Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sophie Update: Good News!

Sophie is home and resting after having her uterus removed today. After opening her up to determine the cause of the lump in her tummy, the vet discovered that her uterus was full of tumors of unknown composition. They were sent to the lab and I'll get the results back on Friday or Monday. We're guessing they were just fatty tumors. They stitched her up and had her back to me by 4:30 this afternoon. She'll be on antibiotics and pain meds for a little while, and I took away her wheel so she'll rest, but I expect she'll make a full recovery and that there will be no further problems.

I have to say, I'm really glad I chose to go ahead with the surgery even though the infection had cleared up. At that point the vet had left the decision up to me, since there was no direct way for us to tell if the infection and the lump in her tummy were related in any way. If I hadn't had it removed, the infection would have returned, or she would have started bleeding from her uterus, making her weaker and less likely to survive surgery to remove her uterus. This saved her a lot of pain and me a lot of vet visits.

It's amazing how much I'd do for my little Sophie. She's cost me more in three weeks than, well, a lot of things. I think the result in this situation justifies the cost, though. This episode shouldn't have any sort of lasting affect on her. She'll make a full recovery and live out the rest of her days without that silly little organ to bother her. Besides, it's the least I could do. She's changed my life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Marijuana was widely used and accepted in the early years of the United States. In fact, so was cocaine, but that's not what this is about. So, as I was saying, people liked marijuana, until Mexican immigrants started flooding into western states. At this point, people didn't like the immigrants nor the "criminal element" they brought (aleged, but not proven). To help stem the flow of those dirty imigrants (poor and tired my foot) and to curb their unfavorable influence, they outlawed the Mexican-American drug of choice, Marijuana.

The rest of the nation just kinda agreed. Oh, and paper didn't like hemp anyway.

Notice there was no huge discussion of how addictive it is or isn't. No one used the term "gateway drug." No one weighed its advantages or disadvantages as compared to the legal drug tobacco. This was motivated by prejudice against a minority group and the protection of an industry (I would think tobacco probably benefits from marijuana being illegal, too). Now it has evolved into a much larger question of culture and morals that continues to devour an increasing amount of our time and monitary resources.

Personally, I feel like the government really screwed up with the "drug war" when it started the war in the first place. The drug users and dealers aren't the target. If they were, the police could easily track down and curb college drug use. It's not like they can't smell the pot smoke in the dorm rooms or on the front lawns of fraternities. The real goal is to pick on the "dangerous element," which ends up being the people for which drugs are their only means of survival. Rich people can use drugs, get in trouble from time to time, but hide it well. Poor people can't. Poor people have to defend their drugs with violence.

But then, we can justify locking up the violent people because their drug use is morally outrageous.

The number of whites and non-whites who use drugs are proportional, but the enforcement of drug laws is not proportional, and incarceration is highly skewed. In my opinion, we have affectively used the drug war to justify our prejudices and reinforce our discrimination.

Yay! It's Tuesday!


P.S. Sophie goes in for a spay tomorrow. Shouldn't be a big deal, after all, I hope.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Politics and Easter

I wrote a really heart-felt blog last night, but it was eaten by the web-monster. I'll re-write it without hope of capturing the wit and feeling of the original entry. I hate you, web-monster.

The Terri Schiavo case is drawing to a close, finally. I'm amazed by what the legislative and executive branches have been compelled to do based on the incomplete and slanted information they were fed (of course). Meanwhile, the judiciary has upheld their decisions in appeal after appeal, even after being decided by republican, Baptist judges. That gives me hope in the neutrality and wisdom of the courts.

That being said, the lead judge has just been not-so-kindly asked to leave his church by his pastor. Apparenly God doesn't love him anymore, or at least his fellow church members don't think so.

That might have made me really angry, but today it just makes me sad.

You know, the Christians who have gotten attention these days have been doing some pretty scary things. I'll point you to this website, which links to the most amazing and frightening Christian, dare I say it, propaganda I have ever seen. Be sure to check out this and this in particular. Nevermind the Christian groups who speak out against women and gays and democrats and minorities and tolerance and love in general. It seems to me that these "Christians" who use God's name the loudest are the most judgmental, hateful and ignorant people I've seen on television since "The simple life."

Honestly, it makes me afraid to be part of the Christian club. I don't want people to think I'm part of that. I want to be loving and accepting. I want to love science, especially evolution and geology. I want to protect women's health issues and the beauty of monogamous, life-long love shared between two people, whether they are gay or straight or purple-spotted.

Well, except I fear, judge and resent fundamentalist Christians. I find them hypocritical and stupid. In all fairness, I'm sure they think I'm going to hell.

Meanwhile, I'd call myself a polar bear if it would prevent my values from being confused with theirs. Their idea of accepting and emulating Christ scares my faith to death.

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 21, 2005


Today I fly out to Arizona for the week. Lynnette, my roommate from last year and good friend, is going to school down there to be Indiana Jones when she grows up. Ok, no, she's not, because I guess she is more interested in the rocks and geological features that surround the artifacts in a site rather than the artifacts themselves. They call that being an "archeogeologist" or a "geoarcheologist" or something. She digs rocks, and I'm taking her cheese curds.

I probably won't update this week as a result. Not that I've updated a lot recently (other than when I was trying to put off writing that brief, of course), but still, I feel like since I know that, I should warn ya. I'll be too busy working on my tan and drinking margaritas as big as my head. :)

In other news, Sophie seems to have perked up with her antibiotics this week, and the doctor seems to think that her quill loss and infection is the result of her uterus. If that is the case, an emergency spay could cost as little as $200, rather than $600, which would be better for my long-term financial situation. She goes back to the vet in one week, and into surgery a week from tomorrow. I'll keep you informed.

And finally, I hate politics. Again. Still. It doesn't matter what politicians do, it seems that it is always stupid, uninformed, unconstitutional, egocentric, power-hungry and corrupt. Case in point, the whole situation with the woman who has been brain dead for 15 years in Florida, who the brilliant physicians in our federal government have decided to help keep alive because they know a cure to her illness that no one has thought of yet. Oh! Wait! What? They're not physicians? There is no cure for having died 15 years ago? And what they're doing is completely against the very reason we have a separate federal court system? I am shocked.

I want to find a quote by one of the people who signed this whatever it is into law saying how much they love the constitution and pledge to uphold it. Maybe we should find as many as possible and send it to all the people who voted for this. That, and send the medical testimony, which I'm sure all the representatives and senators were sure to read completely and have the education to understand completely.


Oh well. Arizona, here I come!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Dear Reader,


I've decided not to be hostile. Like a toddler, I, too, become a terror when deprived of sleep and provoked by seemingly harmless teasing.

Example 1: A fellow law student has been giving me a hard time about being an animal lover ever since he learned about my hedgehog habbit. Yesterday in our writing class (did I mention he is in all my classes?) he overheard me telling someone I was taking Sophie to the vet, to which he loudly replied "Why don't you just let her die? Are hedgehogs endangered? I'm getting a cat and I will NEVER spend more than $20 on it!" Somewhere in there I think I might have loudly countered with something like "I hope the doctors use that reasoning next time you are sick!" (or maybe I just wish I had thought of something that clever) Eventually our teacher quieted him with an "John Doe (name has been changed)! Leave Kristen alone!"

Later that evening, after visiting the vet with Lola and Sophie and walking out with a $300 bill and a deeply troubling prognosis for Sophie, I went home and wrote him an e-mail in an attempt to avoid other scenes, especially since I will probably become increasingly sensitive about Sophie in the near future. Here is my e-mail, along with his response:

Dear John,

This is Kristen, the hedgehog-lover from your writing class. I was wondering if we could come to some sort of agreement or truce with this animal thing. I know you have your ideas about animals, and that’s fine, but lately the way we’ve “discussed” them has offended and embarrassed me. I would be happy to get together some time and talk with you about views on animal rights/law if you’re interested in having a serious discussion. If not I was hoping we could find a way to mutually avoid offending one another’s beliefs on the topic.

Please don’t misunderstand me: I don’t want to cause trouble or tell you you’re wrong or try to change your mind about what you believe. I would just like to find a way to not have loud debates and outbursts at school from now on while still not having to hear you talk about treating animals in a way that violates several anti-cruelty laws. :)

Let me know what you think.


I’m really sorry if I offended you, I was just joking around. I’m
sure that hedgehogs are awesome animals, and I would never hurt a
hedgehog, or any other animal, for that matter. I’m honestly really
sorry that I offended you. I wouldn’t have said anything if I had
thought that you would have taken offense. Please accept my sincere
apologies, and know that I won’t do anything of the sort in the future.


So, oh well. I'm glad I didn't send him the first, much less polite version of the e-mail. Just goes to show: people like me should have manditory nap times built into their daily schedules. Perhaps two or three on really bad days like yesterday.

As a final note on Sophie: I AM going to be pretty touchy about the subject, and probably won't take to teasing very well because I'm so concerned about her. Soon I'm going to have to figure out what the best course of action would be for her, while keeping in mind that I have no income and no real way to afford a $600 surgery that could remove an infected uterus and give her three more years with me (triple the time I've had with her so far). I know I wouldn't subject her to lots of drugs or chemo or things like that, but how do you know where to draw the line beyond that? How do you turn down a surgery that the vet would be able to perform so easily?

Like I said, I'm going to be thinking a lot about her. Please be kind.

Be careful whilst eating blueberries in the dark.
You know it's going to be a strange night when...

...your bicycle helmet walks across the living room floor, and you go to help it along.

...half your paper disappears and you're looking forward to the chance to re-do it.

...really, your helmet really walked across the floor. Really, it did.

P.S. How ironic that when I write about my paper disappearing, I get two copies.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


What a magical age we live in! We are creating imaginary things that can look and act very real but then behave only as imaginary things can each and every day! We've become so accustomed to it, we hardly even notice, if we notice at all...

Did you know that when you write something in a program and then close the program without saving it, it will be as though you never wrote that thing in the first place? That it can just "POOF" disappear?


I was going through and editing the trial level brief I was writing when I noticed that part of it was, well, missing. Then I remembered how I had dragged that portion of text to another window so I could see it side-by-side another portion of text. I still see that little pop-up window in my mind "close document4 without saving?" Though I now scream "NONONONONONO", I see the mouse click "yes, because I'm a moron and love pain."

It took me about three days to write that text. It's due in 8 hours.

Happy Wednesday!

What a magical age we live in! We are creating imaginary things that can look and act very real but then behave only as imaginary things can each and every day! We've become so accustomed to it, we hardly even notice, if we notice at all...

Did you know that when you write something in a program and then close the program without saving it, it will be as though you never wrote that thing in the first place? That it can just "POOF" disappear?


I was going through and editing the trial level brief I was writing when I noticed that part of it was, well, missing. Then I remembered how I had dragged that portion of text to another window so I could see it side-by-side another portion of text. I still see that little pop-up window in my mind "close document4 without saving?" Though I now scream "NONONONONONO", I see the mouse click "yes, because I'm a moron and love pain."

It took me about three days to write that text. It's due in 8 hours.

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Tonight I had grapes with dinner. The red kind, to be exact. The supermarket indicated they had been imported from Chile. Together with raspberry yogurt, blue corn chips and a BLT sandwich, it made for a very summery meal.

I suppose there is something inherently summery about grapes. Perhaps it reminds me of their natural climate, though that seems a bit too logical to explain my sentimental reaction to them. No, I think it has more to do with summer days at the beach, sitting on the big blue quilt, my bathing suit dripping with lake water, reaching into the cooler and pulling out a bag full of fresh, green grapes. I remember how refreshing they were after swimming for hours, how I didn't mind the sand and lake smell that mingled with them on my fingers on their way to my mouth. Somehow it was the perfect snack, better even than the bomb pops we would buy at the refreshment stand. I remember eating them until my fingers were sticky and my belly hurt.

I hope that memories like that never fade. I suppose memories like those are the ones that seem to get better with time as I forget how I had scraped my knee and how I had to sit on the blanket for 20 minutes for fighting with my brother... Once the bad memories go, I can just think of them as those "good old days." :)

Happy Snowy Saturday!

Friday, March 11, 2005


I cope with stress by cleaning. If I have a big assignment that I need to work on, I usually find something around my house that needs re-arranged, picked up, scrubbed, dusted, vaccumed or washed. This is partially because I work better in a neat environment, but also because I need to feel productive when, say, a brief that is worth a quarter of my grade and is due next Wednesday at 7:45 am leaves me stumped in front of my computer screen for long periods of time.

I realized to day how the stress has been building up. Here's a list of what I've done around the house within the last week or two:

1. Washed and put away dishes
2. Folded and put away clean clothes
3. Cleaned Sophie's and Lola's cages at least twice each
4. Cleaned off my deck
5. Rearranged my plants, especially the pothos.
6. Washed the rugs in the bathroom
7. Thoroughly scrubbed the tub and shower (for an hour)
8. Spent at least half an hour using CLR on the faucets
9. Rearranged my living room
10. Moved Sophie and Lola out of my bedroom
11. Reorganized the cleaning supplies under my kitchen sink
12. Flipped my matress
13. Flipped the futon matress in the livingroom
14. Shaken out all the rugs in the house.
15. Scrubbed the floor in the bathroom
16. Rearranged my pots and pans
17. Neatened up my pile of newspapers
18. Taken out at least 5 bags of trash after going through a large pile of mail
19. Rearranged my bookshelf
20. Framed and hung pictures in my living and bed rooms
21. Organized my craft supplies

This isn't necessarily my house, but you'll see the pattern. I've also:
1. Reorganized and renamed all my itunes music
2. Refiled and reorganized all my pictures
3. Reread all my blogs and checked for broken pictures
4. Cleaned out my in-box in all three of my e-mail accounts

Yep. That brief still isn't done. I had better get to it.
Part Of A Ballanced Breakfast

Mmmm. Breakfast.

Gotta love girlscout cookies.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


I hate you, migraine. You really suck.

Surprised? Yeah, I can see why. I've tried to keep this quiet, tried to pretend that you don't bother me. Well, know what? You DO bother me, you bother me a lot! And I'm sick of it! There is no reason I should put up with you when there is so much out there for me that I'm missing just to lay around all day with you. I'm sick of having you around! Always giving me grief... no one and nothing else in my life causes me the pain that you do, and no matter how much you keep saying that you're going to change, that things are going to get better, I just don't believe you anymore. You had your chance, and now it's too late. You screwed up, migraine. You let me see that you actually don't have ANY good qualities. How could I have been so stupid!

I'd like my life back. Please leave it in an envelope under the door. Don't even THINK about messing with it anymore than you already have, or I swear, the very pit of hell will seem like a vacation after I get done with you.

Yeah, this relationship is just not working for me. Consider this your "dear migraine" letter. Don't come get your stuff. I already fed it to my hedgehogs.

Thanks for nothing.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Did you know the semester is almost over? I have exactly 6 more weeks of classes as of today. My first exam, Property, is at 8:30 AM on Wednesday, May 4th. That's not that far away. There's a lot I need to get done before then, including writing my brief, compose and give an oral argument, rewrite my memo and figure out what the heck I'm supposed to be learning in Criminal Procedure and Property.

I think my time of slacking is quickly coming to a close.

In other news, Lola is a little stinker. Well, not really. Right now, she smells rather minty fresh. Last night I let her and Sophie out for free-roam time in the living room. In all the times I've let Sophie out, she hasn't gotten into as much trouble in total as Lola did in one hour. She got stuck up inside my recliner by climbing on my shoes. She knocked over and opened fish food that I feed the meal worms (to make them extra nutritious) and annointed with it (and now has a red mohawk). She found a piece of gum, chewed it up and annointed with that, leaving a very minty white stripe on her side. I swear! It was entertaining to watch, but I think I'm going to have to be extra careful with her! She's a real trouble-maker, I can tell.

Finally, I scrubbed my tub and shower on Monday, and they are now a different color. Brighter, I think. Every time I go into the bathroom I stare and try to figure out just what is different... it's so different...

Ok, time to sentence a thieving bank teller to 10 years in prison!


Monday, March 07, 2005

For the Love of Music

Going to law school was the best decision I ever made. It has allowed me to explore interests and passions that have simmered below the surface my whole life; I never had the time to see what might come of them with a little attention until now. I feel intellectually stimulated and challenged by my classes and the ideas of my professors and peers. I also feel I have somehow gained greater respect in general by pursuing a career in law. Not once have I regretted my decision to study law.

For the first time, though, I miss music. To be more specific, I miss singing. It really hit me on Saturday night as I was driving home from my friend Erica's house. We had spent the day studying and hanging out, and I was in a particularly relaxed and happy mood. I looked at the sky as I walked to my car and realized what a beautiful night it was. Of course, anytime it's a beautiful night, I feel the need to sing "Ain't it a pretty night," an aria from Susannah by Carlisle Floyd. I studied it once, and used to be able to sing the intro without much effort; lately, that hasn't been the case.

Well, on my walk to my car, I decided that I wanted to sing the aria, even if it meant having to warm up in order to do it right. I sat in my car and sang all my Vaccai exercises, went through lip trills and other familiar vocal stretches. It took me until I got home (only a 7 minute drive, all told), but by the time I was walking to my front door I could sing the beginning phrases again.

I realized how much I had missed it.

I think what finally made me miss music after nearly 8 months was that I am starting to get to know people who will never think of me as a musician, and that feels strange. I am a musician, at least I still feel like one. It's so much a part of me. If someone only knows me as a law student I feel like they're missing so much of who I am. I feel like they're missing so much about how I came to be where I am.

I was surprised to realize I felt this way. I guess it's not surprising that I can't simply walk away from music after having it so closely interwoven into the fabric of my life for as long as I can remember. I guess if I want people to know me as a musician, I had better be one! Next on the list of things to do: figure out how to continue being a musician. Suggestions welcome.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Foods I Wish I Could Live On

I haven't had a list in a while. Here we go:
1. Entermann's Soft Baked Cookies
2. Strawberry Twizzlers (NOT pull-n-peel)
3. International Delite Fat Free French Vanilla
4. Cake Batter Ice Cream from Cold Stone
5. Mrs. Field's Giant Birthday Cookies
6. Tequilla (is it a food?)
7. Unbaked Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
8. Squash (especially butternut)
9. Chocolate
10. Gum

Thursday, March 03, 2005


As you know, I have a strong love of animals. I’m passionate about animal rescue and adoption and furthering humane treatment in all situations. I’m even going so far as to looking into Animal Law as a field of interest for my career.

This has been met with anything from condescending cajolement to skepticism on the part of those around me. This isn’t surprising, since animal law is still in its infancy and still working towards gaining credibility. I also know that people like me who love animals are often regarded as soft-hearted kooks in society. Frankly, it’s not dissimilar to the reactions I would get when I wanted to be an opera singer. I expect this in a society that is very money, product and practicality driven.

There is, however, one comment that burns me every time. “Why help animals when so many people are suffering?”

grrrr... >:(

My visceral reaction to that is grounded in the hypocrisy expressed by such a sentiment. To me it is like a person who protests at abortion clinics but refuses to adopt children, or a pastor who preaches God’s love condoning the hate of those whose sexuality isn’t the norm.

Why help animals when so many people are suffering? What, might I ask, are you doing to help the world? How can you justify supporting the grossly disproportionate salaries of pop stars and sports gods when your money could help feed an orphan from the tsunami? How can you feel good about adding money to your padded bank account when you know that money could help find a cure for cancer? What right do you have to criticize my choice of charity and good will in the light of all the selfish choices you make every day?

I cannot understand why people believe that there is a finite amount of charity resources out there. My helping animals is not taking time and money from people. I can rescue hedgehogs and still find time to volunteer for an unemployment clinic or donate to a food pantry. The beauty of it is I don’t have to choose just one, and neither do you. Besides, if you’re so concerned, why don’t you go out and save the world.

I’m sick of justifying my passion by putting it in terms of how what I am doing really is helping people. Some people will never see how we are all connected, how you can’t help any one creature without helping all creatures, how respect for one life is respect for all life. If they are too self-centered to see that on their own, nothing I could say would change a thing.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Something To Write About

Things are going well in my world lately. I just had a wonderful visit to the Twin Cities, where I met some friends from the hedgehog list and spent some time with former neighbors and roommates who have moved from Madison to Minnesota within the last year. It was very "fly by the seat of my pants" as far as planning, but it was a ton of fun.

Law school is fine. Still haven't been kicked out.

I'm also having a good time with this whole "being in a relationship" thing. It's funny that I never knew before now that it could be a relaxing and fun thing, rather than a stressful and frustrating thing. Perhaps this is just the first time in my life that I was at a place where a relationship like this could come about. Hard to say. As for my boyfriend, if you're on find me and you'll also find him. :)

The cookies are done! I must save them from the oven!