Monday, June 30, 2008


So, having been told that's it's unfair of me to leave you all hanging, I now finally proceed to get down to the point and share my juicy tidbit. And yes, Yvonne, it's something I already told you about, while snickering profusely.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were having dinner with our friend La Rusa, and the conversation found its way around to spying and eavesdropping and bugging and such. We chatted a bit about the situation in Russia, both Soviet and present, and what the US government may or may not be doing to our civil rights, and my husband nonchalantly says "yeah, I'm pretty sure my phone's bugged."


The conversation went elsewhere, and it wasn't until later that night on our way home that I had the chance to ask him if he'd been speaking in earnest when he dropped what I interpreted to be a rather speculative remark. Of course, said he, adding that probably all the communication lines in and out of the clinic are compromised.

For those of you who don't know, my husband works in the legal aid clinic at the law school. There, law students (under the supervision of professors) take on noble causes, like people having their civil rights violated (and not so noble causes, like lots and lots of DUIs. It's all educational, though, right?). A proud moment: last year a team of three students took on the Federal Department of Corrections in defense of a supermax prisoner whose rights were being stomped on fifty different ways, and they won. The students at the clinic take on some unpopular cases, but someone's got to do it. Think Atticus Finch. Unlike Tom Robinson some of these clients are guilty as sin of the offenses for which they've actually been convicted, but that doesn't mean they lose their civil and human rights. Technically.

Anyway, it's (plausibly) rumored that certain governmental elements may be keeping tabs on the clinicians, students and staff.

Then he tells me, also nonchalantly, "yours is probably bugged too, by the way. Since we're on the same cell phone contract, I mean, and because you used to interpret for the clinic." I took an awkward breath. "Oh, and they're probably reading your blog, too."

Otra vez, y ¿QUÉ?

That had me rattled for a while. Then, after a few days, I started to get a sick sense of glee picturing some low-level CIA or FBI peon stuck in a dark, cluttered office, monitoring my phone calls. That poor sucker, who is dyyyying to catch something about my plot to free all the alleged terrorists in Guantanamo, instead listens to Reva telling me about the last unsavory thing her child tried to eat, or my husband and I trying to figure out what we need from the grocery store. I wonder if the poor someone buried in that basement office is reading this right now, digging for my encoded message. Here it is: xIxxLxOxVxExxAxGxExNxTxxMxUxLxDxExR. And that, o ye violator of my civil rights, is the most intriguing this I have to say today. That's my real secret plot: fight back with drudgery.

Think on this: when we were in D.C. a couple of years ago, we went to the International Spy Museum, which by the way I highly recommend (well worth the twenty bucks, because with the Smithsonian's free admission, it all balances out). When you first enter the museum, you get an identity and a secret mission. At special stations throughout the museum, you check in and get new info or do little things to further the mission. At the end, they tell you whether or not you'd make a good spy. By the Spy Museum's estimation, my husband would not make a very good spy. My theory: he's from a small town where people don't lock their doors, and his default setting is that people are generally nice. I, on the other hand, am the daughter of a police officer from a fairly large city, and I drive with my car doors locked. I'd make a pretty decent spy, says the museum. I wonder if the government keeps tabs on the results from tourists to the spy museum? It's a good thing they've got my phone bugged, too, me being a credible threat and all.

Lola is just waiting to be blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Bring it on, Senator Joe.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cinco trivialidades

I know, no updates in months, blah. I just haven't had the ganas to write. That's not entirely true. It's been a question of spotty internet access, and of only having the ganas to write about things that aren't necessarily wise to post in an open-access forum like the internet. My husband shared a tidbit with me a couple of weeks ago that I've been dying to comentar, but I didn't have the nerve until two days ago to ask him if I could blog about it.

Anyway, the dull update:

1. The semester is over. I win. Happy grades in both seminars, overall my students did well, and I get to chalk up one more semester completed without resorting to institutionalization.

2. My husband graduated from law school. We're damn happy, damn proud, and damn relieved.

3. Now he's studying for the July bar. Not so relieved about that one.

4. I'm finding infinite ways to postpone studying for my comprehensive exams in October. That has to stop sometime soon.

5. One method of procrastination: I took a road trip with my parents (first time I'd done that in a long time) to Kentucky, to visit my brother and sister-in-law, but mostly to poke my niece in the tummy.

6. I also introduced her to the joys of pulling on the dog's ears while emitting squeals of glee. Poor dog. I think she's actually not allowed to touch the dog (I know he's not allowed to come near her) because my first-time-mommy sister-in-law is under the false impression that dogs are germier than people (exposure is good for the immune system, says I). Anyway, all week she'd been reaching for the dog and following him with her eyes, fascinated by that canine mystery. I just took the next step by sitting her down next to the dog and allowed her to demystify the rest for her wee self. Poor, poor dog.

7. My niece only squeals at the dog, and when you take her out of the tub. The rest of the time she grunts and growls at people (and giggles a LOT). This makes me kind of want a baby of my own, so I can sic it on those nauseating cutesy people who think babies should be sweet and sugary and limp all the damn time.

8. My other niece, on my husband's side, also suffers from too much personality for her age. We sent her a toy monkey a few weeks ago, and as soon as she grabbed it she started biting its head. She also refuses to go to sleep without the stuffed rat toy that we got for her at Ikea. Those Swedes are sick, sick people.

9. I've been playing in the kitchen. A lot. I have a new bright-red Kitchenaid 600. With an ice-cream bowl attachment. Yum. Dangerous, peligroso yum.

10. Now that I have time, I have writer's block.

11. My friend Yvonne is in town for an academic conference, and so I get to hang out with her for a few days. And, you guessed it, put off studying for those October comps.

12. A friend of mine is releasing an album soon. He's worked really hard and his music is incredible. He's an amazing lyricist. Album to be released later this year. That's my plug for my amigo supertalentoso. Here's his link:

That's my update. I'm sure I've forgotten something significant, but there's bound to be at least one thing of interest to you in that list.


Reva tagged me to list five uninteresting things about myself. This will put me squarely back in bloggerdom, I think, and then I'll stop for today.

1. My feet are always cold.

2. I've had an irrational fear or frogs for as long as I can remember.

3. I like the taste of mushrooms, but the spongy-meaty texture rubs my mouth the wrong way with every bite.

4. To the distress and dismay of my husband's family, I only very rarely bake cookies. I like to think my rockin' key lime pie takes up the slack.

5. I really, really, really want a cat.


The juicy tidbit? He said I could share. This is my way of making you tune in tomorrow. It's an evil plot. Much more interesting than my key lime pie, ¿no?

Lola has information.