Archive for the ‘Law School’ Category

For the last few days, my beautiful and sexy wife and I have been watching Sabrina, an old Audrey Hepburn movie from the 1950’s.  In one scene, Hepburn’s character makes a failed soufflé at a cooking school in Paris.  The next day I woke up, filled with the urge to cook a soufflé myself.  In particular, chocolate.  In particular, to impress said beautiful and sexy wife, whoc like most beautiful and sexy wives, loves chocolate.

Unfortunately, it took me several days to gather the requisite ingredients and equipment (finding a soufflé dish is trickier than you might imagine, especially if you’re not interested in paying a bajillion dollars for one at a specialty cooking shop), but this morning I baked a lovely chocolate soufflé which we ate for brunch.  It was light, fluffy, and sinfully delicious.  I was so impressed with myself (and the product of my endeavors), that now I want to bake another one, perhaps cheese.  Thus, the title of this post.  It has bitten me.

Incidentally, I am a devoted Audrey Hepburn fan, and currently own twelve of her movies on DVD.  I intend to own them all.  We also have a large picture of her in our kitchen, which I got from a guy who was moving out of his apartment here in the building.  The picture belonged to his girlfriend, and he personally hated it, and when I commented on it, he proposed to give it to me and tell her that it was destroyed accidentally in the move.  I went home happy.

Also incidentally, the movie amuses me because of the obvious early 1950’s portrayal of capitalism and business as virtuous and beneficial, which is interesting to me because we have been discussing the Red Scare and its effect on Hollywood in one of my seminar classes at law school.

By the way, here’s the recipe I used.  It was easy; you should try it.

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So, I thought I was going to be sent to Iraq with my National Guard unit this month.  Turns out it’s not happening.  If you have any experience with the military, you know how things can change at the last minute.  Anyway, I mentioned in an older post that I was reluctant to make any big decisions because of the upcoming mysterious, major life-changing event, and that’s what it was.  Now it isn’t happening.  So life goes on, and I no longer have an excuse for resting on my laurels.  But what do I do now?

We haven’t been going to church for awhile, and I have long stopped praying (since it started to seem mechanical and pointless).  Do I start again?  Do I give Christianity another go?  If so, what kind?  Back to Cedar Ridge?  Back to Grace Episcopal?  Just be a Christian on my own and don’t worry about church?  What does becoming a Christian even mean?  What does one do?  Becoming Mormon is a fairly regimented process: you take the missionary discussions, you read the Book of Mormon, you pray to know if it’s true (and get Your Testimony), you attend church meetings, you commit to live the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity, you get baptized, you get confirmed, you get the priesthood, you go to the temple, you get callings, and you endure to the end.  It’s all extremely structured.  I know how to become Mormon.  But I don’t know how you become Christian.  At what point do you become Christian?  What’s the right motivation for becoming Christian?  What does “being Christian” look like?

Do I even want to be Christian?  Right now, the answer feels like no.  Especially since Christmas is over.

Do I start a candidate year with the Ancient Order of Druids in America?  Do I want to?  Do I really want Druidry as a belief system?  Is it all just New Age flakery?  Do I want my whole life to be Celtic-y?  Do I always want to be thinking about ancient times and yearning for the forest?  Not really.  After I’m done with law school we’re moving back to New York, where we’ll probably stay.  I like the woods and nature, but I also love the city.  I feel compelled to be environmentally conscious and take care of the earth, but I actually think in many ways urban living is the best way to do that (it’s certainly more sustainable than suburban living).

There are a lot of things about Druidry that I find very appealing, but do I want to color my whole life with that crayon?  The answer feels like no?

Do I abandon the journey and just get on with life without God and without religion?  I’ve been sailing for awhile and it doesn’t seem like Byzantium is anywhere in sight.  I’m kind of getting tired of looking for it.  My main roadblock is clear (I was nervous about making any hasty decisions with such a major punctuation mark on the horizon), so what do I do?  Hinduism?  The Qur’an?  What?

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Apparently I think. At least, I think I think. Also, Kay of Songs Of Unforgetting thinks I think, and so does Brendan of Off The Beaten Path. I am, of course, flattered. Since my natural tendency is to be an arrogant sonofabitch, I’m trying to not let it go to my head. The flattery, that is, not the thinking. Thinking belongs in the head. For the most part.

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As a thinking blogger, it is now my duty to tag five other thinking bloggers. My geas, if you will. My onus. Kay and Brendan are of course thinking bloggers, but in honor of playground rules, I observe the ironclad law of “no tagbacks.”

Thus, I chose the following five:

First, my favorite thinker is my beautiful and sexy wife, Katyjane. Is that rank favoritism and perhaps nepotism? Sure it is. I make no excuses. Also, my wife is brilliant, and her opinion means more to me than anyone else’s. I sometimes get frustrated when she doesn’t think exactly like me (did I mention the arrogant sonofabitch part?), but she definitely thinks. I hold her in the highest esteem.  Her blog is funny, offbeat, and thought-provoking.

Second, is my friend Bryant over at Make Me A Commentator!!! It’s a liberal blog where he mostly just pokes holes in conservative columnists’ arguments. But he’s dang good at what he does.

Third, I tag Halcyon over at Halcyonedays. She doesn’t post as often as I do, but I admire her for being willing to think through some scary, imposing, difficult stuff. She’s got guts. Regardless of what conclusions she ultimately comes to, the fact that she’s really, honestly trying to work through life, the universe, and everything instead of just going with the flow and taking the easy pill impresses the heck out of me. It must be her good genetics.

Fourth, I tag Adam over at Daylight Atheism. His analysis is incredibly incisive, and it makes me sit up, take notice, and seriously think things through. He is both reasoned and reasonable, in a way that would make any honest reader take serious stock in what they think and believe- and he tackles tough issues while remaining sensible and nonconfrontational. I would be lying if I did not admit that his essays at Ebon Musings had an incredibly profound effect on me.

Fifth is tough. There are probably a half-dozen other bloggers I would like to tag (and part of me is tempted to give the fifth award to all of them simultaneously as joint tenants, but that’s just the part of me that is taking a Property exam right now). But instead, I’ll give the fifth to Dando at Mormon and Evangelical Conversations, for his even-handed and thoughtful religious dialogue.

In the meantime, I shall give a general shout (and very honorable mention) out to the very worthy Peter at For Peter’s Sake (for always having a thoughtful point of view, and having good taste in women), WhoreChurch at Whore Church (for boldly tackling the ugliest bits of religion while maintaining a close relationship with God and a love for Jesus Christ), Jonathan Blake at Green Oasis (for generally being good at what he does, and always being interesting) Bored in Vernal at Hieing to Kolob (for being feminist and Mormon, and brilliant), and Random Goblin at The Goblin’s Lair (for being one of the most intelligent human beings on earth, as well as a cruel, arbitrary, arrogant sonofabitch- of course these days he writes abject nonsense instead of politics). There are probably plenty of others that I am seriously offending by not mentioning. Oh well. I am cruel and arbitrary (much like many people’s conception of God). Really, though, everyone in my Blogroll and/or Links is worth reading. But if somehow getting two thinking blogger awards justifies me in handing out two sets of awards, then they get them. You may decide for yourself. Blogging Law is not one of the classes I have taken at law school.

Normally, I try to keep away from this kind of thing on my blog and stick to the substantive stuff. But hey, like I said- I’m cruel and arbitrary. I do what suits me at the moment. What can I say?

(oh, also- don’t forget Jeff over at Druid Journal. He’s good enough to have gotte nmy third thinking blogger award twice! But I think he’s gotten one before).

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The cruise was fun, and Miami has been gorgeous, but tomorrow we’ll be back in the DC area and I’ll be back to the law school grind.

While I’ve been gone I’ve been reading about Hinduism, and I find a lot of it extremely compelling.  Some of it even seems, I don’t know, self-evident.  Barring materialist atheism or some other uber-exclusive religion being in fact exclusively true (like Islam or Christianity), I don;t see a lot of room for Hinduism to be wrong.  Expect me to post a lot more about it as the days roll by and I collect my thoughts.

 Right now I’m reading the Bhagavad Gita and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hinduism.

Hopefull;y, when we get home tomorrow, my Druidry Handbook will have arrived, though I don’t know how interested in that I am anymore.  Still withing the context of Hinduism.  In other words, Druidry as a more appropriate cultural context for the concepts of Hinduism, being that I am of European descent and not South Asian Descent (unless the Vedas are right and it turns out that all of us Indo-Europeans are of South Asian descent after all).

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I woke up in a horrible mood this morning. I’m mad at God. In general, I think that “being mad at God’ is a lame crybaby excuse, unless your life is really, really horrible. And mine isn’t. Honestly, my life is pretty good. I have a place to live, my material eneds are met, I’m in law school , I have a sweet and hot wife and a cute kid. So ostensibly I have no reason to be mad at God.

But I just don’t know what to do about religion. I think agnosticism is a cop-out, but I don’t know if I’m going to be left with any other option. I’d like to have a religion, to have a faith, but it seems like it’s just too hard, and I don’t know why it has to be that way.

I don’t know if it’s possible to really know. But I’ve let go of the religion I grew up with and for now I am not interested in going back at all, so I can’t just fall bak on tradition and custom. I remain unconvinced by Christianity, as much as I’d theoretically be open to being convinced. And I’m too chicken to go anywhere but Christianity for fear that Christianity is actually true and my life will go to crap if I turn my back on Jesus, and then when I die I will go to hell.

So I don’t know what to do. I get excited about a faith or a religious idea one day, and then I wake up the next day and think it’s ridiculous and feel goofy for lending it credence the day before. It’s a crazy rollercoaster of religiousity that gets me nowhere and I don’t know how to get off of it, other than just by throwing my hands up and walking away from the whole thing.

And I don’t want to do that.

Anyway, I’m pissed at life, the universe, and everything, and that includes God, because this stuff is just too hard. I’m not making it hard on purpose; I’m doing this the only way I can.

I got a life that most would love to have,
But sometimes I still wake up fightin’ mad
At where this road I’m heading down might lead;
I guess that’s just the cowboy in me

-Tim McGraw

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Today I am reading about Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan.  They don’t actually worship Satan, by the way, or even belive that he exists (and before you go quoting Verbal Kent on me, I’ve heard it before).  Instead, they revere what he represents: indomitable will and ultimate freedom.

I think that LaVeyan Satanism actually has a lot to commend it, and I wouldn’t mind reading the Satanic Bible to see what he has to say (in more detail than a Wikipedia article at least), but I’m not sure that the kind of cutthroat all-against-all (or as my dad would put it, “Hooray for me and screw everyone else”) world that it envisions would really be a very nice one.   Too much like law school.  I guess the Satanist answer would be that they’re not trying to create a utopia; they’re simply reflecting and accepting the world for what it is (reflective rather than aspirational).

There’s no reason a Satanist can’t be nice to other people, if being nice to other people pleases and fulfills him, but he recognizes that ultimately he’s doing it out of self interest (Remember the argument between Joey and Phoebe about there being no completely selfless act? This is kind of like that).

But it also looks like LaVeyan Satanism owes a lot to Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand (with a veneer of probably worthless occultism), and I have historically thought their ideas were dumb.

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Idle For A Bit

I haven’t written much in a few days because I haven’t had much in the way of particularly brilliant or incisive religious thoughts.  I’m not going to post just for the sake of posting.  Plus, I’m in law school, which means I’m generally pretty busy.

Also, I’ve been kind of stuck in the same place.  I’m not feeling particularly spiritual, or religious.  On the contrary, I feel almost perfectly apathetic about God.  Or gods.  Or whatever.

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