" a decayed area around a big gumline filling. If the nerve is infected, root canal. If not, we save the tooth with more metal.

Also on the schedule: full-mouth debridement. Also called a scaling.

My teeth ache thinking about it.

On the plus side, the beckett household has gone hiking five weeks in a row.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


One of the things law school does is cast work at you at such a clip that nearly ceaseless effort becomes normalized. It takes training to be able to work at a high level while exhausted, bored, and anxious. Another thing law school does is make everything a competition. That way, when in our offices in the years to come, staring at a stat-sheet profiling every attorney's billable hours, ranking them first to last, instead of feeling like a second-rate salesmen in a boiler room, chasing the same leads, we'll feel like the best, most worthy human beings among all humanity.

There are some positives. For instance, this.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Did You Stutter?

I met someone the other day who stuttered. Listening to a stutterer causes me about twice the anxiety as speaking with someone with a lazy eye.

I am gripped by the fear that the speaker is going to give up mid-sentence, mid-word, unable, finally, to utter sound. Every moment almost touches catastrophe. I try to pretend I'm not transfixed by the stutter. The stutterer is complicit in the fiction. I wonder "I wonder if he gets embarrassed every time he stutters."

This means, of course, that I end up trying to be polite while never really understanding what the stutterer was saying.

When I was around 10, I met a stutterer. It must have been the pre-teen version of Sunday school, where, instead of playing "Ring Around the Rosie," and singing "Deep and Wide," we talked about the Bible.

The kid said something like: "I think that D-D-D-David showed that um..."
Me: (in a mock-retarded voice) "Duh-duh-duh-duh."

Then I laughed, and everyone was silent. No one acknowledged it at all. The pretty Sunday school teacher, whom I must have had a pre-sexual crush on, didn't laugh. I must have thought it was a good bet to mock the weakest kid there to try to achieve some status in the little group. That is how it was done by the kids I knew. Often to me, but rarely by me.

I was desperately abashed by the Sunday School teacher's silent rebuke of me--and from the fear that followed the realization that I had horribly misjudged the situation. To this day, I am grateful the whole room didn't turn on me at that point. I don't think I could have taken it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Things I Haven't Done Lately

1. Respond to emails
2. Bake
3. Return phone calls
4. Read (outside legal junk)
5. Meditate
6. Feel totally untroubled
7. Write (outside legal junk)
8. Clean
9. Work out

I admit, two of the above I never did with any frequency, and one of the above, I have no desire to do with any frequency.

I blog now because I have work to do and am not feeling it, as the youth are wont to say.

The neighbors' dog is barking ceaselessly to be let in. It is to the point where one wonders how they can stand it. One of these days, I am going to break down and go up to the roof with a carton of eggs and repaint the back of their house. What stops me is knowing that I could be arrested for such an activity, and the worry that I would break a window or hit the dog by mistake. But the day of retribution draws inexorably closer, I fear.

All our first year results are in: I did not get Law Review, but that's all that did not go as well as I could have wished. The troubling thing (as most things are at FALS) is that I am thinking of working at a law firm next summer. I would much prefer to work at a public interest organization. But one summer could pay for a year of law school. And that much off my debt now could well allow me to do more later. On the other hand, stifling careers are begun such.

Oh, how I go on.

La Misma, I am sorry I did not respond. I liked Robot Secretary and I encourage all of my readers who are not you to watch it at your site, which is linked to on the right of the page.

The picture above was unceremoniously dragged and dropped from "wing's (mostly) food blog", http://www.nimes.wingerz.com/?cat=8, because I liked it. Should word get back to Wing that I have stolen his or her artwork, I will take appropriate measures at that time.