Sunday, June 29, 2008

just because you don't need a license doesn't mean there are no rules

I love me some summer-time bicycling. If there is one good thing about high gas prices, it is that more people are riding their bikes. Plus, my home town is uber bike-friendly (I will miss this in about a month when I am in city-traffic-hell). But! BUT. I have been having some issues with the etiquette of new cyclists. Yes, its fun. Yes, its easier than driving. No, riding your bike does not mean "I can act like even more of a jackass than I do when I drive!" No no no no.

So in the interest of not unloading all of my shit on the next twerp I encounter on the trails, here are my RULES FOR RIDING YOUR BIKE:

1. When riding on a trail, do NOT stop on the bridge. Do not stop with all of your friends and all of your bikes on the bridge. The bridge is the narrowest part of the trail and therefore the worst place to stop and congregate, dipshit.

2. Warn people before you pass them. "On your left" is really not that hard to say. Warn them even if they are just walking, even if they are talking on the phone, even if they have a helmet or hat on, even if they have headphones on. Especially if they have headphones on. Warn them even if you think they saw you. No one I know has eyes in the back of their head except for my mom, and you won't run into her on the bike trail.

3. Stop staring at me if I wear a skirt and ride my bike at the same time. The only way that you could see what you are staring so hard at is if you were underneath my front tire, in which case you have other things to worry about. Also, do not stare at me in misdirected self-righteousness. Riding a bike in a skirt is not slutty. If you do insist on staring at me in lust or contempt, accept the fact that me flipping you off is a reasonable and appropriate response.

Monday, June 23, 2008

wouldn't you like to know

I've been thinking a lot lately about the level of anonymity I'd like to aim for in this blog. It seems that most of the blogs that I read strike this balance somewhere between complete disclosure and "complete" anonymity (with most leaning towards anonymity). What seems more likely is that these bloggers strive for the illusion of anonymity, since nobody with an IP address is truly anonymous.

It seems like plenty of law student blogs eventually are removed or password protected, which I assume is a reaction intended to protect a blogger (Silly Little Law Student where are you? I miss your cheekiness). Whether its a move to preserve career prospects or a reaction to snoopy classmates, significant self-censorship might take the fun out of the entire venture (just ask Butterflyfish). Maybe in retrospect many students decide that they have simply shared too much, or that they are embarrassed by the naivete of their posts.

Do students always start out by over-disclosing and eventually reign things in? I have noticed that some of my fellow almost-1Ls, like Terra Nullius and A Woman in Law School have even posted their pictures on their blogs. I'm not willing to go that far, but I'm also kind of a weenie. I really admire their willingness to be up-front about what they are doing and to truly own their statements and opinions. But isn't part of the fun of blogging the fact that you can blow off some of that law school pressure by venting about all of the crazy people you have to interact with? Thanks, But No Thanks's snarkiness is what I LOVE about her blog and I suspect if she filtered more of her writing it wouldn't be nearly as funny.

There is speculation over whether a blogger should even aim for anonymity, like in this especially good post. I get that. "Anonymity" may be a tempting cover for the wide practice of acting like a moron on the internet. Very un-Dude.

I'd like to set the tone early, in part to have some sort of guide and in part to just keep myself from being as asshole. But I'm blunt and cheeky and not-always-super-nicey-nice in real life, so why should I change that for a blog? Ok, so I don't act this way towards my boss, but I don't hide this side of my personality either. Trying to remain as anonymous as possible (by not checking or posting in class, not telling anyone about my blog etc) feels a little deceptive. Is there a way to achieve balance?

Probably, I shouldn't worry so much about it now. I should do what works for me, while it works for me, until it doesn't. And then I change. Its not necessarily an admission of defeat to remove or password protect a blog, and its not a revision of the past either. It is a revision of the present. For now I'll just try to keep on keepin on.

Friday, June 20, 2008

yay bicycle boo birds

My personal plan for avoiding gas prices, reducing my carbon footprint and getting some exercise? I ride my bike to work (usually). As long as I remember to keep my mouth shut to keep from swallowing a bunch of bugs, I have a great time.

Except for today, when a bird flew so near (i.e. the space between where I lean forward and my handlebars) that I almost got feather-clocked. I felt the whoosh of beating wings just under my chin as I pulled back to keep from colliding.

Eeeeks. At least the bird was as surprised as I was.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I had a brief and slightly uncomfortable dilemma this morning. I was driving to work and was only about 100 feet from the lot where I normally park (when I don't ride my bike) and I saw some kind of dollar bill in the street. Hey! Free money! So I parked and walked back to get the money, half hoping that it was a $50, half hoping that it actually was money, half hoping that no one else got there first (yes I know, bad math). I got there first, and saw that it was actually money and that it was a dollar bill. Yippee! Then I picked it up and realized why it stayed so perfectly in the center of the street despite cars driving past and a light breeze. Urgh, gum. Not a little tiny bit of gum on the corner, but a melty, sticky, entire-roll-of-bubbletape piece of gum. Shit! Now, not only did I run down the street flapping like a goose to get to the money before anyone else, but I'm carrying an icky-sticky dollar that I don't know what to do with. Here is the dilemma: keep the dollar (which is totally irredeemable so I'd have to take it to the bank and exchange it, but in order to do that I'd have to find something to transport it in) or drop it for someone else to find/deal with (it was, after all, only a dollar)?

So, what would you do?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

what now?

Why another law school blog? I've been reading a lot of other student blogs recently, and I've picked up on the idea that law school is tough (duh). I've also noticed that, for those who choose to share, blogging can be one big way to mitigate the stress and pressure of law school. Whether its the relief of sharing, the community of other law student bloggers, or just the ego-boost of somebody finding you interesting, blogging seems like an act of self-preservation in an environment that otherwise be a little bit dehumanizing. (Maybe I'm wrong and law school is all rainbows and unicorns.) For me, I think that blogging will help to keep me grounded and self-aware. I want to be able to enjoy and thrive in law school, and not just academically.

Plus, I know that I've benefited from reading other law student blogs, and I hope that someone out there in the interwebs will find my perspective helpful, insightful, or at least funny from time to time. And this way I can try to laugh at my own mistakes, which makes them so much less painful.