Random love for Paul Bowles

"Security is a false God. Begin to make sacrifices to it and you are lost.” - Paul Bowles

“Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that is so deeply part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.” -Paul Bowles, Sheltering Sky


I don’t have a basement. And actually it turns out I’m fully capable of changing a light bulb all by myself.

A great review of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, from Jezebel. "I don't believe happiness is something you win by making zero mistakes. I think that's a bill of goods society sells women to keep them from taking risks, and it's a shame Gottlieb's still buying." Yes! Preach!

We're still chuggin' away on the fashion/style tip over at NKSScreative.

Love for Prime Suspect! As with most American re-makes of British shows, I'm not holding out much hope...

Another great pep talk from You Are Remarkable.

Last weekend I read someone's copy of Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's Food Revolution" and couldn't put it down! Yummy, accessible recipes without many ingredients and with lots of potential for variation - definitely an addition to my cook book library in the near future!

Friends are disagreeing about this Deborah Solomon interview of Eve Ensler - I, like a few of my ladyfriends, read it as sort of hateful and intense. Others are saying we don't understand Solomon's sarcasm. Thoughts?

"You Can Close Your Eyes" by James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, a sweet lullaby

Image: source.


Amazing. Who knew??

"Every room I've lived in since I was given my own room at eleven was lined with, and usually overfull of, books. My employment in bookstores was always continuous with my private hours: shelving and alphabetizing, building shelves, and browsing-- in my collection and others-- in order to understand a small amount about the widest possible number of books. Such numbers of books are constantly acquired that constant culling is necessary; if I slouch in this discipline, the books erupt. I've also bricked myself in with music--vinyl records, then compact discs. My homes have been improbably information-dense, like capsules for survival of a nuclear war, or models of the interior of my own skull. That comparison--room as brain-- is one I've often reached for in describing the rooms of others, but it began with the suspicion that I'd externalized my own brain, for anyone who cared to look." - Jonathan Lethem, The Disappointment Artist


To the few, the proud, the loyal readers of Yum & Yuk: as most of you know, I'm studying to take the MA Bar for the second time right now. And I'm going just slightly crazy getting ready for it (while also working part-time, and trying to be a good friend, girlfriend, daughter, roommate etc). So, while Y&Y gives me great joy, I'm doing to have to put it on the back burner for a while. But please don't forget about me, and make sure to check back in late February, when this madness is over. xoxoxox Sarah
Image: source. (This pic is so cozy and comforting....)


"Our role in Haiti's plight": "What is already all too clear, however, is the fact that this impact will be the result of an even longer-term history of deliberate impoverishment and disempowerment. Haiti is routinely described as the "poorest country in the western hemisphere". This poverty is the direct legacy of perhaps the most brutal system of colonial exploitation in world history, compounded by decades of systematic postcolonial oppression. The noble "international community" which is currently scrambling to send its "humanitarian aid" to Haiti is largely responsible for the extent of the suffering it now aims to reduce." More from Democracy Now!

I had my two monthly book club meetings this week - the first for "The Help" which I've heard great things about but actually didn't read (it's hardcover, so I was too cheap to buy it till I found it on sale...and also I'm studying for the Bar. So those are my excuses.) Last night, I had the meeting for "The Elegance of the Hedgehog," which I didn't like as much as I had expected but led to a good discussion nonetheless. This coming month we are reading "Home" for one group, and "Middlesex" for the other. Looking forward to them both!

Image: kinda want a quiet weekend (week....month...) away at this house.

Another great Pep Talk: You're Fucking Awesome With Or Without Approval: It is not your responsibility to make people like you and you have no control over whether or not people approve of you. Your job is to be great, not to make people recognize how great you are. You’re charming and lovely so, if someone isn’t all about you, I gotta figure it’s their problem.Today remind yourself: I’m fucking awesome with or without approval.


Boston cops: citizen recording of abusive busts is "illegal wiretapping": "Boston cops are using the Massachusetts electronic surveillance laws to arrest and prosecute citizens who use their cellular phones to record abusive arrests. Though they haven't been successful in prosecuting the acts, it hasn't stopped the arrests -- presumably the point isn't to secure convictions, but rather to chill the recording of illegal police activity. However, police have convicted citizens who secretly recorded their own abusive arrests, charging them with illegal wiretapping."

Left: awesome states print.

Dreaming of the day I have a house and a big farmhouse table...

Why do women love shows like Law & Order? From Jezebel, "According to a new study, 'a woman fears becoming the victim of a crime, so, consciously or unconsciously, she turns to true crime books in a possible effort to learn strategies and techniques to prevent becoming murdered.'" I have always wondered about my affinity for shows like CSI and Law & Order, especially given my pro-defenant leanings and the shows blatant prosecutory bias....I could believe this explanation.


Really loving the jewelry from Emma Carroll, especially these beautiful blue earrings, these charm bracelets, these white feather earrings, these star brooches, and this blue disk necklace. Really unique and awesome stuff, and a great website!

Image: my beloved Chet.

Getting a tote bag with Walter Benjamin on it may be the lamest, most liberal arts college-y thing I could do but...why deny my roots?

Self-Defense and the Kansas Abortion Case: "There has been lots of media attention to the Kansas abortion case, in which defendant Scott Roeder plans to tell a jury that his slaying of Wichita doctor George Tiller was voluntary manslaughter . . . The defendant plans to argue that what would otherwise seem to be cold-blooded, first degree murder was in fact voluntary manslaughter because it was necessary to save unborn children."

NPR: Federal Prisoners Kept Beyond Their Sentences: "If deemed "sexually dangerous," federal prisoners can be kept behind bars indefinitely. This practice, which has been called unconstitutional, is being considered Tuesday by the U.S. Supreme Court."
The boyfriend and I were walking around Brookline yesterday (having a dog is such a great excuse to get out and explore!) when we stumbled on Village Green Renewal. An adorable small storefront filled with antique drawer pulls and light fixtures convinced us to cross the street and take a closer look. When we did, we saw the coolest thing - an old lightbulb with glowing metal flowers inside (left)! We went inside and talked to the owner, a super nice guy who told us all about what they do at Village Green Renewal - mainly fix ANYTHING and provide all the awesome vintage household fixtures you could dream of (I can't wait to own a house....someday!). He also has the most beautiful solid optometrists table as a work bench that I was seriously drooling over. Anyways, we ended up getting the lightbulb and now I'm sort of obsessed with reading up about these bulbs online. Such a beautiful and unique find!


This "yoga wrap" on Etsy looks like the perfect winter layering piece (this 3-button sweatshirt isn't too shabby either!). I'm currently always wearing a black wrap sweater from Old Navy, which is pretty cozy but starting to look...well, like a dingy bathrobe. Sigh. Buy cheap, get cheap.

Image: source.

Went to dinner at the Regal Beagle in Brookline with some friends last night - food wasn't amazing (the mac & cheese I got was so so, although the sweet potato tempura fries were delish) but the service was good, the atmosphere was cozy, and they had a nicely priced (not cheap but not extravagant) and varied menu. I'd give it another shot.

Why are plus-size models so often naked, anyways? Jezebel asks. NonPlus has noted this same phenomenon.

A reminder from "You Are Remarkable" to treat your body well: "your body doesn’t deserve what you do to it. you have a good body, a strong body, it doesn’t deserve this. you don’t deserve to hurt. your skin, this skin, it’s pale colour glows in the light. the constellations that freckle your shoulders. the flush in your cheek when, when, when. you don’t deserve to hurt. you say but the outside must match the inside. that means you can’t harm it. if it must match your inside we must keep it beautiful, strong, unharmed. we’ll keep you beautiful, strong, unharmed."

Thoughts on the Bar

As someone taking the Bar exam for a second time, I've got a lot of thoughts about the process. One of the things my wonderful family and friends ask me most is how they can support me through the process, or how they can support other people who are going through the grueling world of Bar prep. On that note, here are some thoughts:

* Please, for the love of God, don't tell me that Bar study looks like "fun." Yes, if you were casually to sit down and answer a few multiple choice questions, it could be entertaining (logic, wheee!). But as someone who does it 8 hours a day with the end goal of passing a test that largely determines my professional future and is only given twice a year...it's not "fun." Don't belittle the excruciating pain of the process - it undermines the self-pity on which I rely. (Joking. But, seriously, don't call it fun.)

* Sometimes it helps to talk out law problems and issues, but there are lots of ways to help that have nothing to do with the law - sending care packages, helping us do things to take care of ourselves (go on walks, eat meals not out of a vending machine, etc), and generally allowing us to be a little....sub par for a few months. My wonderful boyfriend recently told me that of all the things on my plate right now, he was one thing I "didn't have to stress about." Those were pretty much the best words I've ever heard. He also let me go to bed at 9pm after a night of doing nothing but reading a mystery novel without making me feel like the world's most boring girlfriend. That is very, very helpful. We know we are boring for these months of Bar study - we can't get drunk, we can't stay up late, and we don't have energy to do much else but complain. Please let us know that that's ok.

* Some words for those of you who passed the Bar: first of all, congrats! Don't be afraid to let non-passers know that you passed - we want to be part of the celebration too and still care about you, even from the depths of our self-pitying misery. I hated it when people tried to hide the good news of their passing the Bar from me - first of all, I already knew (Facebook, duh). Second, it just made me feel excluded from the community of law students and grads I've been a part of for three years. Yes, it might be difficult for us to hear of everyone passing, but we still want to be part of the community.

* Also, wonderful passers, please don't say that the test is "stupid" or "doesn't matter." We all know that's simply not true. It is true that the test doesn't determine who is smart, who will be a good lawyer, or who is a good person. But it DOES matter. We know that, you know that. So don't try to downplay it's importance.

* Finally, a note as someone who is taking it a second time on how this time feels different. It's harder for me to ask for help and support this time around, I think because I feel like I got so much help the first time, I don't deserve another round of support. Also, it's embarrassing to have to take the Bar again, so some part of me just wants to slide under the radar this time. Even though that's impossible. Us second timers are a little more jaded, a little more gun shy, and a little less inclined to ask for support. But we still appreciate all you do.

* And one more thing: please stop with the telling me about all the fabulous people who had to take the Bar a second time (Michelle Obama! Hilary Clinton! JFK Jr! The Dean of Stanford!). Yes, it may prove that Bar non-passers aren't destined to be losers but it doesn't reassure me that I will pass the second time. And, like most law-related jokes, I've heard it all before.

Most of all, thank you. Thank you for letting me rattle off PFCs for hours on end, for understanding why I haven't showered, for working around my ridiculous schedule ("Can you do Tuesday from 10-1? What about two Sundays from now at 9am?"), and for understanding why I fall asleep on the T. You, amazing family and friends of law students and Bar-takers, keep us human.


Interesting: the politics of design.

Image: source.

NYTimes: Law School Admissions Lag Among Minorities: "While law schools added about 3,000 seats for first-year students from 1993 to 2008, both the percentage and the number of black and Mexican-American law students declined in that period, according to a study by a Columbia Law School professor. What makes the declines particularly troubling, said the professor, Conrad Johnson, is that in that same period, both groups improved their college grade-point averages and their scores on the Law School Admission Test, or L.S.A.T."

On that note, some harsh truth about law school and debt.

An inspiring story of one woman determined to make a change and stop generational, rural domestic violence: From sex abuse victim to legal advocate (via CNN.com).


Left: Amazing winter photos...captured while paragliding.

In love with the jewelry of David Neale - trueley unique!

Lots of colorful coats on sale at Nordstrom for under $100! I just ordered this one (in black of course), can't wait for it to arrive...

Big day here: first day of BarBri (take 2), some frustrating interactions with my health care insurance (is it ever NOT frustrating?), and Lucy, the 1 year old Husky puppy came to live with us for good. Well, technically she's my boyfriend's but let me tell you...take enough late night winter walks and pick up enough dog poop and you feel a sense of ownership. 2010 is full of change already, but I'm feeling positive about the future.

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again.” - Anne Lamott


Some Glenn Gould for your Tuesday.

Image: source.

Really curious about this new biography of Patricia Highsmith.

“'Men who buy sex: Who they buy and what they know,' is a research study of 103 men who describe their use of trafficked and non-trafficked women in prostitution, and their awareness of coercion and violence." (via Feminist Law Profs)

"New York magazine's Jesse Green takes a look at Larry Kramer's 4,000 page historical journey, The American People, which he's been at work on since 1978, the triumphs, failures, and fights in between then and now, and what will likely be seen as its most controversial topics when it's published (hopefully in 2011)."

“and in a sense we’re all winning
we’re alive”

- Steps by Frank O’Hara


The Fear of Love, by Wendell Berry

Saturn Return. No comment.

You Are Remarkable: Spring Is Coming Soon.

A judge's advice to new lawyers: Don't Be A Jerk.

Image: source.

Love this worn wood headboard!

From Harvard Business Review, The Decade in Management Ideas. I can't always understand a lot of what they talk about in the HBR (embarrassing admission), but still like getting a sense of what's going on in the business and management world. This round-up was a good starting point for some new ideas. Here's one of their "Breakthrough Ideas for 2010" that I thought was interesting, indicating that progress (not recognition or incentives) is what really motivates employees: “On days when workers have the sense they’re making headway in their jobs, or when they receive support that helps them overcome obstacles, their emotions are most positive and their drive to succeed is at its peak. On days when they feel they are spinning their wheels or encountering roadblocks to meaningful accomplishment, their moods and motivation are lowest.”


From The Kitchn, "What Foods Do You Bring Back From Home?" I'm a strict "carry-on" only, so my list is more hypothetical (or, if I'm lucky, "what my mom sends me from home" - I'm spoiled), but would DEFININTELY include my stepdad's blackberry jam, Gary West beef jerky, and anything cooked by my mom.

Awesome (and on sale...sort of) stacked rings.

Image: Framed Section of an Angel's Wing, Matt Mullican (1978).

Love all of Mociun's geometric, unique, and colorful pieces (and photography!), especially this braided necklace, mixed stones moon & stars ring, awesome delicate yet bold stacked rings, crescent ring, and this funky dress.

Pretty sweet leather earrings from Etsy shop Hende.


Would love to see this! The Tim Burton show at the Museum of Modern Art.

Pics from the Alaskan Pipeline, North Slope, 1969 (my stepdad was there!)

Image: source.

Apparently, I'm the only one who didn't like the new Sherlock Holmes...

Interesting comments on urban farming.

Redesigned minimalist poster art for Tarantino films.

Lonely Planet's picks for the destinations of 2010. I'd like a trip to all of them, please...

"Pep Talk: You can change your life and become whatever you want to be. How do I know? Eh, I probably read it in The Secret. It’s true though. When you know what you want and you take actions toward that end, you’re on your way. There’s no telling how far you’ll go. Today remind yourself: I’m on my way."